Leading bookmakers have doubled the odds on Russia’s folk group Buranovskiye Babushki (Buranovo Grannies) winning the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, LifeNews reported on Thursday.
“It’s amazing that after the semifinals Buranovskiye Babushki are in second place,” Alexander Reprintsev, a leading analyst at the Marafon bookmaker’s agency, said.
“Only Sweden’s Loreen is ahead of them.”
The Swede has around 40 percent while the Russian grannies have 18-19 percent, he added.
“If you bet 1,000 on Buranovskiye Babushki now, if they win you will get 5,700 rubles,” said National Bookmakers Association president Oleg Zhuravsky.
The Russian group has qualified for Eurovision’s final stage, with the song Party for Everybody.
The colorful grannies, between 70 and 86 years old, do not speak English and their folk-style performance includes their own songs and covers of many international music hits. They mostly sing in Russian and Udmurt, a Russian minority native language.
The Buranovskiye Babushki sextet comes from the village of Buranovo in the Urals republic of Udmurtia. The band first tried to enter the Eurovision contest in 2010, but were knocked out in the selection round.
The Eurovision 2012 contest is being held in Baku, Azerbaijan on May 22-26.
Last year’s Eurovision winner was the Ell Nikki duet from Azerbaijan. Russia finished 16th at Eurovision-2011.