Song Title: “Keep the Faith”
Artist: Tamara Gachechiladze
First Semi-Final: Position #2
Last year’s entry: “Midnight Gold” – Nika Kocharov & Young Georgian Lolitaz (20th Place)
Georgia was one of the surprises at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, qualifying with the rock song/art installation/awesomeness that was “Midnight Gold.” This year, Georgia decided to open up their process to a national final format, which could have gone better. With 25 songs1 competing for recognition, the field was rather watered down and getting to the end became a slog.
Tamara Gachechiladze kept the faith and ended up winning the jury vote while finishing second in the televote. How does this song stack up now in a field of 43 contestants?
Sorry, Ryan, I’m just not that enthusiastic about this track. The staging and Gachechiladze’s dress is a little too reminiscent of Conchita Wurst’s ensemble in 2014, to the point where it feels almost copy-cat. Although her voice is beautiful and powerful, the song itself is heavy handed in Candide-like optimism and not really what I signed up for with Eurovision.2 As of this writing, the official video hasn’t dropped, so hopefully some of the more technical aspects of the song have been tweaked. Specifically, that key change is rouuuuuuugh.
An additional challenge for Georgia: the first semi-final is the main battlefield at this year’s Contest. Three of the overall favorites — Australia, Belgium, and Sweden — along with traditional powerhouses Azerbaijan, Greece, and Armenia, are in the mix. It’s safe to say five of the ten spots for the Grand Final have been claimed, with two or three more reserved. That means Georgia will have to keep the faith that it can snatch one of the two or three slots that are maybe up in the air.
I do appreciate that one of the singers from “We Don’t Wanna Put In” is going to Eurovision this year, but I’m having a hard time keeping the faith that this will progress to the Grand Final.