The Wiwi Jury — our in-house team of music unprofessionals — is reviewing and rating the 39 competing songs in Eurovision 2021. Next up, we take a listen to Russia’s Manizha and her song “Russian Woman”. Did we feel her message? Read on to find out!
Manizha – “Russian Woman”
“Russian Woman” reviews
Calvin: Manizha grabs your attention from the first second and doesn’t let go until the very last second. There is so much happening in such a small amount of time. For some people, it may be messy, but it all works surprisingly well. Captivating is probably the best word to describe this performance. It’s entertaining with a deeper layer of a serious topic. However, the song alone is not as memorable and really needs a strong staging. But I’m confident that there is no stage big enough for Manisha to look small.
Lauren: 2011 to 2020. Ten years in which Russia’s entries consistently, year after year, rubbed me the wrong way. Since 2010, I never had Russia as one of my qualifiers. But right from the national final, “Russian Woman” has been absolutely bloody fantastic. In the Russian language, containing elements of both electro-folk and spoken-word/hip-hop, staged beautifully and by a singer I can stand behind. Russia, I’m in shock. You truly have changed.
Pablo: Is this my cup of tea? Not totally. I feel it is a lot to take, ending up feeling shapeless and, honestly, hard to follow at times. But, can’t stress this enough: I love that Russia went up for something like this. Transgressive, weird and completely unique, “Russian Woman” has something it needs to say, and it yells it to all corners of the globe. Combined with the epitome of coolness that is Manizha, I see this having a pretty cool show. Just don’t forget to keep it cohesive, so you can properly sell it.
Renske: Upon first listen, “Russian Woman” seems to be a mess. But when you actually start to understand the lyrics, it rather shows the mess many Russian women still have to go through. Taking us from the fields of the Emperor to the destruction of war, Manizha powerfully tells us that despite all backlash, you can “stand up and go”. It’s a mix of styles and poetry that we have never seen at Eurovision before, making it perhaps one of the most unique entries in recent years.
Robyn: “Russian Woman” is unusual and pings off in so many different directions. This might normally be bad news for a Eurovision entry, but Manizha here to guide us along the way. The song comes with a message — and Manizha has resisted the temptation of translating too much of the song into English, instead keeping it in a key language spoken by, well, Russian women. Regardless of how the song does in Rotterdam, it is just really refreshing to have Russia send a Eurovision song in a very different style to the slick pop tracks usually heard.
Manizha – “Russian Woman” rankings
In the Wiwi Jury we have 24 jurors but only have room for five reviews. The remaining scores are below:
We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 4.5 and a high of 10.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.18/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!