Rehearsals for Eurovision began this morning in Copenhagen. Later today both Russia and Ukraine will take to the stage. Never before have relations between the two countries been so tense or so serious. We are likely to see these tensions spill out onto the Eurovision stage. Whether the EBU like it or not, politics does come into Eurovision.
Over at ESC Insight I've written an article on the current situation - will there be political references in the performance? The voting? How will the Russian entry be received? Ukraine aside, Russia's image among the Eurovision fan community is less than positive. The adoption of the anti-gay laws in Russia last year has meant that the country has become viewed almost as a pariah state. It's likely that the Russian twins, the Tolmachevy Sisters, will face a rough ride from audience, consisting mainly of gay men. However, those girls will be well prepared and resilient, as my Euro pal Monty pointed out, he wouldn't be surprised if they booed back!
I arrive in Copenhagen on Friday, more updates before then though!