Category Archives: Georgia
Following Georgia’s disappointing finish in 2012, when Anri Jokhadze’s “I’m a Joker” failed to break through the Semifinals for the first time in the nation’s Eurovision history, national broadcaster GPB decided to change tactics in 2013. Rather than holding a national final, singers Sophie Gelovani and Nodi Tatishvili were selected internally and given a song by Eurovision veteran Thomas G:son. “Waterfall” may have brought Georgia back into the finals, but only by the skin of their teeth, and coming in 15th place overall.
Maybe it was time for another change of tactics.
Well, we’re just about at the apogee of the Eurovision calendar, when we’ve got as much time behind our last ESC experience as we do before the next one. For some, that means that broadcasters are just beginning to publicize their plans, and the first names are beginning to be announced for a few early-bird nations. However, as the plans for the grown-ups lie somewhat dormant, their younger counterparts are gearing up for their turn in the spotlight.
This year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest will take place on November 30 in “Ukraine Palace of Arts”, located in the heart of Kiev. The event will be hosted by 2013 ESC representative Zlata Ognevich and 2005 JESC host Timor Miroshnychenko (try saying that five times fast!), with musical appearances from Ruslana, Emmelie de Forest, and Zlata herself. Read the rest of this entry
Back on New Year’s Eve, Georgian broadcaster GPB announced that Sopho Gelovani and Nodiko Tatishvili would represent the nation in Malmö, in the hopes that the pair would bring Georgia back into the Finals after a disappointing showing in Baku. Early on Wednesday, the duet’s entry, “Waterfall”, was revealed to the public during a popular morning chat-show. Read the rest of this entry
Ok, I’ll admit it, I’ve been a bad blogger. Due to illness, travel, and that pesky 40-hour-per-week job of mine, a few major bits of news haven’t quite made it to the site yet! (What can I say? The ESC Insider is a one-woman project, and sadly, I only have two hands.) Let’s take a quick look back at the four internal artist selections that were made in Spain, Georgia, Macedonia, and Montenegro. Read the rest of this entry
As I’ve said before, April is typically Eurovision No-Man’s-Land as we wait for rehearsals to start. Why not fill the time with a bit of friendly competition?
So many of this year’s artists got to where they are today by standing on the shoulders of giants. Or, at the very least, covering other people’s songs at National Finals or “Idol”/”X-Factor”/”The Voice”-type programs. By sheer luck and coincidence, many of 2012’s Eurovision performers have either covered the same songs as one another, or simply performed past ESC classics. So, in order to pass a bit of time, why don’t we figure out whose versions reign supreme?
As expected in the days before the annual Head of Delegation meeting in Baku, more nations are revealing the official promotional videos for their songs. We’ve gone over some of these new clips in previous posts (check them out here and here), but the past 24 hours have brought in a flash-flood of new videos and remixes. Read the rest of this entry
The 2011 Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Yerevan, Armenia has wrapped up, and after another close result, one nation has reigned supreme. Congratulations go out to Irinia, Mariam, Gvansta, Ana and Irina (again!) from Georgia. Claiming the nation’s second victory with 108 points, girl-group Candy nabbed the top spot with their disco-throwback number, “Candy Music”.
Coming in a very close second place was pre-contest favorite Rachel, representing the Netherlands, with “Ik ben een Teenager”:
Skipping France and their internal selection, next on our list is:
Georgia: Eldrine’s “One More Day” was definitely one of the most divisive songs in this year’s Eurovision roster. People either adored this nu-metal track or despised it with the passion of a thousand suns. (Lucky for me, I was in the former camp, and relished the moment when Sopho and company held an impromptu acoustic jam session in the Press Center.) Eldrine was my favorite act from the Georgian preselection, even with their previous lead singer Tako Vadachkoria, but my second favorite had to be Temo Sajaia, who performed “Jarisk’atsis Simghera (Soldier’s Song)”:
Temo’s stage presence might have been a bit dry, but considering that there was a span of about three months to give his presentation a bit more “oomph”, it could have been a pleasant surprise. Plus, none of the nation’s entries have ever been sung in Georgian, nor have any entries been performed exclusively by a male vocalist. It took me until moderately recently to find an English translation for “Jarisk’atsis Simghera”, but it actually has a pretty strong nationalistic bent, with lyrics like “We believe in Georgian immortals/ In the hopes in your eyes and/ We believe in happiness, in beauty/ In no surrender and in victory”. It’s maybe a bit more subtle than “I Love Belarus”, but not quite as easy to sing along with…
Germany: With 79% of the final vote during “Unser Song für Deutschland”, there was no doubt that “Taken By a Stranger” would be the song that Lena would use to defend her Eurovision title. Compared to the eleven other songs in contention, it was truly a standout, both in style and in quality. While most of the also-rans (all available on Lena’s second album, “Good News”) seemed to be a general continuation of the bubbly and youthful motif we all saw in “Satellite”, “TBaS” seemed to be more of an evolution in who Lena Meyer-Landrut is, both as an artist and as a person. I know a lot of people were fans of runner-up “Push Forward“, but for me, my second favorite was the sweetly simple “Maybe”, which was actually written by the same team (Daniel Schaub & Pär Lammers):
I was also a fan of the big, brassy “Mama Told Me“, which had Stefan Raab’s signature style written all over it (probably because he co-wrote the song with Lena herself).
Greece: Most devoted Eurovison fans were slightly bewildered when Loukas Giorkas and Stereo Mike’s rap/laiko fusion number “Watch My Dance” was pulled out of the envelope during the Greek National Final. It even took me a while to warm up to it (although actually hanging out with Mike, Loukas, and the rest of the delegation from ERT, as well as seeing how epic the final staging turned out to be…by the time the semifinals rolled around, I was beginning to really enjoy this one). Most people had tipped the Canadian-born X-Factor alumna Nikki Ponte to take the night with her song “I Don’t Wanna Dance”:
Looking beyond the two front-runners in this competition, I was also a fan of the bouncy “Hamogela (Smile)” by Trimitonio:
Hungary picked their song internally, so we move on to:
Iceland: By now, we all know about the tragic story behind Sjónni’s Friends and the song “Coming Home“. The six gentlemen on stage (as well as Sjónni’s wife Thorunn) were fixtures in the Press Center and Euroclub, and they were truly some of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet. Their voices were heard harmonizing so often, you could nearly set your watch by it, and I proudly waved the Icelandic flag during the First Semifinal. This song became such an integral part of my experience in Düsseldorf that it almost feels like a betrayal to even consider that another tune could have been in its place. But there were, in fact, fourteen other entries in the running to represent Iceland this year, including fan favorite “Nótt (Night)” by 2009 runner-up Yohanna. My other personal favorites, however, were Magni Ásgeirsson’s “Ég trúi á betra líf (I want a better life)” and Jógvan Hansen’s “Ég lofa (I promise)”:
Coming up next time: Ireland, Israel, Italy, and Latvia!
Not sure what’s in the water in Europe today, but today we’re not only officially hearing the songs from the UK and San Marino (although the British song “I Can” was leaked yesterday, I’ll wait until after their official performance on “The Graham Norton Show” to post the clip), but revamped songs from Croatia and Georgia, a translated Dutch song, and the videos from Ireland, Spain, and Italy have all been released!
From Croatia, we have Daria Kinzer’s “Celebrate”, the former “Lahor” and “Break a Leg”:
From the Netherlands, the 3J’s “Je vecht nooit alleen” has become the English-language “Never Alone”:
From Ireland, we’ve got the official video from Jedward’s “Lipstick”:
Spain’s “Que me quiten lo bailao” by Lucía Pérez has gotten a minor revamp (with added instrumentation) and a brand new video, filmed in the resort town of Sitges during Carnival:
And finally, Italy’s Raphael Gualazzi has released a new version of “Follia d’Amore”, a bilingual track called “Madness of Love”:
More to come later today, with the official unveiling of Senit’s song for San Marino and Blue’s “I Can” for the UK!