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!
Manizha my score is 100 00000000/0 She is fantastic performer. Russia Vperyod
Kinda shocked that this got the exact same wiwi jury average as Little Big 😀 – 7.18.
Completely agree with Lauren 🙂 Great song!
For me this is Russia’s best song to date. Modern, powerful, different. The only problem is that the studio version lacks a bit of energy, but the live performance is amazing. It has potential to end up in the Top 10.
Hello to everyone! So glad EV2021 is to happen! Now about Russian Woman…You know, I’ve been thinking about it a lot, listening every sound detail, voice changes so on. This song has space. More space than others do. I mean it is too live, it is too independent, therefore it pretends messy. Manizha, I know her music from 2017, is really authentic, with this song she invites you to her world of total kindness and understanding, she doesn’t need your evaluation, your marks or scores. She wants to be heard and accepted but, again, she does it with zero intended… Read more »
I am very bold now: this has winner potential. But I am not into Malta’s song which means my taste is no indicator for what a majority of people want.
For the first time ever I want Russia to win. 10/10
I don’t get it as well, why can people only recognize structure when it is the structure they expect and they have heard a million times? At least they could understand and say, this song has a different structure than I am used to and I expect. But I am expecting too much.
N.B. “The song’s original structure” is mentioned in my comment above. 🙂
This is my favourite russian entry since 2009, Look,I like pop and all, but Russia always sent incredibly bland and generic pop masked by a showy performance and a lot of staellite support. For once, they send something that is original and authentic, GO RUSSIA!
You can’t say they always send bad pop songs, sometimes they are good (Polina Gagarina), sometimes not (Alexey Vorobyov). I only think they should send songs in Russian more often.
7.18 ? i like the message and everything, but as a song, it’s just unlistenable lmao ! i’d give it a 0… but it comes alive on stage so oh well
This is possibly the most unique entry this year which makes it so risky. I really hope Manizha will do well in the final, because this important message must be heard. For me, this is 9/10 and one of the best songs in esc 2021 and one of the best from Russia ever
She is beautiful and charismatic, the message is good, but the “song” is very weak. To me 3/10 and am being generous.
I give it a 8.5!! This song is so important, so authentic, so powerful, so catchy, so intelligent! And in Russian: YES! And Manizha is an iconic charismatic performer that elevates it even more! The mysterious russian national final confused me so much that when I heard “Russian Woman” for the first time, I thought it was messy. But when you get to know the message of the song, all that craziness in the performance & in the impactful ethnic instrumental makes all the sense. This is the biggest grower of the year to me & I really want Manizha… Read more »
Thank you Padraig (I am referring to what you said in the video).
This is Starkly different from what Russia usually sends. In the performances Manizha’s personality is on full display. It is fun . However , the song has way too many rythmn changes and feels disjointed to me. I like it for its originality but I would not have listened to it twice if it weren’t participating in the contest . 6/10
This one is incredible. Every single part works perfectly for me, and combined with a truly captivating performance and a much-needed message, this is my absolute favourite of the year. Russia is surprising us with their uniqueness two years in a row, and I am very hopeful that they might keep it up. For now, this is an easy 10/10.
I don’t really enjoy the music style she is bringing. I’d dare to say the score is based around the topic of the song rather than the actual quality. Don’t get me wrong, the performance is full of energy and Manizha is a really good performer but the song itself is average to my ears. The message delivered is necessary, especially in the East though I wonder if is it possible you are kind of overrating it because of the message and the rant it caused in Russia when selected? 6/10 Russia ocuppies my 28th place. 8. Sweden (7.25) 17.… Read more »
this is probably my biggest grower. i love the hip hop mixed with traditional elements and the whole thing is just really entertaining
She reminds me so much of Dana international. Judged by her own country because she is “different”, she has a great song and stage presence, she dominates. I really hope she is a surprise winner.
RUSSIA – In a year with many risky songs, perhaps the riskiest one comes from the country which usually relies on being a surefire qualifier. One must respect that! What genre is this? It features rap, folk, and pop in a really interesting way. It might feel a bit shapeless, but Manizha’s strong attitude makes it work perfectly on stage. It’s a solid studio song, but the live performance is where it shines. I still think that it needs a proper video or some form of a studio version that transmits that energy. The lyrics are funny, insightful, and go… Read more »
Alla Pugacheva was/is great
i know you are, but how would you rate this?
So bad as Ukraine and Azerbuyjan. Bleeding ears…
o look another Russian racist
??? You R so stupid. The song is bad not the country.
When I’ve seen the “spoiler” in Wiwi’s Youtube channel, I knew we would finally have a positive review coming from you. Glad to know there are at least more 7 of them, because you seemed a little disappointed with the lineup a while ago. “Russian Woman” is also my favorite Russian entry ever and I share your worries about it chances, we know that the contest haven’t been kind to some daring entries and I’ll be biting my nails until this one and “Shum” get the ticket for the final. But it’s one of those longs I keep loving more… Read more »
I don’t think you are too harsh, because as you said it, it’s not about being mean, it’s just that you can be very objective when you don’t like or don’t care about a song a song. I can relate to that, but I assume I have a higher tolerance for the songs are just 5 or 6’s in my books. 😀 So far, 6 reviews in. One that I love (Russia), one that I really like (Belgium), one that I enjoy listening to (Norway), one that I have mixed feelings about it (Latvia), one that I don’t care much… Read more »
I think it’s always a pleasure to read reviews from both of you. 🙂 To join the conversation. For me, there are roughly 15-18 songs that will be on my playlist, with other 10 or so that I believe are also good, or at least okay. Some of which I respect more than listen to, others I listen to more than objectively think are good. Out of six reviews out, three songs are in my top 15 (Belgium, Russia, Norway), while three are much lower. However, none of my bottom three is reviewed yet. While Belgium is in my top… Read more »
Likewise, Colin. 🙂 I think most of this lineup is very listenable, only my bottom 3 urges me to instantly jump to the next track. I feel the songs I’ll give between 5 and 7 are more pleasant than the ones in the same group we’ve been having recently in the contest.
A little bit of scandal and Russia gets additional points lol
I don’t find this difficult to judge at all. Manizha is not just a fantastic and brave human being, but she has charisma for days. She is a magnetic performer and her song is SO good – the attitude, the fire, the deadly irony, the pride and confidence, mixing her hiphop/rap verses with the beautiful choral harmonies.
I love her, I love this, this is 100% my favourite Russian Eurovision song ever, period. I really hope Europe will get behind this fantastic artist, we need MUCH more of this from Russia and in Eurovision in general!
This is so unexpected, a breath of fresh air coming from a country that spent many years in the comfort zone. Its structure is maybe too disruptive to be properly appreciated only with the studio version, but the live performance is boosted by Manizha’s charism and attitude and an amazing use of backing vocals. The lyrics may look casual at first, but carry a strong feminist message mixed with deep Russian cultural references. It will raise eyebrows, but that’s how provocative art works. 9.25/10
Wow, great rating! I assume that Russia is somewhere in your top ten, if not top five. 🙂 I definitely support Manizha, as well as the strong message this song has.
The difference between my 6 first best ranked songs is minimal (and there’s the 7th, that is on the same level, but I still don’t connect 100% with it), but I guess I can already say Russia will land in the top 5. Since you’ll vote in the first semi, I believe you’ll end up casting votes for songs I really care about.
Omg that glamorous party performance video is hilarious with those fancy TV people clapping and awkwardly smiling lol
Wow 0/10 for shouting, screaming, it’s dumpster fire trash.
o look another Russian racist
Seriously you’re gonna trash everyone who doesn’t like the song by calling them a racist!!!!!!! Get a grip in your head dude and grow up..
I said it’s a crap song, racism doesn’t come near or fall into that. People like you are the worst throwing the racism card out when it is beyond irrelevant.
I appreciate Manizha as a person and as an artist but, unfortunately, I can’t say that I’m very fond of her song. An ESC-song which is more spoken than sung – sorry, not my cup of tea. For me, an impressive, typical Russian song was “Mamo” from 2009.
Are you expecting “typical German” songs from Germany and “typical Sammarinese” songs from San-Marino?
No, but everybody says they’re glad Russia is finally sending a song in Russian and which sounds more tipically Russian than their other entries. And I say that, when speaking about the entries in Russian, I prefer their song “Mamo”.
Mamo was not even in Russian, it was in Ukrainian)
Half in Russian, half in Ukrainian.
This is something I would like to see more from Russia! Manizha has been on my wishlist for quite some time, maybe I+d prefer her with a ballad – nonetheless, this is still very good. And best Russian entry since forever if we exclude Little Big. It’s something you would see be popular in Russia. The biggest asset of this package is surely Manizha tho! Her charisma is unmatchable and she slays the vocals. This should and also will qualify, I think the juries will see the quality in it as well. Not much more to say, just that I’m… Read more »
Russia started participating at ESC in 1994. It would be really tragic if Little Big’s and Manizha’s songs were considered their best entries ever. But if it’s your personal subjective opinion, that’s okay.
yeah I don’t know their older entries. since 2010 is what I meant
babushki say hello
well that’s their worst hahaha 🙂
I mean, Russia only sends bops or trash, that was just cute trash
Well, apart from Primadonna, you’re not missing much really.
What about Serebro?
For some reason, I’m actually starting to like this. What’s happening to me?
No taste anymore is what’s happening
And how about your taste?
25. Russia: Well this is a tough one to judge. It surely is creative and it combines modern with ethnic elements. We also hear the Russian language again which is an advantage. At the same time it also possesses a nice message which adds to its charm. Would I vote for this song? Definitely not it’s not my style although it is catchy. Will it do well? Yes it will, perhaps even better than what some people expect.
It took me a few listens to it before i really began to enjoy it and now i love it. She also has an amazing stage presence which helps alot. I have seen lots of reviews from people saying they didnt like it at first so that could be a problem with the people tuning in for the final and hearing it for the first time. Im certain it will qualify and hope she gets a high position at the end of the final. I would give it 9/10.
One of my favorites. I know it may sound messy and strange, especially for people, who don’t really understand what the song is about, but I hope she will do well, because she deserves it. It’s very authentic.
Wiwi Juries’ current TOP 6
My personal TOP 6
PS Please respect my opinion, if you wish 🙂
They rated Belgium that low?
The one thing I can say, that she will be remembered after performing on stage in Rotterdam. Firstly, it is very original and unique in comparison with other songs. Secondly, the strongest advantage is her acting on the stage. She is born and has grown up on stage. I totally agree that there’s no a big stage to make her look small. She’ll captivate your attention from the very beginning to the end, and you’ll want more and more. Thirdly, we know her live vocals and no doubt she’ll slay. The result may be a total disaster, but may be… Read more »
I just love it! It’s unusual, different, brilliant singer, in russian and with a clear message.
Honestly, I don’t mind it to win.
No matter if people will like it or not, Manizha offers a song with unique sounds and quality. And she manages to deliver it effortlessly. Not sure if this is going to stand out among the other songs, but I hope it does!
P.S. I wish people, and especially eurofans, could listen and think out of the box. There are so many good songs that they are underrated due to the betting odds.
Unpopular opinion, but I find this quite unfair.
Manizha is contender to win Eurovision 2021 for the following reasons; •the “anti-hype” for Manizha is at least somewhat redolent of the anti-hype for Dana International in 1998 and Conchita in 2014. •the song has a strong, palpable and even important theme for juries to respond to and the casual, once-a-year viewers (who are not spewing hate) will appreciate because it is the most unique song for a long time and Manizha is an extremely charismatic and energetic performer. Russia is SO qualifying and do not be surprised if we end up going to Moscow, St Petersburg or Sochi next… Read more »
i have always loved this song but recently it’s grown on me so much to the point where i broke the replay button streaming it while i was driving… manizha is an amazing person and has been one of my top picks for russia since like 2016.
it’s my second place after bulgaria
Same top two. This is my fastest growing song this year. I have recently discovered her discography and found it rather impressive. She has such versatility and also very experimental that I like.
Absolutely love Manizha she is such a talented singer songwriter and performer. I am expecting a great performance on the esc stage. The one to watch in the semi finals that’s for certain.
Stand-out. Wacky. Uncomfortably good. Unique. Polarising. These are just some of the ways to describe this song. Discussion is welcome, of course.
I will be honest: I personally don’t enjoy listening to the rap in this song; I tend to focus on the folk melody. But that shouldn’t take away the song’s original structure and strong concept. It’s definitely worthy of being in a song contest.
My only concern is that casual Eurovision viewers will not understand what is happening, and so it might lose out on public votes.
i agree with everything you said aside from the last sentence. i think it’ll surprise a lot of people with televoting considering so many people across europe do understand russian and i think the message of the song will truly come to life on stage. i’m just afraid the juries won’t get behind it, not the televoters
Interesting. Thanks Sam. You could be right. 🙂
this song really grew on me i literally think it could win the contest. yes it was a bit discombobulating first watch but even then i loved her stage presence and the choir towards the end. russia’s sent amazing songs two years in a row
You are utterly delusional if you think this can win. It probably won’t even qualify.
you and Anita need to literally leave. wouldn’t be surprised if you two were the same person
What a surprise from Russia. At first I didn’t feel the song, as I am not a big fan of rap, but as soon as I paid attention to Manizha performing live, I totally changed my mind. The rap verses are good, as Manizha really conveys energy and charisma through her delivery and it doesn’t feel forced in the song. Someone may see Russian Woman as being way too experimental, looking like two songs combined together and maybe it is, but it actually works this time. Among the songs with woman empowerment message it’s easily the most sincere and honest… Read more »
Totally subjective, but I just don’t like the song, it’s hard to get through it even once. It’s in one of my last positions. I don’t expect it to get many points, but who knows.
Probably the most Russian entry I’ve heard from Russia throughout the years and this is exactly what I imagined Russian entries to be like. The gospel air in the chorus and the quirky rap fits this so well and manizha is such a charismatic performer. The energy and message in this song also needs to be praised. For me it’s a little messy and it grew off me a little but it still stands out.
Not my personal cup of tea at all and I don’t see this qualifying at all.. sorry
It will qualify if this was not Russia you would ike it racist
You are so delusional dude, people have different tastes in music and the right to express their opinions.. right?? Now grow up and stop calling people racist if someone doesn’t have the same opinion as you do..
I love it!!! My #2
I love her