Belfast Telegraph

Russian grannies take on Engelbert

A Russian group known as the Buranovo Grannies has swept aside glamorous opposition to represent the country at this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

The eight women beat 24 competitors, including a double act comprising 2008 Eurovision winner Dima Bilan, in a televised show.

They will be competing for the grey vote with the UK's entry, 75-year-old Engelbert Humpderinck.

The women, average age 75, from a village in Russia's Udmurtia Republic, blend modern pop sounds with their own traditional choral singing style.

The refrain of the Buranovo Grannies Party for Everybody is in English, but the remainder of the song is in Udmurt, a distant relation of Finnish spoken by around 300,000 people.

The 57th Eurovision Song Contest will be held in May in Baku, Azerbaijan.

While some countries compete for the Eurovision title in earnest, the contest has for many become an object of mockery.

But the Buranovo Grannies, who performed in customary peasant garb, say they want to be taken seriously.

One group member, calling herself granny Olya told Russian TV their goal is to raise money to build a church in their village of Buranovo, which is home to around 650 people. "Grandmothers don't need glory and wealth. We have family, we have a home, we have enough to live," grandmother Olya said.

Humperdinck, whose former name is Arnold Dorsey, was a 1960s sex symbol whose Release Me topped the British charts in 1967, keeping The Beatles' Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever at No 2. song contest)


From Belfast Telegraph