Russian grannies to sing at Eurovision
MOSCOW - Agence France-Presse
Russia on yesterday ignored established stars to choose a group of singing grandmothers from an obscure provincial village to represent the country at the 2012 Eurovision song contestRussia on yesterday ignored established stars to choose a group of singing grandmothers from an obscure provincial village to represent the country at the 2012 Eurovision song contest. The group, the Buranovskiye Babushki (Buranovo Grannies) from the far-flung Udmurtia region, won Russia’s qualifying tournament for Eurovision in the early hours of yesterday with their cheerful folk-disco song “Party for Everybody.” “Party for everybody, come on and dance!” sang in heavily-accented English the elderly group of six women in traditional costumes as the studio audience at the televised qualifying contest clapped along to the beat and cheered with delight, giving them a standing ovation.
The dancing pensioners beat off competition from some of Russia’s top pop stars, including a duet by 2008 Eurovision winner Dima Balan and former member of popular female duo Tatu, Yulia Volkova.
Their song is likely to be the first ever sung at Eurovision in a mixture of English and Udmurtian, a language from the Finno-Ugric group. One of the group, named as “Grandmother Olga,” said that all they wanted was to make enough money through singing to build a church in their home village. “That is our only goal. Grandmothers do not need glory and wealth,” she told the Vesti news website. Russian media reacted with ironic amusement to the choice of a novelty song to represent the country at the glitzy pop extravaganza, which will be held in the Azerbaijani capital Baku in May.