Why JESC 2017 Winner Polina Bogusevich's 'Wings' Is Important!
Winning Junior Eurovision 2017 with her song 'Wings', Polina Bogusevich from Russia finds success in the 15th Junior Eurovision Song Contest, collecting a total of 188 points, landing herself in 1st place, followed by home team Georgia, finishing with a close 185 points. Wings is a powerful ballad, sending a positive vibe and a powerful message of strength. Instantly, the soft melodies set a calming tone, before Bogusevich's beautiful vocals join in.
The song begins with Polina singing, "Ты хочешь быть отважным —Окна открыть, силы собрать в кулак. Но в тишине твой голосСлышен едва, слышен едва." (translation: "You want to be brave –to open the windows, to muster all the strength,but in the silence your voice is barely audible, barely audible.". Instantly, we are hit with the powerful meaning. Its relatability of strength against abuse, whether verbal or physical, is captivating, bringing everyone's attention to the strong vocals and catchy melody, as well as the inspirational lyrics.
Bogusevich continues, saying, "Просто скажи однажды: «Я не боюсь», делая первый шаг —И повторятся эхом эти словаЭти слова. И в одну вдруг сольются сто дорог, Больше ты здесь не будешь одинок!" (t: Just say one day “I’m not afraid” while making the first step –and they will be repeated in the echo, these words, these words. And suddenly a hundred roads will merge into one, you won’t be here alone anymore."). The empowerment of these lyrics already show why this performance was worthy of winning.
The lyrics tackles social issues that aren't talked about much in music, especially music directed at youth/younger generations. Bullying, abuse and domestic violence are topics that desperately need to be cleared of stigma across all generations. People need to learn that it is OK to talk about it. Having such an influential message presented in a big competition such as Junior Eurovision, partnered with powerful vocals and beautiful interpretive dancing is a terrific way to shine a light on such a dark topic.
While it can be argued that it's not the most appropriate message for 14 year olds to sing about, it's also important to remember that anyone, of any age, can suffer from abuse. Many children are victims of bullying, and no one knows who will become victims of domestic abuse. With an audience as large as Eurovision has, any opportunity that is given to spread important messages should be used, and I think everyone should be educated on such topics. It shouldn't be hidden from anyone, as it can affect anyone at any given moment. Making younger generations aware of these situations could possibly be a start to the decrease in levels of violence and the impact of abuse.
There was some attempt to bring the music video for 'Wings' (where everyone can see the meaning of the song) to life on stage, however it didn't successfully manifest the way it was intended to. To viewers who hadn't previously seen the music video, but more specifically, didn't understand the lyrics of the song, the interpretive dancers and the backdrop would've made no sense, and it could've been presented better so that everyone could understand, regardless of whether they'd seen the music video or not, and regardless of whether they understood the lyrics or not.
All in all, Polina Bogusevich without a doubt deserved the win. The staging, assuming the audience had seen the music video was on point. The idea of bringing the video alive is fantastic. The vocals, and the empowering message of the song, reminding victims that "That’s the time destiny unites our roads, You are not alone". It is important to talk about the meaning, while particularly important to educate children as they're starting to come to terms with [ what is, for some people, a cruel] reality. The dancers were incredible and Polina was flawless, looking beautiful and completely comfortable and confident on stage.
A well deserved win, a great message, and a perfect performance.
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