Russia, Ukraine, the Balkans: Eurovision News

The controversy caused by Georgia's Eurovision Song Contest entry seems to be over (or, depending on one's perspective, has reached its climax), now that Georgia has decided not to take part in this year's event in Moscow, following the European Broadcasting Union's demand that the lyrics of the ‘We Don't Wanna Put In’ song are either changed or a different song entered.

Russia's own entry is causing controversy now as well, however. Andy of Siberian Light explains:

In a move sure to delight conspiracy theorists and bloggers everywhere, Mam[o] by Anastasia Prikhodko was picked to represent Russia at this year’s Eurovision.

The controversy? Well, Prikhodko is Ukrainian, and Mamo is sung partly in Russian and partly in – gasp – Ukrainian. Oh yes, and Prikhodko only entered the Russian qualification contest after she’d been kicked out of the Ukrainian qualification contest. […]

Here are Andy's thoughts on the geopolitical dimension of Russia's entry – and a forecast of sorts:

[…] Anyways, personally I think it’s a bit of a coup for Russia. They not only get to put one over arch enemies Georgia, who have entered a grumpy song about how they don’t like Putin – they get to claim that in Russia, music is all about peace and goodwill between neighbours. Oh, and that they like Ukrainians, really.

And, actually, I think the song’s ok – it’s not great, but Russia certainly won’t be disgraced in May. […]

Vasyl of uaMuzik wrote this about Russia's entry – as well as the Ukrainian one:

[…] Now let's go down to ringside here at the WMSC (World Mudslinging Song Contest) to hear he announcer's opening words. “In the right corner representing the host country of Russia, last year's Eurovision winner, we have from Ukraine, Anastasia Prykhodko singing Mamo. Her opponent in the left corner, formerly of Via Gra, Russia's T&A project for the 21st century, we have Svitlana Loboda!”

In all honesty folks, this is really what this whole thing has come down to, for all it's worth. In fact some Russians are fuming that a Ukrainian, would be representing them at this year's ESC and sing not in solely Russian or English for that matter, but heaven forbid, the chorus of her song in Ukrainian using the vocative case, which doesn't exist in the Russian language… […]

While there is talk of suspected vote-rigging in Anastasia Prykhodko's case, this isn't a uniquely Russian problem. Belgraded – in a review of “Balkan Eurosong losers of 2009″ – writes this about the winning entries:

[…] Connections with the people counting the votes are always important for Balkanian qualification finals, and this year’s local competitions were no exception. To see who had the best connections and/or managed to offer most money to the jury, go to Balkan File. […]

Balkan File, it should be noted, isn't too optimistic about “Eurovision Hopefuls” from “the former Yugoslavia, plus Albania”:

[…] Will Eurovision return to the region next year after a short break in Russia? Probably not. […]

Back to the actual “losers,” here is what Belgraded writes about the Serbian ones:

[…] Best Serbian losers we’ve had in years – they have it all: opera, gay love between the Matrix priest and the high ranking army official, communist babes, and opera. Yes, I know I already said opera. Some people claim to hear ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘You’ll never walk alone’ tunes in there somewhere but I just can’t concentrate enough to spot them. […]

And here's a video of the performers described above:

In the comments section to this post, Sajkaca wrote:

Let’s be honest, if there would be just some good songs with traditional performance, nobody would watch Eurovision Contest. It’s a magnet because you know it can get embarassing! […]

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