For the first time since 2012, the Russian public has chosen the country’s entry. After a 100% televote final, Manizha came out on top with the song “Russkaya zhenshchina (Russian Woman)”.
Russian national final for Eurovision 2021 results
1. Manizha 39.7% (WINNER)
2. #2Mashi 35.7%
3. Therr Maitz 24.6%
29-year-old Manizha was born in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. After the Tajik Civil War, the family relocated to Moscow. She first dipped her toe in the music business back in 2009. Performing under the name the name Ru.Kola, she showed great promise with “Neglect”.
In 2018, she became the first Russian artist to be given the “Deezer Next” treatment. Deezer is a French-based music streaming service and their “Next” initiative highlights the music of select artists from around the globe through increased exposure in playlists. Her current and unique sound combines soul with traditional and electric flair. Despite all the mixing and matching, in a 2018 interview with Wiwibloggs, she told us her music is “super simple, music from my heart, that’s all”. She also said it honours “realness” — making her a woman of our own heart.
Russian national final for Eurovision 2021 participants
Therr Maitz – “The Future is Bright”
Magadan-born Anton Belyaev (41) is mostly known as a singer-songwriter in his native country and as part of the indie group Therr Maitz, combining pop and lounge music. With that group, he won Best Russian Act at the 2016 MTV European Music Awards. As a solo artist, Belyaev rose to fame on Russia’s answer to The Voice, where he ended up in the semi-final. Although the artist sent in a candidacy for Eurovision in 2014, he later doubted whether Eurovision was good for him, telling Woman’s Day that the contest was a “pure zoo” in his eyes. In 2018, Belyaev was admitted to the Recording Academy, the organisation of music professionals that decide on Grammy nominations.
#2Маши (pronounced as “Dve Mashi”, meaning “two Mashas”) is a musical duet between Mariya “Masha” Zaitseva and Mariya “Masha” Sheikh. The two Mashas met each other during a holiday in Thailand and found that their hobbies and music tastes were alike. So alike that they decided to start a collaboration, making music with pop, easy-listening and dance elements. The duo broke through with the song “Bosaya” in 2018, which music video was among the top 20 most watched music videos in Russia’s TopHit charts for almost nine months straight. Their commercial success didn’t stop there. With “Mama, ya tantsuyu”, the duo won the award for Best Dance Song at the 2019 Russian National Music Awards.
During the one-hour long show, there was also some space some guest performances. Eurovision 2020 act Little Big performed their Eurovision 2020 hit “Uno”.
Next to the performances, we also saw performances of former Russian Eurovision alumns Dima Bilan, Polina Gagarina, and Philipp Kirkorov. Belarusians stars and Eurovision entrants Dmitry Koldun and Ruslan Alehno appeared too, alongside Russian Eurovision alumns Dina Garipova and Yulia Savicheva.
What do you think about Russia’s choice for Eurovision 2021? Do you agree with the end results? Let us know in the comments below!