Russia has chosen a group of singing grandmas as its entry for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, RIA Novosti reported.
Buranovskiye Babushki – whose name translates as "grannies from Buranovo" – won a public vote last night to become the official Russian candidates at the annual celebration of the
worst best, and frankly weirdest, music Europe has to offer.
The group's six members, who hail from the village of Buranovo in the western region of Udmurtia, beat 24 other hopefuls to secure the honor.
RIA Novosti tactfully does not give their ages, saying only that some of them are "over 70 years old."
The winning song, reportedly penned by the grannies themselves, is called "Party for Everybody."
It begins folkily enough, in their native language of Udmurtian, before breaking into a Eurodisco-style chorus with the lyrics, in English: "Come on and dance, / Come on and dance, / Come on and dance, / Come on and boom boom." It's weirdly hypnotic by the 12th time round. Oh, and at one point it features a sort of spoken rap freestyle.
According to the BBC, the Buranovskiye Babushki have had success in the past with Udmurtian-language covers of Western hits such as Yesterday by the Beatles, or the Eagles' Hotel California. In 2010, they came close to winning the Eurovision nomination with their song "Long, long birch bark and how to make a hat of it."
They're no wannabe starlets, though. The group's aim is to raise enough money from their performances to build a new church in Buranovo, Agence France Presse reported. "Grandmothers do not need glory and wealth," Grandmother Olga said.
GlobalPost wishes them best of luck in the Song Contest, which involves several qualifying rounds before the grand final on May 26, in Baku, Azerbaijan.
They'll be up against at least one singer who, too, remembers the first Eurovision in 1956: 75-year-old Engelbert Humperdinck, who is representing Britain. Slovenia's Eva Boto, however, aged 16, is probably closer to some of their grandchildren.
Not that the quality of the performances really matter, though – everyone knows it's all political.