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Asia Pop, Your Time Has Come

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (left) shakes hands with Azerbaijan's entry in the 2009 Eurovision contest, AySel and Arash, during rehearals in Moscow.
And you thought the Eurovision Song Contest was fun! Reuters has this:

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin proposed to Chinese and Central Asian leaders on Wednesday holding a joint song competition called "Intervision" to rival the Eurovision Song Contest.

Such an event would see Chinese crooners competing for a prize with Uzbeks, Tajiks, Kazakhs, Russians, and Kyrgyz.

"Conducting an international modern song contest, Intervision, would strengthen cultural ties between our nations," Interfax news agency quoted Putin as telling a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) heads of government in Beijing.

It was not immediately clear whether Iran, India, Mongolia, and Pakistan, which have SCO observer status, would take part.

The annual Eurovision contest started in 1956 and reaches a TV audience of some 100 million, despite its reputation in many countries as a celebration of kitsch.

Countries in and near Europe enter a song and the winner is decided through a lengthy voting process which sometimes appears to be based on geopolitical factors rather than musical merit.

-- Dan Wisniewski

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