The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to rate and review the 41 songs that had been selected for Eurovision 2020. Next up, we take a look at the winner of Georgia‘s artist selection Georgian Idol Tornike Kipiani and his internally selected song “Take Me As I Am”. Read on to see if indeed we did!
Tornike Kipiani – “Take Me As I Am”
“Take Me As I Am” reviews
Luis: Are three minutes of Tornike Kipiani and his backing vocalists belting out enough? No, they are not, of course they are not. The grit, the aggressiveness, the boldness of this song are addictive. Georgia manages to make you forget about any other thing in this world while it’s on, and when it ends, it leaves a kind of void which can only be filled by another play.
Antranig: Rarely have I heard a Eurovision song quite this dreadful. To me as a writer, lyrics are of utmost importance in a song. They don’t need to be amazing but they need to achieve something. Lyrically, the only thing “Take Me As I Am” achieves is delivering an insult to the English language. Sure, Tornike is a great singer but that’s a moot point when singing a song so dire. This is beyond abysmal.
William: Before listening to “Take Me As I Am”, I’d never wondered whether Tornike dances like a Spaniard or dresses like an Italian. But after listening to his unique swerve on old school rock, I definitely want to hear him sing like a Georgian. The video is black and white, but the song moves through many more moods and textures: languid rock verses, a more assertive pre-chorus and an explosive chorus where pained screams carry a strange beauty. The message — that we should be loved for who we are rather than what’s en vogue — reverberates across borders and time. This is three minutes well spent.
Sebastian: Despite my efforts to find something enjoyable about this composition, it just doesn’t work. Tornike’s simple message — take him has he is — comes across as teenage angst written for a high school assignment. Tornike’s lyrics tell us to not put expectations of who he should be as a Georgian, but they poorly come across as a derivative of stereotype when referencing the men of other European cultures (i.e. all Italians dress well, all Spanish men dance), defeating the point of the song. To then have Spanish/Italian lyrics of “Te quiero, te amo”, is just baffling. At least Tornike can sing! It’s just unfortunate this is song should be relegated to the abyss of any music streaming service.
Robyn: Tornike’s message is strong and clear — take him as he is. The Georgian Idol winner’s song is a defiant anthem of being true to yourself. When some people consider their own country’s culture inferior to that of others (in New Zealand, we call it the cultural cringe), Tornike makes it clear that he doesn’t need to “talk like an Englishman” or “smell like a French homme”. Likewise, the song doesn’t attempt to comply with Eurovision-friendly genres, instead serving up a grungy rock tune to get the message across.
Tornike Kipiani – “Take Me As I Am” rankings
In the Wiwi Jury we have 22 jurors but only have room for five reviews. The remaining scores are below:
We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 1 and a high of 9.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 5/10
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