Village Grannies Make It to Eurovision Finals
Published: May 23, 2012 (Issue # 1709)
Russia’s group Buranovskiye Babushki has made it into the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan, bringing the elderly folk singers from a far-off Russian village to the attention of more than 100 million viewers around the world.
The Buranovskiye Babushki, or Buranovo Grannies, won the right to contend in the finals with their song Party for Everybody, whose title is sung in English as the song transitions from a traditional village song to an upbeat disco tune. They competed against Iceland, Hungary, Greece, and others in the semifinal round.
In the final round, the group will face the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Azerbaijan, and the victors of the next semifinals, scheduled for Thursday. The competition between the 20 finalists will be held Saturday.
The women, all above the age of 70, come from a village in the Udmurtia republic and have endeared themselves to the country with their mix of traditional singing in Russian and Udmurt with international music hits.
They first tried out to represent Russia in 2010, but didn’t win until this year, beating out previous Eurovision winner Dima Bilan and tattooed rapper Timati to become Russia’s choice for the contest.
Last year, Eurovision’s winners were Azerbaijan duet Ell Nikki, while Russia’s entry Alexei Vorobyov finished 16th overall.
The contest, which pits representatives of European countries against each other in musical competition, has been held every year since 1956 and is one of the longest running television specials in the world.