Buranovskiye Babushki, Russia’s most famous sextet of singing grannies, wowed audiences with their spirited delivery of “Party for Everybody” at the recent Russian national selection. But what did the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of music unprofessionals—make of their win? Read on to find out how we scored them…

Wiwi: I love a good Susan Boyle moment—and the Buranovskiye Babushki gave me six of them during the Russian final. Re-watching the YouTube video, I can’t help but melt when I see the pure joy on the babushki’s faces as they dance (very slowly) and repeat “boom, boom” with smiles as wide as Siberia. The smug, almost scornful looks of the jury make the granny’s victory even sweeter. They stared their detractors in the face, and shoved them aside with their walking sticks.

The song itself isn’t spectacular. I’m not going to be playing it at my daughter’s wedding. But I might just turn it up during the after party! Eurovision has never been about the best song. It’s about the best act. And this one comes with attitude, spunk, spirit, and the belief that you can keep on moving no matter what your age.

Score: 6.5/10

Vebooboo: The Eurovision winner isn’t always the best song, it’s the most memorable one. And with nearly 400 years among them, something tells me these ladies have lots of memories to share with us. The staging is adorable, especially the teeny, weeny old lady who doesn’t even sing. The vocals…not so great. But the song itself is catchy and that’s what counts. ESC 2012 may be these grannies’ 15 minutes of fame…a good thing since they don’t have many minutes left!

Score: 8/10

The Grannies defeated 2008 Eurovision winner Dima Bilan, among others

Meows: These babushka grannies have proven to be a huge hit with the public, and have clocked up more than three million YouTube hits. Part of their charm stems from dancing to a simple but energetic little number in their adorable peasant outfits. I can’t help but go ‘awww’ as they hop gingerly on the stage and hope no one falls over. The entertainment factor is definitely there. But unfortunately the novelty factor will wear off pretty quickly and I predict that the scoreboard will ultimately be filled with nul points when people realize the Russians forgot to bring the most important ingredient to the Eurovision party: talent!

Score: 6/10

Deban: I’m all in favour of inclusion and diversity. However, broadening a demographic shouldn’t affect the quality or the standard of an entry. Votes shouldn’t be cast simply because of age. A song should be able to stand on its own. Sadly, the Russian entry doesn’t. Sung by a group of five tone deaf OAP’s, and one relatively young 43-year old, this is Russia’s worst entry to date.

With a combined age of three centuries, it feels like a major step back in time. (And not a time that conjures any nostalgia). This is not a song that has any mileage, nor could it be re-worked to create a hit. No radio station would play this! More worryingly, should Russia win ESC 2012 with this song, there are no guarantees that the original line-up would still have the breath of life to perform their winning entry in Moscow 2013.

What’s unfortunate about the ESC situation is that most of the eliminated acts in the Scandinavian countries have more artistic merit than the qualifying entries we’re seeing from Latvia, Georgia, and sadly Russia this year (consult the bottom half of the Wiwi Jury Standings for more examples).

However, the more shocking aspect of this is that the Russian pre-selection included a pretty deep field of established pop stars. It even showcased a duet with Dima Bilan and Julia Volkova (ex-tATu). However, their combined powers couldn’t break the spell of the grannies. Perhaps it’s time for a Senior Eurovision Song Contest. It feels almost unfair to draw level comparisons with top acts when these bizarre entries emerge. Having said that, a children’s choir would deliver a better act and manage to be taken seriously. Baku is shaping up to be the worst of any Eurovision in recent memory, and Russia 2012 is helping mould that trend.

Score: 2/10

The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 5.63/10

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[…] Russia: Buranovskiye Babushki with “Party for Everybody” […]

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[…] Russia: Buranovskiye Babushki with “Party for […]

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[…] which was judged by a panel of music industry professionals throughout Europe, Russia’s Buranovskiy Babushki have emerged as the odds-on favourites to win the first semi-final. Team Wiwi have averaged the […]

Christian
Guest

A new Eurovision will be given birth after this year. The Grand Eurovision.Taking place in the autumn where all participants must be 55+ or older.No discrimination but the kids have their own Eurovision and the regular version so why not give the older ones a Eurovision as well.It would be discriminating not to do so

MikeT
Guest
MikeT

I guarantee this ‘song’ will not improve with age.

Neil
Guest
Neil

Brings a smile to my face -it will be the same for most people. Love them or hate them, you won’t forget them. Well that’s show-business!

francisco
Guest
francisco

This song brings tears to my eyes everytime i see it and listen to it…It is hilarious! I am sorry, it is, I absolutely-fucking-love-it! Can’t help it, it’s like passing through the scene of an accident, you just can’t stop yourself from looking at it..

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[…] Read the Wiwi Jury’s review of “Party for Everybody” […]

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[…] The Buranovskiye Babushki—the sassiest sextet of singing grannies Russia has ever produced—have emerged as the bookies’ […]

Zolan
Guest
Zolan

I would be more disappointed had Dima and Julia and their song been any good. I like the choral intro, imperfections and all. Of course, it quickly dissolves into a repetitive uptempo chant. But even that is not as bad as one feels inclined to assume. Rather than a mere gimmick, it actually feels quite naturally festive, like a real party at some isolated village. It’s not high art, but folk music never is, because it’s about participation. They will get a lot of votes for the wrong reasons, but some will be sincere. I’m starting to convince myself that… Read more »

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[…] front-runner with her odds of winning as low as 2/1. And yes, Russia’s Buranovskiye Babushki (“Party for Everybody”) are still the bookies’ second favorite with odds as low as 5/1. But Nina (“L’amore è […]

Nathan
Guest
Nathan

they are so cute! can i take one of them home with me?

Christian
Guest

They are hammering a nail to coffin of the death of eurovision

Christian
Guest

Their are hammering a nail to coffin of the death of eurovision

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[…] front-runners include Russia’s Buranovskiye Babushki, who are already a YouTube hit. And Greece’s Eleftheria Eleftheriou, who stormed to victory […]

H.K. Dick
Guest

Eurovision is as much about entertainment as it is about song quality – and this one certainly wins on the first count. It is undeniably very catchy and will certainly get the “aahhh” vote and I’m sure will qualify and finish in the top 10. I can’t beleive some of the judges comments about age. None of these ladies are as old Engelbert – are we proposing an age limit on contestants? And also the comments about lack of talent whilst lauding Jedward are laughable. Like Jedward these ladies know how to have a good time. Let’s embrace their enthusiasm… Read more »

Emma
Guest
Emma

It’s kind of charming, agree with most of the comments. I guess Russia didn’t want to suffer the indignation of being called “the OTHER Swedish entry” (and being continually bested by Sweden against all odds) again. Couldn’t be more different from Alexej Vorobjov if they tried. At least no one will be picking fights with the babushki like Eric Saade happily did with Alexej (arguably, Alexej started it, but Eric didn’t exactly take the high road…) I see this making the final due to sentimental charm (think Iceland 2011, a bunch of guys older than the average contestant singing a… Read more »

Holomorph
Guest
Holomorph

this are about 5.63 points too much…

Nirgal
Guest

I can’t stop imagining the heads of delegation on a secret meeting, allocating randomly the Token Eurovision Songs: – ¡Estonia, you’ve gotta send the Disney Ballad! – But I only have male singers, how can I do a Dis… – We don’t care. You must. Latvia, you haveo to send the Bad Forgettable Song. – What? But I’ve been doing that for three years… – Sorry. Better luck next year. Cyprus, it’s your turn to send the Catchy Pop Act. – Okay, thanks. – Iceland, Portugal and Italy, you all got Nineties Ballads. – Well, could be worse. – And… Read more »

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[…] with “You and Me” (6.5) 6. France: Anggun with “Echo (You and I)” (5.63) 6. Russia: Buranovskiye Babushki with “Party for Everybody” (5.63) 8. Ukraine: Gaitana with […]

Gavin Brockwell
Guest

I love them. I hate them…

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[…] The Wiwi Jury reviews “Party for Everybody” […]