Celebrating the Tolmachevy Sisters for Russia Day
Today is Russia Day, the national day of the Russian Federation.
To celebrate, we're looking at the journey of Russia’s first Eurovision winners, the Tolmachevy Sisters.
Yes, two years before Dima Bilan won in Belgrade with 'Believe', the Tolmachevy Sisters, twins Anastasiya and Maria Tolmachevy, won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Bucharest.
The twins sang the very catchy song 'Vesenniy Jazz', which means Spring Jazz in English, and won the title over reigning champion Belarus.
This was only the beginning of their Eurovision journey.
At the opening of the first semi final of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow, the arrived via a 'Firebird' soaring above the crowd and welcome viewers to the show with the contest hosts.
They then went on to grace the Eurovision stage in 2014 representing Russia in Copenhagen with their song ‘Shine’.
During both the semi final and Grand Final, the twins were subject to negative crowd reactions including booing.
In March of that year Russia had made a military intervention in Crimea that began the still continuing armed conflict with Ukraine.
This, alongside domestic laws against the LGBTIQ community, saw many react strongly against the nation in the contest.
They finishing seventh in the final, and to date this is the best ranking achieved at Eurovision by a former Junior Eurovision act.
In late 2016 it was revealed the twins desired to return to Eurovision saying,
"Many people say, ‘Girls, you have done enough Eurovision’, but we believe in third-time-luck. We would like to participate in Eurovision once again and bring Russia another victory. We are thinking about taking part in 2018.”
In the end they didn't compete in Lisbon but we wouldn't rule out a return of the Tolmachevy Sisters at a Eurovision in the future.