Georgia represented by rock singer Oto Nemsadze in Israel
Georgia could use some Eurovision success after two years of not qualifying and even ending in the last place of their semi final last year with Ethno Jazz Band Iriao. This year, the winner of Georgian Idol would get the ticket to represent the country. Oto Nemsadze was the one and he will travel to Israel to perform his song ‘Keep On Going’. According to the bookmakers, Nemsadze’s chances of reaching the final are next to nothing, but does that seem accurate?
Although Nemsadze’s song has an English title, it is performed in Georgian. The style could best be described as a mix of folk and rock music in which his raw and powerful vocals take centre stage. He sure has one of the best voices in the competition, but unfortunately I don’t see the international appeal of his song. He clearly impressed the Georgian televoters when he won the Idol competition, but his song seems one of those that works perfectly in a national competition, but does not necessarily translate well to an international event. The fact that ‘Keep On Going’ does not have an easily memorable hook to lure viewers in, does not help either.
Although I can’t see this genre do well at the Eurovision Song Contest, I applaud Georgia for sticking to their own culture instead of trying to appeal to the masses with international chart pop. I think the bookmakers might be right with saying that it has low chances of qualifying, but if the juries get behind his outstanding vocal performance during the first semi final, he might still have a shot.
Review on Oto’s semi-final performance:
His vocals are undeniably strong, but the track lacks a proper hook and his chanting becomes repetitive quite early on. Visually however, the Georgian delegation delivered a spectacular performance with fire, smoke, mountains, you name it! It however could not change the fact that the song did not connect with the European audience and therefore we won’t see Georgia again on Saturday night. Oto finished in 14th place in the end.
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