The Head of Delegation for Norway has supported the decision of the EBU to make Belarus change its existing song due to violations of the rules.
Shortly after the release of Belarus’s initial submission for this year’s Eurovision Song contest, criticism arose due to the political undertone of the selected song. The lyrics of the song support a government agenda that silences its citizens and imprisons its journalists for speaking out over basic human rights issues.
The EBU responded by reviewing the lyrics further and ultimately determining they violated the rules of the song contest. Therefore the EBU demanded a new song be selected, before the submission deadline on the 13th of March.
“No lyrics, speeches, gestures of a political, commercial or similar nature shall be permitted during the Eurovision Song Contest. No swearing or other unacceptable language shall be allowed in the lyrics or in the performances of the songs”. – Rules of the Eurovision Song Contest, European Broadcasting Union
The Norwegian head delegation believes the European Broadcasting Union made the right decision in asking that the song be changed. Citing that keeping the existing song would undermine the nonpolitical nature of the contest.
“The Eurovision Song Contest was founded as a kind of peace project back in the 1950s. The competition must be non-political” – Stig Karlsen
Stig Karlsen is the only Head of Delegation to have publicly commented on the matter. The song in question that was previously selected was called “I will teach you”, and contains lyrics such as “You just have to obey me” and “you have to be happy with everything.”
Currently, it is unknown if Belarus will submit a new song that complies with the rules or will withdraw altogether from the contest.
Since the protest began following a controversial election last summer a number of campaigns have been launched to remove the state broadcaster of Belarus from the European broadcasting union. This would in turn meaning Belarus would be no longer able to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest. The campaign ultimately even reached the European Parliament and has been supported by Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.
Image Source: Eurovision.tv – Thomas Hanses | Source NRK
Norway debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1960 and have won the contest three times – in 1985, 1995, and 2009. The country has the dubious record of finishing last the most times, eleven in total, and have received nul points four times. Norway last won the contest in 2009 when Alexander Rybak broke all records with his song “Fairytale”. He scored 387 points in the final, receiving 16 sets of 12 points and scoring points from every country.