Sixteen became eight as two members of each coach’s team were eliminated in a marathon Semi-Final of The Voice of Georgia.
Each contestant performed, and after voting, the leader or largest televote recipient of each group automatically progressed to the Final. Each coach then had the option to save one of the remaining three contestants, and there were a couple of surprise saves today.
A surprise outsider from last week’s round, Lika Siradze, took the win in Coach Sopho Toroshelidze’s team with 40.58% of the vote.
After what seemed like a rebellion against rock acts last round in the televote, Lika’s cover of Radiohead’s “Street Spirit” connected with enough viewers to give her an easy win.
Coming in second in the vote was Tina Datikashvili, who took a different route with Beyonce’s tribute to Stevie Wonder, “Higher Ground / Fingertip.” She came in second with 30.32%. Sopho agreed, and picked Tina to advance to the final.
Mariam Toronjadze came in third with Whitney Houston’s “Queen of the Night” at 18.73%, while Salome Tsintsadze’s take on Hooverphonic’s “Mad About You” came in last with 10.37%.
Coach David Evgenidze is the coach with the controversial pick this week, advancing the last place Kakha Aslamazashvili to the Final. Though he went with modern era Red Hot Chili Peppers’s 2016 song “Dark Necessities,” only 14.18% of the televote went for it.
Giorgi Datiashvili edged to victory and automatically progressed to the final with 33.77% of the vote. That he took the win with a cover of Sting’s “Fragile,” a gold standard for boomer soft rock that indicates that the audience for The Voice of Georgia skews a little older than you suspect.
You do have to feel for second-place Giorgi Putkaradze, who brought out his acoustic guitar and serenaded the audience with a Georgian pop song. He earned 30.33% of the vote, the highest televote of all contestants who was not advanced to the final.
Last week I made the joke that Allegro should be called “Old Volo” because of their Italian pop-classical schtick reminding me of Italy’s Eurovision 2015 bronze medalists Il Volo. Wouldn’t you know, they only go and perform “Grande Amore” this week. They were also eliminated, garnering 21.72% of the vote.
In Coach Stephane’s team, no controversy as he picked the top two, only separated by 2.79%. Anka Tatarashvili progressed to the final with 31.92% with Daniel Caesar’s “Best Part,” while Likuna Tutisani followed with 29.13% for Dionne Warwick’s “I say a little prayer.”
The two moustached lads in the group were eliminated, with Dato Rusadze only getting 19.97% for Coldplay’s “Fix You.” Saba Chachua, who became known for his dyed moustache, came in last with 18.98% for doing Aerosmith’s “Dream On.”
The contest’s current pacesetter Iru Khechanovi earned the highest vote percentage of the night with 44.52% for her take on Conchita Wurst’s “Rise like a Phoenix,” Austria’s winner of Eurovision 2014.
Perhaps the Junior Eurovision winner, part of Georgia’s 2011 contest winning Candy, was sending a not so subtle reminder of her credentials for Eurovision and that it is the point of this Season’s iteration of The Voice of Georgia.
Tako Kakalashvili was advanced to the final by coach Dato Porchidze. She took on The Bee Gees’ “How Deep is your Love?,” even adding in some improvized vocalization. She got 17.89% of the vote, coming in third, but Dato advanced her over second place Erekle Turkadze, who got 29.92% with Labrinth’s “Jealous.”
Tsotne Barbakadze came in a distant fourth with 7.67%. There was about five different ideas in his outfit alone, but none connected with the audience on his cover of Jonathan Roy’s “Keeping Me Alive.”
After this round, the teams are as follows:
Sopho Toroshelidze’s Team: Tina Datikashvili, Lika Siradze.
Stephane Mgebrishvili’s Team: Likuna Tutisani, Anka Tatarashvili.
Dato Porchkhidze’s Team: Iru Khechanovi, Tako Kakalashvili.
David Evgenidze’s Team: Giorgi Datiashvili, Kakha Aslamazashvili.
The Voice of Georgia is being used to select Georgia’s Eurovision entrant for the 2023 season, and two coaches have a direct connection to past Georgian Eurovision entrants.
Sopho Toroshelidze was the lead singer of Georgian nu metal band Eldrine. Eldrine’s “One Fine Day,” which was entered at Eurovision 2011, is currently Georgia’s joint-best entry coming in 9th (Sofia Nizharadze’s “Shine” also came in 9th at Eurovision 2010). Eldrine won the Georgian national final, and Toroshelidze later replaced original vocalist Tako Vadachkoria due to a contract dispute between GPB and Vadachkoria.
Stephane Mgrebishvili was kicked out of Eurovision 2009 as part of Stephane and 3G when the band refused to change lyrics to their entry “We Don’t Wanna Put In” in response to the European Broadcasting Union’s (EBU) political content rule. “We Don’t Wanna Put In” was a reference to Russia’s invasion and subsequent occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008. Stephane was also a judge on the season of Georgian Idol that selected Oto Nemsadze to represent Georgia at Eurovision 2019. He was also a judge on The Voice Season 3.
The man with the bandanna that everyone recognizes as the third judge is Georgian musician and film composer David Evgenidze. He was previously a judge on Georgian Idol when Tornike Kipiani was selected to represent Georgia at Eurovision 2020 (he was internally selected to compete at Eurovision 2021 after the cancellation of Eurovision 2020). Evgenidze is also a regular judge on Ranina, Georgia’s method of selection for Junior Eurovision. He also wrote “We Need Love” for Giorgi Rostiashvili, which came in 14th at Junior Eurovision 2019.
Lastly, Dato Porchkhidze returns as a coach on The Voice of Georgia having been a coach on the first two seasons in 2012 and 2013. Dato’s proteges Salome Katamadze and Mariam Chachkhiani won Season 1 and Season 2, respectively. A musician in his own right, with over 600 compositions to his name, he was also a part of the famous Georgian group Face.
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.
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.
The next episode of The Voice of Georgia airs at 22:00 local time on Thursday, February 2, 2023. The Voice is presented by Gvantsa Daraselia. Non-Georgian viewers will be able to check it out directly on TV-1’s livestream on their own website or The Voice’s Facebook page.
Do #YOU think the Voice of Georgia is the right method of selection for Eurovision 2023? Do #YOU think this and the recent change to Semi-Final voting rules will bring Georgia’s first Grand Final qualification since 2016? Let us know in the comments below, our social media, our forum or Discord.
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