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And finally… not appearing this year… here’s (not) Russia. Russia’s 2017 cancelled Eurovision Entry.

May 12, 2017


So this is what you won’t be hearing in Kiev tomorrow evening.  It has a delightful chorus and would certainly have sailed into the finals to become a viable contender. And, let’s state the very obvious… she’s in a wheelchair.  Should you vote for someone just because they’re in a wheelchair?  Of course not.  Do people vote on that basis in something like a tie-break situation?  Assuredly they do.

Russia always poll reasonably at Eurovision.  Adrian Kavanagh argues that the reason for this is not some dogged or blinkered political commitment to Russia’s power and prestige on the part of so-called satellite nations, but rather a broader sense of cultural affinity and an awareness of media trends and media stars who quite naturally have Moscow as their epicentre.  Lots of countries know who’s big in Russia, in other words, and this familiarity breeds a degree of affection rather than contempt.

Meanwhile, however, Julia Samoylova sang in the Crimea in 2015, traveling there directly from Russia rather than coming through Ukraine and with Ukrainian permission, and for this she has incurred a three year travel ban making her unable to compete this year. Negotiations to resolve the situation have broken down, while the EBU has become very angry with Ukraine for what they regard as intransigence.

Fortunately, as I’ve said, there is no way that Ukraine is going to win this year, so Eurovision 2018 will not be held in either Russia or Ukraine.

The territorial dispute and the ongoing international crisis will continue, but without Eurovision at its symbolic epicentre.

Russia of course, does not have a great reputation when it comes to “celebrating diversity”, and a less hardened cynic than me might ponder the possibility that Russia might be actively showcasing its celebration of one form of “diversity” (the official Eurovision theme this year) in order to occlude its obvious repression of LGBT rights.

None of which is Julia Samoylova’s fault – although people better informed than me will be able to question her judgement in terms of visiting Crimea at all…

So, Russia can be compared with all the other yes-shows this year at Eurovision, including those already eliminated.

Here’s Ukraine:

Here’s Italy:



And Spain:

Still, Spain is a better bet than the UK – unless Lucie Jones decides she actually WANTS to win and makes the obvious decision to sing in Welsh:

Israel, like, Spain, is to be found at the beach:

Meanwhile, there’s Estonia.  Which enrages me:

Lithuania’s entry  is flashy… that’s all I can say:

For fresh-faced innocence – Bulgaria’s yer only man:

But if you prefer something jolly and sinister at the same time – you’ll prefer Belarus:

There’s something a bit too tasteful about Switzerland’s entry:

For something superficially a bit “edgy” – try Norway:

Croatia, on the other hand,  offers two voices for the price of one:

Here’s Ma and Pa in San Marino:

For youthful angst – Ireland:

Ireland’s entry is, I think, more emotionally involving than Denmark’s:

Right now I prefer cultural nationalism when it isn’t Hungarian:

The Netherlands offers something altogether safer:

Utterly (winningly?) different is Romania:

Less immediately exciting is Malta:

So you might prefer Macedonia:

Or you can “Climb Every Mountain” with Nathan from Austria:

Serbia offers a big ballad about rising and falling and falling and rising:

Meanwhile, here is Sweden:

Here, meanwhile, is Omar belting it out for Slovenia:

Portugal offers something just a bit more special:

Anyhow, Portugal’s offering is infinitely more palatable than Poland’s:

A man who needs a deal of personal space is this guy from Montenegro:

Equally sexualised is the Moldovan entry:

Latvia offers a more techno-trance version of minimalism:

Iceland’s entry isn’t really a Eurovision song either:

Georgia’s offering is undoubtedly a bigger if not bolder initiative:

Frankly, I prefer Finland:

I’ll be sorely vexed if Finland doesn’t do better than Cyprus

Frankly I’d rather the Czech Republic won – though they won’t…

Belgium looks like a better bet:

But if it isn’t, maybe it will go to Azerbaijan with this…

Armenia’s Entry is nowhere near as scary:

In the meantime here are my thoughts on the Australian entry:

And here’s Albania…





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