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Georgia withdraws from South Ossetia Eurovision

Declines to substitute 'anti-Putin' ditty

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Georgia has withdrawn from this year's Eurovision Song Contest after the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) earlier this week ruled its entry We Don't Wanna Put In in contravention of the rule which states: "No lyrics, speeches, gestures of a political or similar nature shall be permitted during the Eurovision Song Contest."

The song, performed by Stephane and 3G, contains the chorus: "We don't wanna put in the negative move, it's killing the groove." This, the Telegraph notes, has been "widely interpreted as making a mockery of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin":

The EBU offered Georgia the options of changing the song's lyrics, or submitting a new entry. The country declined, and exited the contest. The ditty's producers protested in a letter to the EBU that "they had their suspicions that the decision to ask Georgia to revise its entry came about as a result of pressure from Russia, where this year's contest is to be held".

Indeed, the BBC's Moscow Diary today contains a report that Russia's main TV evening news recently hailed the staging of Eurovision as an indication that "after decades of isolation, our country is finally returning to Europe and reclaiming the status of a superpower in politics and culture, including popular music, that rightfully belongs to it".

Proof of Russia's return to pop superpower status is its annexation of Ukrainian songstress Anastasia Prikhodko, who'll perform the host's Vote For Us Or We'll Cut Your Gas Off Mamo.

Her Georgian producer Konstantin Meladze told the media: "For me this is an enormous joy. I'm in favour of the friendship of Russians, Ukrainians, Georgians and all others. In principle, this is a very international song, because the music was written by a Georgian, a Ukranian sang it, and half the text was written by an Estonian."

Yup, expect lively voting at the 54th Eurovision Song Contest, which will take place in Moscow on the 12, 14 (semi-finals) and 16 May (final). ®

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