Verka Serduchka Dancing Lasha Tumbai
"Dancing Lasha Tumbai" (Ukrainian: Данцінґ Лаша Тумбай) is the song sung by Verka Serduchka (Andriy Danylko), chosen to represent Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 held in Helsinki, Finland. The original title was simply «Danzing», but it was changed due to lyrics controversy. The song includes lyrics in four languages: German, English, Russian and Ukrainian.
In the performance in the Eurovision Song Contest, Serduchka was accompanied by 5 back up singers and dancers, dressed in silver and gold clothing. Serduchka wore the number '69' on his back, with reference to the sexual position. The two main companion dancers either side of this wore the number '18', referring to the entry's position on the final, 18th to sing.
The choice of a drag queen as Ukraine's representative at ESC was fiercely criticized by several media and politicians of different parties. Taras Chornovil of Party of Regions was quoted saying:
I guess some of our esteemed experts saw those "hot Finnish guys" dressed as monsters but didn't quite understand that there is subculture and there is pseudoculture. Those monsters are part of their subculture, which has the right to exist. But all these hermaphrodites have never been accepted anywhere. Therefore I think that this will be a serious embarrassment factor and the world will see us as complete idiots.
Another subject of controversy was song's title and lyrics. According to Danilko, the phrase "Lasha Tumbai" is a Mongolian phrase for "whipped cream". It was later proven, though, that there are no such words in Mongolian and the catchphrase bears no meaning at all. There have been allegations that the words were chosen due to their phonetic resemblance to "Russia Goodbye", allegedly a reference to the 2004-2005 Orange Revolution in Ukraine. Meanwhile, the song is performed in the Russian language as well ("танцевать хорошо").
Serduchka, however, had the full support of the National Television Company of Ukraine, the participation in the Contest at Helsinki went ahead as planned, the song finished 2nd in a field of 24 and went on to become a major chart hit not only in Ukraine and neighbouring countries but throughout Europe.