It’s Thursday, so that can only mean one thing: another Throwback Thursday. This week, we’ll take a trip to the Caucasus region and have a look at our favourite Georgian Eurovision entry!
Georgia has a fairly successful record since they made debut in 2007. With two top ten finishes and seven qualifications in ten Eurovision appearances, it’s a solid first decade of results for one of Eurovision’s most easterly nations. Their peak in success so far came in consecutive contests, with 9th place finishes earned by Sofia Nizharadze and Eldrine in 2010 and 2011 respectively. Nevertheless, we head right back to the beginning of Georgia’s Eurovision journey for today’s Throwback Thursday.
Sailing through my story
I was torn between two entries when choosing my favourite Georgian entry for this feature, Shine and Visionary Dream. In the end, I’ve chosen the latter which I think is one of the best possible debut entries I can remember.
Visionary Dream had everything, ethnic sounds, a powerful singer in Sopho, an instant hook yet felt completely the opposite of formulaic and predictable. The most brilliant thing about this performance though was the absolute joy that all of the Georgian performers on stage were having. It’s no secret that many eastern European countries saw Eurovision as an opportunity to make themselves known as independent nations on an international stage. Sopho and her team knew this was Georgia’s big first step onto an international stage and they made sure they enjoyed every single second.
Sharing my history!
Watching this performance, it makes me feel proud to be Georgian… and I’m not even Georgian! There’s immense power to this, Sopho leading the way with her effortless charisma. The Georgian delegation made sure Georgia was represented in their costumes, their props and their song yet it was still accessible to the whole of Europe.
I haven’t had the opportunity to see many countries make their Eurovision debuts, but of those that I have, two debuts have always stood above the rest for me. Albania’s 2004 debut is the first, and Georgia’s 2007 debut is the other. Both of these performances were just magical and the absolutely perfect debut entries for these small nations.
What the others had to say…
I’ve always loved Georgia at Eurovision. You can never be quite sure what they bring, but it will always be different with seemingly not a care in the world for trends or Eurovision standards. Their debut could not have been any more perfect in that sense, as it immediately hits you in the face with electronica and folk and does so with a sense of fun and energy that just keeps on building throughout the song. The dancers can’t stop smiling, Sopho can’t stop jerking her body like she just got a terrible cramp in her back and I’m completely blown away each time by it all.
About halfway through, the dancers realise they’ve been given sharp blades and throw everything they were supposed to do out of the window and just chase each other around like 8-year-olds who just saw Pirates of the Caribbean. None of this phases Sopho even a little bit, not even the threat of severe bodily harm will make her stop showing off her powerhouse vocals as she goes along with the madness. It’s unique, it’s packed with energy, it’s exciting and fun. A real visionary dream.
It is quite something when swords are being flung around the stage, yet it doesn’t feel gimmicky. At least, that’s how my mind fondly remembers it. A standout performance where you can watch with confidence without worrying if Sopho’s voice, her song, or the swords will end up out of place.
I wouldn’t even believe that this was Georgia’s first ever entry in Eurovision. They really went all out with this one. Her vocals were on point and the choreography of the dancers blended very well with the track. Indeed, I wish Sopho comes back again.
What do you think of Georgia’s “Visionary Dream”? Furthermore, which countries do you think had the perfect debut entries? Let us know @ESCXTRA!