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Friday, 04 April 2014 10:50

ESC 2014: An In-Depth Review of Russia

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It has become customary for the escflashmalta.com editorial board to engage professional individuals from the music industry to assess the songs competing in the Eurovision Song Contest as presented to the European Broadcasting Union during the Heads of Delegation Meeting. Martin Isherwood, Deo Grech, Stano Simor and Matt Mercieca from the United Kingdom, Malta and the Czech Republic have been entrusted with the first semi-final, comprising of sixteen songs and set to take place on the 6th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Making use of the running order and thus moving onto number #7, we catch up with Russia (RTR) who will be represented by Tolmachevy Sisters an the song Shine composed by Kontopoulos and Kirkorov with lyrics by Ballard, Charlie and Borg.

The twin sisters Anastasia and Maria Tolmachevy are from Kursk, a small town 500 km away from Moscow, where they are living now. They are 17 years old now and are graduating from the middle school this year. Anastasia and Maria are singing since they were little girls. Their mother is a music teacher who led and supported her daughters in their music career. Anastasia and Maria sang in various music studios. They participated in many junior song contests. But their breakthrough was in 2006 when the sisters took part in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Bucharest and won the competition reaching 154 points with their performance Vesennij Jazz (The Spring Jazz).

In 2007, Russia 1 Channel broadcast the documentary film about their success in the 2006 Junior Eurovision Song Contest The Phenomenal Twin Sisters. In the same year, Anastasia and Maria stared in the New Year`s Eve television musical Kingdom Of Crooked Mirrors where they sang together with Alla Pugacheva, the Russian participant of the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest. The sisters also released their album Polovinki (The Halves). Later they took part in various concerts, for example at the Red Square, in different music television shows like Saturday Night at the Russia-1 Channel.

The Tolmachevy Sisters were special guests in the 2007 Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam and in the 2010 Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Minsk. Anastasia and Maria took part in the opening act of the First Semi-Final of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. They have been given the challenge of a lifetime, that to possibly become winners of the senior edition of the continental competition after triumphing in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest as much as seven years back. It will not be an easy feat though, without bringing up certain elements which do not constitute as grounds of reason in music.


Russia is well and truly one of the most successful countries to partake in the Eurovision Song Contest, having finished as the first runner-up in 2000 at the hands of Alsou and the track Solo before managing a string of top ten finishes, finally culminating in their first ever victory back in 2009. The song Believe performed by popstar Dima Bilan had been noted from the onset, especially because he had done well on one previous occasion. Since then, Russia has still flirted with the top ten but also obtained one of their worst ever results in 2011 when Alexey Sparrow and his song Get You could only garner 77 points to finish in sixteenth place.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 51%

Martin Isherwood: Strong melodies in the chorus. Nice sentiment in the lyrics. Good voices. Strong hooks. 60s feels with timpani and strings, quite like The Pierces: 'Glorious'.

Deo Grech: This is so ironic, indeed. Last year they presented a prophetic entry with the lyrics which went like this: ''what if we came together as one....what if we chose to bury our guns....why don't we always reach out to those who need us the most''.  Well it's high time they act what they preach. Full stop!

Stano Simor: This year Russia dissembled selection of songs and artist. Lackluster song in the style of outdated pop, which is not written for the voices Tolmachevy Sister .They  don 't have the space to show  their vocal potential in this song.

Matt Mercieca: Song is super average , but at parts I feel like I’m about to love it, but then something keeps me back, Im so lost, this is a little confusing, I love it one second, I think its rubbish the next! 

Source: eurovision.tv


Last modified on Sunday, 06 April 2014 10:22