Eurovision: Russia Booed At Semi-Finals But Advances To Finals With Ukraine

Via the Voice Of Russia:

Copenhagen saw the first semi-finals of the Eurovision-2014 Song Contest on May 6. Anastasia and Maria Tolmachevy, who represent Russia, made it to the final round that will be held on May 10. Besides Russia, nine other countries including Montenegro, Hungary, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, San Marino, Sweden, the Netherlands and Iceland reached the finals. Singers from Latvia, Estonia, Albania, Belgium, Portugal and Moldavia didn’t succeed.

The BBC reports on what was left out of the above story.

Russia’s Tolmachevy Sisters were booed in Copenhagen as they qualified for the final of the Eurovision Song Contest. The 17-year-old twins initially received a warm reception for their song, Shine, at Tuesday’s semi-final. But when they progressed to the final, some sections of the 10,000-strong audience expressed apparent disapproval of the Russian artists. Experts have said Russia could suffer at Eurovision over the crisis in Ukraine and its stance on gay rights.

The Washington Post notes that the lyrics of Russia’s entry could be interpreted as a reference to the seizing of Crimea: “Living on the edge/ Closer to the crime/ Cross the line a step at a time/ Maybe there’s a place/  Maybe there’s a time/  Maybe there’s a day you’ll be mine.”

The booing didn’t come across very loudly on the broadcast but Twitter feuds erupted after it happened. Organizers claim 180 million television viewers in dozens of nations. In the second clip below, tomorrow’s semi-finalists are shown backstage where a prominently displayed rainbow flag poster greets the contestants at the stage door: “It Takes All Kinds To Make A World.” The press is mostly focused on the drama between Russia and Ukraine and, of course, the continuing complaints about Conchita Wurst.