Flashback Friday: Standing in the Waterfall

Earlier this week, we were discussing the Rent-a-Swede phenomenon, presenting different countries and their potential entries written or produced by the Swedish songwriters. Now we present our opinions on the 2013 entry from Georgia, Sophie and Nodi’s “Waterfall”, one of the entries which personalises our earlier debate article very well. 

After Loreen’s incredible victory in 2012 with “Euphoria”, which was co-written by Thomas G:son, everyone wanted a piece of him for the 2013 season, thinking his ability to write and produce a catchy track would be the way to success. One of them was Georgian broadcaster GBP, which first selected Sophie Gelovani and Nodiko Tatishvili as their entrants and soon after revealed that G:son would be writing the entry, which was eventually revealed to be just “Waterfall”. After the song was revealed, it immediately became one of the fan favourites, due to its traditional schlager sound and due to similarities to Chanee & N’evergreen, who had done very well in Oslo some years prior. Georgia was also doing very well with the bookies and a tiny possibility of Tbilisi 2014 arose. However, live performance in Malmö was underwhelming and it was later revealed that Georgia had only just qualified to the final and finished on a disappointing 16th place. 

Nodi and Sophie’s performance in the final

Everyone who knows me well, knows I’m a big sucker for such songs. Give me a schlager with a keychange and a duet and I’m on board immediately. Georgia was of course one of my favourites prior to the 2013 contest. It’s just what I love about Eurovision – a catchy chorus, big overblown notes, a keychange and a wind machine. You can never go wrong with that in my book. However, even a wonderful song couldn’t hide a fact that there was very little chemistry between Sophie and Nodi on stage and yes, one can hide a lack of chemistry with some nice camera angles and some fireworks (looking at you Christina and Tomas and “In A Moment Like This”!), while Sophie and Nodi came across as a carbon copy of both C&N and of Ell & Nikki who had won 2 years prior and gave nothing new to the table. I kept on wondering for ages what could have been if Jessica Andersson and Magnus Bäcklund (Fame) had reunited and had done the song in Melodifestivalen – I think it could have been their big comeback as a duo instead. So all in all – fabulous song, but not so fabulous execution live.

Now let’s find out what my colleagues think: 

Nick: When G:son delivers, you are bound to see other countries in the following year trying his trick. Never has it happened more blatantly than in 2013, though. After Pastora’s success, Georgia simply invited the same composer and asked him to replicate that success, except with a duet. In studio, this was an absolute contender for the top 5 as the most old fashioned eurovision song of the pack. Live, however, it just didn’t quite come to life. I loved it during the 2013 season, but I don’t think I have listened to it in over three years…

Isaac: I enjoyed Waterfall for what it was, a good duet with talented singers. In some ways it felt a bit like a success-chasing mission, but there’s some power behind both of their voices that helps alleviate that. The rise and crashing of the instrumental is waterfall-relevant, and the feel is like a tighter and more planned version of 3+2’s Butterflies from a few years earlier. Good competent entry from a country that doesn’t always come up with those.

Dan: Waterful isn’t one of my favourite Georgian entries – in fact its one that I tend to skip whenever it plays on shuffle.  However, vocally this really excelled live as well as the chemistry between Nodi & Sophie which really came across well on camera.  As a song alone though, I’m not a fan – it follows the trend of corny love songs performed as a pair.

Rodrigo: what’s the easiest way of never being accused of plagiarism? Plagiarise yourself, of course! Waterfall is Quédate Conmigo v. 2.0, which in my books is by no means a bad thing. I mean, yes, it would be ideal if every entry every year were a beacon of originality, but we all know that’s just not the case. I loved Waterfall, before, during and after Malmö. I particularly love the cheesiest part when she lays on him, it’s just perfect. And when they hit that high note, it’s just perfect. It’s Eurovision by the numbers, the one entry of this type that every edition must have. So, it’s a yes from me!

What do you think? Do you agree with our opinion? Is “Waterfall” one of your favourites or one of your hate objects of 2013? Discuss below or on social media on @ESCXTRA. 

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