This past weekend, Georgian attention was focused firmly on the Junior Eurovision kids as the first round of the hit talent and national selection show Ranina was completed on 1TV.

Okay, it may be a stretch to say that the ten kids dueting with past Ranina participants to try represent Georgia at Junior Eurovision dominated the news, but while they fought it out there was plenty of news from the adult version of the contest this past weekend.

Firstly, Sopho Khalvashi was named by Georgia Public Broadcasting as the official spokesperson for the Georgian jury.

The first ever Eurovision participant for Georgia, whose “Visionary Dream” finished 12th at Eurovision 2007, Khalvashi will present Georgia’s jury points at Eurovision 2024 in Malmo, Sweden on May 11, 2024.

A popular singer within Georgia during the 2000s, Khalvashi eventually went on to become Deputy Mayor of her home city of Batumi in 2019.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s internally selected Eurovision 2024 representative Nutsa Buzaladze joined many other Eurovision 2024 competitors in embarking on the Eurovision Pre-Party circuit this past Saturday, March 30, 2024, in Madrid, Spain.

However, many will have noticed that she did not show up on any Eurovision fan site polls as an option for “best performance” in Madrid despite performing.

That is because she did not perform her Eurovision 2024 entry “Firefighter.” She performed a cover of Christina Aguilera’s “Hurt” instead, in honor of her brother Dato who passed away on March 23, 2024.

In a post on her Facebook page, Buzaladze paid tribute to him, and “Hurt” was an appropriate tribute song given how its lyrics echo the sentiments she expressed.

“Today my most handsome brother Dato was found dead in a car in America,” Buzaladze wrote. “I don’t know what is greater trouble than this, what pain can a person feel, I feel like a part of my heart is broken. I can’t forgive myself for not having a close relationship with him especially lately but I’ve always loved him as a part of my heart since childhood, it’s so heart breaking and I feel so sorry that I actually lost my relationship with him I don’t understand why myself.. This suffering will follow me for the rest of my life and this heartache I feel today will never go away! Dato, you were a very good brother, a good friend, a good son, a good husband, a good father and a great patriot of your country! Thank you for that, we will all miss you and I’m sorry I’m sorry that I didn’t give you a ride. I love you and will always do.”

Buzaladze did, however, have the opportunity to perform “Firefighter” in front of 55,000 soccer spectators in Tbilisi last week.

Before the Euro 2024 play-off against Greece, Buzaladze performed “Firefighter” on what would turn out to be a historic occasion that Buzaladze could argue is as big as performing at Eurovision.

In a tense match, Georgia managed to overcome Greece and qualify for the Euro 2024 tournament in Germany this summer. In beating Greece, Georgia’s soccer team managed to qualify for a major international tournament for the first time in its history.

Buzaladze will next perform at the London Eurovision Pre-party on Sunday, April 7, 2024, and the Amsterdam Eurovision Pre-party on Sunday, April 13, 2024.

Keep an eye out on ESC United’s social media as our correspondents bring you live coverage of these events.

Will #YOU be keeping an eye on Nutsa’s performances in London and Amsterdam? Let us know in the comments below, on our social media, or in our forum.

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