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Georgia: Eurovision Controversy

Following its recent war with Russia, Georgia had initially planned to boycott this year's Eurovision Song Contest to be staged in Moscow, but later changed its mind. However, if reversing that decision might have initially seemed an attempt to repair damaged relations, yesterday's national song contest proved otherwise.

In two posts, This is Tbilisi Calling explains the possible controversy surrounding the lyrics of the country's likely entry.

Georgians may use the Eurovision Song Contest to poke fun at neighbouring Russia after losing last year's war between the two countries if one potentially provocative song is chosen by the Georgian public as their entry for 2009. Eurovision, of course, will be held this year in Moscow, where the song Put-In Disco would probably not get much of an enthusiastic welcome. […]

[…]

[…] its chorus goes like this: “We Don’t Wanna Put In/The negative move/It’s killin’ the groove.” What you actually hear ,of course, is “we don't wanna Putin” […]

Today, the same blog announced that We Don't Wanna Put In by Stefane and 3G had been chosen as the country's entry.

The slyly anti-Russian song We Don't Wanna Put In has been chosen as Georgia's entry to the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow – if the event's organisers allow one of the entries to denigrate the host country's prime minister, of course. […]

The Oiko Times says Georgia might be forced to change the lyrics while Posh & Becks of Eurovision thinks that Georgia is playing with fire.

Anyone wanna take bets on how long it will take before the EBU take actions against Georgia? There is no chance in hell that they will be allowed that lyrics after everything that has been going on between Georgia and Russia. The song is called “We don't wanna put in” and is a disco stomper. […] Dangerous. Get it? Put in. Putin. We don't want Putin.

Other Eurovision observers were quick to comment on their blogs. Unzipped: Gay Armenia says the song is likely to prove controversial.

Georgia decided to send Stephane & 3G with “We don't wanna Put in”. Clever and funny ‘playing with words’ :) While the song itself is pretty typical, it's quite catchy and funny. And it's possible to sing along […].

This song, if approved by Eurovision officials, will get a very tough reception in Moscow, with likely boo-ing in the auditorium. No chances for 12 points from Russia to Georgia (this was alleged by many as a possible political gesture from Russia's side.) […]

There have been regular attempts at protest songs at Eurovision in past: some – successful, others – not. Perhaps, the most successful recent attempt, which Georgians want to repeat, was that of Ukraine two years ago with Verka Serduchka ‘playing with words’ while singing ‘Lusha Tumbai’ (='Russia Good Bye’). […]

The blog says that the song might go down well in Western Europe and some former-Soviet states, but warns that it could also backfire. Regardless, JawnBC says Eurovision is at least getting interesting.

I'm listening, trying to figure who wrote this archetypal bad English. Then *ding* the light went on.

We don't wanna put in, negative mood is killing the groove. Or We don't want Putin.

There's a rule against political songs in the Eurovision. But with their recent war–and the Contest being held in Moscow–I bet the Georgian public couldn't resist.

This is likely not the last to be heard about the song.

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