Russia’s Manizha has taken to the stage inside Ahoy Rotterdam for her first rehearsal of Eurovision 2021. She starts off as a Russian doll. But does she have the key to Eurovision 2021 success hidden beneath her layers? Let’s see….
Russia’s Manizha “Russian Woman” — Eurovision 2021 first rehearsal
Oliver: When Russia gets it right, they get it right. Manizha appears in a huge oversized traditional dress moving on wheels, which then reveals into the red jumpsuit similar to the one we saw at the national final. The team seems to be putting more emphasis on the traditional/modern fusion, and are also leaning into the parody aspect of the song. It makes the message of “Russian Woman” much more clear, even for those who might not understand the language. At the end, we get a huge wall of singing selfies. It’s been done before at Eurovision, but this time it feels powerful. Manizha and her backing vocalists turn towards the Russian women, almost as if worshipping them. This is heading for a huge result.
Padraig: Manizha literally starts off as a Russian doll before she breaks out of the costume to become the Russian woman from the national final. The LED is filled with images of traditional Russian artwork, all of which feature women. Just as Manizha reaches the spiritual chanting, a giant image of an Orthodox-style religious icon appears on screen. Think the traditional images of Mary with the baby Jesus, but minus Jesus. And Mary looks very sad. Once the rap starts, this makes way for a series of slogans like “be strong” and “be creative”. The LED concludes with a wall of selfies which come together to spell “Russian Woman”. Manizha is fierce as ever. But the question remains whether this will translate beyond Russia and the wider region.
Reaction to Russia’s first rehearsal at Eurovision 2021
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Photos: EBU / ANDRES PUTTING