23 February 2017

Eurovision 2017: Review: Georgia: Keep the Faith

Tako Gachechiladze / Georgia / Eurovision 2017
Tako Gachechiladze will Keep the Faith for Georgia in 2017

After an exceptionally drawn out selection process where 25 candidates competed for the right to represent Georgia in Kiev, it was eventually decided that Tako Gachechiladze will sing Keep the Faith for the nation at Eurovision 2017.

Over recent years, one could rely on Georgia to offer up something a little left field to the competition: indie rock, jazz fusion and some electropop spring to mind. Many hated it and, admittedly, most of those choices failed to race up the scoreboard.

However, it's somewhat disappointing to report that Georgia has ditched the alt-Eurovision attitude for something more Contest friendly - but sadly - bland, safe and familiar.

Georgia Flag
Keep the Faith is the kind of power ballad that has become a regular feature of the Eurovision Song Contest. It's nice and it means well but, among a multitude of similar productions, there's nothing to distinguish it from the crowd.

Vocally, it smacks of 1990s Mariah Carey or Celine Dion and visually - at least at the National Final - Tako appears to be channeling Conchita Wurst in the fashion stakes. Like the lyrics, it's all rather clichéd and stale.

Meanwhile - and this is probably just a personal thing - there's also a nagging similarity in the latter part of the entry to Michael Jackson's Earth Song. Although both compositions have a connected theme, it's the musical progression of Keep the Faith which bears the greatest resemblance.

That said, there's also the small matter of the somewhat politically charged and rather inappropriate backdrop seen in the video below. Surely, that has to go between now and May. Clearly, Tako will not want to find herself in the same predicament as her former group Stephane and 3G in 2009 - namely, disqualified. Assuming this isn't the case, some tweaks to the presentation and the song are inevitable.

Nevertheless, steel yourselves for some dramatic - some might say melodramatic - vocals. In that quarter the song can't be faulted, but the entire package is unlikely to be a major highlight in Kiev.

So, not Georgia's strongest effort and perhaps a borderline qualifier. Should it break through though, I can't see it worrying the upper area of the scoreboard.


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