We return to the Caucasus for the next country in the countdown, and it’s a country that has really struggled at Eurovision in recent years, at least from the perspective of qualifying for the grand final. Georgia have not been in the final since 2016, but in Junior Eurovision they are a powerhouse, with three wins in 15 years. Propitiously, the winner of The Voice Georgia this year (which is used to select their Eurovision artist), is one of those previous winners, Iru. Can she turn around the country’s fortunes in the adult contest?
Iru is the professional name of Irina Khechanovi, and as part of the girl band Candy, she won Junior Eurovision in 2011 with the song “Candy Music“. As well as winning The Voice, she was co-writer of last year’s Georgian Junior Eurovision song which finished third, and she is one of the co-writers of “Echo”. “Echo” is a midtempo electropop song with some hints of Georgian traditional instruments mixed in.
There was plenty of expectation about this song, and also hope that the long years of poor Georgian results might be at an end. They weren’t too disappointed as you have here a solid pop song, with a singer who knows how to sing and perform on the big stage. Her vocals seem very good, and it combines a sweeping big vocal with some catchier elements plus the hint of ethnic influence. My biggest gripe is that this would have been better in Georgian as the English lyrics make little sense – it’s like something has been thrown into Google Translate and then had words taken out or moved around.
Iru is probably giving Georgia their best chance of qualifying in years. The Eurovision scoreboard app suggests this will sail into the final, and with some televote allies in their semi-final, I think this seems a dead cert to get there. Overall, I think this will be an impactful performance and staging; the question will be how does it compare to some of those other strong female vocal pop songs this year – Sweden and Armenia in particular. Not since 2011, the year Iru won Junior Eurovision, has Georgia finished top 10 in the final. This has a shot, though much could affect that likelihood.
Georgia in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 2007
Appearances (excluding this year): 15
Best result: 9th in 2010 and 2011
Last year’s result: 18th and last in semi-final (did not qualify)