Alexa

Georgians pull out of Eurovision over 'Put in' jab

Georgians pull out of Eurovision over 'Put in' jab

No 'Put in' jibes allowed? Then we'll pull out!
A Georgian pop group said Wednesday it would bow out of the Eurovision Song Contest, refusing to scrap lyrics punning on Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's name.
The statements by members and producers of Stephane and 3G could mark the end of a politically charged dispute over Georgia's entry for the contest, being held this year in Russia in May. Less than a year ago in August, the two countries fought a short war. But tensions remain high, and Putin and Georgia's pro-Western President Mikhail Saakashvili have traded barbs in remarks reported by the media.
The selection of Stephane and 3G and its teasing ditty "We Don't Wanna Put In" as Georgia's entry raised eyebrows. "We don't want to put in/the negative mood/it's killing the groove," runs the chorus, rendered "poot een" _ just like the former Russian president _ by the singers' accented pronunciation.
The Geneva-based European Broadcasting Union, which organizes the flashy annual spectacle, warned Tuesday that "no lyrics, speeches, gestures of a political or similar nature shall be permitted." It said Georgia would have to rewrite the song or choose another one.
Nothing doing, the Georgians responded. Producers and the country's culture minister accused Russia of pressuring the European Broadcasting Union.
"We refuse to take part in the contest because this year's host country is applying so much pressure," one of the group's producers, Georgy Chanturia, told a news conference in Tbilisi.
"I believe that the Eurovision leadership came under unprecedented Russian pressure," Culture Minister Nika Rurua said.
"We see a political context in the pressure that is being put on us," Stephane and 3G singer Stepane Mgebrishvili said. "We're not going because we're not being given the opportunity to go."
Vladimir Smirnov, a representative of Russia's state-run Channel One's Entertainment department, which will broadcast the contest, said Tuesday that the channel was not responsible for the decision.
Russia won the right to host the annual event after winning last year's competition.


Updated : 2021-03-04 12:05 GMT+08:00