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Eurovision Song Contest bans Russia from 2022 competition, citing ‘disrepute’ concerns

A band holds a trophy after winning a music competition
Maneskin from Italy celebrate after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021.
(Peter Dejong / Associated Press)
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Citing its rules and values,, the Eurovision Song Contest has barred Russia from this year’s event because its participation could bring “disrepute” to the competition.

The European Broadcasting Union, which organizes the international music competition, said that “no Russian act will participate” in the contest following the country’s invasion of Ukraine this week. However, Russia has not yet announced an entrant for the glitzy contest.

“The Executive Board of the EBU made the decision following a recommendation earlier today by the Eurovision Song Contest’s governing body, the Reference Group, based on the rules of the event and the values of the EBU,” the group said in a statement Friday.

The recommendation was also supported by the EBU’s Television Committee and the decision “reflects concern that, in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine, the inclusion of a Russian entry in this year’s Contest would bring the competition into disrepute.”

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The EBU, which describes itself as “an apolitical member organization of broadcasters committed to upholding the values of public service,” said that it consulted its membership before reaching the decision.

“We remain dedicated to protecting the values of a cultural competition which promotes international exchange and understanding, brings audiences together, celebrates diversity through music and unites Europe on one stage,” the statement said.

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Ukraine has been the site of a Russian invasion since Thursday. The former Soviet country will be represented at Eurovision by the Kalush Orchestra, a “hip-hop band with a fondness for folk,” according to the Associated Press.

This year’s Eurovision Song Contest finale is being held in Turin, Italy, on May 14. The show is often watched by 200 million viewers annually.

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“American Song Contest,” a U.S. TV spin-off of the famed international series, will premiere stateside on NBC on March 21. The eight-week series will be hosted by rapper Snoop Dogg and first “American Idol” winner Kelly Clarkson.

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In 2020, Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams starred in a Netflix film spoofing the contest called “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.”

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