After winning tonight’s final in Georgian Idol, Oto Nemsadze will be heading to Tel Aviv to represent the country at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. The winner was chosen in a tough battle against three other contestants.
Home country Israel selected their Eurovision participant via the Next Star talent show, Malta used X-Factor to find their act, and now tonight the Idols format came to an end in Georgia picking their entry for the 2019 contest.
The Idols format is originally British from 2001, but has since spread around the world. In Georgia, they premiered it in 2008 and it is the eight season, which came to an end tonight. This is the first time that the country uses this format. Previously they have had national finals and internal selections.
It’s however not the first time, Georgia will be represented by an Idol winner. 2013 Georgian Idol winner Nina Sublatti represented her country at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest where she finished 11th with the song Warrior. She also performed as interval act in tonight’s show.
Four acts had reached the final stage tonight. Three potential Eurovision songs were served for them to find the song that would fit them best. All three songs are in Georgian, and it’s expected to stay like that for Eurovision. If that remains the case, it will be the second year in a row where the country compete with a song entirely in Georgian.
- Giorgi Nakashidze – Sul Tsin Iare
- Liza Kalandadze – Sevdisperi Zgva
- Oto Nemsadze – Sul Tsin Iare
- Giorgi Pruidze – Me Mjera
In the final, the winner was decided 100% by televoting, but four judges were there to give feedback upon the performances.
The jury consisted of Tinatin Berdzenishvili (GPB manager.), Zaza Shengelia (President of a record company), Natia Todua (The Voice Germany winner) and finally Stephane Mghebrishvili (musician and singer). The latter were selected to represent her country at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest together with the group 3G. The broadcaster however had to withdraw the song We Don’t Wanna Put In as the European Broadcasting Union asked for a change in the lyrics, which was seen as a critic towards Vladimir Putin and as such too political. This was refused from Georgian side and thus the country withdrew from the contest instead.
Enjoy this year’s Georgian participant in the video below:
Georgia at the Eurovision Song Contest
Back in 2007, Sopho Khalvashi represented Georgia at it’s Eurovision debut. With the song Visionary Dream, she reached the final and finished 12th. The following year, Diana Gurtskaya came 11th – and Georgia had established themselves as a country to watch out for.
In 2009, EBU however insisted that the lyrics to the entry We Don’t Wanna Put In should be changed as ‘Put In’ were seen as a clear reference to Vladimir Putin. Georgia refused, and instead withdrew from the contest.
As the country returned to the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest, it was to a 9th place which was repeated the following year – to date those results are the best the country ever did. In 2012, Georgia failed to reach the final for the first time, and that were to happen three more in the following years; 2014, 2017 and 2018.
Last year, Ethno-Jazz Band Iriao represented the country. Despite the English title For You, the entry was entirely in Georgian. With just 24 points, they finished last in their semi-final and thus weren’t near a qualification.