Eurovision First Listen: Russia Selects the Tolmachevy Sisters to “Shine” in Copenhagen

The Tolmachevy Sisters (photo: Eurovision/RTR)
The Tolmachevy Sisters (photo: Eurovision/RTR)

Russia has finally revealed their Eurovision entry, but may not have had time to give it one final draft.

Russia’s had an interesting path to choosing this year’s competitor for the Eurovision Song Contest, to say the least.  After going with the winner of the Russian edition of The Voice, Dina Garipova, last year, Russia decided to have a national final.  Then they extended the deadline for that final. Then they cancelled that national final, citing the quality of the results, and brought selection back internally.  Finally, an act and song have been named: The Tolmachevy Sisters, who have previously won the 2006 Junior Eurovision competition, will be representing Mother Russia in Copenhagen with the song “Shine”:

The pedigree of the writers Russia brought in to write their entry this year (which includes composers who have written entries previously for Ukraine, Greece, Azerbaijan, and Malta) is surprisingly strong, but given all that talent, this seems to be a case of too many cooks.  It’s certainly well-produced, but the song sounds exactly you put 5 former Eurovision composers in a room and told them to write you a song called “Shine.”1  The sisters do a decent job with the melody, but there’s 3 or 4 different ideas going on at once lyrically.  This definitely feels like a rush job – one more draft and this might have felt slightly more coherent.

As for the performance, we’ve got nothing to go on (like all the other late-appearing entries in the competition).  It seems likely that the Tolmachevy twins have improved as performers since their first Eurovision win.  Hopefully the rest of the performance won’t seem like as much of a rush job as the song itself does.  Another (big)2 thing to consider this year is the whole Russia/Ukraine/Crimea thing that’s going on right now, right after the whole Russia/Olympics/Human Rights Violation thing that was a big deal right before.  Russia doesn’t have the most flattering spotlight on it right now, and even though Eurovision is supposed to be about the music, voters may express some other thoughts about the country as they make their decision.

  1. which, incidentally, has been used as the title of a Eurovision entry 4 times in the past 5 years  
  2. big big big  

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About Ben Smith 228 Articles
Ben has been writing about TV, music, and pop culture in some form or another since 2009, including stints at Mental Floss and Temporary Obsession. When not solving puzzles of some sort or consuming pop culture at a frightening pace, he can be found collecting shiny pieces of the internet at E-mail: