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.