It will be one fine day when Georgia qualifies for the Eurovision Grand Final for the first time since 2016, and Georgia’s latest method of selection will begin its ten week process on Thursday, December 8, 2022 at 22:00 Georgian time.
Earlier this year it was confirmed that national broadcaster Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) would utilize the country’s version of The Voice to select its representative for Eurovision 2023. And today GPB provided more details about the ten week process, including the start date and judge details.
The Voice typically features four coaches who select team members from a pool of auditioning singers and help them advance through to the finals through a series of challenges, and over the course of the past two weeks the four coaches were announced by GPB.
Given that The Voice is being used to select Georgia’s Eurovision entrant, two coaches have a direct connection to past Georgian Eurovision entrants.
Sopho Toroshelidze, the lead singer of Georgian nu metal band Eldrine, was announced as a coach. 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.
The second coach announced was Stephane Mgrebishvili, who 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. 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 (see below for one of many ESC United endorsements of Georgia), their cult status has not translated into qualification for the Grand Final.
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 Voice will begin airing at 22:00 local time on Thursday, December 8, 2022. 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.