Only two days until the national final and there’s drama in the Caucuses, y’all! Georgia’s 2016 national selection entry “Fighter” — performed by Elene Mikiashvili — was also performed by Adelina Sevchenko during the Ukrainian selection for last year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest.
This oversight violates the European Broadcasting Union’s rule that no Eurovision entry may be released publicly before September 1st of the year prior to competition. This is to ensure all entries to Eurovision are new and original songs.
The decision of how to proceed lies with Georgian broadcaster GPB and the EBU. And while this may have the sizzle of a scandal, GPB has already tamped out the flame.
A representative from GPB has told Wiwibloggs that should Elene Mikishvili win the national final in Georgia, a different song will be chosen for her to sing at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv — avoiding any conflict with official contest rules.
Back in August 2016 Adelina Sevchenko competed in the semi-final of Ukraine’s national selection for JESC with a Ukrainian language version of “Fighter”. She did not advance beyond the semi-final round.
According to a message on Adelina’s parents’ Facebook account, Swedish songwriters Ylva and Linda Persson originally gave the song to her for free in exchange for an agreement to broadcast the song online.
Enter Georgia’s Elene Mikiashvili. In December of 2016 — one month after JESC — Ylva and Linda were instructed to remove all online videos of Adelina performing the song. At the same time, Elene’s English version of “Fighter” made its debut as an entry in Georgia’s National Selection for Eurovision 2017.
Ylva and Linda released a statement through Facebook verifying that they gave Elene Mikiashvili exclusive rights to use and perform “Fighter” but did not comment on Adelina Sevchenko’s version of the song nor the claims made by the singer’s parents.
For now it sounds like Elene Mikiashvili is still a go for the Georgian National Final on January 20th – even if “Fighter” will be scrapped should she and the song win.
This is not the first time this has happened. During past Eurovision cycles, songs have been found to have been released prior to the September 1st start date. The glory of the internet, y’all – you can find anything!
In the case of unoriginal material being submitted to the contest – the EBU reviews the possible indiscretion and determines the eligibility of the entry or entrant.
This situation has obvious parallels with the Anna Book’s Melfest 2016 drama. It was discovered that Anna Book’s entry “Himmel for två” had previously been entered in the Moldovan 2014 pre-selection as “Taking Care of a Broken Heart”. Broadcaster SVT moved swiftly and disqualified the song — and therefore Anna Book — from Melodifestivalen 2016.
Jamala’s Eurovision winning entry “1944” was the most recent entry to be scrutinized in this manner. A grainy video surfaced of Jamala performing an early version of “1944” during a small concert in May of 2015 — four months before the September 1st deadline. After serious review, it was determined by the EBU that the entry had not breached Eurovision rules and had not benefited from any advantage in the contest due to the performance’s small audience and limited views online prior to the contest.
Do you think Elene should be disqualified? Should she compete with another song? Or should she keep “Fighter”? Let us know in the comments section below!