We were busy celebrating the turn of the New Year when Gerogia decided to announce their Eurovision 2018 representative. Not only did this come as a surprise because it was New Year’s, but also since previous reports were that Georgia will be holding a national final to decide upon their 2018. Nevertheless, here’s what we know!
Georgian national broadcaster 1TV has decided upon Group Iriao for Eurovision, and perhaps this is one of their more unconventional entrants. The group is known for blending jazz and traditional Georgian sounds, and perhaps their links to their culture is what inspired the broadcaster to choose the group. With Salvador’s sentimental win at Eurovision 2017, we’ve seen many broadcasters put a focus on national language or national culture within music, and Georgia seems to be following this path.
The leader of the group, David Malazonia has previously worked in Germany and Georgia in various theatre and musical productions for over 30 years. David established Group Iriao back in 2013, and features David (composer, keys, arranger and leader), Nugzar Kavtaradze (Georgian folk instruments), Shalva Gelekva (bass), George Abashidze (vocals), Levan Abshilava (drums, percussion), Mikheil Javakhisvili (vocals) and Bidzina Murgulia (vocals).
Yes, your maths is correct – there are seven people as part of the group. Unfortunately this means that one member of the group will have to sit it out in Lisbon as there is the six person limit for the competing entries.
This isn’t the first time Georgia has sent an entry a bit left field, as you’ll remember their choice in 2014 with The Shin and Mariko who performed the song Three Minutes to Earth, which was also a jazz fusion entry. Unfortunately it was marmite entry, with some loving it and some not. Majority ruled as shown in the voting, and the group finished in last in the semi-final with 15 points. The nation also sent indie band Nika Kocharov and Young Georgian Lolitaz in 2016, and despite the lack of support from Eurovision fans, the band defied the odds to qualify to the final.