Performances at the Eurovision Song Contest take three minutes, but they represent months of work and years of dreaming. Singers bow alone on stage. But, lurking just beyond the curtains, their choreographers and songwriters bow along with them.
And so it was for the Buranovskiye Babushki, the folk group of elderly women who represented Russia at Eurovision 2012. At the Russian national final they faced a panel of sneering judges. No bother. The women sang “Party with Everybody” with conviction and glee. They seemed to push away their haters using their walking sticks.
Only six appeared on stage that night, but there were three other long-time members who would have greeted them after they collected their trophy. Among them was Yelizaveta Zarbatova, the group’s most elderly member, who arranged their songs. From covers of “Yesterday” to “Let it Be” to “Hotel California”, Liz was pulling the strings.
But you can’t say she didn’t go on a journey. Through her covers of the Beatles and Deep Purple and the Eagles, Yelizaveta traveled the world.
Willy Lee Adams contributed this report from London. Follow him on Twitter @willyleeadams. You can also keep up with the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following wiwibloggs.com on Twitter and Facebook.