In October, the Georgian Public Broadcaster announced that it would use the upcoming 2019 series of Georgian Idol to select its singer and song for Eurovision 2019.

The contest will kick off in January 2019. And to make sure you’re ready we’ve prepped a primer to fill you in on the judges, the well-known contestants we’ve spotted in the queues, the voting process and more.

Hosts

Georgian Idol looks set to run for two months from January to March. Auditions are ongoing, with open calls being held across Georgia over the past month. GPB have already revealed the two hosts of Georgian Idol — Vaniko Tarkhnishvili and Ruska Makashvili. They are both famous actors and TV presenters in the country. They’re familiar to Georgians from shows including Georgia’s Got Talent, The X Factor Georgia and more. They’ve been in the trenches together before so know the score.

Voting Process

The public will be able to vote for their favourite acts via both telephone voting as well as through the Facebook Messenger app. It’s thought this approach will encourage voters young and old to express themselves.

Contestants

We’ve had the opportunity to attend the auditions and have spotted several behind-the-scenes photos on social media. And so far we have seen a few famous faces: Mariam Kakhelishvili (JESC 2010 Georgia), Iru Khechanovi (JESC 2011 Winner), Maliibu (Georgian national finalist 2017) and Giorgi Nakashidze (the winner of X factor Georgia). As you can see, the competition is going to be intense — and it’s only getting started!

Judges

And a final question: who will judge Georgian Idol? 

Tinatin Berdzenishvili is Director of Media and Communications at Georgian Public Broadcaster. She is a dear friend of wiwibloggs and well-versed in this field. She’s worked with Georgia’s delegation in the past and took part in organising JESC 2017 in Tbilisi.

Stephane Mgebrishvili is a Georgian musician. In 2009, Stephane & 3G prepared to take their song “We Don’t Wanna Put In” to Moscow. But the EBU said no. They 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.

Natia Todua is a Georgian-born singer with a Cinderella story. She grew up in Gali — currently in the Russian-occupied territory of Georgia. She sang from an early age but never had any formal music training. As an adult she tried her luck on The X Factor Georgia and The X Factor Ukraine, but failed to make an impact. But then, while working as an au pair in Germany, she entered The Voice of Germany…and won it all. Natia got back in the singing show game this year and made a run for Eurovision 2018. She sang My Own Way at Unser Lied für Lissabon — Germany’s Eurovision 2018 selection.

Zaza Shengelia currently holds the post of president of Bravo Records studio.

Georgian Idol has been running since 2008. Two Idol winners have previously gone on to represent Georgia at Eurovision. Series two winner Nodiko Tatishvili was internally selected to represent Georgia in 2013, where he performed “Waterfall” with Sopho Gelovani. The unstoppable Nina Sublatti won series six of Idol. Two years later she won the Georgian national final and performed “Warrior” at Eurovision 2015.

What do you think? Which judge is lighting your fire? And which contestant are you most excited about? Share your thoughts below!

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Loin dici
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Loin dici

Because this will mean it will be pretty similar to Ranina, as long as the team compose a fantastic song for the winner, I am pleased.

Frisian esc
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Frisian esc

I think they’ll be good as long as they manage to find a quality song for the artist who wins the competition.

ESCFan2009
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ESCFan2009

“Which judge is lightning your fire?” Of course Natia Todua, honey 😀 She was great in our German National Final 2018 and she has a unique voice (which doesn’t care now as a judge, because she is not in the race – that would also be great). Go Natia! <3

Henry
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Henry

They should’ve just internally selected Nadia Todua, she’s got such an unique voice.

KESC
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KESC

Idc what method they really use, but I just want to see the same Georgia as in Junior Eurovision.. I love their entries at Junior Eurovision, and the fact that they send songs of different genres.

Honestly their Junior Eurovision entry from this year is miles better than some of their normal Eurovision entries.

I want to see Georgia sending again masterpieces auch as Warrior or Shine.