At the start of the week, Manizha soared to victory at Russia’s national final for Eurovision 2021. However, since then things haven’t been so smooth for the Russian-Tajik singer. Her song “Russian Woman” and her national final performance have attracted large criticism among certain people in Russia. Now, several Russian Eurovision stars, including winner Dima Bilan, have countered this criticism and publicly voiced their support for her.

Russia’s Eurovision 2021 singer was born in Tajikistan and moved to Moscow as a child. During her postcard before her national final performance, Manizha told the audience about how her country was a place with many different nationalities and people.

In the days after her win, which coincided with International Women’s Day, Manizha has faced criticism from several large public figures who called her song “not Russian enough”. On the other hand, people have also criticised “Russian Woman” for being sung partially in Russian, which “would decrease the chances of Russia at the contest”.

Russian Eurovision stars support Manizha

In a video on Instagram, Dima Bilan — Russia’s only Eurovision winner — spoke out in defence for Manizha. In a seven-minute video, he addressed her and said that it is a good thing she is going to Eurovision as Russia’s representative:

“Manizha, there is fire in you. You really say and do a lot in the direction of, let’s say, inclusivity of people. You are familiar with problems that not many of us think about. We are all busy with surviving, especially after these moments.”

Next to that, he later hit back at those who said she shouldn’t be Russia’s representative due to her Tajik origins, noting his own roots:

“Manizha is a very capable musician. Whoever wrote things on the internet didn’t know Manizha. You know, nobody knew Masha Katz [Youddiph] either when she went to Eurovision for the first time. What changed? The stakes changed. We have become angrier or what? What’s wrong? For example, I came from Kabardino-Balkaria. I am a real Russian and I was born in Karachay-Cherkessia. Why was that question not made when I went for example?”

 

Dit bericht bekijken op Instagram

 

Een bericht gedeeld door Dima Bilan (@bilanofficial)

Other Eurovision stars have also supported Manizha. Among them are Yulia Savicheva and Dina Garipova, who represented Russia in 2004 and 2013 respectively.

Dina said to newspaper Izvestia:

“Viewers chose Manizha. That means, they fell in love, that she showed herself from a good side. We, who were sitting in the venue, liked the energy which came from Manizha.”

Yulia added in that same article:

“She thus amazed me with her charisma, thoughts, that I immediately fell in love with the singer and songwriter. The performance and song caught me, and also that it was about a strong Russian woman.”

United Nations congratulate Manizha

In addition to Eurovision stars, Manizha has also received support from the United Nations, specifically their refugee agency UNHCR. Manizha is a goodwill ambassador for the agency, having been a refugee herself previously when she moved from Tajikistan to Russia.

In a tweet following her win at the national selection, the agency congratulated the star:

“We’re proud to see that former refugee, Tajik-born singer and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Manizha has been chosen to represent Russia in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest after a national vote.”

What do you think about the thoughts of these Russian Eurovision stars? Are you glad that Manizha is receiving this support? Let us know in the comments below!

Read all our Russia Eurovision news here

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MartyMcCu
MartyMcCu
4 months ago

The song is fine, not a winner, but Russia will proceed to the final with this. She performs it well and it’s nice to see a song in a completely different genre and in Russian too.

rotkiw
rotkiw
4 months ago

So I finally love a Russian entry and then they themslves don’t like it. ridicoulus XD

Vladimir P.
Vladimir P.
4 months ago

Banning countries from participation in international competitions because you don’t like their politics is one dimensional and hateful.

Alex
Alex
4 months ago

criticising the song for being in Russian is so messy and stupid lol, i thought they would be happy to finally understand what their entry is about?

Even though i don’t like the song, i appreciate that it’s much different to the usual cliche English entries Russia usually sends (either penned by Kontopoulos or Swedes).

I want more Russian lyrics in ESC entries.

Kate
Kate
4 months ago

If you can read in Russian you can go and read comments from locals under official video on Eurovision channel,thousands comments full of hate and xenophobia its really disgusting, they hate Manizha for her ethnic, for her lgbt support and of course for her being a feminist…
Russia is showing her real face here, and it’s not pretty, though I’m not surprised at all

Last edited 4 months ago by Kate
Vladimir P.
Vladimir P.
4 months ago
Reply to  Kate

That is an interesting claim. If Russians are so xenophobic and hate Manizha so much, who do you think voted for her?

Kate
Kate
4 months ago
Reply to  Vladimir P.

they didn’t, if you know how First channel is operate…

Davidinho
Davidinho
4 months ago
Reply to  Kate

Strange. I see more positive comments than negative. and most negative Russian-language comments come from Ukraine.

Yannis
Yannis
4 months ago

They criticise her of not sung in Russian enough? Do they remember when was the last time they send a song in Russian language?

Héctor
Héctor
4 months ago

Curious how Russians critize the choice of a song in Russian while in other countries they despise songs written in other than the local language (like France, Spain, Italy, Portugal,…). Here in Spain it was an absolute drama when Barei won the NF with “Say Yay!”. Some political figures even adressed the topic in the Parlament.

VSM
VSM
4 months ago
Reply to  Héctor

It was with racist undertone too, cause Barei was not born in Spain, instead in Ukraine i think…

Teddie
4 months ago

I am not part of the Kremlin and have never in my life voted for Putin and still I support Manizha nonetheless. So you want just out of spite to ban my country? What’s wrong with you, mate?

Teddie
4 months ago

You poor thing (

Marion
4 months ago

Being Chechen myself, I immediately recognized the racism in Russians’ reactions. So it’s okay for Russia to dominate minorities with violence? But a minority member or an ex-Soviet country member is not Russian enough for you to sing a song about a culture they know so well? You considered their land part of Russia for centuries, their culture took elements from yours during that occupation and it gives them the right to speak about aspects of that culture. I have so much respect for both Dima: good on him to speak out while he knows he’ll be criticized for it,… Read more »

Aziz
Aziz
4 months ago
Reply to  Marion

Many thanks! I am Tajik, and I had been living in Russia for 4 years. That time I found out a lot from Russia, a huge multinational country. I was so rich to learn about different culutures there. I don’t understand, why this is happening on this contest, because I saw a completely different sight of people in Russia.

Catherine
Catherine
4 months ago

Manizha is a famous singer in Russia and there is no problem with her nationality. The main reasons for the dislike are the mixing of styles of music and the very controversial text, which was perceived by many as propaganda and offensive. What is this shout in the warped language worth? Russian woman vote for me. I really want to believe that she did not mean anything bad, but the text can be interpreted very negatively in relation to Russian women.

Teddie
4 months ago
Reply to  Catherine

You see, this is what people call satire. Herself being Tajik, she’s angrily making fun of the stereotypical derogatory image of a Tajik person with this line.

Grifit
Grifit
4 months ago
Reply to  Catherine

I also thought the line was a polítical reference but if i understood well It refers About the fact that in Russia most of women decide not to vote. Mere especulation here, im waiting for that wise reply to confirm or negate what i wrote.

Tamanta Sina
Tamanta Sina
4 months ago

Russia’s PR campaign is opportunity-driven, not ideology-driven. Send an LGBT-friendly feminist singer to Eurovision to impress the international audience, while bashing gays and spitting on women’s rights at home 365 days a year. Despite the hypocrisy, I wish her the best in May.

Bjarm
Bjarm
4 months ago
Reply to  Tamanta Sina

You can see a reaction of Russian society for her. Perhaps the Russian authorities use her to show “modern” Russia abroad but her personality and her message are cause a discussion about women rights, racism, LGBT support inside the country and it is very important

Ann
Ann
4 months ago

no hate towards Manizha herself, but… Is this even a song?…

Europotato
Europotato
4 months ago

This is in my top 5

wait, what
wait, what
4 months ago

Best Russian entry since 2010

Grifit
Grifit
4 months ago

Shame on Russia, finally they sent something innovator and in their own language in years and they react this way. The song is amazing and for the first time since I started following the show I support the Russian representer.

Last edited 4 months ago by Grifit
Jar
Jar
4 months ago

Its my fav Russian entry in the longest time. Finally not a peace song in English or Sergey lol. Russia was getting very stale at esc. She shook it up <3

Kris
Kris
4 months ago

When comments focus on the performer rather than the song itself , you know it’s trolling. How come a song completely in English is “Russian enough ” and one with a major chunk in Russian is not ?

Alex
Alex
4 months ago

I can understand why some people don’t like this song, it’s a “peculiar” entry, but I think Manizha is amazing, she has a lot of energy and charisma. Russia can be really proud of her and her team.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
4 months ago

What did they want to happen? You want “Sugar” or something to represent you?

Fatima
Fatima
4 months ago

I’ve always wanted to go to Dushanbe

Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
4 months ago

This is one of my favourites this year. A sure qualifier, and if Manizha plays her cards right, a probable top 10. The hate needs to stop, but I take comfort in the fact that the most people hating on the song are Russians, and they cannot vote/not vote for themselves.

Dascha
Dascha
4 months ago

I fell in love with this song the first time I’d heard it, which is very rare for me when it comes to Eurovision songs, and it’s one of the most authentic songs we have so far in this year’s contest. The song is catchy as hell, and you can easily connect to it even if you don’t understand the lyrics. Many people forget that Russia is a very diverse country, with over 100 ethnicities and languages spoken in it, and having chosen Manizha, a Tajik, to represent them at ESC showcases this diversity. Those critics have no idea what… Read more »

Faradn
Faradn
4 months ago

I am a 53 year old man from France, and I love Manizha and her song! “Russian Woman” is so much full of good vibes, energy, enthusiasm!

I am filled with joy when I listen to it and I can’t stop listening to it!

RavensHeart
RavensHeart
4 months ago

I’d like to meet the people who say this is “not russian enough”
Not sure exactly how it could be more russian.
Maybe she should be wrestling a bear while drinking borsch?

Aberdream
Aberdream
4 months ago

I am very upset at Manizha. Unacceptable this bop isn’t on Spotify yet ?

Art
Art
4 months ago
Reply to  Aberdream

Tell me about it! I’ve been checking every day, hoping to find it there but no luck…

Anna
Anna
4 months ago
Reply to  Aberdream

bc there will be a revamp

Irishfan
Irishfan
4 months ago

Love this song. Her performance is so energetic and powerful

Art
Art
4 months ago

This is actually one of the best songs this year!
And one of the best songs Russia’s sent in the last decade or so.

Last edited 4 months ago by Art
notyourtoy
notyourtoy
4 months ago

Her song has even elevated on me from 23rd place to 3rd after I first heard it. The only problem is that is noisy at times

notyourtoy
notyourtoy
4 months ago

This might not be one of the best Russian entries in the ESC in terms of music (maybe the worst after Julia Samoylova), but the power in 3 minutes of her singing-rapping-dancing is magnificent. This is totally a bop we will not easily forget, especially the fans who will shout in the arena (hoping there will be fans though)

ESC 2021
4 months ago
Reply to  notyourtoy

Julias song was so mutch better than this crap

Kris
Kris
4 months ago
Reply to  ESC 2021

I don’t know whether it was better , but this one definitely stands out. A middle of the road song would never win. A song that takes risks will either flop or go big and I’d rather countries do take risks while not comprosing quality. Could the song be better ? Yes . Is the current song bad ? No.

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
4 months ago

The fashion also works so well as part of the story to the song, for me — discarding the traditional coat to reveal the striking red jumpsuit, as if she’s marched out of a factory or about to do a parachute jump; the hair done up, ready for action. The all-black uniform styling for the backing singers makes them look like bystanders or as the society that exists around her, representing those who would unironically think about the lyrics of how a Russian woman should be but also chanting in support of her when the beat drops.

Last edited 4 months ago by Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
4 months ago

I really like Manizha’s entry, particularly the song’s complexity and her fierce performance at the NF. Didn’t realise she’s a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, wonderful!

Marion
4 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

Indeed. She’s really amazing! And I love her song!

Jamie
Jamie
4 months ago

Poor girl. The Russian music industry is toxic as hell. They praise tacky and outdated creeps like Kirkorov and can’t handle an authentic entry?! This is excatly what kind of Russia people would love to see, not privileged Moscow-born artists singing Swedish export.

Jonas
Jonas
4 months ago
Reply to  Jamie

Her song shows that she is the exact opposite of a poor girl. She’s a woman, strong enough to bounce against the wall.

ESC 2021
4 months ago
Reply to  Jamie

If Sweden have this song. Nobody should like it

Vladimir P.
Vladimir P.
4 months ago
Reply to  ESC 2021

That’s because women in Sweden live in a different reality compared to the women in Russia.

NovelFrost
NovelFrost
4 months ago
Reply to  Jamie

Sure. Moscow-born Buranovskie Babushki with Swedish Party for Everybody – that’s ideal.

Bella
Bella
4 months ago

Maybe the true reason is not her birth country but the meaning of the song??
Are they afraid of strong and independent women? Do they want strong and independent Russian women? This song ‘scares’ some people…?!

Last edited 4 months ago by Bella
Catherine
Catherine
4 months ago
Reply to  Bella

You say totaly dumb thing. The whole Russian history builded with a strong russian women. We have woman in goverment, medicine, travel, army, art, etc. even in early XIX century.

A R
A R
4 months ago

The song itself is very risky, and I cannot say whether it wins or not. Manizha is a very interesting artist and it is interesting to look at her, how she acts on the stage, but the song creates such controversial feelings in me. Some parts of the song are really catchy. The whole performance looks like a theatrical one. I really wish her to ignore the hates around her. She has already made such good memorable songs in Russia and she got appreciance and respect as a good vocalist. Her main advantage is uniqueness and her genre is not… Read more »

Nicolas
Nicolas
4 months ago

Song ‘not Russian enough’ LOL. Yeah they do prefer when a Moscow born sing in english.
The song will be totally ruined if the russian is removed or just even partially.
There are already english lyrics and it is already enough.

I think some russians have missed totally the point of Eurovision. This is maybe why they have sent so many bland generics songs in english.
Have they forget that Tatu finished 3rd ?

Mika
Mika
4 months ago

This is actually a very good entry. I am not a fan of Russia and its ESC music, but this year I am going to vote for that

Sam
Sam
4 months ago

I echo other sentiments here and say that the Russian is indeed the best part of the song so please don’t change it at all, Manizha!
Also these criticisms, make it make sense!

Alfonso Moreno Domínguez
Alfonso Moreno Domínguez
4 months ago

Kazna, who submitted the song “Braids” for Belarus, also supported her on an Instagram post.

Last edited 4 months ago by Alfonso Moreno Domínguez
Marion
4 months ago

Awww, that’s so kind.

Ant
Ant
4 months ago

Imagine living in the largest country on Earth, assimilating numerous ethnicities into yours, having territorial claims outside of your borders, and still complaining about being represented by a minority person. The nerve!

Btw this is Russia’s most original and overall best entry in a long time.

KRM
KRM
4 months ago
Reply to  Ant

Unfortunately, that’s something what most of the superpowers or largest countries do, aka China as well.

Last edited 4 months ago by KRM
Ant
Ant
4 months ago
Reply to  KRM

Idk maybe they should remember that last time Russia “lost” the top spot it was to a minority woman showcasing her culture

Kris
Kris
4 months ago
Reply to  Ant

I don’t understand this comment at all ! When did Russia gain and lose the top spot ?

Teddy
Teddy
4 months ago
Reply to  Kris

Sergey losing to Jamala in 2016

Kris
Kris
4 months ago
Reply to  Teddy

But Sergey had come 3rd , he never lost to 1 woman. He lost to two guys once and two girls once. Based on the comment I kept thinking since when did mans become a minority woman

Ant
Ant
4 months ago
Reply to  Kris

You’re right, in 2016 he came third to TWO minority women: Jamala and Dami Im

Marion
4 months ago
Reply to  Ant

Indeed. And Jamala was wonderful!

Alonso
Alonso
4 months ago
Reply to  KRM

So u think u know something about China now? I’m telling you what you’ve learned from some media coverages of China are not objective. Ethnic minorities living in China today still receive education in their own language from an early age, rather than learning Chinese. In terms of population growth, the growth rate of ethnic minorities in China is much higher than that in other western countries. Therefore, when it comes to ethnic assimilation or suppression of ethnic minorities, what western countries have done is really excessive!

Marion
4 months ago
Reply to  Alonso

Are you a Chinese troll dismissing an ongoing genocide?

Coco
Coco
4 months ago
Reply to  Ant

Indeed, why want to take everything and everybody, and then to want just blond persons to represent your country, and singing in english. Manizha is more Russian than all those english singers from past years.

Marion
4 months ago
Reply to  Ant

Totally agree!

Amadeus
Amadeus
4 months ago

Please do not get rid of the Russian either partially or completely! That’s the best part!

A R
A R
4 months ago
Reply to  Amadeus

They won’t. Manizha said that she insisted on the song to be mostly in Russian language on an interview, as the language itself sounds beautiful and lyrical.

Jonas
Jonas
4 months ago

I like Dima Bilan more than I realized.

Errrr
Errrr
4 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

I don’t understand why he is told to be the worst winner in modern Eurovision, the song was good and had a very nice performance. Azerbaijan is the worst winner, didn’t even deserve to win.

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

As a guy, he seems alright. Kind of the OG “nice guy with a bad song.”

Richie
Richie
4 months ago

This is for me better than Sergey’s Songs…

#nohate

KRM
KRM
4 months ago

Well, they should realize that Russia is not only about Russian people. Being the largest country in the world, it shouldn’t be surprising to hear sounds from different ethnicities as well. For instance, there are lots of Turkic ethnicities in Russia and showcasing music of these different ethnicities would not necessarily harm the image of the country. While Russian Woman may not be the strongest song this year, it’s growing on me and I really appreciate the fact that Russia has made a step towards a different direction, far from the usual dated Kirkorov ballads/pop songs. This is exactly why… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by KRM
Tul
Tul
4 months ago
Reply to  KRM

So you’re basicly saying that Manizha’s song is bad? Bad behaviour from you, shame on you!

ESC 2021
4 months ago
Reply to  Tul

Remember this. You cant say anything bad about Russia, its ESC little baby.

Hmm
Hmm
4 months ago
Reply to  KRM

“Dated” ballads/pop songs?

KRM
KRM
4 months ago
Reply to  Hmm

Absolutely!

Whisker
Whisker
4 months ago
Reply to  KRM

Right!

Joe
Joe
4 months ago

This is one of Russia’s best ever entries. What, would it be more Russian to send an English-language song where virtually the only Russian involved is the singer?

Jonas
Jonas
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Let’s throw in an ice-skater, that should do it.

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Only if there’s also someone miming playing a Stradivarius

notyourtoy
notyourtoy
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

(bad joke alert)

To bring a dated boring song which reminds us entries in mid 2000s composed by Philip Kirkorov, Dimitris Kontopoulos and Ilias Kokotos and Sharon Vaugn with the staging by Fokas Evangelinos

Last edited 4 months ago by notyourtoy
Neil
Neil
4 months ago

So proud of others standing up for her! The people chose HER, Little Big didn’t participate in the NF. All of the sudden its her fault… sigh

Neil
Neil
4 months ago
Reply to  Neil

It is also in my top 7

Robert
Robert
4 months ago

I do not understand the hate towards Manizha and the song. I must admit it is not the best song ever but it’s in my top 3 because it is different. And I love the russian part. It is for sure more unique than million voices or thunder and lightning but unfortunately it seems that there is little to no place for unique ethnic songs anymore.

notyourtoy
notyourtoy
4 months ago
Reply to  Robert

They are mostly hating because she isn’t ”pure Russian” but a Tajik woman who left her country as a refugee because of a civil war, with the country she lives having a piece of responsibility for the war.

This is much worse than being hated because Little Big will not represent Russia (which I didn’t prefer at any place)

Robert
Robert
4 months ago
Reply to  notyourtoy

That is really stupid of them since there are over 190 different ethnicities in Russia.

Little big is a fun act but it would get barely any votes from juries to be honest.