Completing my top 5s for the trio of Caucasus nations, it’s Georgia. One of Eurovision’s most recent entrants, they only have 9 entries to their name, but have managed to send a completely diverse set of songs in their brief time – something I respect. They don’t always get it right, sometimes it has gone horribly wrong, but they never shirk from trying different things, and often end up with songs that are quite un-Eurovision – no bad thing to add something different to the competition. But who makes my top 5 from this limited field? Let me know if you agree or not with my choices below!
One point to note: my considerations did not include the withdrawn 2009 entry “We Don’t Wanna Put In” – the EBU requested changes to the lyrics (as they contained what they deemed political lyrics). Georgia did not change the lyrics and withdrew from the 2009 contest being held in Russia.
5. Nina Sublatti “Warrior” (2015, 11th place, 51 points)
Channeling the look and feel of “The Crow, this was a dramatic entry from Georgia, and notorious now in Eurofandom for the surfeit of dry ice – it was like something out of Eurobeat. I don’t think it was meant to be quite as smoky as that but it didn’t seem to harm the fierce and feisty Nina too much, with a result just outside the top 10.
4. Eldrine “One More Day” (2011, 9th place, 110 points)
A case in point of Georgia bringing something different and un-Eurovision to the Eurovision party. I don’t think this appealed to me that much when I saw this back in 2011 but it has grown on me over time and I appreciate it much more now.
3. Sopho Khalvashi “Visionary Dream” (2007, 12th place, 97 points)
It’s a little hard to describe this one in terms of genre – but I do really like this one. If the live performance had been a little more consistent and stronger, this would be even higher in my top 5. This was Georgia’s debut entry, setting the tone for their distinctive approach to Eurovision.
2. Sopho Nizharadze “Shine” (2010, 9th place, 136 points)
Yes, it’s a ballad! The only female solo ballad Georgia have entered (their duet ballad from 2013 didn’t make it into my top 5), I don’t usually go for ballads very often but I thought this was a really strong one. It wasn’t one I even knew until I went through each Georgian entry for compiling this top 5. It also achieved Georgia’s best result to date in the contest.
1. Nika Kocharov & Young Georgian Lolitaz “Midnight Gold” (2016, 20th place, 104 points)
This will be a controversial number 1. Not popular among Eurofans, and maybe a surprise finalist, I think this brought something very different to Eurovision – and from a genuine indie rock band too, it’s certainly not a joke entry. I was really surprised (but also pleased) to see this get 12 points from the UK jury – I think Eurovision should embrace a whole range of musical genres, it doesn’t all have to be written, composed, arranged and designed by the Swedes (much as I love them!)
So, what did you think? Comment below please!