Senate Speaker Valentina Matviyenko has criticised the lyrics of Russia’s Eurovision entry “Russian Woman” and is demanding a review of the selection process.
The speaker of Russia’s upper house Federation Council, Valentina Matviyenko has criticized Russia’s Eurovision entry “Russian Woman” for its lyrics of female empowerment. She is now demanding a review of the selection process used this year which saw Tajik-born singer Manizha win the right to represent Russia in a national final in early March.
“some type of mumbo-jumbo, some type of nonsense. I don’t understand what it is at all. What is it about?” – Valentina Matviyenko
Valentina Matviyenko speaking at a Federation Council meeting was quoted as calling the songs lyrics as “nonsense“. She was not alone in her criticism of “Russian Woman”, Senator Elena Afanasyeva also had harsh words to say about the meaning of lyrics.
“a set of phrases from an immature 30-year-old girl with unresolved personal problems … What do Russian women have to do with it”– Elena Afanasyeva
Both Matviyenko and Afanasyeva have asked Channel one who hosted the national final that saw Manizha and her song selected for clarification on “how voting is conducted.”, adding “Everything is somehow really strange” in regards to the selection process.
Since being selected to represent Russia at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, Manizha has seen a large amount of backlash against her from a range of groups within Russia. A range of factors such as Manizha Tajikistan background, her support of LGBT values, the singer’s rejection of traditional values has contributed to this backlash.
The Russian Union of Orthodox Women also called for a ban on the song, all of Manizha’s music videos and for the singer to be replaced at Eurovision. In an open letter, the group claimed Manizha’s lyrics:
“Incite hatred towards men, which undermines the foundations of a traditional family.”
The Investigative Committee of Russia, which probes major crimes in Russia was asked to investigate the lyrics of “Russian Woman” following requests from the press and celebrities.
Because of this Manizha has been subjected to numerous calls for the singer to be replaced following her victory in the Russian national selection. Manizha has spoken out against the hateful messages she’s has received online since the national final.
Manizha will perform “Russian Woman” in the first half of the first semifinal, on May 18.
Who is Manizha?
Manizha Dalerovna Sangin was born on 8th July 1991 in Dushanbe, Tajikstan. The Russian-Tajik singer moved to Moscow, Russia, at three years old, and began her career in 2003 as a child singer, winning numerous competitions.
This year it was revealed that Russia would use a national final to select their 2021 Eurovision entry. Three acts competed, and the winner, Manizha, was determined by 100% televoting.
Source: the Moscow times / Image source: Crocus City Hall
Russia debuted in Eurovision in 1994 and has gone on to be one of the most successful countries in the contest. Since the mid-00s Russia has had a string of strong results including their first and only victory in 2008. Dima Bilan won the contest in Belgrade, Serbia with the song “Believe” taking the contest to Moscow in the following year.