Добрый вечер, Европа и доброе утро, Австралия! This is Moscow calling! For the first time in nearly 10 years, Russia are holding a national selection to decide who will represent them at the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 – and it’s tonight!!
Sit back and relax, and let Eurovision Ireland’s own James Scanlan entertain and inform you. As always, feel free to tell me what you think and give your opinions about tonight’s Final and who your favourites are! I might even shout out to you in the blog!
Tonight’s show comes to us live courtesy of Russia’s Channel One (C1R) and will be hosted by Yana Churikova. Some sources are stating that there are 3 acts tonight:
The outcome of tonight’s show will be decided solely by the Russian public through a televote. While Little Big do not appear to be among the contestants, they are rumoured to be making and appearance as an interval act.
If you want to watch the show for yourself, you can click on C1R’s live stream HERE
LIVE BLOG STARTS HERE!!
Что вы делаете? Вы слишком рано! Come back later, the show hasn’t started yet!
You’re still a little early – guess now we’ve heard Little Big are not taking part, we’re all doubly interested to see who Russia will send! Come back soon to find out!
9 minutes till show time! Get ready, I have a feeling we’re in for quite a show!
I love watching soap operas in other languages… you can literally make up your own storyline as you’re watching! Used to do it all the time for Pobol Y Cwm! Oh… on closer inspection it’s a Russian film… well, same things applies really!
Here we go!
Here is our host Yana, looking stunning in lime
A quick look back at Russia’s Eurovision back catalogue… and think you’ll agree, there have been some real classics in there!
Ah, Moscow 2009… still one of the most visually stunning shows ever, I would argue! With an incredible selection of songs too!
Awww Little Big… so sorry we never got to see these guys live at a Eurovision, I’m sure they would have been AMAZING!! Maybe another year…
Did you spot Natalia Gordienko and Philip Kirkorov in the front there?
Little Big give us a rendition of the Russian Eurovision song that never was… and can we just all agree, this guy is AMAZING! Such a mover!
My Russian isn’t great, but I think they’re discussing why Little Big won’t be flying the Russian flag at Eurovision 2021… such a shame, think they could have stormed the scoreboard easily!
EDIT: Someone who speaks Russian better than I do has informed me that Little Big submitted a song for 2021 to Channel 1, but the broadcaster didn’t accept it. It’s now up on YouTube, so presumably is their latest release, Sex Machine. Spasiba for explaining that!
Think we’re about to get the first of our 3 songs!
Therr Maitz – The Future Is Bright
For a song called “The Future is Bright”, the staging of this is incredibly dark and moody. Therr Maitz are an indy band by trade, and it shows. While the laser show going on around them is very impressive, the song itself is a bit plain for my liking… I can’t imagine people picking up a phone to vote for it. If you like alternative music, it’s not a bad track at all, but for the average Eurovision televoter, I think it’s a bit too niche. That being said, the audience are going wold for them!
We’re not hanging about tonight, the first song has barely ended and we’re on to the intro for the next act!
#2Mashi – Bitter Words
After quite a dark and subdued start, we’re staying dark but in a more sultry red lighting way… there’s a real 1920s jazz feel to this song that while it clashes a little with the girls more modern dress, but it actually works really. They’re performing the song well, have obvious chemistry together, and the little flourish of pyro was a nice touch too. I really enjoyed that, it was a catchy song and was entertaining to watch too! Well done!
And as soon as we’ve started, we’re almost done! It’s the last song!
Manizha – Russkaya Zhenschina
Now, the one song mostly in Russian, singing about Russian women on International Women’s Day… this may well be the one to watch! Manizha swaggers on to stage dressed as a stereotypical babushka, complete with headscarf before she throws it off and starts laying down some serious beats!! Staging wise and musically, it’s definitely the standout of the selection, it has instant impact and is hugely memorable. Do we have our winner? Judging by the reaction of the audience and the fact that the cameras didn’t leave her side during the voting information segment, I’m thinking we might have…
Russia! It’s been brief and now it’s time to make your choice! Which of the 3 gets your vote?
We’re going to an ad break now, so that gives me enough time to jot down my thoughts on what we’ve seen tonight. BRB!
So firstly, I have to commend Russia for not hanging around for a national selection, we’ve been on air for 34 minutes and have heard all the songs and are voting… did Sanremo even get to song 1 on Saturday by this point? I doubt it! Secondly, we have 3 very different styles of songs vying to represent Russia. While I’m tempted to say Manizha has it on a plate, I haven’t discounted #2Mashi yet. Therr Miatz clearly have their fans and are consummate performers, but for the Eurovision after a cancelled contest, I think we need something a bit more upbeat and fun. Remember, these are just my thoughts – and I got nearly all of the Andra Chansen qualifiers wrong on Saturday… so what do I know? 😛
And we’re back! I was sceptical when I saw this national selection was scheduled to last only an hour, but I’m prepared to say I was wrong – hats off to you Russia, you’ve rattled through this at lightning speed!
Dmitriy Koldun is there is too! I didn’t spot him before
“Twelve points go from Russia to Moldova!!” – well that’s what Mr Kirkorov thinks, we’ll have to wait till May to see if Russia gives Sugar some sugar 😉
Philip Kirkorov’s own outing at the contest in 1995 in Dublin – he told me all about it when I chatted with him in Lisbon! Kolybelnaya Dlya Vulkana finished 17th with 17 points.
One thing I will say about Philip Kirkorov, he has very commanding stage presence. And vocally, he’s as strong as he’s always been!
Looks like there’s still time to vote if you haven’t already! 35 roubles to vote – about 40 Euro cent!
While we wait for the voting to close, the divine Polina Gagarina performs the Russian language version of her Eurovision masterpiece A Million Voices – still gives me goose bumps! Still don’t get how this didn’t win in 2015!
If we’re as on schedule as I think we are, we should have a result within the next 8 minutes!
Another recap… I’m getting flashbacks to Turkvizion 2020…
More adverts, including a tooth fairy…
And we’re back – is a result imminent?
No result, but we are in time to see Dima Bilan reprise Russia’s winning Eurovision entry Believe. Very striking suit… magenta is a bold choice!
7ft high letters of BELIEVE burning at the back of the stage – definitely a memorable way to stage a song!
Hmmm… we appear to have cut to the news… I’m guessing we’ll go back to Eurovision afterwards? O___o
There seems to be a little confusion as to how long the news will last – some seem to think it’ll only be 30 minutes, others are suggesting an hour… as soon as I know anything more, I’ll let you all know! Sit tight!
Current information suggests news should be done by 20 past… so hopefully not long now – the fun of doing anything live! 😀
Are we about to get our results on the news?!
Nope, they’re just teasing us…
We’re back for real now!
And the voting window has just closed! Let’s hope they can count quickly!!
Well, they’re all on stage, so I’m guessing they have counted then! Who is it going to be?
The results are coming…
It’s Manizha and Russkaya Zhenschina!
Well there we go! Manizha will be flying the Russian flag at the Eurovision Song Contest 2021!
Thank you for reading along with me tonight, I’ve been James, this has been Russia’s National Selection – thank you Europe and goodnight!
Author: James Scanlan
Source: CR1 Russia