It’s a sweet victory for Iru Khechanovi, as the young singer who’d won Junior Eurovision 2011 for Georgia as part of Candy, gets to represent her home country in the adult version of the contest in Liverpool, United Kingdom!
A favorite from her audition, this season of The Voice of Georgia was hers to lose, as every performance highlighted her as a multi-faceted performer, and her song selection reinforcing with the Georgian public why she was competing in the first place.
With 21.88% of the vote, Khechanovi won with a cover of Loreen’s Eurovision 2012 winning anthem “Euphoria,” though with a more pop-classical arrangement. There was no needless showing up in the vocals or dance departments, she just performed a version that suited her particular strengths. Khechanovi crushed the Semi-Finals with a cover of Conchita Wurst’s “Rise Like a Phoenix,” so no surprise she turned to previous Eurovision winners to remind Georgian viewers why we’re here and why she is ready to step up from Junior Eurovision.
Giorgi Datiashvili came in second with 15.72%, dipping into the Jesus Christ Superstar well again with “Gethsemane.”
Likuna Tutisani’s option of going 1970’s RnB was rewarded with third place, her cover of Donny Hathaway’s classic “A Song for You” earning 13.76%.
If anyone was going to upset the inevitability of an Iru win, it was Lika Siradze, whose alternative rock performances had earned her spots on “Best of The Voice” compilations this month, and who had also crossed the 40% threshold within her group in the Semi-Final.
Lika’s ’90s alt-rock inspired version of David Bowie’s “Humans” earned 13.73% and fourth place.
Anka Tatarashvili earned 11.56% for her Ariana Grande medley, Tina Datikashvili earned 10.34% for Whitney Houston’s “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength,” and Tako Kakalashvili went the gospel route and pulled out all the stops on Cynthia Erivo’s “Stand Up” from the Harriet soundtrack, garnering 10.09%.
In last place, Kakha Aslamazashvili got 2.92%, but he should get props for his unusual selection in Type O Negative’s “Love You To Death,” a goth-metal classic from the Brooklyn band’s masterpiece October Rust that every rock fan should run to listen to right now.
Next up for Georgia is the selection of the song. This will be done internally, and we shall know within a month what song Iru Khechanovi takes with her to Liverpool.
Georgia have not qualified for the Eurovision Grand Final since Nika Kocharov and Young Georgian Lolitaz’s “Midnight Gold” at Eurovision 2016. Though Georgia is often highly regarded in the Eurovision fanbase, their cult status has not translated into qualification for the Grand Final of late.
Perhaps with Khechanovi’s credentials as a prior Junior Eurovision winner and more accessible taste will help Georgia overturn this long-standing drought.
Georgia’s last entry, Circus Mircus’s “Lock Me In,” came in 18th and last in Semi-Final 2 at Eurovision 2022 in Turin, Italy.
Do #YOU think Iru is the right choice for Georgia in Liverpool? Do #YOU think the Voice of Georgia is the right method of selection for Eurovision 2023? Let us know in the comments below, our social media, our forum or Discord.
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