The Georgian 2009 Eurovision Song Contest entry withdrawn by Stephane and 3G after the EBU Eurovision Song Contest reference group ruled that the lyrics of their entry We don't wanna put in were deemed against the rules have done a u-turn regarding the meaning of the song. At the time of the ruling, Stephane and 3G tried to claim that the song was not political and had nothing to do with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
In a string of public appearances and interview, the band have completely reversed their stance, claiming that they and their nation have been thrown out of the competition because their message against the Russian leader threatens to embarrass him in Moscow.
Lead singer Stefane Mgebrishvili said "We are not politicians, but we are patriots; we love our country. When you hear bombs going off in your country you have to say something. This song was our little protest, and we were denied the right to sing it,".
Rather than altering the lyrics, the band, with the support of the Georgian national broadcaster, withdrew the entry claiming that it was an unfair censorship of their right to freedom of expression and that the song was never meant to be political.
Now, they are performing and giving interviews claiming that their political message has been banned from the competition. They are releasing the entry across Europe, including in the United Kingdom, where it is already on the Music Week pop chart at number two this week, as what now appears to be a carefully orchestrated PR campaign that is based around piggy-backing from the Eurovision Song Contest PR machine to highjack interest in the show for their own political means.
They went on to give the clear impression that they never wanted or expected to perform in Moscow, and that the EBU simply fell into their own PR plans to embarrass the Russian leadership through using the Eurovision Song Contest. The band have been quoted as saying "Who remembers Eurovision entrants, apart from one or two? They are forgotten after 24 hours," said Imedadze. "This is a much better opportunity for us – thanks for the publicity, Mr Putin."