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Шестеро на диване, or What would you do to win a brand new couch? Posted by on Jun 30, 2022 in language, News, Sports

I recently stumbled across an article on Афиша.ру, a popular Russian website, with the following headline:

В Бе́лгороде провели́ соревнова́ние по са́мому до́лгому сиде́нию на дива́не1In Belgorod a contest of who could sit on the couch the longest

The headline was intriguing because, well, it makes you ask, заче́м?

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

The tough конкурс contest began on June 24 and lasted 4 days, finishing on June 28. From this article:

Изнача́льно уча́стие в нём принима́ли ше́стеро белгоро́дцев, но до фина́ла дошли́ то́лько дво́е. 2At first three Belgorodians took part in it, but only two made it to the end.

Here we can see the use of собира́тельные числи́тельные collective numerals (underlined). I encourage you to check out Maria’s post about this, which covers the grammar of these curious words. But here is a quick refresher:

They are used with groups of masculine or mixed groups of people, such as дво́е мужчи́н two men, тро́е дете́й three children, че́тверо москвиче́й four Muscovites, пя́теро рыбако́в five fisherman. They are also used with a group of nouns that are plural-only; ше́стеро су́ток five days (from су́тки a day [period of 24 hours]), се́меро трусо́в seven pairs of underwear, во́сьмеро часо́в eight clocks (note that this would refer to the mechanism часы́ clock. Во́семь часо́в (using the cardinal number) would refer to time – eight o’clock). Remember that these numbers are always followed by the genitive plural.

Enough about the grammar and back to the contest. Here was the premise of it, from the АиФ article:

Уча́стник, просиде́вший на дива́не до́льше други́х, получа́ет его́ же в пода́рок.3The contestant who sits on the couch longer than the others gets the couch for free.

That may seem like a lot for a couch, but considering the price tag, 100,000 RUB, it actually may have been worth it. Back to Афиша:

К ве́черу 26 (два́дцать шесто́го) ию́ня конкурса́нтов оста́лось то́лько тро́е. By the evening of June 26 [Sunday], only three contestants were left:

Aleksandr, a thirteen-year-old boy,

Andrei, a driver,

Stanislav, an engineer.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Днём 27 (два́дцать седьмо́го) ию́ня из го́нки вы́был Алекса́ндр. On the day of June 27 [Monday], Aleksandr was eliminated from the race.

Aleksandr вы́был из игры́ (the word we know, быть to be, with the verbal prefix вы- attached, meaning to be eliminated from a game, contest, etc.) because he is a kid, after all, and some form of child protection services made him leave the competition. Оста́лось дво́е Two were left.

What kept them on the couch? Certainly they must have developed some kind of rapport, as they spent entire days and nights by each other’s side. What motivated them? The Afisha article gives the following reasons:

Андре́й: [в э́том ро́зыгрыше] всё зави́сит то́лько от челове́ка, а не от случа́йности, как э́то обы́чно быва́ет в други́х ро́зыгрышах.4Andrei: [in this contest] everything depends only on the person, not on chance like in other contests.

Станисла́в: неда́вно купи́л кварти́ру, поэ́тому но́вая ме́бель «была́ бы кста́ти».5Stanislav: bought a new apartment not too long ago, so furniture “would be useful.”

Two different motivations, but it kept them on the couch into June 28 [Tuesday].

Who would come out victorious?

Then came the end, on Tuesday at noon:

Администра́ция торго́вого це́нтра и са́ми уча́стники реши́ли объяви́ть «боеву́ю ничью́» «из гуманита́рных соображе́ний».6The mall administration and the contestants themselves decided to declare a “draw” “on humanitarian grounds.”

And so ended the competition. The competitors didn’t go home empty-handed. Andrei got the couch they sat on. Stanislav was awarded a slightly cheaper (but still nice) couch.

So I leave you with this question:

Дорогие читатели, а вы бы просидели четверо суток, чтобы выиграть новый диван?

  • 1
    In Belgorod a contest of who could sit on the couch the longest
  • 2
    At first three Belgorodians took part in it, but only two made it to the end.
  • 3
    The contestant who sits on the couch longer than the others gets the couch for free.
  • 4
    Andrei: [in this contest] everything depends only on the person, not on chance like in other contests.
  • 5
    Stanislav: bought a new apartment not too long ago, so furniture “would be useful.”
  • 6
    The mall administration and the contestants themselves decided to declare a “draw” “on humanitarian grounds.”
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