21.06.2024

Russian Senate Speaker Slams Eurovision Pick ‘Russian Woman’ as ‘Nonsense’

The speaker of Russia’s upper-house Federation Council on Wednesday criticized the lyrics to the country’s selection for the Eurovision song contest as “nonsense” and demanded a review of how it was chosen.

Russia announced earlier this month that it would send Tajik-born singer-songwriter Manizha to this year’s Eurovision contest in the Netherlands, where she will perform her song “Russian Woman.” The song discusses resisting sexist stereotypes and finding empowerment as a woman.

Speaking at a Federation Council meeting, Valentina Matviyenko called the lyrics “some type of mumbo-jumbo, some type of nonsense.”

“I don’t understand what it is at all. What is it about?” Interfax quoted Matviyenko as saying.

Earlier at the meeting, Senator Elena Afanasyeva harshly criticized the song, calling it “aggressive” and “a set of phrases from an immature 30-year-old girl with unresolved personal problems … What do Russian women have to do with it?”

Matviyenko instructed Afanasyeva to ask the state-run Channel One broadcaster, which hosts the nationwide vote for Russia’s Eurovision selection each year, for clarification on “how voting is conducted.”

“Everything is somehow really strange, to put it mildly,” the Federation Council speaker said.

Manizha has said her song, written last year on International Women’s Day, is «about the transformation of a woman’s self-awareness over the past few centuries in Russia.»

The announcement that Manizha had been selected to represent Russia at Eurovision sparked racist backlash against her Tajik background.

Conservative groups also called for a ban on the music video and Manizha’s participation at Eurovision, saying the lyrics incite «hatred towards men, which undermines the foundations of a traditional family.»

Fabergé Unveils $2.2M ‘Game of Thrones’-Inspired Dragon Egg

Jewelry makers at the House of Fabergé are hatching an exclusive $2.2 million gift for fans of the iconic HBO series “Game of Thrones” on the 10th anniversary of its premiere: a one-of-a-kind egg inspired by the show.

Fabergé’s lead designer Liisa Tallgren has partnered with the series’ award-winning costume designer Michele Clapton and Warner Bros. Consumer Products to produce the jewel-encrusted dragon egg inspired by the Mother of Dragons herself, Daenerys Targaryen.

«The design references Daenerys Targaryen’s incredible journey and the importance of color within her costumes, her passion for her dragons, and the way she portrayed messages via her jewelry throughout her journey on the show,” The Hollywood Reporter quoted Clapton as saying Monday.

Featuring purple, blue, red, silver scales with diamond accents, the egg’s exterior was designed to resemble “the textures of the dragons and their iconic eggs.”

The interior, in turn, features a ruby-encrusted surprise: a miniature crown representing the crown Daenerys would have worn atop the Iron Throne, with a dragon’s head and wings rising behind it.

«With the crown, I referenced her dragons, their wings sweeping around protecting the beautiful Gemfields ruby that represents Daenerys, her house color, and her fierce quest to rule,» Clapton said.

The entire egg structure is fixed on a small diamond-decorated pedestal resembling a dragon’s tail.

Though the final version of the composition will be presented later this year, Fabergé made its initial announcement to coincide with Easter and the launch of The Iron Anniversary project, a month-long celebration spearheaded by HBO to mark 10 years since the “Game of Thrones” premiere.

The House of Fabergé is world-renowned for crafting a series of 50 ornate Easter eggs for the Russian imperial family between 1885 and 1916

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