Eurovision Song Contest

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Event.png Eurovision Song Contest  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
ESC2016 Grand Final Interval Act 18.jpg
DescriptionA yearly musical event held in Europe.

The Eurovision Song Contest is an annual event held in Europe. The event has been extremely politicised recently, especially in the context of the New Cold War.


Russia's song in 2005, "Nobody Hurt No One" performed by Belarusian singer Natalia Podolskaya was a politically relevant song. The song was about the Beslan school siege, known as the deadliest school shooting in history. Lyrics included "Hello sweet America, where did our dream disappear?", and "You just having fun, Till your child will shoot your gun".

Ukraine's entry in the 2007 contest was controversial. "Dancing Lasha Tumbai" was performed by drag queen Verka Serduchka. The the phrase "Lasha Tumbai" was alleged to be a Mongolian phrase for "whipped cream", "milkshake", or "churned butter". It was later alleged, though, that there are no such words in Mongolian and the catchphrase bears no meaning at all. There have been allegations that the words were chosen due to their phonetic resemblance to "Russia Goodbye", allegedly a reference to the 2004–2005 Orange Revolution in Ukraine. In the final, the song came in 2nd place, with 235 points.

Georgia 's planned entry for the 2009 contest in Moscow, Russia, "We Don't Wanna Put In", a reference to the Russian president at the time. After requests by the European Broadcasting Union for changes to the lyrics were refused, Georgia's broadcaster GPB subsequently withdrew from the event.[1]

In 2015, Polina Gagarina represented Russia with her song entitled "A Million Voices". When the votes were given from each country, loud booing from the audience was heard whenever Russia was given points, and this made her cry.[2] Despite this, Polina finished in second place in the Grand Final, ending up with 303 points behind Sweden which won the contest with 365 points.[3] Also in 2015, Armenia entered the song "Face the Shadow" performed by the group Genealogy; which is made up of Armenians from the five continents. It became the subject of controversy due to allegations that the song conveyed political messages. In particular, it was believed that the song was intended to pay tribute to the victims of the Armenian genocide (whose centenary was commemorated roughly a month prior to the contest on 24 April 2015), with its lyrics and its original title, "Don't Deny". The song was renamed, after being criticised by Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Complaints were levied against Ukraine's winning song in 2016, "1944", whose lyrics referenced the deportation of the Crimean Tatars, meant as a reference to Crimea, a disputed peninsula held by Russia. The singer Jamala was the granddaughter of Crimean Tatars who had been deported to Central Asia.

Russia boycotted the 2017 contest in Ukraine. Their candidate Julia Samoylova was banned from entering Ukraine, so Russia had to withdraw.

Israel won the contest in 2018, and held it in 2019. Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaigned against the contest. The Icelandic entrants raised banners showing the Palestinian flag as their televoting points were announced in the final.[4]

Belarus was banned from competing in 2021. The Belarusian song was disqualified on grounds that the song was "too political".[5] The Ukrainian song "SHUM" by Go_A had a chorus saying "siyu, siyu, siyu, siyu zelenesenki" - possibly alluding to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

In 2022, Russia was expelled from the European Broadcasting Union after the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. Alina Pash won the preselection contest to represent Ukraine. On 14 February 2022, two days after the selection, activist and video blogger Serhii Sternenko alleged that Pash had entered Crimea from Russian territory in 2015, and counterfeited her travel documentation with her team in order to take part in the selection. Pash was then forced to withdraw under media pressure.[6]



Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:The politics of EurovisionArticle21 May 2021Caroline FrostDoes music transcend partisan politics? The politicisation of the Eurovision Song Contest has been going on for many decades.
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