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11 Mar, 2009 22:36

Politics intrudes as Georgia quits Eurovision

They didn't want to put in, so they've decided to pull out. Georgia has decided not to take part in this year's Eurovision, after the country's entry caused a controversy before the competition even began.

The European Broadcasting Union says Georgia's entry does not comply with the rules of the contest, as no lyrics of a political nature are allowed. The song's title, ‘We Don't Wanna Put In’, plays too evidently on the Russian Prime Minister's surname – Putin, according to contest officials.

The cheesy disco number is sung in English by the group Stephane and 3G. The band and the Georgian Public Broadcaster were asked to rewrite the song or choose a different one, but they refused.

“We have decided not to change the lyrics or choose a different song. We will not go to Moscow and will not take part in Eurovision 2009. It's still not clear to us why Eurovision took this decision,” said Natia Uznadze, head of the country’s project for Eurovision, as quoted by AFP.

Tbilisi also claims Moscow had a hand in the case.

“Harsh statements made by the Russian side influenced and put pressure on the organizers of the Eurovision Song Contest. The Georgian Public Broadcaster believes we do not have to change the lyrics in any way and therefore, despite our respect for the contest, we will not be going to Moscow,” said Gia Chanturia, Georgian Public Broadcaster Chief Producer.

At the same time, the European Broadcasting Union says no pressure was put on them to ban the song.

The contest will be held in Moscow on May 16, and though the organizers insist Eurovision has nothing to do with politics, it seems political disputes are rubbing off on the event.