Russia chooses group of singing peasant grannies for Eurovision Song Contest
THE Buranovo Grannies, who performed in customary peasant garb, will represent Russia against Jedward at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest.
Russia ignored established stars to choose The Buranovskiye Babushki (Buranovo Grannies) from the far-flung Udmurtia region as they won the qualifying tournament with their cheerful folk-disco song Party for Everybody.
In heavily-accented English, the dancing pensioners sang "Party for everybody, come on and dance!" as they jigged in their traditional costumes. The studio audience at the televised qualifying contest gave them a standing ovation.
The Buranovo Grannies saw 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 said.
The Buranovskiye Babushki rose to fame in Russia by singing cover versions of hits such as the Eagles' Hotel California and Yesterday by the Beatles in Udmurtian, the native language of a region in central Russia best-known for manufacturing Kalashnikov automatic rifles.
They will go wrinkle-to-wrinkle with Britain's entrant Engelbert Humperdinck, who last had a top 20 hit in 1972. Humperdinck who at 75 is now no longer the oldest entrant in the competition that takes place in Azerbaijan in May.
Meanwhile Swedish television channel SVT has revealed that Jedward’s Eurovision song, Waterline, was rejected as an entry to its national selection, Melodifestivalen, as far back as 2008.
Former Eurovision winner and Jedward mentor Linda Martin said on the Late Late Show Eurosong special that she had selected the song for the Lucan twins from hundreds that were submitted.