Georgia began their Eurovision journey with success, and it wasn’t uncommon for the nation to reach the final and finish either in, or close to the top 10. In recent years, they have struggled, with three non-qualifications in a row. This year, Tornike Kipiani was set to represent Georgia with the song Take Me As I Am, but would he have broken the non-qualification streak?
Anita (Eurovision Union)
Song and Vocals
When I think of Georgia at Eurovision, I think of strong ballads, or alternative pop and rock. There have been some absolute gems from Georgia, they certainly know how to produce a strong Eurovision entry. This is even more apparent when you look at their Junior Eurovision history, where they take risks in their music, and it always pays off for them. Their last few non-qualifications at Eurovision have been unfortunate, from Tamara’s strong ballad which was just short of qualifying, to the traditional style of Ethno-Jazz Band Iriao. Oto Nemsadze was their return to rock music at Eurovision, but lacked substance and memorability. With this year’s entry, I think Georgia has reached an all-time low at Eurovision.
For a nation with usually high standards, I don’t know how this song managed to pass the ‘quality control.’ This is not an issue with rock music, I love rock, and I love seeing it at Eurovision but it has to be done well. Lyrically, this is horrendous. Ok, the message is good, but SURELY the message could have been written in a more sophisticated way. In fact, it’s hard for me to take this seriously. I genuinely feel trolled. Is there a secret camera crew ready to pop out of nowhere to tell me I’m being punk’d? Lyrics aside, the backing beat is terribly plain once he begins the screamy part of the song, and because of the continuous repetition of those lyrics, it becomes very monotonous.
The small positives I can find in this entry lies with Tornike’s vocals which are well suited to a rock song, but even then, I much prefer the vocals of the female backing singer. Surely that can’t be a good sign? I can’t help but think that Tornike has so much potential vocally, but it’s being wasted on this song. Where are the standards, Georgia?
Performance and Act
We didn’t have any insight into how the performance would have looked at Eurovision, but at this stage, if we didn’t see flags of all the countries he mentions, I would have been shocked. I mean, the lyrics are so literal, why not perform the song in a totally literal way? Jokes aside (is this a joke, I don’t know…), I could picture Tornike standing on stage with the backing singers in view, with a fairly static performance. It may have made a vocal impact, since he is fairly good with live performances, but nonetheless, even if it was a strong visual performance, it would be hard for me personally to take this seriously.
Next Up: 2021
Georgia will be sending Tornike Kipiani in 2021, and I sincerely hope that he is paired with a strong songwriter who can create a genuine rock song that really highlights his voice. It might be a tough ask considering what we got this year, but please, I want a song with better lyrics. There’s so much potential here, and I just want it to be reached.
I am really disappointed by Georgia this year, but despite my disappointments, it seemed to have a bit of a cult following. Don’t ask me why, because I can’t seem to work it out, but despite that following I don’t believe we would have seen Georgia in the final. I can’t see this appealing to juries, and the televote may have been minimal since you can’t vote for your own nation (the final bit of shade, I promise!). Let’s hope for an improvement next year.
Song and Vocals
I love the raw voice of Tornike, as I did with Oto in 2019. It’s like Georgian men eat razor blades for breakfast. The genre of the song is also something I can appreciate and it surely matches his reach and voice. The lyrics however… Georgia, what were you thinking? Making references to many other nations at Eurovision is like a sports commentator still saying ‘It ain’t over till’ the fat lady sings’. Some clichés are just not allowed. Never. It’s possibly meant as a joke, but this is not the way to go.
Performance and Act
The raw performance of Tornike is something I appreciate. His rendition of ‘Breathe’ by The Prodigy has it all. He goes all in for his performance, and I love passionate people who show what they are made of and make no compromises. Once again, the joke-aspect of the song, a bit compromises the strong personality he could show on stage.
Next up: 2021
Tornike Kipiani is the Georgian singer for Eurovision 2021 in Rotterdam. And as stated above, I am enthusiastic about his voice and potential to rock the stage! But please, please, please: actually give him a rock song to show everything he got. It will make Georgia very unique in the field. Perhaps too unique to win the whole thing, but it’s better to stand out, than to make compromises and fail.
Good singer with a raw voice. There is so much to work with for Georgia by picking Tornike Kipiani. The song was not doing it for me, mostly because of the lyrics. But, apart from that, I was happily surprised by the Georgian potential for Eurovision. They need to come up with another song for 2021. So I have high hopes.
Additional Scores from Eurovision Union and ESCDaily editors:
Average Score: 5.8/10
What do you think of Take Me As I Am? Follow our Eurovision 2020 reviews here.