Spotlight on…Georgia (+ what do I think of their entry for 2015?)
As we approach the end of January (what IS this madness?) Eurovision 2015 has only *counts on fingers* six decided-and-heard entries to its name. That’s six as long as a) Uzari and Maimuna make it to Vienna against the odds (the odds being that Belarus’ national final is rarely the be-all and end-all of their entry) and b) Malta sticks with Warrior.
The latest song to be selected – speaking of Warrior – is from Georgia. Waaaay back on the 14th, in news that shocked absolutely no one, Georgia revealed that it’s Nina Sublatti (or Nina Sublati, depending on where you look…if anyone finds her birth certificate, let me know) who’ll be flying their flag this year. Following that news was the immediate flood of opinions on whether Nina’s Warrior is “better” than Amber’s. Cue catfight, not between Nina and Amber, but between us fans, who at the moment seem to be split down the middle. At least the massive street fight we have will be evenly matched, then.
And what team will I be brandishing a bazooka for, I hear you ask? Well, if you saw my top 5 ranking you’ll know I do see the hot in the hot mess that is the Maltese Warrior, and I firmly believe Amber and her team can pull a Ukraine and overhaul it into a showstopper by May. However…I have to say, in spite of the level of craposity among the Georgian hopefuls this year, I’m pretty impressed. Nina’s Warrior may be the best song Georgia’s ever sent. It strikes a nice balance between mass-appeal edgy pop, and the off-the-wall sound that I always hope to hear from this country – whereas last year’s entry was 110% bonkers, this one is considerably more sane but still interesting. I’m not saying it’s a shoo-in for the win or anything, or even that it’s memorable enough to qualify (time and other entries will tell) but Georgia have made the smartest choice possible, IMO.
In summary, I think I like Georgia more than I like Malta. But the fact that the only similarity between their songs is the title makes it hard to say for certain. I’ll fight on Team Nina for now…but don’t be surprised if I make flower garlands and place them gently on the heads of Team Amber instead of bashing those in favour of Malta repeatedly with the Buranovskiye Babushki’s pie tray. You know, in this brawl we’re all gonna have over the Warriors.
Now I’ve laid my cards (and potential weapons) on the table, it’s time to get cracking on the main course of today’s post. As we ponder Georgia’s chances in the 60th contest based on very little, I thought it would be timely to put Georgia’s Eurovision history in the spotlight. They’re not a country I normally scream girlishly for (Junior Eurovision excepted, because Georgia freaking RULES at JESC) but then again, they haven’t had as many chances as others to make me do that. Read on for some stats re: Georgia’s time in the adult contest, and my opinions on their bests and worsts during that time. And, cast your vote in my ‘Favourite Georgian entry, like, ever’ poll. All the artists, from Sopho to well, Sopho, plus Miss Sublatti/Sublati, are waiting for your decision!*
* In my mind, that is. A lot of stuff happens in there. I.e. I’m also representing any country that’ll have me this year with an incredible self-penned song, in spite of the fact that I can’t sing and write terrible songs that should NEVER see the light of day.
GEORGIA: THE STATS
Debut 2007 – 12th with Visionary Dream by Sopho
Entries 7 (+1 disqualification)
Silver medals 0
Bronze medals 0
Best result 9th – 2010, 2011
Top 10 finishes 2/7
Top 10 success rate 28%
Top 5 finishes 0/7
Top 5 success rate 0%
Wooden spoons (last places!) 1 – 2014 semi final
Semi final qualifications 5/7
Qualification success rate 71%
My favourite entry
Visionary Dream by Sopho (2007). The original and the best! This is the Georgia I like to see competing – the unique, interesting, off-the-wall Georgia. The Georgia who wouldn’t dream of purchasing a stale ballad from the bargain bin of the Melodifestivalen Reject Shop to put forward. In this case, I do actually like the song. It’s ethnic and up-tempo without a trace of cliché ethno-pop, which couldn’t be said about the likes of Greece (though Yassou Maria, too, is a personal favourite). It’s the kind of song that, when you hear it for the first time, makes you want to know where it’s going, and I dig that.
My least favourite entry
I’m A Joker by Anri Jokhadze (2012). I just…no. I have no words. Okay, that’s a lie, I have some words. And they are: good singer; bad, bad song. Enjoyable in parts if you’re drunk enough. But any lyricist who thinks it’s acceptable to rhyme ‘joker’ with every word possible in the space of twenty seconds should be hit over the head with one of Homens Da Luta’s placards.
More of the memorable
Peace Will Come by Diana Gurtskaya (2008) – Granted, the new level of costume change is the most memorable thing about this, but…no, actually, there isn’t a but. MASS COSTUME CHANGE FOR THE WIN!
One More Day by Eldrine (2011) – Eurovision rock is usually the most acceptable kind by my standards, and I rather enjoyed this number with its head-bang-tastic chorus. Lead singer Sopho (so many Sophos, so little time…) attacked her performance with rage-tinged enthusiasm.
Three Minutes To Earth by The Shin & Mariko (2014) – Say what you want about this big box of bonkers, but you have to admit it’s unforgettable. If you can’t recall the lyrics, you must at least be able to picture the parachute.
Their best stage show
Visionary Dream. HELLO! It had dancers with SWORDS! We all know the best kind of staging is when there’s the chance of somebody losing a limb. Fortunately, Sopho #1 left the stage in one piece, having fulfilled her destiny of fronting this entry with style, charisma, and an awesome red dress while the dancers made her look even better. Sometimes, all it takes to create interest is some choreography that perfectly complements the song.
Their best costume/s
Eldrine. I know I’m in the minority here, because I don’t think I’m picking the best of a bad bunch. I genuinely liked the bin-bag-with-colourful-quilled-appliqués look these guys had going on. Then again, I also loved what Gisela, Milan Stanković and Vilija wore on their respective ESC outings, so my taste may have a questionable edge. But, to those of you who’d say it’s more than just an edge, I ask you: how would YOU have dressed these artists? I believe that weird is wonderful…to a point.
Their best vocalist/s
Sophia Nizharadze. I never really warmed to Shine (though it sure beats The Toppers’ Shine from the year before) but Sophia/Sopho #2’s vocal performance – wow. Even when she was being thrown all over the stage, her voice was on point. And speaking of points, she gets extra for that Christina Aguilera growl she had going on. Rarrrgh.
So that’s Georgia, in something of a nutshell. They haven’t been at this ESC game long, but they have had their moments of glory, and I reckon this year might mark another one. What do you think? Is Nina Sublatti sublime, or was Sopho of Shine fame Georgia’s finest? Have you fashioned a voodoo doll of me for suggesting that I’m A Joker was anything but a musical masterpiece? Let me know by partaking in this poll:
The next entry to be added to the 2015 collection will arrive next Saturday courtesy of Switzerland, but sadly, as usual, their national final is sub-par (no doubt they’ll pick the best of the bad bunch yet again, but I still wish they had a better bunch in the first place). So, I’m going to skip reviewing it this year in favour of posting that instalment of my Vienna Wishlist I promised last time. Stay tuned if you want to know who I’d rope in to represent the UK if I had a very, very long rope.
6 Responses to “Spotlight on…Georgia (+ what do I think of their entry for 2015?)”
OK, OK, Jazmina, I KNOW you are deliberately trying to bate the Anri/Djoker-lovers out there, just waiting for one of us to bite back — so hey, it may as well be me!
Forget the whacko, clunky lyrics — I still find the studio-recorded version is ‘arguably’ the most pulsating, campy, no-airbags bit of ESC chuzpah since, umm … WigWam?
In fact, lately I’ve been driving along listening to ESC12 in the car, and I still find it’s one of the (very few!) ones I find myself impulsively pushing repeat on — “Hey, let’s hear that one again – YEAH!!!”.
And, in my reverie, I imagine myself in an outrageous, multi-fabricked, just-a-smidge-too-tight onesy costume doing a full-on, fist-thrusting karaoke version, convincing any on-lookers (admittedly probably just a couple of bored bar staff by that stage of the evening) that I really “AIN’T GOT NO FUNNY!” — or daring them to prove otherwise …
And yep, I would’ve voted for him in your poll (perhaps only 3/4 tongue-in-cheek), but my rebellious political bone pushed me towards the equally campy non-starter, WDWPI. (BTW, I remember hoping at the time that they’d get around the rules by resubmitting that song as ‘We don’t wanna rush in …’, but that might have been deemed … bigoted?, and/or (further) invasion-inducing? — both of which are presumably also against EBU rules.)
Visionary Dreams would otherwise have had my vote in a shoo-in. Just – love – it.
As for Three Minutes to Earth, I do have a super-soft spot for it (a ‘soft-landing’ spot, if you will). So many time signatures! I still can’t work out whether the main one is 12:8, or … aehh, I just dunno (Help? Anyone??).
And, clumsy/non-existent segue, but can I just say – ES TUT MIR DOCH LEID that “Es tut mir nicht leid” has now been eliminated from Eurovizijos DKNA. It was in my top three, so now let’s hope it’s “Skestu, to the rescue!!” See what you’ve done, Jaz — You’ve created a freakin’ FrankeNFstein’s monster! (=oP
Oh, I knew there were Anri fans (fanris?) out there, Ali. But I’m very accustomed to badmouthing songs I dislike knowing there’ll be an extent of hate on me for doing so flooding in shortly afterwards. It seems one person’s trash really is someone else’s treasure! Though I will admit, if the lyrics to I’m A Joker weren’t so inane, I’d appreciate it more. That’s the main aspect that bothers me. I can imagine it serving a decent purpose as a driving song. Perhaps I’ll test it out once I manage to replace the tape player (!) that my car came with. Unless anyone’s got a Baku 2012 tape lying around…
If your karaoke dream ever comes true, let me know so I can be there to witness it! Onesie thrusting is always an unmissable event.
I’ve always been kind of proud of Georgia for refusing to bow to the lyric-changing pressure in ’09. WDWPI also has lyrics that make me recoil a bit, but damn it’s catchy. As much as I wish they’d joined the Moscow party, I admire their willingness to boycott rather than make Russia (and the EBU) happy.
No help from me on the time signatures, I’m afraid. That wasn’t my strong point in music class, and Three Minutes is a haphazard combo of about a bajillion that I would never be able to figure out.
The wracking pain of losing a beloved NF song is part of the fun of the season! I have no regrets re: urging you in the “right” direction. Especially since it spawned the FrankeNFsteins’s monster. It’s to national finals what a Bridezilla is to a wedding.
Much agreement with one leftfield exception: “Visionary Dream,” “One More Day,” and “Three Minutes to Earth” are pretty close in my favourites — So naturally, I put my vote to best use 😉 Although, I did object to the wrong-coloured and pathetic parachute schtick; they should’ve built on the video choreography.
“I’m a Joker” goes to the bottom. A poorly constructed bravado montage inspired by punning his own name, and expanded by rhyme-ish-ness instead of ideas.
I’m tending Team Amber as the better crafted song, but Nina’s has bits I like too. I think either could rise or fall substantially based on arrangement and performance decisions.
Hmm, I wonder who you could possibly have cast your vote for?? XD I think Mr. Joker is the only voteless act at the moment, and deservedly so…though I know some fans who thought it was amazing. I can admit to enjoying the instrumental bits, but THAT is IT!
Don’t worry, I don’t really mind about the lack of costume/parachute colour-coordination. But I don’t think any amount of staging-tweaking would have got them to the final. I still applaud the crazy uniqueness of the song, though.
It really is too early to tell which Warrior is superior as a package. Obviously we won’t be able to make our decisions on that until the contest itself, at which time I still reckon us fans will be split about 50/50! Malta and Georgia are prooooobably my top 2 right now, but I’m not in unconditonal love with any of the entries so far. I will wait for Sweden to blow me away!
Hopefully you’ve already seen what I thought of Georgia’s choice (http://eurovisionthroughtheages.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/lmbto-parachutes-0-warrior-2-georgia.html) – Nina was far and away the best choice of the five finalists and at the moment is my favourite of the six songs going to Eurovision! Nice round-up of Georgian entries too.
It looks as though Switzerland will give us number 8 as France have announced their entry right out of the blue today! I’m going to listen to it for the first time this evening – I was wondering what the subject of my next post was going to be… 🙂
Loved your post on the Georgian final – very in-depth! I’m so glad the LLB (Lame Lady Ballad) didn’t win. I don’t know how many more of those I can put up with. Hopefully they’ll die a Eurovision death sometime in the near future a la schlager. It’s unfortunate that Georgia only had one really decent song they could have picked, which is usually more of the case in Switzerland. But hey, at least they picked it!
Darn France for releasing their full song JUST after I posted this (and darn me for being too lazy to edit the post to account for it). I read your verdict on Lisa’s song and I have to agree – it has potential but doesn’t hit the heights that it could have. I don’t dislike it, but it does have a whiff of ‘why bother?’ about it. Still, what do I know? I LOVED Moustache to bits and look where that ended up (although a song I really like usually ends up losing the final – Only Love Survives…Stay…Lose Control…the list goes on and on). I definitely see France at the bottom of the pack, if not last, but I also agree that it could be elevated by the right live performance. And no doubt Lisa will have a trouble-free vocal performance, which is always good!
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