Georgia has decided: it’s Anri Jokhadze!
On Sunday, Georgian broadcaster GPB held their National Final, determining who would have the honor of representing their nation in neighboring Azerbaijan this spring. Would it be another Sopho? Would they rock out like Eldrine, or choose a moving ballad, like “Shine“?
After a nine-song final, with a 50/50 jury-public vote, it was Anri Jokhazde who took the prize with the oddly-titled, oddly-performed “I’m a Joker” (often misspelled as “I’m a Jocker”):
The 31-year-old Tbilisi native has tried to represent Georgia with his 2009 submission “I Want You Back”, better known to some of the more obsessed ESC fans as “The Gay Stalin Song”:
Anri is actually a pretty well-known entity in the Georgian pop music scene, and was recently selected to compete on the Georgian/Armenian musical duet competition “10+10”, paired up with none other than Eva Rivas, who sang “Apricot Stone” for Yerevan in 2010. Here’s one of their performances together:
So, after all of that…
As for my thoughts, I find it interesting that Georgia went for one of the few songs not in the same rock genre that brought Eldrine a respectable 9th place last year. This is coming from one of only a handful of nations with a 100% qualification record from the semifinals (granted, they only started entering in 2007, but the record is impressive nonetheless), but I feel that Anri might be the one to break that lucky streak. It seems that he simply took a shoddy English rhyming dictionary and strung a whole bunch of words together in the hope that a song would result. It may have resulted in success for him, but whether that will translate into success for the country as a whole is a much murkier prospect. Also, there is a distinct and disheartening lack of Sophos in this year’s entry, so if Anri has any hope of qualification, he should probably start skimming the phone book for his backing singers.