If I had been in Copenhagen on Tuesday night, I would have joined in and done something which has provoked an uncomfortable discussion amongst us fans…I would have booed Russia’s qualification to the final. 

I would have felt bad. I, like the many fans posting on Twitter, Facebook and other sites, understand that the Tomlachevy Twins have done nothing wrong. The sisters did not influence Russia’s anti-LGBT laws, nor did they have a say in recent aggression against Ukraine. They are pop stars, not politicians.

Booing goes against what Eurovision stands for. The contest was set up to foster peace between states after two horrible world wars, and to allow them to wage war through song rather than weapons. Cordially applauding at the end of any performance is expected because it is right.

http://youtu.be/z6zt5EVUj7Q

So why all the booing? The negativity stems from at least two factors. First, a sizeable proportion of fans and attendees are not “heteronormative”. Those who are are usually quite liberal.  Their values just don’t sit well with the politics which are being thrown about in Russia. Second, it’s only normal that we might find it alarming that this generally mediocre song from this country has qualified – especially after last year’s voting scandal.

At Eurovision the singer becomes a symbol of the nation. When booing the Tolmachevy Sisters, people were not jeering the song, which didn’t really carry any aggressive message. Nor were they booing the broadcaster, the team, or the delegation who were not really deserving of insult. The booing reflects months of pent-up frustrations directed towards Russia—a state so big, so powerful and so influential that it stokes passions when it misbehaves.

Booing is not courteous. It’s horrible. Nasty. It’s bitchy. It’s not a good approach. But in the current climate it would feel natural for me to boo. I’m sorry that it has come to this. But we cannot ignore that the Eurovision Song Contest is one of Europe’s biggest platforms to bring a message to the world—and, in this case, to Russia.

James Puchowski is the Scotland correspondent for WiwiBloggs.Com. You can follow him on Twitter @puchowskijk. You can also keep up-to-date with the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following the team on Twitter @wiwibloggs and by liking our Facebook page.

Photo: Thomas Hanses (EBU)

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Marina
Guest
Marina

to Markus S I don’t think that votes were manipulated. The song was awful and twins were plain, too. It’s my point of view as a Russian citizen. So they deserve what they have.

Marina
Guest
Marina

@Mikj I a little disagree with you. You think it’s homophobia, but I call it respect to others. Yes, I think sometimes it’s better not to show everyone your emotions. A mother feeding her baby with a breast, showing it to others, or gays kissing – reaction will be the same. What is homophobic in this? In Europe you respect Muslims, and they will react the same on feeding with a breast or people kissing. But you respect their attitude. So, you are tolerant to one people and different to others. I see it like this. The other example Belarus… Read more »

Markus S
Guest
Markus S

The vote about the Russian song has probably been seriously manipulated in several countries.

This is a list of votings of countries with large Russian or Russia friendly communities, first number the jury vote, second number the telephone vote.

Estland 24 / 2
Latvia 21 / 1
Israel 14 / 3
Montenegro 23 / 1
Ukraine 10 / 3
Moldavia 6 / 2

Estonia and Latvia have about 1/3 Russian population which is severely discriminated. The the Jury was obviously selected strongly anti Russian.
Similar in Montenegro with a very pro Russia population, but a pro EU government acting against the people on top.

Mikj
Guest
Mikj

@ marina – unfortunately, though a sincere attempt to defend your country, a lot of what you have just said is actually very homophobic. Basically making out that you don’t like “the gays” because they flounce around and kiss each other in public and you think that’s ok. It’s not ok to tell someone they have to hide who they are, so long as they are not hurting anyone else. I think the booing was more your country’s homophobia than to do with the Ukraine, but remember millions of people protested against invading Iraq – don’t make the mistake of… Read more »

We don't wanna put in
Guest
We don't wanna put in

Russia must see she is alone in her particular crusade. Sochi Olympics and economical sanctions were the ways politicians show it. We, society, had the opportunity to show yesterday. It was just booing, I would not say it was abusive but a manner of showing opinion collectively.

Howzat
Guest
Howzat

So now its ok to hate Russia and Russians. How very tolerant. Oh the irony. Maybe people should really learn about Russia rather than swallow what the BBC et al feed you. I’m willing to bet that most heterosexual people in Europe also don’t think much to conchoti. More for being third rate drag act and vulgar one at that.

Maria
Guest
Maria

I know that emotions have been piling up in Europe. I myself am concerned and not happy with the situation. I understand why people booed, they saw a chance to express themselves and they took it, what time could be better than on TV in front of the rest of the world? But booing at Russia was not the right thing to do. Eurovision is about peace, love and tolerance, and how on earth do we show any of that by booing at each other. The message that was intended came forward rather as something wrong and immature. If you… Read more »

We don't wanna put in
Guest
We don't wanna put in

I don’t feel sorry for the twins at all. They were not there as two unknown or unconnected singers, nor it was a concert; they were on the stage representing their country, RUSSIA. And the public showed harsh dissatisfaction. Moreover, it has been argued that people are not responsible for their representatives’ actions. Well, I must disagree. Politicians don’t stand there just like that, politicians in Russia are elected and supported by Russian society. So I must blame up to a certain point Russian electors for the way that country behaves from a political perspective. Russia is falling far behind… Read more »

Jade
Guest
Jade

As discussed on Australian radio this morning, the booing was likely the crowd showing anger that there are 2 incredibly talented and attractive females who were singing a fantastic song. The crowd didn’t like the fact that they weren’t male. Booing 17 year old girls for the behavior of the Government is a laughable excuse, and clearly wasn’t the reason. You didn’t see any American men (let along any below voting age) booed because of what George Bush did. Eurovision this year unfortunately showed sexism is still alive and well in Denmark.

Kjell Hiep
Guest
Kjell Hiep

Silence would have been better. Appreciation for the song, which, even though not the best, did deserve to go to the finals IMHO, while at the same time making a statement to Russia. Russia has recently made a lot of ‘mistakes’. While most western countries are progressing towards a more open and tolerant society, Russian politicians have made decisions that cause the country to make a step backwards. It’s logical that the western countries are baffled and that the people who live in said countries might even be offended by those decisions. As far as the Ukraine and also Georgia… Read more »

otto
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otto

serves them right. i would have booed them had i been there. russia is the most selfish country in the world , invading other countries’ territories .

Marina
Guest
Marina

So here my voice. The voice of a Russian person. I hope my English is sufficient for you to understand me properly. First of all, you blame Russia in the situation in Ukraine, you prefer to believe the USA. OK, your choice. And where are the proofs or evidence against Russia? So, why you believed the USA when they invaded Iraq in 2003 because of weapon of mass distruction without any proofs. Ooopps, they didn’t find any. And you don’t believe Russia in this situation. Maybe because it’s easy to believe what is told without analysing. Second, Russian people are… Read more »

Marina
Guest
Marina

So here my voice. The voice of a Russian person. I hope my English is sufficient for you to understand me properly. First of all, you blame Russia in the situation in Ukraine, you prefer to believe the USA. OK, your choice. And where are the proofs or evidence against Russia? So, why you believed the USA when they invaded Iraq in 2003 because of weapon of mass distruction without any proofs. Ooopps, they didn’t find any. And you don’t believe Russia in this situation. Maybe because it’s easy to believe what is told without analysing. Second, Russian people are… Read more »

Walter
Guest
Walter

@LGTBRUSSIA
Do you mean Russian producer of Armenian descent Fillip Kirkorov?
Well, he isn’t gay because, firstly, he was married to Russian very bitchy superstar Alla Pugatcheva, who actually wouldn’t tolerate any gays in her bed. Secondly he might be bisexual but this one, just like the gay allegations are never been proven.

UK
Guest
UK

Where the hammer ans sickle?….and red colour……very russian….failed. And i say Yes- it is a message for Ukraine from Russia!!They must to be booing!

Kajsa
Guest

Each participant(s) has the right to be met with the same respect, the booing did not feel right to me.

Roudolf Chow
Guest
Roudolf Chow

What are you talking about? You are all victims of the Western (USA/NATO/ETC.) propaganda. Do you have any clue of what is going on there? Do you know that the western countries, aforementioned, have supported financially those EXTREME NAZIS in order to put down the legal elected government. And you know when? During the winter olympics, while Russians attention was to provide the safety to the games after the so called ‘terrorist’ attracks. And if you remember the same thing happened during the Olympic games in China were Russia’s attention was there and suddenly Georgia, with the support again of… Read more »

Charles
Guest
Charles

If you want to share the message that as a gay person you feel offended by Russia and see their participation as a symbol of that anti-Gay politics so strongly promoted by the country and their behaviour towards Ukraine … then the booing became a free way to speak your mind and yes sometimes you have to be nasty to make a valid point come across.. The only sad side of this is that both girls and delegation become the target of something they are not responsible for. Actually a Russian friend of mine once told me that the world… Read more »

LGTBRUSSIA
Guest
LGTBRUSSIA

Does the fact that the Tolmachev’s sisters song was written by the very famous Russian GAY producer count for anything?

Milos
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Milos

It wasn’t right to boo Russia to send a political message because the ESC is not a political event. If you like a song, vote for it. If you don’t, no one will force you to vote. Vote for those that you actually like. Maybe the Russian song wasn’t the best, and there were others that were better, but the chance of voting was given to the public all over the Europe. The voting wasn’t public 100%, because every participant nation has a jury that gives 50% of votes, and actually is there to balance the impact of neighboring. :… Read more »

Zoran
Guest
Zoran

I think it’s clear why Russia got the booing Tuesday night. It has nothing to do with Sisters, with song, with fact that they took someone’s place in finial (seriously? what about Iceland etc.?). It’s just politics and I disslike it. Songs shouldn’t be booed for that. This is Eurovision, not football game. And the song itself wasn’t too bad. Not great either, but deffinetly in top 10.

Brndn
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Brndn

I think the booing was uncalled for. Yes, Russia is led by an oppressive warmongering egomaniac and the people have had a culture of homophobia drilled into them by their government and their church. But that’s got nothing to do with two 17-year old girls who just performed a song on stage. The song isn’t great and is definitely one of the weakest in the finals but to be fair to the twins they gave a very good vocal performance. I’m sure they understand that the booing was not aimed at them personally but at the Russian government. And while… Read more »

Diesel Flynn
Guest
Diesel Flynn

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”, Ghandi said once.

You see it happening in this discussion. It is becoming nasty.

Everybody has a right to express his own free opinion, but by using the ESC as a political platform you don’t solve anything, you just cause hate and misunderstanding. Besides that you are destroying everything the contest stands for. Please think about that.

Vladimir
Guest
Vladimir

I’m against one-dimensional perspective presented in the article. On the ESC stage in Copenhagen we had Tolmachevy Sisters singing, not Putin justifying the annexation of Crimea. The focus should be on the song and performers. If you don’t like them, don’t vote for them. It’s that simple. Does anyone actually believe that booing is a message? Do you think that Russian gay people think “Oh, this is great. The fact that people are booing at Tolmachevy sisters must mean they support out cause”. Nope, they will probably think “these people in Copenhagen hate everything Russian, gay or not”.

Wergie
Guest
Wergie

@Woz if its seems normal to you, then its your problem.. We know, there are twisted minds out there who worship that stupid bearded monster – those think it is normal too, they don’t even realize how fuckdeup they (and that creature) are… there are other ways to prove something in this World.. but this Conchita thing chose the most vulgar, freakiest, inadequate and cheap one.. and pppleaasee, don’t call me a homophobe, transophobe, fucktardphobe, monsterphobe etc.. i’m not…, just speaking (freely) my mind. Btw., i live in one of the most free and democratic countries of West Europe and… Read more »

Just being honest
Guest
Just being honest

I feel that its wrong because we’re encouraging future generations of Russians to hate on the West & the rest of the world beyond their land. I hope the sisters don’t grow up to have backwards mindset. After all, they won Junior Eurovision before (which was purely by televotes) so I’m sure they know how to captivate Europe and they’ve experienced positiveness towards their motherland before so they probably don’t care about politics.

Timselvision
Guest
Timselvision

I’m from west Europe and it was really INJUSTICE that the Sisters got booed. Their live performance was one of the best Tuesday and they deserved to be in de final. It has always been in my final too. I hope there will be Justice tonight.

Julia
Guest

U all r against Russia.but hey Europe stop the hate,The only fair side is Russia and maybe the sisters will not win the contest but in politics Russia is a lion.so go Russia.the worls is against ..lbeat them all break them do that they shut their dirty mouths!!! Armenia is with u ur not alone Russia :*

crazyhamster
Guest
crazyhamster

How can you speak about human rights if you think that it’s OK to humiliate innocent people (girls are not responsible for the politics)? Than all your democracy is hypocrisy.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

There are a lot more radical nationalists than there are gay people. When the day comes (and believe me, it will), when the nationalists try to politicize the contest, they can point at the gay community doing the same just a few years earlier.

From this perspective, it doesn’t matter if booing Russia was well-intentioned or even if it was morally right. It is the first nail in the coffin for the Eurovision Song Contest.

ENygma
Guest
ENygma

In my opinion, Russia should have been disqualified from participation alltogether. Letting them participate is like saying: ‘There is 1/37 chance that we will risk the safety of the performers, the press and the audience in the next show’. That is wrong. Yes, booing is very disrecpectful towards the twins, but letting Russia being there is disrespectful towards Mariya Yaremchuk, Conchita Worst and actually everyone else. Countries like Sweden, Norway and Netherlands have been barred from adopting Russian children. Then, why should they vote Russian’s child song? We don’t know the stance of Tolmachevy Twins on these issues, but were… Read more »

christo
Guest
christo

Sorry, folks, but basic human rights and national sovereignty trump being polite to teeny boppers any day of the week. This is a unique opportunity for the people of Europe to send a direct message to the Russian people that their government’s activities will isolate them from the international community they’ve only just become a part of. I will be booing as loud as I can at the final tonight.

J
Guest
J

I thought the song and performance was great. I loved everything about it. Except where it came from.

“Telling all the world to show some love” they sing. Sure! As long as it’s heteronormative love. Otherwise we will have you beaten up and arrested. Coming from any other country, the song would have been great. Coming from Russia, a human rights offender, it becomes political. I feel sorry for the girls, they did not deserve to be booed, but I understand why it happeend.

Martin
Guest
Martin

Incidentally, the most spectacular, fun, exciting, with a rotating stage and technically best “Eurovision” was held in Moscow in 2009! everything was done on a very high level, did not save on anything! Organizers and producers of the show were in great delight!

Diesel Flynn
Guest
Diesel Flynn

It was wrong. I can understand it, though, because what is happening in Crimea and because of the homophobic laws. But booing means excluding: “we don’t like you, go away.” When people in the audience booed those twins – just because they’re Russian and for no other reason… at that time they were just as bad as Russian government excluding gay people – just because they’re gay and for no other reason. Those girls are just here to sing their song. Please judge their song, after all that’s what this contest is about. ESC should NOT be a stage for… Read more »

ionut
Guest
ionut

Let`s be honest! Russia doesn`t have a great song this year. The `booing` is a result of the Putin attitude, but also for the fact that Russia even if comes with a mediocre song it will qualify to the final because of the neighbours. It`s not really fair, when other great performances were eliminated. However, the reaction of the public should not be judged. They express their feelings…

Chris
Guest

I believe it was a united ‘boo’. Russia has not been the most friendly camper in Europe.
1. The Crimea issue.
2. They are homophobic as a nation
3. They sent the Tolmachevy with a very bland song with a bland performance.
4. someone of more worth could have qualified instead.

Jamie
Guest
Jamie

Personally I have no issue with the girls getting booed. In this contest, they are representing Russia, and singing a song about spreading love, which, taking into account Russia’s recent actions, is totally hypocritical. Even at the age of 17, they would have to be extremely naive not to expect some backlash.

Med
Guest
Med

Not, it wasn’t right.

The ones that booed are immature, childish and uneducated people. I hope that one day, they will suffer the same in a situation in which they instead will need massive support. Shame on them. I’m confident that they don’t even know or read the news as one educated human should read and weight all the facts that come from whatever side that may come. Stupid brats.

Robyn
Guest
Robyn

I’m not happy about the booing. One of the reasons why Eurovision was started back in the 1950s was to bring the countries of Europe together, to foster understanding and hopefully avoid something like World War II ever happening again. It’s not about booing. Yeah, the Tomlachevy Sisters are representing Russia, but they’re not exactly coming out with pro-Putin, anti-LGBT propaganda. They’re only 17. I’d rather give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they’re nice people. And what about all the people in Russia who disagree with their president’s actions? I know when people boo, they’re not specifically… Read more »

James
Guest
James

I personally wouldn’t boo, however I also don’t blame the people that do. Whilst we don’t know the Tolmachevy Sisters’s stance on the LGBT rights crackdown or the Ukraine crisis, we do know that they’re probably members of the Russian establishment who’ve agreed to represent the Russian bear in its entirety. Consequently, in many ways they are part of the problem. Personally I feel like the best protest is to not make any noise at all, i.e. sit their in silence. It’s dignified, respectful, doesn’t contradict the spirit of the contest, yet the whole arena being eerily silent prior to… Read more »

Ryanireland
Guest
Ryanireland

Its democracy in action if people want to applaude they can if people want to disapprove they boo, people did what they felt they wanted to do.
It’s called free speech and democracy.
So it happens to be at twins whose song is well below par and only cos it’s Russia it qualified.
Get a grip wiwi and start writing proper articles rather than propaganda ones

Woz
Guest
Woz

@Wergie then you’ll be happy living in Putin’s Russia. Perhaps you are already there proposing new laws like the one that bans LGBT and cursing from TV. What’s next?

Wergie
Guest
Wergie

Booing must be forbidden and whoever does that should be banned immediately and put in ESC black list meaning this person will never be able to buy ticket to any future ESC event.

Martin
Guest
Martin

Russia is a great country with a rich history with strong spirit of people and she’s all “sneeze” on whistle. Only their consent to participate in the competition, means that they “sneeze” on everything and everyone!

Leon
Guest
Leon

I feel bad for those twins. They seem so nice and kind and they gave their best yet instead of being applauded they get booed. That must be emotionally so negative

Anthony
Guest
Anthony

Yes first of all for a very bad song

ESCaddict
Guest
ESCaddict

It is disgraceful to boo a competitor who has come to Eurovision in a spirit of friendship. ESC is about bringing countries together. Shame on those who want to create division. Those nasty individuals who boo should not claim to be Eurovision fans. They should leave the venue & stop spoiling the event.

Thiago
Guest
Thiago

No.

Julian
Guest
Julian

Booing is the start to ruining a song contest, a sport competition, a nations assembly or any form of cooperation between states or between human beings. Why is this booing that just started different from booing a bad act when it is performed or a bad attitude when it occurs? It says “we are booing the state he’s from” others will say “we are booing the party he’s in”, “we are booing the region he’s from”, “we are booing the group he’s in” “we are booing him for what his kin did” “we are booing her for what she did… Read more »