Maria Dmitrievna Atolova (Margovyan: Maria Demetria Atola, Russian: Мария Дмитриевна Атолова, born 20 August 1982) is a Margovyan actress, singer and former politician. She is a former Speaker of the House of Representatives of Margovya, a former Junior Lieutenant in the Margovyan Army and currently a vocalist and keyboard player for the band Not So Socialist.
Atolova became the 32nd Speaker of the House of Representatives on October 11, 2011 after winning in the House Minority conclave against Viktoriyovskaya Representative Katrina Vegova, with the score 194 against 1. She won another term as House Speaker after winning the minority conclave on April 11, 2013 against Tramvitum Representative Yelena Porsenko with a close score of 138 against 57.
On December 7, 2013, Atolova resigned from the House Speakership following a sex video scandal involving her and other members of the Margovyan cabinet. She has since stated her desire to remain out of politics and focus on her acting and singing careers.
Birth and early lifeEdit
Maria Atolova was born in the home of most modern politicians, Margovya City, Arbatskaya on August 20, 1982 to former Arbatskaya Governor Dmitri Atolov (b. September 8, 1957) and Oksana Atolova (b. July 8, 1960). Atolova has five siblings: four elder brothers Anton (b. 1976), Ruslan (b. 1977), Adriyan (b. 1979) and rock icon Lev Atolov (b. 1981) and one younger brother Maksim (b. 1984).
Atolova entered Sergei Eisenstein Film Academy, a performing arts high school in Remontadov, Viktoriyovskaya, which was built in honor of the father of montage, Sergei Eisenstein. After graduating from high school Atolova refused to enter college in order to pursue her singing career.
Atolova is notable for being one of the first women to be conscripted into the Margovyan Army after constitutional reforms allowed women to be included in the Army's conscription pool starting in 2000. Despite not having a college education, Atolova received the rank of junior lieutenant after she reportedly earned one of the highest scores ever recorded in the Army's Standardized Infantry Aptitude Test.
Atolova served the mandatory four years in the army as part of the 303rd Morale and Propaganda Regiment, and performed in charity concerts for the Armed Forces during that time, in addition to her solo career and band career with Not So Socialist. She was honorably discharged on August 2004.
Singing and acting careerEdit
1997-2000: Maria's Revivals and solo careerEdit
During her stay at Sergei Eisenstein Film Academy, Atolova has made many live performances, acted on numerous plays and worked with different singing sensations, one of which was 1996 Svolochy Showdown First Runner-up, now Incumbent President Viktoriya Vegova. On August 19, 1997, one day before turning fifteen, Atolova was discovered by music producer Denis Tidzhomov, and was signed to Tidzhomov Music Records, where she met the producer's youngest son, Roland Tidzhomov, who later became her husband.
On January 16, 1998, Atolova released her first single, her very own version of the 1997 number one hit So Long by the boy band Admit One. From then, Atolova continued working on several more revivals, and soon released her first album, Maria's Revivals, which contained 14 revivals from different artists, on July 24, 1999.
2000-2004: Not So Socialist, Three Girls and acting breakEditOn February 24, 2000, 1999 Svolochy Showdown grand champion Tanya Kalinina and 1998 Svolochy Showdown Top 16 Gavrina Kumilyova were both signed in to Tidzhomov Music Records and became Atolova's best friends. After a few months, the three decided to merge and pursue their singing career together. On August 6, 2000, the band Not So Socialist was born, with Kalinina as guitarist, Atolova as keyboardist, and Kumilyova as drummer. However, all of them have vocal functions in the band.
In 2003, Atolova and the rest of the band was involved in controversy after the release of the special edition of their album The Promiscuous Album. Its cover featured the four band members standing naked behind the letters of the album title, a fact that angered many people throughout Margovya. Tidzhomov Music Records was accused of sexualizing the band even though the members were already aged 21. Atolova consistently denied that they had gone willfully naked for the photoshoot for the special edition cover, but she has declined to comment after Tanya Kalinina claimed that they were wearing underwear for the shoot which was eventually erased in post.
Atolova has served as vocalist for a number of Not So Socialist songs, in following with their personal code of "let everyone sing lead vocals once in a while". Some of the songs that she fronted for Not So Socialist include "Rivadavia", "Real Risque", "Hell Is Other People", "When I Knew It Was You", "Don't Wanna Fall in Love" and "Invincible".
In 2001, Atolova was cast as Oksana Ulyanova in the movie Revenge is the Answer, about the story of the 1994 Arbatskaya State University shooting and the story of its perpetrator, Timofey Ulyanov. Her performance as Ulyanov's sister was critically acclaimed, and it paved the way to bigger roles in her acting career.
2004-2008: The House That Style Built and Birth of the Margovyan VogueEdit
It took eight years before Atolova released another solo album, having been focused on her career as part of Not So Socialist. Even then, she had already developed the concept of a new solo album while working alongside Not So Socialist on what would become Falling Leaves. After the release and commercial and critical success of Falling Leaves, Atolova immediately set to work on her next solo album to follow up Maria's Revivals, which had been released back in 1999. The album went through at least two major changes during production, and Atolova came close to terminating the project, but eventually she released her second solo album, titled The House That Style Built, on 16 June 2007. The album was a critical and commercial success, selling 70,000 copies on release day and 9.12 million copies in total as of 2013. It also received a 3.5/4 rating from The Aggregator, a South American multimedia review magazine and news outlet, making The House That Style Built one of the highest-rating albums reviewed by the magazine.
The House That Style Built is notable for Atolova's forays into other genres other than her usual pop and pop rock. Most notably, the R&B hit "Happy Friday" revealed her strengths and capabilities as an R&B singer, and critics were in awe of her vocal range, reaching over two octaves throughout the song. This has made "Happy Friday" one of the staples of Atolova's live shows, even though the singer has claimed that sometimes she "feels light-headed after a few really heartfelt performances".
2008-2011: This Is Me and The Winning ManEdit
Atolova got to work on her next album as soon as The House That Style Built had been released, although actual work on the album didn't start until sometime between 2009 and 2010. It was during this time that Atolova went through a very difficult period in her romantic relationship with a man whose identity is still not yet known. This turbulent period in her life inspired two of Atolova's most well-known songs, "Did You Forget" and "Look Into My Eyes and Pretend".
Atolova continued working on her third studio album even as she was busy performing with Not So Socialist and recording the band's fifth album, Product Misplacement. Atolova finally announced on the band's official website that she had completed work on her new album and was looking to release it sometime in 2011.
Entrance into politicsEdit
At the suggestion of her father Dmitri, Maria ran for the position of mayor of Margovya City in 2004 despite being only 22 years old and still enlisted in the Margovyan Army. Margovyan law allowed any person within the voting age (18) to run for a government position as high as a city mayor, but it specifically prohibits serving military officers from holding a political office, a law that dates back to before the Russian invasion, when coups by generals and colonels were the norm in Margovia. Despite that, not only was Atolova allowed to run for mayor, she also beat her opponent, Anatoly Filitov, by a landslide; her being the daughter of former Arbatskaya governor Dmitri Atolov was probably the main contributing cause of her political success.
Because Atolova was still in the Margovyan Army after her election as mayor, she was unable to take the oath of office, meaning that technically, between April 6 and August 20, 2004, Margovya City had no de jure mayor. Atolova was only sworn into office the day after she received her honorable discharge from the Army.
Mayor of Margovya CityEdit
Atolova's term as mayor of Margovya City was mostly uneventful, although it was still marked with controversy especially at the start of her term, when she was technically not allowed to be the mayor because she was still a junior lieutenant in the Margovyan Army then.
Atolova's first and only major test during her time as mayor was the assassination of former Education Minister Yelena Amrovich in Margovya City on January 5, 2007, during the last months of her term. Atolova spearheaded the establishment of a task force to investigate Amrovich's assassination, which led to the swift arrest of the assassin, former Margovyan Army private Oleg Olegov, just two months after the incident.
Representative of ArbatskayaEdit
Atolova was elected as a representative of the Province of Arbatskaya during the 2007 Margovyan general elections under the banner of the Federalist Party. During her tenure as Arbatskaya representative, she became the chairwoman of the Margovyan House Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the Assassination of Health Minister Fyodor Lubovenko, after tenures as a member of the House Committee on Ethics, Veteran Affairs, and Natural Resources.
Natural Resources Committee scandalEdit
Atolova, along with at least nine other sitting and former representatives of Arbatskaya and other provinces in southern Margovya, were accused by Tramvitum representative Arbat Chomsky of taking and receiving kick-backs from the Saltas de Bolivia Mining Corporation, which was mining lithium across the border in neighboring Bolivia. Chomsky claimed that when the miners accidentally crossed the border while digging for lithium in 2005, the company struck a secret deal with legislators and politicians in the areas where the miners had accidentally gone past the border, a deal which included the sale of the lithium mined in Margovya as "Bolivian lithium", and the proceeds of the sales being distributed to the politicians who agreed to the "deal". Atolova, like the others mentioned by Chomsky in his testimony, denied the rumors of receiving kick-backs from the mining company, but she did admit in 2015 that she had received a piece of raw, unrefined lithium ore mounted in a glass case as a present from the Saltas de Bolivia Mining Corporation, which she now kept in a secret place.
As Chairwoman of the Lubovenko Assassination CommitteeEdit
Atolova was named chair of the Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the Assassination of Health Minister Fyodor Lubovenko by then-House Speaker Tanya Kalinina on March 27, 2010, five days after Lubovenko was killed by motorcycle-riding assailants while in his personal Yakovich X700 SUV. By then, Atolova was regarded as one of the better representatives under the Federalist banner, and her experience as mayor of Margovya City during the investigation in Yelena Amrovich's assassination made her a good candidate into leading the investigation.
Under Atolova, the Select Committee came to the conclusion that Lubovenko's assassination had been politically motivated, even though the committee had earlier concluded that Lubovenko "was not a prominent member of any of Margovya's three major political parties to warrant such attention from the political terrorists." Furthermore, it was agreed by the committee that Lubovenko's assassination was, for all intents and purposes, "an accidental assassination, one that wound up killing someone who was not the intended target." The Select Committee's investigations revealed that on the day of Lubovenko's assassination in Ikulsk, then-President Gennady Elemat was headed for the airport on his way to a secret tour of the nation, and that the president was also riding in a Yakovich X700 SUV that was of a similar generation and color to that of Lubovenko's vehicle, which caused the confusion between the assassins. The committee also decided that the two most notorious political terrorists in the country at the time, Vilyelmo Dumayev and Mikhail Dostalinsky, were personally responsible for the assassination, meaning that they were the ones who pulled the triggers during the Health Minister's assassination.
“...[I]nasmuch as we, the Select Committee of the House of Representatives, have been formed to investigate the matter of the dreadful murder and assassination of His Excellency Fyodor Aleksandrovich Lubovenko, Health Minister of the Republic of Margovya, and having seen the evidence available to us, and having heard the statements of the witnesses present during this heinous deed [...]we, the House Select Committee into the Lubovenko Assassination, have determined that the Health Minister was assassinated by political terrorists, and not just any political terrorists, but by Vilyelmo Dumayev and Mikhail Dostalinsky themselves, although their plan [...]was not to kill Lubovenko, but rather to assassinate His Excellency Gennady Robertovich Elemat, President of the Republic of Margovya, who was traveling along the same street as Minister Lubovenko, in the same vehicle as Minister Lubovenko. The perpetrators, having seen that it was not the president whom they had stopped before committing the deed, and seeing as it was a member of President Elemat's cabinet, decided to go ahead with the assassination, knowing that it would lead to strife and turmoil within our great nation and republic.”
Atolova then admitted to redacting personal emails between her and Health Minister Lubovenko, having decided that the contents, proposals regarding provincial-level healthcare reforms, were not relevant to the investigation and therefore eligible for redaction.
Atolova has received criticism for being one of the least active legislators during her tenure as a representative, introducing a total of only two bills, both of which have not yet been signed into law.
In total, Atolova has sponsored 3 bills, including:
- H.R. 1245, a bill to combine the constituencies of Tretyakova and Ruma Barano in Arbatskaya into a single political constituency, introduced 19 July 2008
- H.R. 2351, a bill to allow for provincial-level use and distribution of state-allocated funds and resources with regards to natural and man-made calamities, introduced 7 July 2010, signed into law 5 December 2011
- H.R. 4803, a bill to prohibit the accusation of elected officials by fellow elected officials during ongoing house committee investigations of crimes and misdeeds not relevant to the current investigation, introduced 22 January 2011
Speakership of the Margovyan House of RepresentativesEdit
Margovyan House of Representatives speaker conclave, 2011Edit
Margovyan House of Representatives speaker conclave, 2013Edit
Atolova, along with Lev Arigov, Tanya Kalinina, Gavrina Kumilyova and Hafimwahlid Talnaev, resigned from their respective government positions after the release of controversial sex videos depicting the five aforementioned officials and former Health Minister Orental Gibitov engaged in various sexual acts. The scandal caused massive public humiliation in Margovya as a whole and turned Margovyan politics into a regional laughingstock and the subject of various jokes and stand-up routines in neighboring countries.
Atolova stated in her farewell address to the House of Representatives that she had judged herself to be "no longer competent" in her position as House Speaker, and that "personal decisions that [she had] made in the previous years" have come back to haunt her, and therefore she now saw herself unfit for holding another political office. She announced that her departure from politics would finally allow her to focus on her singing and acting careers.
Atolova got her first acting break in 2001 when she was assigned the role of Oksana Ulyanova in the film Revenge is the Answer. From then on, her career rose as she took on different roles on award-winning films such as Mysteries of an Old House (2005), Birth of the Margovyan Vogue (2008), Three Queens (2009), and Flight 4892 (2012).
- Maria's Revivals (1999)
- The House That Style Built (2007)
- This Is Me (2011)
- I Don't Care (2015)
- From This Day Forward (2017)
With Not So SocialistEdit
- Not So Socialist (2001)
- The Promiscuous Album (2002)
- 2 (2003)
- Falling Leaves (2005)
- Product Misplacement (2010)
- The Burberrys (2012)
- Prisoners of Presumption (2014)
- Victoria Concordia Crescit (2017)
|2001||Revenge is the Answer||Oksana Ulyanova||First motion picture project|
|2003||Con and Get It||Andreya Olganova|
|2005||Mysteries of an Old House||Ana Tarapova||Nominated "Best Actress", 2005 Ciudad del Celebridad Film Festival|
|2006||Mr. Batalyanov, I Presume||Oksana Dambaluvanova|
|2008||Birth of the Margovyan Vogue||Young Svetlana Elemat||Nominated "Best Supporting Actress", 2008 Leonid Pankavuranov Film Awards|
|2009||Three Queens||Dmitriya Mayamanova|
|2010||We Have to Survive: The Yefrem Dragunov Story||Staff Sergeant Zarya Sasanina|
|2011||Truth is the Savior||Oksana Ulyanova-Duranova|
|The Winning Man||Yevdokiya Arbatskaya|
|2012||Flight 4892||Andzhela Arasova|
|Three Girls: In Deep Sh*t||Dmitriya Mayamanova||Won "Best Female Sidekick", 2012 Comedy Movie Awards|
|2013||Escape From Muluwheyo||Rosa Fiore|
|2014||Fatal Coincidence||Natalya Nadezhdina|
|2015||377 kph 2: Retaliation||Andreya Queruva|
|Three Agents||Dmitriya Mayamanova||Cameo|
|2016||377 kph 3: End of the Road||Andreya Queruva|
|2001-2004; 2017||Three Girls||Dmitriya Mayamanova||Main role|
|2008-2009||The Siblings Parted Ways||Yuliya Leonidova||Recurring role (Seasons 2-3)|
|2009-2015||Top Gear Margovya||Herself||Presenter (Series 1-13)|
|2012||Psychology of Love||Galina Zabrovskaya||Season 1, Episode 13 ("Psychopathy of Affection")|
|The Interceptors: The Roaring Twenties||Sonja Varshavsky||TV movie|
|2012-Present||The Living and the Dead||Wanda Kittinger||Recurring role (season 2), main role (seasons 3-4)|
|2013||Sopron||Zsofia Hedervary||Season 2, Episode 5 ("Balazs")|
|2013||There's the Way, Where's the Will?||Herself||Season 1, Episode 2 ("Back Off, Selena Gomez")|
|2016||2/26/02||Natalya Nadezhdina||Episode 3 ("The Agent")|
|2018||The Intruders||Maria Caballero|