Russian pop duo tATu, who scintillated the world with a lesbian kiss a decade ago, will be performing at the Sochi opening ceremony tonight (7 February).
Chosen officially as they will be recognizable to an international audience, they are still a strange choice.
The duo, Lena Katina and Yulia Vokova, will not be singing their 2002 global hit ‘All The Things She Said’ – where they played lesbian schoolgirls in the video.
But it will be ‘Not Gonna Get Us’, the song that comparatively only achieved moderate worldwide success.
Lyrically, the song is about teenage lovers fleeing from a hateful place.
But some are accusing Russia of twisting the track into a response to international criticism, ‘you’re not gonna get us’, over their anti-gay laws.
Event producer Konstantin Ernst has argued the choice is about ‘motivating athletes with an upbeat dance song, challenging competitors by saying “You’re not going to get us”.’
On 30 January, Gay Star News reported tATu had been invited to perform at the ceremony after a tweet from Katina.
One of her tweets had also said the Olympics were ‘treating artists like shit’, although that tweet has since been deleted.
As Russia now bans ‘gay propaganda’, many have said tATu would have been arrested if they released ‘All The Things She Said’ with the same video today.
Last year, Katina said in an interview the gay propaganda laws had set back LGBT laws in Russia by 20 years.
She said: ‘In Russia the situation with the LGBT [community] is still really tough. [But] I think we changed this a little bit.’