Since the moment Austria’s “bearded lady” Conchita Wurst won this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen, politicians in Russia have responded with shock and horror. Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a colonel in the army and a politician, has described the win as “the end of Europe”. Russian MPs have even called for the country to pull out of the Eurovision Song Contest and to set up a “straight” version of Europe’s biggest musical extravaganza.
So what’s the result of all this? While there is no news on whether Russia will pull out of Eurovision at the moment, Eurasianet.org has reported that the so-called “straight” Eurovision will actually mark the return of the Intervision Song Contest, the Eastern-bloc equivalent.
Intervision was held between 1977 and 1980 in Sopot, Poland. Soviet pop diva Alla Pugacheva, who won the 1978 contest, went on to represent Russia at the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest. Earlier this week Russian singer and producer Igor Matvienko, one of the organizers, announced that Russia’s representative will be chosen from a competition involving young talent. This takes place on June 15 in the recently annexed region of Crimea.
Matvienko announced on dni.ru that Intervision will return this October in Sochi, which hosted the Winter Olympic Games earlier this year. As well as Russia, competing countries will include China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. This could also involve Japan, South Korea, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.