Battle of Eurovision: Ruthlessly Assessing Britain vs. Russia

16/05/2011 at 8:53 am (Great Britain, Russia, The Ruthless Court, Video) (, , , , , , )

The Ruthless Court features an all-encompassing, all-consuming, era-spanning, nail-biting, sometimes downright terrifying battle of wit, will and weaponry between Britons and Russians.  Whilst Eurovision is slightly less deadly, we couldn’t let the annual song contest slip modestly into the night on Saturday without pitting the British against the Russians one more time.

Veteran UK boyband Blue recently reformed and were soon asked to represent Britain in the continental sing-a-long.  Russia’s representative was Alexej Vorobjov (I’m pretty sure there is no ‘J’ in Russian but we’ll forgive the Eurovision website).

To be honest, I got a strong ‘New Kids on the Block’ vibe from Vorobjov and his merry band of backing singers/dancers. The song (Get You), the styling and the vocals were all reminiscent of the 80s/90s American boyband. The staging made it look like they were inside some kind of poorly lit TARDIS.

Britain’s Blue boys were altogether more up-to-date, with a more modern song (I Can) and clothes. Their vocals were perhaps not as consistent as Alexei’s (yeah, I’m done with the ‘j’) but were perhaps slightly more ambitious.

The final verdict on this battle of Europe? The United Kingdom may have been the better all-rounder this year, finishing 11th to the other country’s 16th, but Russia was more in the spirit of Eurovision. Yes, that’s right—we declare a draw! Come on, Britain! Davai, Russia!

Check out the above videos of the two performances and let us know who edged it for you.


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Ra-Ra-Rasputin: Russia’s Greatest Love Machine!

28/04/2011 at 8:34 pm (History, Royalty, Russia, The Ruthless Court, Video) (, , , , , , , , )

In The Ruthless Court, historical figure and subject of endless fascination Grigori Rasputin plays a pivotal role, getting in the way of John Richmond’s (really the ‘dead’ Prince Albert Victor) attempts to win back the heart of Alexandra, the last Tsarina of Russia. However, TRC is not the only place where you’ll find a fictionalization of the Russian ‘mad monk’—although our Rasputin is obviously the maddest, most entertaining and most cunning!

Take for instance, the above video, of 70s disco group Boney M’s 1978 hit ‘Rasputin’. About the self-same man, the song’s lyrics celebrate some of the same qualities of—and rumours about—the rowdy, self-proclaimed mystic as The Ruthless Court does. You just can’t forget such lines as Ra Ra Rasputin/Lover of the Russian queen and Ra Ra Rasputin/Russia’s Greatest Love Machine. Ain’t that the truth–the latter line that is. As for the first line, stories of Rasputin actually being the Tsarina’s lover were vicious fabrications spread around by the originally German royal’s enemies during Russia’s participation in WWI. Of course that doesn’t stop The Ruthless Court from playing with the idea and incorporating it into the thrilling and dramatic plot!

And although Boney M’s song modifies the murder of Rasputin, it lacks the imaginative chutzpah of The Ruthless Court. Has to be read to be believed and enjoyed!….

Oh, those Russians!

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