Oto Nemsadze will represent Georgia at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv with his song “Sul Tsin Iare”. Translated as “Keep On Going”, it’s a Georgian-language rock ballad with distinctive gravelly vocals from Oto.

Georgian Public Broadcaster (GBP) chose Oto through a reworked version of Idol. Ten artists were whittled down over the course of six weeks. The last four standing performed their songs for Eurovision during the season finale, with Oto emerging victorious.

In anticipation for his Eurovision stint, we’ve compiled 10 facts you need to know about Oto Nemsadze. Let’s do this!

1. He had his first break on Georgian Idol

Oto won’t have to worry about nerves at Eurovision — he’s a pro at televised singing contests. He first came to the public’s attention in 2010 when he competed in and won season five of Geostar (Georgian Idol). He beat Sophie Gelovani into second place. She, of course, went on to represent Georgia at Eurovision 2013 alongside Nodi Tatishvili, the winner of Idol series four.

2. He went international

In 2012, he entered the international song contest 10+10, organised by Georgian broadcaster GPB.  The next year, he travelled to Ukraine and finished second on its version of The Voice. His blind audition with “Feeling Good” made all four coaches turn, including Eurovision 2006 singer Tina Karol. By 2016, he was back on Georgian soil and competing in the local edition of the celebrity singing franchise Your Face Sounds Familiar.

3. He’s had Eurovision on his mind

In 2017 he entered Georgia’s national selection together with Group Limbo. The one-night spectacular featured 25 songs, with Oto and his band finishing in joint tenth place. Their song “Dear God” picked up a combined total of 70 points from the public and jury. Tamara Gachechiladze’s “Keep The Faith” came out on top with 122 points. In 2019, he returned to Georgian Idol — this time not only for the victory, but also for the chance to go to Eurovision. He is probably among a very select number to have won a version of Idol twice.

4. Britain’s Got Talent remains on his wishlist

A cherry on the pie could have been Britain’s Got Talent. Oto received an invite to audition for season 11 of the Simon Cowell-helmed talent show. However, visa problems arose. The issue turned out to be too difficult to resolve and Oto was forced to cancel his appearance on the show. The series was won by pianist Tokio Myers while Maltese Junior Eurovision winner Destiny Chukunyere made it to the semi-finals.

5. He’s adept in multiple music genres and styles

Throughout his rich show business career, Oto has proven to be something of a musical chameleon — he can tackle almost anything. He sings in both English and Georgian, and his musical repertoire is wide and varied. Give him Georgian ballads or Brit rock, he’ll perform any genre with aplomb. In January, he sang a mashup of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions”, which are definitely not the easiest songs to sing technically.

6. His brother is music composer Besik Nemsadze

Music runs in the Nemsadze family. Oto’s brother Besik Nemsadze is a music composer. He has composed several songs for Oto, including “Dear God” (from Georgia’s 2017 national selection). In fact, his brother was also a participant on Idol this year, but was eliminated after the first live show.

7. He is married to a Georgian theatre star

Oto is married to Sopho Medzmariashvili, an actress in Georgia. She performs mostly in theatrical productions in Tbilisi. When Oto proposed to her, he went all out. Graffiti, flowers, a band, cameras — it was all there. You can watch the full proposal below. It’s a real love story.

8. His mother taught him to sing

Oto told our Georgian correspondent Rezo that it was his mum who taught him to sing. She did so when he was very young, despite not being a singer herself. If you ask us, she did  an excellent job.

9. He sang at the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships

In 2013, Oto was asked to sing at the opening ceremony for the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Ukraine. He accepted, with his music forming the backdrop for ex-world champion Anna Bessonova showcase performance.

10. His debut album dropped in 2013

Oto’s career took off after his first Idol win. Three years later, he released his debut LP Fiqrebis Zgva. The album included covers of songs from the Georgian composer and singer Otar Ramishvili. He is currently working on a new record.

Are you feeling Oto Nemsadze and his song “Sul Tsin Iare”? How will he do at Eurovision? Let us know in the comments below.

Read more Eurovision 2019 artist facts here.

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Nikki
Guest
Nikki

Am I the only one getting the Cormoran Strikes vibe from some of his looks?

please withdraw
Guest
please withdraw

Boring

Katitam
Guest
Katitam

One of my favourite voices this year.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

for sure the one of the most interesting voices this year

Vogzal Odessa
Guest
Vogzal Odessa

After having given this song a second listen, I so want it to make it to the final! This guy definitely has a voice, and a stage presence. A truly different entry this year, it won my heart.

Colin
Guest
Colin

I might be crazy, but don’t really see this song as a ballad nor rock. It is very different from the rest. The closest genre I would roughly describe it as is an ethnic orchestral song.

Hate will prevail
Guest
Hate will prevail

He’s so underrated, hope jury will respect him and qualify in the final!

KuhKatz
Guest
KuhKatz

Most of the time, we all forget that almost every participant in all ESC editions are experienced singers/musicians, Oto is no exception.

But we all get blinded by the song and furthermore, don‘t see how amazing some of the artists are (I’m still waiting for North Macedonias Lozano to return with a good song, truly a great singer).

esc stan
Guest
esc stan

Bonus fact: He will come dead last in the semi

James
Guest
James

Why do you think he’ll be last?

esc stan
Guest
esc stan

Because the first semi is so diverse that he’s the only act we can already predict not qualifying. And taking into account that none of the eastern countries are in the same semi as Georgia so no one can vote for them. Also if Iriao came dead last in a weaker semi last year with a great enjoyable song in my opinion, then this scream fest won’t finish any different.

EDIT: Keep disliking as much as you want, I’m telling the truth. See you in May.

please withdraw
Guest
please withdraw

True tea and betting odds are predicting Georgia to come dead last too

Denis
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Denis

Married to Sopho?
Is every Geoegian woman named Sopho? There has been like 5 of them in ESC

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

ROFL!

Lolz
Guest
Lolz

Lmao I thought literally the same – Khalvashi in 2007, Nizharadze in 2010, Gelovani in 2013, the Eldrine vocalist from 2011

Sabrina
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Sabrina

Is there a studio version for this song? I’ve been trying to find it in Spotify and Youtube, but haven’t found it yet.

James
Guest
James

Just a thought: When someone from the former Soviet republics auditions in the local version of The Voice in Ukraine, particularly Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, do they talk to the coaches and hosts in Russian or do they have a working knowledge of Ukrainian to get them by whenever they’re in Kyiv?

Andrii
Guest
Andrii

I am from Ukraine. They speak Russian and everyone in my country will understand them, for us Russian is like English for Irish people, but now our nationalist government make a law on which every person on TV show from Ukraine must speak Ukrainian, only foreigners could appear on TV and speak Russian or it’s very good when Belarusians speak their native language on our TV, we show our respect and solidarity to this nation and also our languages are very similar like Swedish and Norwegian

MikolasFan
Guest
MikolasFan

Criminally underrated ,well, like almost every Georgian entry, have they ever been in finale?
I wish Oto good luck 🙂

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Yeah, in 2015, 2016 (love that one), 2013, 2011, 2010, 2008, 2007 (great debut). Excuse me if that was a joke, I have no sense of humor (:

MikolasFan
Guest
MikolasFan

i wasn’t joking, i really didn’t know , thanks for answering, i remember Tamar from 2017 with ‘keep the faith’ song, she was robbed, the song was in my top 15 that year

Una
Guest
Una

My first memory of Georgia in the final is 2010. They went with a big name, big show and a pretty big song and production. Everything was screaming: Georgia wants to win this year. I think they finished right outside top 10. Big disappointment.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

No, they finished 9th actually.

Adam
Guest
Adam

Honestly, I think the Georgian song is underrated by the ESC bubble. I know it’s not perfect and probably won’t qualify, but it’s pretty good and he’s got an amazing voice.

Nicolas
Guest
Nicolas

I wished he would be the surprising qualifier of SF1.

NickC
Guest
NickC

His voice is extraordinary. He could have won ESC with a decent song. But the song is terrible. As we do not understand the lyrics, but know it is a nationalistic anthem, it comes off as aggressive.

Lolz
Guest
Lolz

11. He is a sexy monster