Eurovision Song Contest: rise of the 70 year-olds

Singer Engelbert Humperdinck, performing in Las Vegas. In May he will represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest, a kind of anti-Vegas Vegas.
Ethan Miller

The Eurovision song contest is one those kitschy/campy events that brighten the world. Since it started in the 1950's as a kind of Europe-wide sing-along to chase away the post war blues it has become a huge event.

This year representatives of more than 40 countries will gather in May for the big sing-off in Baku, Azebaijan (not exactly Europe but we're talking about the European ideal when we talk about Eurovision).

Most of the time the contest winners are fairly forgettable. The show's appeal lies in its perfect marriage of glitz and amateurism, although Swedish super-group ABBA won when they were starting out as did Celine Dion (representing Switzerland).

Basically, Eurovision is the anti-Vegas of Vegas showbiz.

However, for its entry this year Britain has dusted off a veteran of many a night in Las Vegas and is sending him out to win. Engelbert Humperdinck is the man. Humperdinck's first major success came in 1967 with "Please, Release Me." The Daily Telegraph, whose readership demographics skew towards Social Security recipients, is very pleased the 75-year old singer is getting another big break.

Video of his song is here.

Humperdinck isn't the only golden oldie taking part.  Russia's entry is the granny group, the Buranova Babushkas, six ladies of the steppes who are apparently grandmothers.