Remember t.A.T.u.? To American audiences, they’re a strange cultural artifact of the early 2000s- a duo of Russian teenage girls in schoolgirl costumes , Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova, who we were really, really supposed to think were lesbians, even though they actually weren’t.
They had one moderate hit song- “All the Things She Said”- in 2003, which Wikipedia says “gained acclaim from music journalists and critics, who deemed it one of the best singles in early 2000s,” although that’s not quite how I remember it.
Soon after that, t.A.T.u. pretty much vanished from Western cultural consciousness. Until now, that is. With the winter Olympics getting underway in Russia- amid international controversy about the host country’s anti-gay laws- t.A.T.u. is back.
The Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog, citing “two people familiar with the matter,” said this week that at the opening ceremonies, Russia’s Olympic team will enter the stadium to the sounds of t.A.T.u’s “Not Gonna Get Us.” The duo, which has spent the last several years recording both English and Russian-language albums, will perform live at a “warmup show” prior to the ceremony, although the live performance will not be broadcast internationally.
The Journal also reported that while the two singers cultivated “the public image of two lesbian schoolgirls… one later married a man, while the other had a baby with a male partner then divorced.”
Additional scoop from the Journal on the ceremony, which is taking place right now and will be broadcast in the U.S. Friday night:
The rest of the ceremony will focus on Russia’s history from ancient times through Imperial Russia to the Soviet era, according to the people familiar with the plans. Church domes will float above the newly-built stadium, giant magic horses will glow in the sky, and Russian heavy weight boxing champion and the lawmaker Nikolai Valuyev will perform as Uncle Styopa, a benign giant policeman from a Russian children’s book.
It’s too bad t.A.T.u won’t be a part of the opening ceremony; an internationally broadcast kiss could have gone down in history as a John Carlos/Tommie Smith moment. And it’s not like they’re not really being gay ever stopped them before.