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Who would have thought that Switzerland, stoically neutral (but secretly the Billy-no-mates of Eurovision) would be the first country to cause controversy in Eurovision 2013? One of the first to select their entrant way back in December their national winners soon had backs up because of their affiliation to The Salvation Army. Not only did they play in uniform but their name, Heilsarmee, was a direct translation of the organisation’s moniker. Unsurprisingly many gay fans felt uneasy given the Army’s crusade of love isn’t universally applied to those of us clearly unable to resist the temptation of same-sex flesh. Ultimately though it was decided that such close affiliation would be disallowed, not on the grounds of any belief, but rather as to permit the name and look would have breached the EBU rules on product placement. So Takasa was spawned; The Act Known As Salvation Army. Hhm. Last year’s Russian grannies may have sparked an interest in getting the elderly up to do a turn as Takasa will break the record for the oldest person on stage with 95 year old Emil, who in the clip does seem to be having some trouble both remembering the words and where to come in. Musically it’s quite rousing, though not so rousing as to be anthemic, and could easily do quite well in Malmö, to where the group appears headed on a road trip in the video. I want to be charitable, as there’s nothing in the song itself that overtly links it to the organisation they wished to represent, and it’s actually quite a decent tune, but I just can’t separate myself from the fact that I know the group is closely wedded to an organisation whose views would deny me my identity as a proud gay man. I know it’s meant to be about the music, and I doubt most voters will draw the connection, but it’s just not that easy to set my integrity aside.