How everyone (myself included) missed the fact that “Waterfall” was never going to win Eurovision is now beyond me. Nodi and Sophie were vocally fabulous – congrats for that because sometimes vocal perfection is taken for granted (Alyona Lanskaya anyone?). Unfortunately the good points end there. The song was devoid of emotion, Sophie looked constipated throughout and the staging was dull in the extreme – at least Bonnie Tyler had a podium to give her performance a literal ‘lift’. In its pursuit of the perfect Eurovision winner, Georgia fell too wide of the mark.

It’s confusing how the Georgians managed to get it so desperately wrong. It’s not like they had to look far. The reigning masters of the duet, Azerbaijan, are neighbours. They won in 2011 with the gorgeously staged “Running Scared”. That victory came despite the fact Nikki seemed completely incapable of singing her part in tune for the entirety of the performance. Had Georgia roped in a few dancers they could have improved their performance immeasurably. A prop wouldn’t have been a bad idea either. Denmark’s staging of “A Moment Like This” with Chanée and N’Evergreen divided by a literal wall was audacious. “Waterfall” would have been so much better for a huge, and entirely unnecessary waterfall, drenching Nodi and Sophie, ruining the stage and causing a catastrophic short circuit that plunged the whole of Malmö into darkness. That would have been a Eurovision-winning performance.

“Waterfall” was lazy. It lacked quirkiness that could have made it more distinctive. Armenia’s “Jan-Jan” had the intimidating Inga and Anush dressed in indigo, blending Eastern allure with a punchy aggressive song. Jonsí and Greta from Iceland, despite stealing the fiddle from a certain all-conquering Norwegian, worked an overt vampire vibe with the dark mountain backdrop to give “Never Forget” an altogether more ominous tone. Even Esma and Lozano at least had the novelty of a fairly pleasant song moving unexpectedly into the most horrific abomination from the Balkan Pit of Terror to grace the stage since Rona Nishliu’s cat-murdering performance in the Crystal Hall. The rather sad steam cannons of “Waterfall” were about as quirky as Birgit Oigemeel’s plain white dress.

Nodi and Sophie
Chemical imbalance: Feel the passion between Sophie and Nodi

Perhaps the most glaring omission Georgia made from the Eurovision Romantic Duet Textbook was chemistry. The single most important element of a romantic duet was forgotten. Ell and Nikki’s romance had us all convinced we could expect wedding bells in Baku. Nodi and Sophie just looked thoroughly disinterested in one another. Even the non-romantic duet performers had more chemistry than them – TWiiNS in 2011, and even the distinctly weird Noa and Mira Awad for Israel in 2009 showed more affection for one another. The master-class in this platonic chemistry are Elitsa and Stoyan, whose rousing delivery of “Samo Shampioni” demonstrated exactly how to have a crazy time, even if you are going to crash out and burn in the Semi-Final. Why anyone thought putting two people together who don’t even look like a couple and struggle to demonstrate even rudimentary chemistry is shocking.

With a huge, thoroughly unnecessary waterfall, a couple that actually understood the need to demonstrate affection and a song that wasn’t dull Georgia might actually have scuppered things for Emmelie. Fortunately for the Danes, the Georgian approach was entirely half-arsed, and that is why, the minute commentators began speculating on the fact that the song would succeed on vocal merit alone that alarm bells should have started ringing.

Angus Quinn contributed this report from the U.K. You can follow him on Twitter at @Angus_Quinn17.

Photo: Thomas Hanses (EBU)

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Slavi
Slavi
7 years ago

Or… just or, the song was bad, too? It was also a half-arsed (as you said) attempt at writing a song. Let us take the same staging idea as the Azeris won with (just not as good), take the same music that Spain used last year (again, just not as good) and think we’ll win. I mean, ugh. It was disgusting. I never encountered any interest in this song at all, outside of ESC circles. Which, you know, ALWAYS get things wrong. Let’s face it — the ESC fanbase is quite often off with a lot of things (Cascada, Kati… Read more »

SQFan
SQFan
7 years ago

I’ve said from Day 1 (you can refer to the WiWi Reviews) that this song was utter contrived rubbish, so I wasn’t surprised it did poorly. I’m actually surprised it managed 15th place instead of its rightful 23rd – 26th, but bloc voting, and an amazing draw position, saved it from that. The difference between this, and Russia, is that Dina actually felt the message of her song, Nodi and Sophie’s performance was “vote for us because we have a Swedish song.” Hope Georgia can return to sending us quality stuff.

Z24
Z24
7 years ago

It sounded extremely formulaic, and a copypaste of a sucessful number of the previous year (Spain) doesn’t quite work. (And G:Son also slips a reference to Denmark 2010. lazy much?) People just didn’t like the song. At least there’s a bit of justice in the fact that Pastora ranked higher.

We all seen that number a lot of times. Great vocals saved it (barely) and got it to the final at expense of a more unique San Marino.

Piksey
Piksey
7 years ago

… ‘They won in 2011 with the gorgeously staged “Running Scared”.’
It was ‘staged’ by swedes lol. Azeris, alas, had nothing to do with ‘gorgeousness’ except paying money for that(they always do). Georgians, as i understood, didn’t buy ‘all inclusive’ (they obviously had not enough $) and tried to do some parts on their own. They failed thus.

Anthony
Anthony
7 years ago

After the success with Sweden and Spain last year, I can understand why Georgia took the opportunity to get Thomas G:son to compose an entry for them this year.

I think the reason Georgia didn’t do quite as well as they hoped for, is because it’s pretty much Quedate Conmigo version 2.0 as Alex mentioned. So it’s basically a ‘been there, done that’ moment.

Despite the 15th place this year, I don’t think it’s going to stop Thomas G:son from going on to achieve more Eurovision success. Had Georgia won this year, he would be in overwhelming demand next year.

Maaian
Maaian
7 years ago

I just want to say that I never liked it and thought it was boring from the beginning so I’m not surprised at what ended up happening 😛

Emily
Emily
7 years ago

They did have chemistry… but they are just good friends, nothing more.

Roob
Roob
7 years ago

They were focally NOT fabulous!

Alex
Alex
7 years ago

Don’t forget that it was basically Quedate Conmigo version 2.0!

Rob
Rob
7 years ago

A very retrospective article. Think the main problem was they played it straight unlike some of their eastern European neighbours. And if you’re going to intimate the staging failed for being contrived & calculated, did you miss the Ukraine staging, or the Danish staging, or the Russian staging or the Azerbaijan staging or the Moldova staging…? ‘Gravity’ had the most gimmicky staging of the lot & was also a crime to music yet managed 3rd place. A very strange year indeed & many of the results were difficult to predict beforehand.

Penny
Penny
7 years ago

@LaLaLa As much as the song may not have helped them, Eurovision is a live Television event, and therefore performance, and indeed performers are the main thing. Even a bad song, if staged and delivered well can do well, look at the author’s point about Azerbaijan…

David Thielen
7 years ago

I think they had chemistry, but is more of the being very comfortable with each other chemistry. What ESC wants is you’re thinking they’re going to end the song by tearing each other’s clothes off to have wild sex.

Jamaraqueer
Jamaraqueer
7 years ago

@Lalala. You are right that the song lacked anything special and that the lyrics did not work. But I agree with the author that there was no oomph or spark between them!! nodi is shorter than her. they didn’t sell me love. they just shouted louder and louder and louder!

Lalala
Lalala
7 years ago

Actually I disagree. They had a Great chemistry… in the Interview and on Stage you are wring about that. You seem so critical. How about the composition of the song had nothing special and the lyrics did not work at all. I really dont know what people liked about this song oh it was because it was writen by Thomas Please … the composition was not for winning … Dont blame it on them