A once successful Eurovision nation, Georgia have been struggling over the last few years to really capture Europe’s hearts and votes. Over the last two years, the nation has failed to qualify, and last year finished in last place in the semi-final. This year the nation decided on a different selection method, using Georgian idol as the platform to select their Eurovision act, and it was Oto Nemsadze who was selected with the song Sul tsin Iare, which has since been given the English title, Keep On Going. Will Georgia be going to the final, or will it be three non-qualifications in a row for the nation?
Song + Vocals
This year, the selection for Georgia concluded quite late in the national final season, and this track was one of the last few songs to be heard but unfortunately the wait wasn’t worth it. Georgia aren’t afraid to send different styles of music to Eurovision, and it’s not the first time we’ve seen a rock style song represent Georgia at the contest, however this song feels as if it could have represented Georgia a decade ago.
The song is dark in sound, which I think suits Oto’s strong rock vocals however where this song falls for me is the actual melody. The backing music is dramatic and impactful, but on top of that is a melody which doesn’t flow, nor is it memorable for the listener. I find the melody quite repetitive both in verses and choruses, and at times is hard to distinguish between the two.
What I do enjoy about the song is the inclusion of the folk ensemble Shavabada who add a strong cultural sound to the song. That leads to the next positive of this entry, and that’s the vocals. Oto is a strong vocalist who has the perfect vocal tone to be able to deliver this song well and for that reason I can see why Georgia selected him as the representative.
Act + Performance
Oto Nemsadze is a strong choice for Georgia both in terms of his vocals but also due to how natural he is on stage. In the national final performance, he knows how to move with the song. You can see the passion come out not just through his voice, but also through how he moves with the song which comes across as very natural. I’d say that Oto performs more for the arena audience rather than specifically the camera, but with a few more gazes into the camera, it would have been a strong stage performance.
In terms of Eurovision, I suspect we will be seeing something fairly dark and dramatic to match the tone of the song. We know that there will be five backing singers from Shavabada performing with Oto, and I would guess that they would be featured on stage with him rather than being hidden during the performance. With the six person rule, that essentially eliminates any possibility for dancers of which this song could possibly use, but that means the real focus is on Oto and his vocal strength.
As much as I think the delivery of this song is good, I just don’t think the song is all that good. It’s a shame for Georgia, as it would be great to see the nation back in the final this year but at this stage I can’t quite see that happening. Performing after Belgium might prove to be an advantage, but is likely to be forgotten with Australia and Iceland to follow.