We hope you didn’t book your plane tickets to Sochi for the Intervision Song Contest, because the party is over before it even started. Yes, Intervision has been postponed.
Producers in Russia had planned to revive Intervision—the Soviet-era Eurovision—this October. It was meant to be a heterosexual alternative to ESC, and a showcase of post-Soviet pop. Russia staged a national selection, chose Alexander Ivanov (who kind of looks like a young Evgeny Plushenko), and were waiting on China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to name their contestants. But, following an undisclosed “political situation”, the show is now slated for the spring of 2015. Looks like Putin is going to have to get his fix of Soviet-era nostalgia somewhere else for now.
Victor Drobysh, a producer and organizer of the Intervision Song Contest, told RUS Novositi, that a “political situation” had forced the delay. It’s unclear precisely what that situation is, but we can think of two possibilities.
1. The obvious “political” situation is the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, where Russia is accused of arming and training pro-Russian separatists. Intervision producers have said they are in talks with Belarus, Moldova and other former Soviet Republics to join the show. It seems like they’d be hesitant to join any cultural initiative led by Russia during these tense times.
2. The revived Intervision used the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) as the framework for the contest. The SCO, which is seen as a counterweight to NATO and the EU, has grown in importance to Putin in the aftermath of Russia’s conflict with Ukraine.
But targetting this group of countries is stirring uncomfortable feelings. Apparently some folks don’t like the fact Intervision uses part of the name of “Five Stars Intervision”, another musical contest. As News.ru explains, a Tajik woman named Takhmina Niyazovayu won the contest last year. “Thus the competition in 2014 should take place in Tajikstan,” the web site says. Is the “political” situation an issue of internal politics and using the Intervision name?