The Russian press have had a field day with stories of plot and intrigue at the Eurovision Song Contest, following Serebro's third place in Helsinki last week. Here, we look at a few of the stories which have lingered in the eye of the press after that eventful evening of May 12th, as summarised by the Moscow Times this week.
As usual for the tabloid press, stories playing on sensational and outrageousclaims were in abundance, particularly focussing on "sabotage" in Serebro's dressing room, and even, according to the publicationTvoi Den, sexual harassment of the girls on the part of certain other femalerepresentatives.
Russian columnists have generally covered coverage of Serbia's win in less than endearing words for singer Marija Serifovic, suggesting an incredulous attitude towards the home entry's failure to make the top spot. However, tabloid accounts predictablydiffer, and the alleged sabotage is described variously in Komsomolskaya Pravda and Tvoi Denas ripped or glue-stained dresses in Serebro's dressing room, and posters – or flags – being torn from the walls.
The Serbian entry is not the only target of the Russian tabloids' venom this week, as Tvoi Den goes on to accuse Ukrainian Verka Serduchka of uttering those unforgiveable words:the singer "with expression, and enunciating every syllable, said goodbye to Russia six times." In response, Adrei Danilko (Verka's comedian creator) is quoted in the Russian press directly as being "on the verge of tears" at all this criticism, denying that he used the word Russia in the song at all. However, Tvoi Den quotes this using the pronoun she, which Andrei only uses when in character – a move bound to provoke further response.
"Koldun would have won for Russia"
Perhaps expectedly, the Belarussian entry has been treated with much greater mercy by the Russian press, thanks to the presence of writer Phillip Kirkorov, a Russian megastar himself. Koldun is quoted in Tvoi Den as suggesting his low (relatively speaking – sixth place would more than please many a country) placing was due to international hostility towards Belarus. "They marked me down – what can I do?" Kirkorov himself is furious, exclaiming "I'm sure that if he had performed for Russia, we would have won first place."
With all this (melo)dramatic exposé continuing days after the contest's end, fans can rest safe that Eurovision fever is alive and well in Russia – worthy of countless inches of commentary, sensationalist or otherwise!