The third participant to rehearse today is Russia who is represented by ‘Manizha’, who will be competing in this year’s competition with their entry ‘Russian Woman’.
What did we think of the rehearsal?
Manizha comes into view in a giant coat made with several fabrics – each representing one of the federal republics of Russia. The coat is on wheels, so Manizha rolls around in between her backing vocalists, who have remained from the national final. Manizha then jumps out of the coat, again in a similar fashion to the national final as the hook comes in. Several empowering messages such as “Be Yourself”, “Be Grateful” and “You are strong” flash on the screen, as Manizha delivers the chorus.
In the second half, a religious woman figure appears as Manizha delve into the “Fighting…” part of the song. A lot of shots are steadicam produced, and follow Manizha around as she walks in between her backing vocalists. In the final 30 seconds, videos of Russian women appear from a variety of backgrounds, including black, trans, old, young and all in between.
Now, what did the team think of Russia’s rehearsal?
Rory: The rolling babushka coat did throw me a little bit, but overall I do like what they have done with the staging! Some may potentially see the message in the background could be seen as being a little lazy, but given the empowering message of the song, I don’t see why this wouldn’t work. Manizha does some nice vocal adlibs in the final section of the song, which adds a little more versatility to the song as well. I do think this remains a borderline qualifier, but given how kooky the staging is, I’m erring on the side of it qualifying, with a hope it will do well in the final.
Jazzi: There are so many things I love about this! this remains powerful and impactful, I like there is some empowerment messages on the backdrop! I also love the dress with all the materials she wears at the beginning! I love at the end we had women on the backdrop singing the song. This is going to the final and I would love to see this in the top 10!
Rosie: My jaw literally dropped watching this. It’s joyous, it’s powerful, it’s creative, it’s symbolic. Manizha is an incredible performer and knows exactly what she wants to do with this song. I love the giant, awkward dress. I love the Monty Python-style animations. I love the visuals of such a diverse crowd of Russian Women joining her via the LEDs. The song itself is wonderful, but this performance gets the message across to anyone who may not have heard the song before the night, or had any interest in looking up the lyrics. It’s wonderful.
News Source: That Eurovision Site / EBU
Photo Source: Egor Shabanov