We are continuing our series looking at why we like the countries currently competing at Eurovision. Today we swing by Tbilisi and check out all Georgia has to offer in its rich history of Eurovision entries.
Georgia debuted at Eurovision in 2007 and has competed 11 times (with one notable absence). They have made the grand final seven times and placed within the top ten twice, but have also come last in their semi-final twice. We take a look at 10 reasons why we love Georgia at the Eurovision Song Contest.
1. They debuted with an absolute bop
Georgia is one of the most recent countries to debut at Eurovision and when it debuted in 2007 it made quite a splash. Sopho performed the dramatic “Visionary Dream”. The song contains elements of electronica and ethno-pop and a super catchy hook, while Sopho delivered expressive vocals, sometimes reminiscent of the Icelandic songstress Björk. The avant-garde masterpiece placed 12th and remains a fan favourite.
2. They made us oximated
Before the sublime Nina Sublatti, oximation was an organic chemistry term, only used by serious scientists in lab coats. But the Georgian gothic queen took it and made it her own. On stage in Vienna with “Warrior”, she snarled “Fighter! Oximated! World’s gonna get up and see!” and suddenly the term had a new meaning.
3. They never do the same thing twice
Some countries are known for doing well with certain genres of music. Georgia is known for everything. Since their 2007 debut, they have sent songs in ethnopop, peace ballad, nu-disco, pop, rock, Disney ballad, folk-jazz, synthpop, Britpop, R&B and ethno-jazz genres and… whatever genre “I’m a Joker” was.
4. They had a mammoth national final in 2017
For a country who had previously used small national finals or internal selection, Georgia surprised fans by holding a massive 25-act national final. It was essentially an audition for hosting Junior Eurovision 2017. And while Georgia proved they could hold an event of that scale, the “anything goes” entry criteria made for some very interesting acts.
5. They weren’t allowed to put in
In 2009, Stephane & 3G prepared to take their song “We Don’t Wanna Put In” to Moscow. But the EBU said no, no, no. It was felt that the key lyric of the nu-disco track sounded a little bit too much like “we don’t wanna Putin” and was therefore in violation of one of the core rules forbidding political song lyrics. 3G singer Tako “Tamara” Gachechiladze had another shot at Eurovision in 2017.
6. The lyrics and general life philosophy of “I’m a Joker”
I’m a slaker, trouble-breaker
I’m a just a womaniser
Let me be your supervisor
7. They’ve even reached the top ten
In 2009, Sofia Nizharadze charmed audiences with her sweet, uplifting ballad “Shine”, the following year Eldrine rocked out with “One More Day”. Both songs placed ninth in the grand final and proved that Georgia can really shine at Eurovision if they make an effort.
8. The psychedelic indie rock freak-out that was the “Midnight Gold” staging
The question was how would an indie rock band named Nika Kocharov and the Young Georgian Lolitaz stage their Britpop song “Midnight Gold”. The answer: by throwing in all the cheesy video effects the production team had available. And it worked. The bold psychedelic show woke up audiences at the second semi-final and ensured Georgia qualified for the grand final.
9. They celebrated diversity with Diana Gurtskaya
Diana Gurtskaya is a blind Russian-Georgian singer and in 2008 she sang the love love peace peace anthem “Peace Will Come”. The performance didn’t make a big deal out of Diana’s disability, and highlighted her talents as a singer. But the song did include the cutting lyrics, “While we fight for nothing, my eyes run dry / Are you still so blind to ask me why?” The song placed 11th in the grand final.
10. Ethno-Jazz Band Iriao, who are pure and precious and must be protected at all costs
- They added “Ethno-Jazz Band” to their name so audiences would not be confused about their genre.
- Founding member David Malazonia stayed behind to let six other band members perform — even though he has an iconic moustache.
- Their song “For You” is Georgia’s only entry with entirely Georgian lyrics.
- They came last in their semi but they still brought a sense of peace and wellbeing to the world.
What are your favourite things about Georgia at Eurovision? What musical genre should they tackle next? Tell us in the comments section below!