Georgia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2009
|Eurovision Song Contest 2009|
|Selection process||National Final|
|Selection date(s)||18 February 2009|
|Selected entrant||Stefane & 3G|
|Selected song||"We Don't Wanna Put In"|
|Georgia in the Eurovision Song Contest|
Georgia, and its broadcaster Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB), announced in August 2008 that it would be withdrawing from the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 in Moscow, Russia. The country later returned to the contest in December 2008, and planned for its third entry at the contest.
After a national final was held on 18 February, the third Georgian entry for Eurovision was decided to be Stefane & 3G with "We Don't Wanna Put In". The song however was rejected by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), and could not compete in the contest in its current form due to perceived political connotations in its lyrics. On 11 March, Georgia announced its withdrawal from the contest in response to the EBU's rejection.
Withdrawal and return
Georgia's broadcaster, Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB), originally announced in August 2008 that they would not be participating at the Eurovision Song Contest 2009. This was due to the 2008 South Ossetia war, involving Georgia and Eurovision host Russia, and in protest to Russia's foreign policies. GPB went on to say that they refuse to "participate in a contest organised by a country that violates human rights and international laws".
GPB later reversed their decision to boycott the contest in December 2008. This was after talks between GPB and the contest organisers, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), as well as the victory for Georgia at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2008, in which Russia gave their top marks to Georgia.
In February 2009, an online campaign "Boycott MoscowVision" emerged calling on the public broadcaster not to participate in the song contest.
In its third year of participation in the Eurovision Song Contest, the Georgian public broadcaster GPB opted to organise a public national final again. Singers and songwriters could send in their songs until February 5, when a jury picked the finalists. The national final was broadcast live on February 18 from GPB's own TV studios, with the winner being decided by a combination of SMS voting and the verdict of an expert jury.
The winner of the contest was Stefane & 3G with the song "We Don't Wanna Put In". Only the top three acts were announced on the night, with Keti Ordjonikidze and Boris Bedia making up the remaining top three songs.
|Draw||Artist||Song||Composer - Lyricist||Place|
|1||Bermukha||"Khvalindeli dghe"||Bachi Kitiashvili|
|2||November||"Over"||Davit Mchedlishvili - Giorgi Mukhigulashvili|
|3||Giorgi Maisuradze||"Peace in the World"||Giorgi Maisuradze, Dato Ugrekhelidze - Lika Kakiashvili|
|5||Tony and Friends||"Hear My Plea"||Tony O’Malley|
|6||Nodiko Tatishvili||"No Sun When You Are Near"||Levan Jibladze - Bibi Kvachadze|
|7||Boris Bedia||"Mjera"||Merab Mamulashvili - Manana Gurgenidze||3rd|
|8||Stefane & 3G||"We Don't Wanna Put In"||Stefane Mgebrishvili - Bibi Kvachadze||1st|
|9||Anri Jokhadze||"I Want You Back"||Anri Jokhadze - Bibi Kvachadze|
|10||Keti Orjonikidze||"Hang Out"||Bachi Kitiashvili||2nd|
Song controversy and withdrawal
Shortly after "We Don't Wanna Put In" was selected, the song received widespread coverage due to political connotations in its lyrics. The song, a jab at Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, gained news coverage in countries around Europe, however the song was rumoured to be ineligible to compete, due to rules forbidding "lyrics, speeches, gestures of a political or similar nature". A spokesperson for GPB denied that the song was of a political nature, and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the organisers of the contest, refused to make a statement until the song was officially submitted to them. A protest was held in Moscow over the song on 2 March 2009, organised by the Young Russia political group.
On 10 March, the EBU told GPB that the song's lyrics did not comply with the rules of the contest, and asked them to either re-write the lyrics of the song, or select another to compete. On 11 March, GPB announced that it would not change the lyrics of the song, or the song itself, saying that it does not have political connotations within its lyrics, and perceiving the EBU's rejection of the song as political pressure from Russia. The country therefore withdrew from the contest. Confirmation of the withdrawal given, when the running order was announced on 16 March, and Georgia was not included.
Georgia was to compete in the first semi-final on 12 May 2009.
Following that dispute, GPB did not even broadcast the 2009 contest, but Georgia returned to the 2010 contest, which was won by Germany.
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