Last fall haters in Belarus and Russia were up in arms over Conchita Wurst. A small but vocal minority wrote to their government asking them to edit Miss Wurst out of the broadcast. Now, in the aftermath of Conchita’s victory, politicians in those nations are jumping in on the hate—and advocating that their governments set up a “straight” Eurovision.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, founder and leader of Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party and a former deputy speaker of the Duma, described Conchita’s win as “the end of Europe.”

Austria, Conchita Wurst,“There is no limit to our outrage,” he said. “It has turned wild. There are no more men or women in Europe, just it.”

He’s not alone with his disgust.

According to Austrian newspaper The Local, Communist Party deputy Valery Rashkin wants Russia out.

“The last Eurovision contest’s results exhausted our patience,” he is reported as saying. “We must leave this competition. We cannot tolerate this endless madness.”

He’s now calling for a new festival called “Voice of Eurasia”, which would recruit nations from the former USSR.

Apparently there’s interest in Belarus. The Minsk-based Slavic Committee has released a statement saying that Conchita represents “the complete collapse of the European Union’s moral values.”

Side note: We conducted a poll last fall, and Russia and Belarus are the two country’s our readers would most like to kick out of Eurovision.

We’re amused that these leaders are blowing so much hot air. Their statements assume that campery only comes from the West. (Have they seen Ukraine’s Verka Serduchka?). And let’s not forget our favourite faux lesbians t.A.T.u. Getting rid of eccentricity and flair would be akin to staging Carnival without the feathers, or a beauty pageant without the sequins. Not gonna happen.

But if it does, would anyone actually watch? Part of the thrill of Eurovision—and the reason it draws such high ratings—is because of the culture clash that these leaders are railing against. Take away the conflict—and all the Western nations—and you’re left with a more homogenous, dare we say bland, event. Surely watching Russia battle Kazahkstan and Azerbaijan isn’t nearly as interesting as watching Russia sing-it-out with Sweden, Italy, and all the rest.

Furthermore, leaders know that Eurovision is a platform to put their own culture and values out there. Having a message is worthless without an international audience to receive it. You don’t walk away from a massive platform like Eurovision just because you’re angered by one result. It’d be like Russia stepping away from the Olympic Games because their hockey team failed to win gold in Sochi. You just don’t do it.

What do you think? Would Russia and Belarus actually leave Eurovision for a more regional event? Don’t the New Wave contest and domestic versions of The Voice and Idol already have this market covered? And wouldn’t it be difficult to have a “straight” singing contest? You can water down the flame, but the flame present in so many singers will still burn bright….

Willy Lee Adams contributed this report from London. Follow him on Twitter@willyleeadams. You can also keep up with the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following wiwibloggs.com on Twitter and Facebook.

Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)

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Guest

It’s really very difficult in this full of activity life to
listen news on TV, thus I only use internet for that
reason, and get the hottest news.

Anna
Guest
Anna

i am protesting! Conchita’s image is a pure plagiarism! It was taken from russian showbiz! If you don’t believe look here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMWiN1mnw7c

Zed
Guest
Zed

Your sentiments are spot on Alex. I wasn’t surprised to read so many comments saying how GOOD the Polish entry was and how BAD Austria’s was on the BBC forums but am a little more surprised to find such negative comments on the show here. I found the Polish entry poor musically and just laughable in terms of….um….props, yet it is clear that such an approach is much more acceptable on a ‘family show’ than a bearded man in a dress. There were even posts from a UK mum about how upset her sons were at watching Conchita win. I… Read more »

Marcelo N
Guest

@ Alex, I absolutely agree!! Here’s a reminder to all those, big and small, in case they have forgotten: Kiddie wanted to fit in, but was left brutally alone. Kiddie didn’t understand, but there was little to explain. What made it worse for Kiddie was there was not much to be done: Either Kiddie was too small, too large, too dark, too light, shy or outspoken. Something would be wrong about Kiddie. Only there was nothing wrong. It was The Big Bunch that needed someone to pick on, for whatever reason available. Whatever excuse. We all have been there, either… Read more »

Alex
Guest
Alex

Ranting Ruby has a good point about the contrast between Austria and Poland. If people were so worried about the event being billed as “family-friendly” then why isn’t anyone making these same types of complaints about Cleo’s girls? Is this contest supposed to be as inoffensive as a Disney movie, by the way? I personally can’t recall ever having seen ESC advertised in this way since I started watching 6 years ago, or ever lacking acts that push the envelope in some way. The most obvious example is when Trackshittaz entered the contest and was allowed to perform under the… Read more »

freakshow
Guest
freakshow

I will still watch it… I prefer real woman and real man btw…

Erik
Guest
Erik

As long as only politicians talk about leaving and not the broadcaster I don’t mind. I’d love every country to be represented in the contest, even dictatorships like belarus and azerbaijan or putins home ground. Because eurovision connect people where politics fail BIG TIME

Leon
Guest
Leon

Ok people. No country should be forced to leave eurovision because they believe in different social norms. I’m sorry, Eurovision never was and never will be a contest for just “certain types of people”. As for Russia, Belarus, Azerbaijan and Armenia leaving the contest, I really want those countries to stay. Let’s all agree that Eurovision started becoming a massive contest when Eastern countries started joining. And many of their entries have been consistently great! Since 2006, Russia has finished in the top 10 five times; Armenia and Azerbaijan 6 times. And it’s not because of block voting, it’s because… Read more »

Anna
Guest
Anna

WAS, you may not know but Verka Serdyuchka has been very popular in post soviet countries for many many years. Everybody knows the actor Andrey Danilko and he is a straight man, a comedian and Verka is just his funny stage image. In normal life he looks like a man behaves like a man and would never be taken for a gay. It was a kind of surprize for us that some people thought he was a trans.

Marcelo N
Guest

Hey, hey… can some of you relax a bit? Just when we were almost agreed that there should be no labeling OR proselytism, a couple of straight readers (please, stay!!) dare share their views and then some gays readers bash them? What -are -you -doing?! You surely noticed that, except for ONE comment by a single reader, the “straight” comments [ugh… I hate the need to categorise, sorry!] were all respectful. Why all this need to state our sexuality as we write our opinions? I even felt the need to make it clear upon yesterday’s comments that I am gay,… Read more »

Xaris
Guest
Xaris

Eastern countries shouldn’t take part in eurovision.

Sam
Guest
Sam

@MTD

I didn’t unintentionally say it was gay-friendly… I said it was YOUR perception of it is as such and you’re the one who has a problem with that.

I apologise sincerely on behalf of all gays that the contest was too gay for you and your family’s liking this year. Maybe you could rouse interest in other families (who probably invest time in the contest for the 3 hours of the final only) and make a comittee or something…

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

bavarson says “Tatu represented Russia long ago. Now this country is more conservative.”
1) The why did Tatu appear at the Opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics ?
2) Then why did Russian televoters give Conchita third place ?

beccaboo1212
Guest

Russia MUST stay!!!

bavarson
Guest
bavarson

Tatu represented Russia long ago. Now this country is more conservative.

MTD
Guest
MTD

@Sam So, you unintentionally admitting that ESC was gay-friendly (not that I complain), but this year it was over-the-top into that, I might add. And that’s my problem, yes. Why? When something advertises itself as a “family show” you (and everyone else’s being gay here and everywhere) should definitely face the remarks that are currently said, written or stated all across the web and in Russia, in particular. But, this site and every other ESC site has the same problem – you, the gay people, are overreacting. And that is my problem. Why labeling, again? This charade of ESC turned… Read more »

vivi
Guest

@Josh what is your problem with Armenia? leave yourself loser! you are shit racist. I’d to be glad if really Armenia doesnt participate in EV its unfair contest!

Sam
Guest
Sam

@MTD. Gay rights aren’t slapped in anyone’s faces 100% of the time and, unfortunately, never will be.

Honestly, why do straight people get so offended when they perceive anything (in this case: eurovision) to be getting too ‘gay-friendly’. Almost everything else in this world is automatically geared towards straight people so sit back down and stop complaining.

MTD
Guest
MTD

@Charles – you’re right, this year DR made this show, actually labeled it like a “gay TV show”. And that is what bothers me. As @Darren said and I completely agree with him “I dont think that gay rights should be slapped in everyone face 100% of the time”! I mean, c’mon! Why labeling? We all watch it in order to enjoy the songs, not to label anyone. I’m straight and I think that everyone has their right to feel whatever she/he likes to feel and do to the point of not hurting everyone else. Well, Conchita’s victory (and the… Read more »

Scar
Guest
Scar

Good for them! and God Bless Conchita for kicking out these neighbor voting big mouths!

Julian
Guest
Julian

Funny how Poland which is a pro US country in Europe came with a Panslavic entry that was meant to be ironic but ended not very convincing in this respect. And Austria that has very strong ties with Russia (they are 100% dependent of Russian gas and has far lot more ties that could be written here) started with a parody – that “Rise like a Penis” was obvious – but took the song so serious that now Conchita is a LGBT icon.

Pastora Soler haha
Guest
Pastora Soler haha

hahahaha

Dear Russia, you need to remember… YOU sent t.A.T.u.

Robyn
Guest
Robyn

The funny thing is, in the late ’70s there was a Eastern Bloc version of the ESC called the Intervision Song Contest. It only lasted four years and was sort of amalgamated into the Sopot International Song Festival. For a few years it’s been rumoured that Putin would like to relaunch it. The most hilarious thing about Intervision is this bit from Wikipedia: “Because many citizens did not own private telephones, instead of a phone vote viewers would turn on lights if they liked the song and turned them off if they did not. According to load experienced on the… Read more »

Vladimir
Guest
Vladimir

Who cares if people are gay if songs are good? As for Russia, it would be sad to see them go, but Eurovision will not end because of that. After all, leaving Eurovision would annoy Russian viewers, who apparently care more about songs than sexuality and politics. With the economic sanctions and the mess in Ukraine, I really don’t understand how Eurovision has turned out to be the biggest problems for Russian politicians.
Kind reminder: I know many Russians and do not think they agree with every stupid thing their politicians do or propose.

Ranting Ruby
Guest
Ranting Ruby

Excellent point, Charles, I agree!!

Ranting Ruby
Guest
Ranting Ruby

So would “Straight Eurovision” feature lots more acts like Cleo and Donatan? I was so embarrassed watching those Slavic slappers arching their backs and pouting at the camera with their legs apart while splashing themselves with water that I almost had to leave the room. My teenage daughters weren’t too impressed, either (the UK needs to take a good long hard look at itself for giving them 12 ponits). If that’s what “Straight Eurovision” is going to be like, I’d rather watch Totally Gay Eurovision. Conchita’s appearance may have been initially confronting, but she performed and behaved with restraint and… Read more »

Nebi
Guest
Nebi

I understand that any intimidation for the televoters who vote anonymously may seem strange and probably is unlikely. I was thinking that if they were watching with a group of friends, as many would, they would feel that they should declare they were voting for Austria to seem acceptable. Probably represents a small portion of televoters.

max
Guest
max

Next years winner will be an orange. Yes, a singing orange with a little paper hat singing about LGBT pride. It will win with over 350 points!

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

Perhaps Russia will enter in 2015 what they feel would be the answer to Conchita. Something like their Red Army choir we saw at the Sochi Olympics (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Vmkf_ZKexA). Fit lads in uniform singing in harmony. Absolutely nothing gay about that at all.

Sam
Guest
Sam

I just feel I need to say something to those people who feel as if they have some sort of right to have a special opinion on Conchita’s appearance: he’s a drag act with a beard. so what? You don’t have to like it. You don’t have to comment on it. If you find it distasteful then that’s your problem and that doesn’t mean Conchita, or anyone else, can’t choose to dress or look how they please. If you find her look distasteful then question yourself – your views have just been created by society and it’d do you good… Read more »

Al
Guest
Al

I would miss Russia as much as i have missed Turkey………………..Luxembourg on the other hand.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Well, it has already happened – Turkey left the contest and Bosnia and Herzegovina felt compelled to join Turkvision or whatever it’s called instead of return to ESC.

But I think the Russian social conservatives are scared, to be honest. They can’t ignore the fact that their own country gave 5 points to Austria and 1 point to Iceland. Indeed, the population is very likely not as homophobic as these classless politicians wish it were.

Edd Keith
Editor

Why can’t they see it’s just a bit of fun? I feel like Russian politicians think they need to be homophobic in order to be popular, but I best if the Russian people gave their honest opinions, the majority really wouldn’t care less. Such a shame 🙁

Thiefo
Guest
Thiefo

@Nebi Then it all boils down to personal taste, you don’t like Conchita’s song and that’s perfectly ok. You don’t have to like it. I don’t like Calm after the storm and I would probably feel the same if The Netherlands won, even when they didn’t win it still puzzles me how it ended up in 2nd place, What I don’t think, however, is that voters felt any obligation to vote for the dutch song. As Fatima said, I don’t see how you can feel intimidated if your vote is anonymous and you do it from home. I understand your… Read more »

Darren
Guest
Darren

@josh

Agreed!!!! They are shooting themselves in the foot staying in the contest anymore if they cannot adapt to the rest of europe then they shouldnt take part in Eurovision. A eurovision without Russia, Belarus, Armenia and Azerbaijan may just be the fairest contest to ever take place. (not to mention the best musically)

Charles
Guest
Charles

The only thing I want to keep watching in Eurovision is a great set of songs and be thrilled by those songs .. everything else .. gay or eastern politics ..I couldn’t care less coming from a gay guy, whose sexuality in one tiny % of myself and because I am not into politics or political propaganda with hypocritical desperation. But I admit: having Turkey out has made the contest musically far more interesting for me than 10 years ago … and seeing Russia and Belarus out would also be a lot of fun. But that will never happen …… Read more »

Josh Salmon
Member

I don’t see what Russia’s problem is… I’m pretty sure half of those grannies from 2012 had beards too. I’d love to see Russia, Belarus, Armenia and Azerbaijan leave the contest. Ukraine produce good entries so I’d like to see them stay! As for people saying it’s hypocritical to be intolerant of Russia’s intolerance, why should we be tolerant of their behaviour? The way their autocratic government treat their citizens in appalling! Like homosexuality is the biggest problem Russia has! They’re broke, tourism is down because people outside of the Soviet-bloc deem the country unsafe, their political system is a… Read more »

takecare
Guest
takecare

i dont like seeing freeks on stage (freaks meaning ugly/strange/odd dressed up- looking people, not gay)….and its a general thing that gay people tend to exaggerate with clothing, make up etc….

yet, i wouldnt mind if who gets on stage its straight or gay, as long as they re decent.

but following my trend( aka loosing interest in last couple years), i guess it would depend of my mood if i d watch or not

Veronica Viss
Guest
Veronica Viss

I’m exhausted with this moral war. Goodbye Russia from ESC!

Ciaran
Guest
Ciaran

Lol Russia not sure what you are complaining about, you sent a man in drag in 2013 didn’t you?

In all seriousness thou they even won it with a bisexual man, (k he wasn’t out at the time) they were so proud of their win surely they should recognise its thanks to a member of LGBT

D
Guest
D

I don’t care if you’re gay or straight or whatever. As long as you produce music I like, I’d root for you. I wish we could put this debate on politics and just listen to the music. Seriously it’s annoying.

Alex
Guest
Alex

They don’t dare leaving the contest because they want to promote their countries (especially nations like Armenia and Belarus) and since they’re doing well every year they won’t leave! Cowards! I would love to see them withdrawing but it won’t happen.

I just hope Conchita’s victory was a good lesson for their conservative asses. PLEASE LEAVE THE CONTEST. Take Azerbaijan too! (San Marino gave their 12pts because Azeris bought them off)

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

thomas, Ukraine gave eight points to Austria and Russia gave five. How do you explain that ? Personally I hope Russia don’t leave Eurovision because they have some super singers like Valeriy Meladze and ?????? ????????. The contest isn’t about sex, it’s about singers, songs and performances.

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

Nebi, I can understand your points except when you mention the “intimidation” of tele voters. Juries perhaps, but how on earth could televoters, voting anomonously, be intimidated ? We should accept that hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of people east of Szczecin voted for Austria because they liked the song, the artist and the performance.

Woz
Guest
Woz

You guys take away all the fun from me in a very Lucía Pérez fashion.

This is like motherfucking football. It’s LIGHT entertainment, and everything surrounding it should remain light. Yes yes, there’s people’s rights an lives involved and we should handle things with respect. But you know what? I’m enjoying this post-ESC 2014 more than I expected and I’m enjoying it bitching at those bitches. And I have the impression they are enjoying it even more.

They are not withdrawing, mark my words. And nor are we because we are unity and we are unstoppable.

Timselvision
Guest
Timselvision

This is the most gay-ish action of Russia in the past years. It´s nosence, and Dana International won once too. What´s the problem? I don´t think they´ll withdraw though. Both had an excellent and unexpected placing at the end, so they should be happy. ^^

And, how more countries, how more fun 😀

Nebi
Guest
Nebi

@Marcelo N @Theifo – Well stated. I hope that the two of you can make a prominent voice in the Gay movement. I being straight find myself being defensive lately, not due to being a hater, but for the growing zero tolerance for those who don’t embrace the movement. My problem with Conchita’s victory was the shockingly high number of 12 points the performer received for what I viewed to be truly a third rate song. I felt that the jurys and perhaps some voters felt obliged to vote for Austria to avoid intimidation from this zero tolerance. If I… Read more »

Darren
Guest
Darren

@MTD My argument was not like everyone else as you stated. I personally dont like Azerbaijan, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine in Eurovision, because they ruin it for everyone else who does actually try at it. I also dont think Eurovision is a gay contest as I stated that only 2 winners were actually out homosexuals. I agree with Marcelo because I dont think that gay rights should be slapped in everyones face 100% of the time, yet I do believe that they should have rights…an in your face approach to it isnt the way to go. Maybe you should read… Read more »

Marcelo N
Guest

@ MTD – Thank you. Not sure how to take the “speech” part, though 😉 I believe this is serious enough and deserved lengthy commentary in one piece rather than multiple nibbling. And IMO, people like Darren do get a chance to revise their views, don’t they? @ Darren – Thanks for the recognition. You know, I usually *write* about this here but *talk* about rights everywhere. Only yesterday I posted an “opinion article” on a blog (not the one you’re redirected to here on my name, that is literature, but it is worth a peep 😛 ) about the… Read more »

eurofan
Guest
eurofan

they could just go join turkvision