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Georgia Needles Russia With Eurovision Song

Georgia was originally going to boycott this year's Eurovision Song Contest, the finals of which are being held in Moscow in May.

But then in January, they announced that they would in fact participate.

The caveat has now become clear. This from AFP:

TBILISI, Feb 18, 2009 (AFP) -- Georgia has chosen a disco song poking fun at Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as its entry for this year's Eurovision song contest in Moscow.

Georgia initially considered boycotting the song contest in the Russian capital because of its war with Moscow last year, but ultimately chose instead to use Eurovision to make a light-hearted political statement.

"We don't wanna put in," performed by group Stephane and 3G with its none-too-subtle play on the prime minister's surname, was chosen late Wednesday by a panel and phone-in vote to represent Georgia.

With a chorus of "We don't wanna put in/The negative move/It's killin' the groove," the song is unlikely to get a warm reception in Moscow, which is hosting the contest after Russia won last year's competition in Serbia.

Does anyone have any idea what those lyrics actually mean?

That said, in a contest where lyrics such as "passion killed by acid rain/a rollercoaster in my brain/but, how would you know!" (Iceland) or "ba-ba-da, ba-ba-da/ba-da-da-ba, ba-da/duty free madam?" (United Kingdom) are the norm, perhaps it shouldn't come as any surprise.

Nor should the politics surprise anyone, as the contest has always been defined by its sniping and bad vibes.

May in Moscow might turn out to be quite interesting.

-- Luke Allnutt

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at