As we enter into the top 20, my upper group of songs, we come across a song that I think may be a surprise to many, given it seems to fall quite low in fan rankings – it’s Georgia. Tornike Kipiani is a 2020 returnee, whose song “Take Me As I Am” was quite a loud song, with unusual lyrics and some very long vowel notes. To be frank, it wasn’t quite my cup of tea, but “You” is a completely different song, albeit one I think not getting much appreciation.
Tornike won the right to represent Georgia in 2020 by winning Georgian Idol at the end of 2019 (that has been their selection process recently). The broadcaster invited him back to be the 2021 entry. Tornike’s links with TV music contests and Eurovision goes back further than that though. He won the first season of Georgia’s X Factor in 2014, and his coach was none other than Tamta, a Georgian-Greek singer who represented Cyprus at Eurovision in 2019. He’s also competed to represent Georgia at Eurovision in 2017 (unsuccessfully) but now has the chance to go to the contest in Rotterdam.
“You” is a really sweet song, almost a soothing lullaby of a song, yet also reflective and almost mournful. Tornike’s deep voice works well both through the slower, quieter parts of the song, and when it reaches the louder crescendos and he ramps up the power in his voice. The song hasn’t found much love among Eurovision fans so far – neither in the fan polls or in the betting and I guess this just isn’t the sort of song that chimes with them. What I will say is that with Georgia, people not be big fans of their entries, but they bring something different every year for their entry rather than staying with similar genres.
I have to be honest about the qualification chances for Georgia – while fan polls and betting odds aren’t always a predictor of how well a song will do in the contest, this does seem an uphill battle to qualify for the final, even in the “weaker” semi-final. Perhaps juries may give it some love. From a televote perspective, “You” is sandwiched in between two very in your face songs (Serbia and Albania) so maybe that could work in its favour – a soothing and sweet palate-cleanser between the gaudiness and drama. Whatever the outcome, I declare this the most underappreciated and underrated entry of 2021.
Georgia in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 2007
Appearances (excluding 2020 this year): 13
Best result: 9th in 2010 and 2011
2019’s result: 18th and last place in semi-final (did not qualify)