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Georgia Told To Revise Anti-Putin Eurovision Lyrics

Stefane & 3G
MOSCOW (Reuters) -- The Eurovision Song Contest's organizers have told Georgia to change the lyrics of its entry, which takes a swipe at Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, reviled in Georgia since its war with Russia last summer.

Georgians last month chose "We Don't Wanna Put In" -- a clear pun on the former Russian president's name -- as their entry for Eurovision Song Contest, which is to be held in the Russian capital Moscow in May.

In August 2008 Georgia sent its forces to retake the pro-Russia enclave of South Ossetia, which had thrown off Georgian rule in a war during 1991-92.

Putin is seen in Georgia as one of the prime instigators of Russia's tough military response, which drove the Georgian army out of South Ossetia in a five-day war that saw Moscow's troops push deep into Georgia.

The band and the producer behind Georgia's Eurovision entry, Stefane & 3G, have not hidden the double meaning of the lyrics and title of the song.

But the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which governs the competition, said on March 10 it had told Georgia to rewrite the song or submit a new one because the lyrics could bring the competition into disrepute.

"The lyrics of their song for the 54th Eurovision Song Contest 'We Don't Wanna Put In' do not comply with the rules of the competition," the EBU said on the Eurovision website.

The website quoted the competition rules that state lyrics must not be political, contain swear words, or convey a commercial message. Both the title and lyrics of the Georgian song broke the rules, the statement said.

The English language chorus of the Georgian song ran:

"We don't wanna put in,
Cuz negative move,
It's killin' the groove,
I'm gonna try to shoot in,
Some disco tonight,
Boogie with you."

Georgia's First Channel said it would make a formal reply to the EBU on March 11.

"It was an unexpected decision for us," Natia Uznadze, international projects producer at the Georgian public broadcaster, told Reuters.