Eurovision 2018 Review: Georgia – Ethno-Jazz Band Iriao – For You


Georgia goes back in time by sending Ethno-Jazz band Iriao
Georgia’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest has been hit and miss in recent years. Their broadcaster decided to do things differently this year and waited until the last possible moment to present their entry. Ethno-Jazz band Iriao was internally selected as contestant with the song ‘For You’, which is performed in the Georgian language. It surely stands out in this year’s competition, but is it for good reasons?

Let me start with the good news here. ‘For You’ is the only song in its particular genre so the televoters out there who appreciate this slow, maybe slightly old-fashioned style, might actually pick up the phone and vote for Georgia. The bad news is that I don’t see how this mix of jazz and Georgian polyphonic singing will survive in the fast paced television show that is Eurovision these days. It is hard to imagine how the younger generation could be persuaded into voting for this and I am afraid that even for the juries, this does not make much of an impression on first listen. Of course, vocally they will deliver, but I would be surprised to say the least if that will be enough for them to snatch a ticket to the final.

Review of Semi Final Performance:
Ethno-Jazz band Iriao gives a decent performance of their song ‘For You’. Vocally they nailed it and in terms of staging it is the most simple thing we have seen all night. Just a few guys in a suit singing a song together. The song itself however sounds old fashioned. Now Salvador Sobral showed us last year that this is not necessarily a problem, as long as you are able to touch people with your performance. The Georgian band failed to do so with me and apparently the majority of Europe. In terms of diversity on stage, Georgia did their part, but it simply did not hold its own in the fast paced TV show Eurovision is. This showed in the results, as they finished last in their semi.


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