Manizha Russian Woman Eurovision 2021

She has faced a sea of criticism since winning Russia national final earlier in March, including from some who say that her song “isn’t Russian enough”. Now, in an interview with the BBC, Manizha has shared the true extent of the hate being directed towards her ahead of Eurovision 2021, including death threats.

Manizha shares shocking hate messages

“It was very hard to understand that someone can hate you so much”, the “Russian Woman” singer tells BBC’s Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg.

On those Russians who dislike the song’s message of female empowerment, Manizha says “We’re always hearing this advice from our childhood, like, “You need to be like this, you need to be like this. Your skirt should be longer, or shorter”. These stereotypes make our life so bad and I’m tired of it”.

What’s hurt her the most is those who dislike her because she’s not ethnically Russian. While she is now a Russian citizen, Manizha was born in Tajikistan and moved to Moscow as a child. “You can not like my voice, you can not like my song. But if you don’t like me because I was born in Tajikistan, that was hard”.

Some of the hatred has been extreme. “It was very hard to understand that someone can hate you so much. One woman, who has two children,  wrote a message, like, “I will pray to God that your aircraft will crash, you know, when you will go to Rotterdam”. And we are having some threats,  like “if you’re gonna sing like this about Russian women, you’re not gonna live any more here”.

However, Manizha does not intend to quit, although she admits that the thought crossed her mind. “I’m a normal person, I’m a human. You know? I have feelings, and of course I’ve had these thoughts, but now I have a lot of support. I can see it. Not only from media and media people, from people who think the same like me. And this thing is supporting me, this thing makes me stronger, and I’m like “I will go on the stage, whatever it is, I will go on the stage and I’m gonna do my job, yeah, I’m gonna do it”.

Manizha BBC interview (Russia Eurovision 2021)

Manizha has consistently remained defiant in the face of hate. First, she responded with a hilarious video that discovers just what Manizha is made of. The video takes the form of a mockumentary, in Russian but with optional English subtitles. The show is presented by an elegant lady (played by Manizha) rocking a blonde power bob. She’s determined to get to the bottom of how Manizha won the Russian national final.

The presentation mocks the idea that Manizha somehow “bought” her national final victory, selling it as an opportunity to escape Russia’s border closures — and with the offer of a free set of steak knives. Then an expert, a Dr Veniamin, is called upon to answer the question “What is Manizha?” After breaking into her house, stealing her skeleton, and conducting scientific tests, the good doctor reveals the shocking truth. The video concludes with a teaser for part two, jokingly promising to reveal how much Manizha paid Little Big to give up representing Russia at Eurovision 2021.

More recently, she teamed up with the VK social network and took over massive electronic billboards in both St. Petersburg and Moscow.  The message reads: “Listen to a Russian woman. Listen to a Tajik woman. Listen to a talented woman. Listen to the brave woman. Listen to every woman”.

Are you backing Manizha? Let us know below.

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EIN
EIN
4 months ago

From Russia with love!
I support Manizha, she is a wonderful singer who has been dreaming about the Eurovision Song Contest for a long time
Her time had come…

Ti974
Ti974
4 months ago

manizha keep shining,this type of word does not matter, haters does not matter we love you so much keep going on this way

Robert
Robert
4 months ago

Ooh but when they were winning with Dima and came 3rd twice with Sergey with American sounding songs is when they’re celebrating but now it’s not Russian enough.. Eyeroll!

Last edited 4 months ago by Robert
Heartbeater
Heartbeater
4 months ago

Hope for the best for Manizha she does not deserve this hate even though its messy I love it I believe that she is an amazing performer Manizha do not listen to those racist people who are saying that she is not russian

Eurovisionary
Eurovisionary
4 months ago

Is this political game to promote Russian entry? I just don’t trust this. Even if it was true they shouldn’t bring this out to share it it’s not cool it’s unprofessional and pathetic

Jake
Jake
4 months ago

There’s a special kinda karma for those trolls who wish harm or death to anyone through the anonymity of the internet. You can say you hate her song. You can say you don’t like her singing voice. You can even mock her song. But there are opinions and there are sick threats that have no place in a society.

Jimmy Smit
4 months ago

Yes. People oppress themselves.

(As a political journalist, I’m surprised you have to guess that). Read Plato’s Republic, particularly the Allegory of the Cave. I’m sure you’d enjoy it.

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

More unintentional spaces and exclamation marks ! More hysteria and bigotry ! More hatred towards simple Russian citizens ! I know you are capable of this so do it !!

Jimmy Smit
4 months ago
Reply to  Kpow

Actually, a lot of young Russians get their news online and completely reject state-based outlets. They recognise the propaganda. That’s why the Russian state is hastily working towards a national intranet.

Either way, I doubt insulting an entire country is an ideal way to convince anyone there that they should listen to you.

Denis
Denis
4 months ago

If it isn’t Russian enough then why did they vote for it? Some people really..

Kpow
Kpow
4 months ago
Reply to  Denis

Maybe only 1 million people have voted that night, but there are 145 million more citizens. And don’t forget that there’s 11 time zones in Russia. I myself was watching the live national selection at 4 AM (Far Eastern region), most of my compatriots were asleep at this time.
And that hate mostly comes from the people who don’t even watch ESC, they don’t care about the show yet they seem to be “experts” in everything. They like to fantasize that Russia is predominately “white” country but completely forget that 80% of it is located completely in Asia.

Whisker
Whisker
4 months ago

I hope Manizha informs the authorities about every single threat. It’s so good she’s speaking out, it’s a form of personal protection.

Bdzhilka
Bdzhilka
4 months ago

Very ignorant of Russians as their country is very very multicultural. Russian woman is that multicultural woman in Russia.

Jonas
Jonas
4 months ago

Maybe God, if she exists, heard that woman’s prayer and made a note to put her on the down escalator.

Jonas
Jonas
4 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

I mean…prayer woman wished for a plane full of people to crash, so I just thought God might punish her instead of Manizha…that’s all.

Jimmy Smit
4 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

I’d hope that god/s would save all, rather than punish any.

It all depends on how active the god is, and how cruel or benevolent.

Micky
Micky
4 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

amen, amen
Tell me, is this what you wanted?
Tell me, is this what you wanted?
Amen, amen, yeah
Are you getting what you wanted?
Are you getting what you wanted?
Amen

Jimmy Smit
4 months ago
Reply to  Micky

You’re so fine, you blow my mind.

Jonas
Jonas
4 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

That would also be my hope, especially if God is the one who created this world and the people in it – any other way would not be fair.

Jimmy Smit
4 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

What is fairness to a god?

Jimmy Smit
4 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Is “put them on the down escalator” an idiom / expression in your original language (Swedish?), Jonas?

Jonas
Jonas
4 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

I suppose it’s just how I imagine the pearly gates, maybe from The Simpsons.

Jimmy Smit
4 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Ahh, ha, now I see what you mean! 😀

Daggu
Daggu
4 months ago

I love how they ask themselves ‘how did manizha win the selection’ while also having one of THE WEAKEST selections in a long time.

I do kinda wish Manizha’s song was better, she seems very charismatic and doesn’t deserve the hate, but the song is a guilty pleasure for me.

Daggu
Daggu
4 months ago
Reply to  Daggu

It is nice though that Russia sent something that felt… human. All of their entries recently were so void of expression and were so calculated, this feels fresh for them. Who knows, maybe the right staging can even bring them to the final

Dawid
Dawid
4 months ago

What god? Cthulhu? Wtf

Kpow
Kpow
4 months ago
Reply to  Dawid

Russian god, Jesus Ivanovich

Lorenzo Celli
Lorenzo Celli
4 months ago

I’m so sorry to hear this. Manizha totally doesn’t deserve all this hate. Glad she stood up and moved forward even after such disgusting comments. Keep going girl

Ant
Ant
4 months ago

Ew, just disgusting. There are always dumb and hateful people but this level of hatred is shocking.
I said it before and will say it again, this is the best thing Russia has sent in a decade

Samo
Samo
4 months ago

This is the first Russian entry I liked in a long long time. I never rooted for Russia (also because they would misuse their winning for propaganda purposes) but for the first time I see myself voting for them. Manizha is awesome, the staging is lit and the message is an important one. I seriously wish she would win.

Go girl, show it to those haters!

Ant
Ant
4 months ago
Reply to  Samo

I will still not vote for Russia in the final. Yes, it’s political bias, but I really don’t want to risk Eurovision going to Russia atm. It would still the state TV, that spews out hateful Kremlin propaganda, that would organize the show, Ukraine and Georgia would withdraw. But I can see myself voting for Manizha in the semi, she deserves a good placing.

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

I’m happy that Manizha got her chance to shine and gain audience. I’ve discovered that she’s a very talented artist, her other songs are even much better than the Eurovision bid. Many of them tell really touching stories. That said, Russian state TV is not a simplistic propaganda broadcaster with everything micromanaged (“Kremlin-approved”), something you’d imagine North Korean or even Belarusian television to be. It’s much higher quality and the not as explicit, propaganda operates on different levels and is starkly different for domestic and international audiences. So, what Russian state projects or “allows” to be projected outwards and to… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Ant
Darren
Darren
4 months ago

Her song “isn’t Russian enough!” Lol what a joke, after years of plastic pop peace anthems from the likes of Lazarev and Gagarina and the Tolmachelvy’s …Russia has probably entered its MOST Russian entry in years! Since 2009 probably.

Probably just mad that the ultra-fake Kirkorov wasn’t involved in this. Best of luck to Manizha! I may not be a massive fan of the song, but I completely understand the necessity for Russia to send THIS song.

Last edited 4 months ago by Darren
BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
4 months ago
Reply to  Darren

I strongly suspect That the “not Russian enough” Critique is less about the song itself, and more about the singer’s identity. How dare this central Asian woman represent Russia at Eurovision (Deadpan sarcasm mode).

Daggu
Daggu
4 months ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

Half of Russia is in asia though. Do russians actually think this?

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
4 months ago
Reply to  Daggu

Well I’m from America where it’s commonly that forgot that a significant portion of its territory used to be Mexico.

Jimmy Smit
4 months ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

and already occupied by Native Americans…

Last edited 4 months ago by Jimmy Smit
BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
4 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

Yep. We are standing on a bed of corpses.

Europotato
Europotato
4 months ago

Whoever said that comment has the education level of a 5 year old. Why would god grant such a horrible thing to happen? Clearly no religious knowledge.

Sophie
Sophie
4 months ago

The song has been in my top 10 since I heard it but after hearing this she now gets my vote in the semi and the final! Keep up the strength Manizha!

ag89
ag89
4 months ago

This woman really needs support from ESC fans, leave your like or dislike for the song on side, this turns to be much more important than a song.

Fatima
Fatima
4 months ago

Steve is a great supporter of the contest, isn’t he?

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
4 months ago

Slightly at a tangent: I think this is why the German song this year (“I Don’t Feel Hate”) rubs me up the wrong way. It almost makes it sound as if hate messages do not matter, when actually they should be denounced for what they are, just as Manhiza has done.

Una
Una
4 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

*Excellent point*!!

Lorenzo Celli
Lorenzo Celli
4 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

In I Don’t Feel Hate it’s not that hate doesn’t matter, the message is that it just shouldn’t influence our lives or the way we live it

Una
Una
4 months ago
Reply to  Lorenzo Celli

Unfortunately “hate” messages can and do influence people’s lives. Too many sad stories for words. The German song *is* silly.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
4 months ago
Reply to  Una

I can already sense that this year’s Wiwi Jury (if there is one) is going to be very interesting for some entries, including Germany.

Roelof M
Roelof M
4 months ago

God, she is my favorite this year, and I really, REALLY want her to do well in May. Not only will she spread a great message to Russian women, she will also shut all the haters up, AND she would show the Russian broadcasters that they can indeed step outside of their box. I just hope that people will connect with her message in Rotterdam.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
4 months ago
Reply to  Roelof M

I wish her good luck at Eurovision, but I dread that she might be set up for failure. Think about what happen with Julia in 2018. It was clear no effort was made to make her successful, and in the end, She was just thrown under the bus with that lackluster staging. Regardless of how I personally feel about Russian woman, I hope manizha isn’t sabotaged by the delegation So that she doesn’t qualify on purpose. That would really make the haters feel validated.

Una
Una
4 months ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

I have the impression that Yulia was used as a peon in a very, very visible public relations *war*.
Lovely girl – anyways, if she could sing on Russian TV – that’s one thing. Her singing skills were not good enough for a live singing contest like Eurovision – much more different thing.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
4 months ago
Reply to  Una

Yeah, fair enough. She was clearly used as a pawn to make Ukraine look bad. It always looks like a set up from the start. I wish Manizha good luck

Alexander
Alexander
4 months ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

Your concerns are generally reasonable, but I don’t think they will apply this time. After all, it is a song co-written by Manizha, in her own style, and we all saw her energetic and powerful performance. Yuliya Samoylova, on the other hand, had to perform a song she has nothing to do with—either vocally or in terms of style—in English, which is not her strongest suit either. I can imagine Manizha being in Top 10 if she just repeats her performance from the nation selection. But—oh, my God!—you described it so well: “She was just thrown under the bus with… Read more »

Inoue
Inoue
4 months ago

Welcome to the Darkseid.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
4 months ago

Those hate messages to Manizha are some of the worst I have ever seen sent to an ESC participant. Terrible. 🙁
By the way, I always listen to women – I have no choice. 😀
Looking forward to listening to Manizha at ESC.

Jimmy Smit
4 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Hear, hear 🙂

Una
Una
4 months ago

What the f* hel*? She had to leave her country as a child. Do they want her to leave her new country? Is “hate crime” a concept in Russia? It’s 2021. I am feeling so sad for 1. Manizha. And 2. because there is so much *hate* about being *different* and having a different opinion.
Love and best wishes and best vibes and best of all the good things to Manizha.

Azimuth
Azimuth
4 months ago
Reply to  Una

Haters make the minority, but their voices are the loudest.

Marion
4 months ago
Reply to  Una

Trust me: committing hate crimes against minorities and gays is a national sport in Russia. And if you say something, they’ll just announce they’re fighting terrorism or crime. They get away with every excuse because the world is scared of them. Where do you think China got its inspiration for the concentration camps imprisoning Uighurs from? They got alot of tips from Russia on how to kill, exploit and torture.

Mws
Mws
4 months ago

I love the Russian strategy here. The narrative is perfect. People will vote for Russia now because they hate the Russian people. Makes total sense. They flipped it. Well played Russia 🙂

Last edited 4 months ago by Mws
David
David
4 months ago
Reply to  Mws

Big Brain Move

Teddie
Teddie
4 months ago
Reply to  Mws

Enjoy your downvote!

Pasadena
Pasadena
4 months ago

Love Manizha and will support her even more now!

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
4 months ago

I mean in the Swiss canton Appenzell Innerhoden women didn’t have the right to vote until 1991 and most women there supported it because they were so blinded by their upbringing/ religious community. .

Last edited 4 months ago by Frisian esc
OberonYronwood
OberonYronwood
4 months ago

She is so brave a strong, Go Manizha!! You have my full support! And I cannot wait to see the faces of those idiots when you reach the final and get a high place. Revenge sweet revenge.

Alonso
Alonso
4 months ago
Reply to  OberonYronwood

Let this brave girl get a good grade pls! I will pray for her.

Alonso
Alonso
4 months ago

I don’t get it. How come some Russian women hate this song Russian Women? This song is to encourage you to be more independent and strong, not to expose your scars or blame you about the past. So what’s the hate for?

Alonso
Alonso
4 months ago
Reply to  Alonso

Because she was born in Tajikistan?

Europotato
Europotato
4 months ago
Reply to  Alonso

She’s saying this because women are clearly treated badly in Russia. End of. She’s getting my vote! She has so much charisma and talent.

Marion
4 months ago
Reply to  Europotato

I totally agree. These racist women hating Russians should stay off the vodka some more and stay in school a bit longer. Maybe then, they’d learn that nationalism hasn’t faired well for them. Manizha has my vote and they’re lucky to have this gem!

Marion
4 months ago
Reply to  Alonso

Racism.

Kosey
Kosey
4 months ago
Reply to  Alonso

Perhaps this tells us that not all women think in the same way? In the same way all men don’t think in the same way? Hence why these gender wars we like to partake in will only take us down dead ends?

Last edited 4 months ago by Kosey
Alonso
Alonso
4 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

I can’t say for sure about the reason. The only thing I’m sure about is that some rights are earned by fighting against injustice. If we just keep being silent, we would never get equal treatment. So that’s why we have those Pride Marches around the world dedicated to LGBTQ community rights. Same reason for Asians to stand up against the hatred of Asians. If we want a more harmonious society, equality is the first priority.

Last edited 4 months ago by Alonso
Kosey
Kosey
4 months ago
Reply to  Alonso

Couldn’t agree with you more. My challenge is who is the enemy? And ultimately is there an enemy? Equality comes from seeing humans as the same, not by putting them into easy buckets to point fingers at.

Last edited 4 months ago by Kosey
kir
kir
4 months ago

Yobnutye

Aeria
Aeria
4 months ago

I feel so bad for her. I love her song and I really want her to do well in Rotterdam just so she can show the world (especially Russia itself) that times change, and people should be permitted to be themselves

beccaboo1212
4 months ago

How could people say such horrible things about Manizha? 🙁

Danni
Danni
4 months ago

Maybe change the article title?? I read it and I thought Manizha was praying to God that someone’s aircraft will crash…

Kirby
Kirby
4 months ago
Reply to  Danni

You’re so right! My impression was the same.

beccaboo1212
4 months ago
Reply to  Kirby

It was actually someone else hoping Manizha’s aircraft crashes, thus serving as an example of a death threat the singer received.

Samuel
Samuel
4 months ago
Reply to  Danni

U are so right! I swear, I was thinking the same thing and than I realised: oh…it’s her getting those threads.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
4 months ago
Reply to  Danni

It was written in a way that made that a possible reading. A quote followed by a hyphen, followed by a name is usually attributing quote to said name.