So there we were trumpeting the fact that Englebert Humperdinck will be the oldest person ever to set foot on the Eurovision stage, and what do Russia go and do? They go and choose the only act in the world who are possibly even older to represent them in Baku. We first clapped eyes on this bunch, the Buranovskie Babushki – or to give them their English name, the Buranovo Grannies – when they were in the 2010 Russian final singing a catchy little number called Long Long Birch Track And How To Make A Hat Out Of It. And we loved them then. But never in a million years did we actually think they would triumph in a final which this year also included a duet between former Eurovision champion Dima Bilan and Yulia Volkova from Tatu.
But they did indeed, and their entry, the folksy dance track Party For Everybody might be as daft as a brush but it’s so much fun that you’ll be singing along in spite of yourself (although possibly only the chorus since the rest of the song is in a little-known dialect called Udmurt, spoken in the Udmurtia region where the grannies hail from. The six of them also wear traditional costume, are given to hugging each other on stage, and have a combined age of 742. Well almost. Actually the youngest is a mere slip of a thing at 43 and the oldest – whom we assume is that small smiley one in the middle – is 76, which knocks Englebert out of the park already since he is not 76 until May. (and speaking of which, do we not think he will now be spoilt for choice when he gets to Baku? We can just see all the green room antics now – The Hump surrounded by his harem of older Russian ladies, all of them discussing their corns and where to buy the cheapest tartan shopping trolleys before heading off together on a Saga holiday. Maybe next year we could even have a Junior Eurovision offshoot entitled Senior Eurovision. Let’s just stop there).
Seriously though, the reaction to these ladies has been pretty impressive, even reaching the British press, which given they generally only exist to poke fun at Eurovision and complain about the fact the UK never wins is remarkable. Even more remarkable are the number of fans who this time last week were up in arms about the fact we were being represented by a pensioner, yet don’t appear to have a problem with Russia being represented by a whole bunch of pensioners. Funny that.
Whether or not this wins remains to be seen but we have an odd feeling it’s going to do rather well indeed. Thus of course bringing joy to the whole of Europe and giving British TV clip show fodder in a ‘let’s all point and laugh at those funny Eurovision singers’ way for years to come. And here’s what all the fuss is about: