With arctic blue eyes and a smile that’d melt a Siberian iceberg, Russia’s Polina Gagarina will sing to the world at Eurovision 2015.
Born in Moscow, the 28-year-old singer, songwriter, actress, and model actually spent most of her childhood in Greece, but eventually returned to Russia to live with her grandmother in the southwestern port town of Saratov, just off the Volga River. In Russia, she honed her performing skills at the State Music School of Popular & Jazz Art and at the MKhAT Theatre School and has since worked on six film projects, often as a singer or voice actor.
In 2003, she won the Russian reality singing TV competition Star Factory, briefly performed with the girl group Playgirls, and in 2005, she placed third in Latvia’s New Wave competition — a three-day international singing contest that’s been held every year since 2002; it has even had winners from the U.S.A. and Cuba.
Though she’s released two albums since her debut, now she’ll face a world stage once again at Eurovision 2015. She says, “I’m happy to represent my country at such a high-ranking international contest.”
WHAT’S SHE PERFORMING AT EUROVISION?
“A Million Voices”, an international anthem for world peace, especially poignant considering Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine — an invasion which got Russia’s performers booed at Eurovision2014. The song is in English and its video features Russians of different ages, bathed in soft light and looking into the camera with soft eyes and smiles as she hopes for a better tomorrow.
The song’s best lyric: “We are the worlds people, different yet we’re the same. We believe, we believe in a dream. Praying for peace and healing, I hope we can start again.”
She’s been married twice: first in a three-year relationship with Russian actor Peter Kislo and then to photographer Dmitry Iskhakov in 2014. She has a seven-year-old son from her first marriage named Andrey.
She also played the voice of Dorothy Gale in the Russian Dub of the 2014 Disney film Oz the Great and Powerful as well as Mavis, Dracula’s 118-year-old “teenage” daughter, in the 2012 animated film Hotel Transylvania. Before performing onstage, she also wears her lucky perfume.
DON’T MISS THESE KILLER PAST PERFORMANCES:
Her song “Nyet” (“No”) hit number one on the Ukraine singles chart and it’s easy to hear why. It’s an emotional pop-song in which she tells someone that she loves deeply that she cannot be with him because she can’t be trusted — unf! Right in the feels!
Gagarina plays the ringleader in a freaky circus filled with clowns, miniature pigs, and death-defying acrobats in her video for “Ya tebya ne proshchu nikogda” (“I’ll never forgive you”). She’s singing about a relationship in which she refuses to forgive someone who has rescued her in the past. Forget that clown, sweetheart — you’re the real star in this crazy circus of love.
Having a kid is scary, and Gagarina’s video for “Kolybelnaya” (“Lullaby”) puts maternal fears in startling visual metaphors: waking up in a hospital alone and being pulled in all different directions while imprisoned in a wooden box. She’s got emotional power, that’s for sure!