Jana Bakunina Meets The Russians
Last week, I was adamant to boycott the new show on Fox, Meet The Russians, which promised nothing but a reality TV spin on the stereotypical Russian expats in London: filthy rich, Knightsbridge-dwelling, vodka-drinking, fur-clad billionaires. And then I thought that I may have created a stereotype of my own: this show needn’t be bad and surely the promotional videos featuring wannabe popstar Kamalyia are overstating the ‘cringe factor’.
First we meet Kamaliya and Zakhur in their Kiev mansion. What’s fascinating is that with all the steel money in the world you can gold-plate the interior of your house, shoot a Hollywood film and record a sensationally expensive looking music video to promote Zakhur’s $20m Project Kamaliya, but there is one thing money can’t buy and that’s taste. The house, designed by Kamaliya herself, looked shocking, and however amusing was her singing zoo and however touching was her story about trying for children, I could not help but laugh at the heart-shaped cushions, the grotesque art and the centrepiece fireplace.
Throughout the show you have to admire the scale of the Russkies’ ambitions. A shoe boutique, financed by a rich daddy, has got to be in Mayfair, a new London flat must be in Hampstead and a buckle must be encrusted with nothing but diamonds. You could laugh at Zakhur’s haircut, Dmitriy’s Boratesque accent and Alina’s ludicrous footwear but you had to marvel at the apparent size of the Russkies’ bank accounts.
In the end, I have to say that the only person I was genuinely interested in ‘meeting’ was the ballerina, but, alas, she only got about 10 seconds of coverage. I guess the size of her bank account did not make the Meet the Russians cut.
Jana Bakunina is the founder of the Ladies Who Impress forum. She lives in London.