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Bearded drag queen tops Eurovision shortlist

COPENHAGEN--A bearded drag queen who was initially written off as too provocative for some socially conservative countries is now a favorite to win Saturday's Eurovision Song Contest, tinged as always with regional politics.

Since the first votes were cast in 1956, Eurovision results have been closely intertwined with politics and the 2014 competition is no exception.

Russia's Tolmachevy Sisters were booed on Tuesday when it was announced that they had made it to the final, while experts believe Ukraine could benefit from sympathy votes.

Things didn't get any easier for the Russian twins after Eurovision buffs claimed to find a Ukrainian subtext in one of the verses of their song “Shine”.

“Living on the edge, closer to the crime, cross the line a step at a time,” the lyrics say.

Although incidents suggest otherwise — last year the failure of Azerbaijan to vote for ally Russia prompted a president-

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Joanna Klepko, second right, aka Cleo of Donatan and Cleo representing Poland performs the song “My Slowianie” during the dress rehearsal for the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 Grand Final in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Friday.

(AFP)

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