Austrian broadcaster ORF recently confirmed that they will use internal selection to pick their act for Kyiv, and that leads us to a very interesting rumour. Since June, there has been speculation that ORF would internally select Vienna-based “Russian turbo polka metal” band Russkaja as Austria’s act for 2017. With one part of that rumour proven true, let’s take a look at the other part.
Russkaja was founded in 2005 and they combine traditional Russian sounds with metal, ska and polka — or as the band define themselves, “Russian turbo polka metal”.
Like a lot of ska bands, Russkaja have a large number of members — seven currently — so if they were to head to Eurovision, someone would have to stay at home.
Russkaja are well known in Austria, where they have released four albums. They regularly appear on Austrian television, and have accompanied Austrian Eurovision stars — including Zoë and Conchita — on versions of their songs.
Russkaja’s charismatic frontman Georgij Makazaria was born in Moscow to Georgian parents, but since 1989 he has lived in Vienna. As well as rocking with Russkaja, Georgij also performs in musicals, and earlier this year he competed in Dancing Stars where he placed third.
Russkaja has already come on the wiwi radar, when last year we listed them as an act that Austria could send to troll Eurovision. Back then we said:
Austria has already sent Alf Poier, Global Kryner and the Trackshittaz to Eurovision, so there’s no reason for them not to gift us with another “not-so-serious” act. If ORF wants to auto-immolate themselves again, they can ask Russkaja to take part. A group of Austrians singing ska in Russian? It’s just perfect!
And it seems like even more of a troll to send a Russian-themed ska band to compete at a Eurovision hosted in Ukraine.
Austria probably aren’t hugely focused on winning the competition again so soon after Conchita’s victory in 2014, so why not have some fun with their entry? After sweet Zöe this year and the nil-points snoozefest that was The Makemakes in 2015, maybe it’s time for Austria to send an act with some energy.
What do you think? Should Austria send Russkaja to Eurovision? Could the Russian turbo polka metal band secure Austria a surprise third victory? Share your thoughts below!