Georgia: Song ‘too political’ for Eurovision Song contest

13 March 2009
Georgia has pulled out of the Eurovision Song Contest after organisers banned song that ‘mocks’ the Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin.

Georgia has pulled out of the Eurovision Song Contest after the organisers, the European Bradcasting Union, EBU, banned it from entering with the song ‘We don’t wanna put in’. The act was seen as ‘mocking’ the Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin.

In a statement from the Geneva headquarter on 10 March 2009, the European Broadcasting Union announced that the Reference Group of the Eurovision Song Contest had decided that ”the title and lyrics of the selected Georgian entry for this year’s Contest do not comply with Section 4 Rule 9 of the Rules of the 54th Eurovision Song Contest, and cannot take part in the competition as such.”

According to the rules, “the lyrics and/or performance of the songs shall not bring the Shows or the Eurovision Song Contest as such into disrepute. No lyrics, speeches, gestures of a political or similar nature shall be permitted during the Eurovision Song Contest.”

Georgia, however, rejected an offer to revise the lyrics to ‘We Don’t Wanna Put In’, whose chorus played on the Russian prime minister’s surname.

In an interview with UK-based Times Natia Uznadze, a producer at Georgian public television which organised the national contest in which viewers chose the entry said: “We have decided not to change the lyrics or choose a different song. We will not go to Moscow and will not take part in Eurovision 2009.”

Protest against Russia
The song, performed by Stephane and 3G, was seen as a protest against Russia over its war with Georgia in the breakaway region of South Ossetia in August 2008. Georgian officials denied that it was a political statement and refused to consider an alternative entry for the contest.

This year’s Eurovision song contest is to be held in Moscow on 12 May 2009 and Georgia has been given until 16 March 2009 to “either rewrite the lyrics of the song, or to select another song for the contest.”

Georgia was initially going to boycott the event in protest against Russia’s military action in August 2008.

In February 2009, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov attacked Georgia’s song poking. “We should only regret that the Georgian contestants instead of concentrating on the art, use such a popular contest for demonstrating their pseudo-political ambitions, or — simply speaking — their hooliganism,” Dmitry Peskov said.

Russia’s own Eurovision song entry, ‘Mamo’, has been criticised by for not being Russian enough.



EBU – 10 March 2009:
‘Georgian song lyrics do not comply with rules’
Times Online – 11 March 2009:
‘Georgia quits Eurovision Song Contest over lyrics mocking Putin’Esctoday – 11 March 2009:
‘Georgia withdraws from Eurovision Song Contest 2009’

Telegraph – 10 March 2009:
‘Georgia ordered to enter new Eurovision song’

Eurovision – 10 March 2009:
‘Georgian song lyrics do not comply with Rules’

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