GPB, the Georgian national broadcaster, has announced that the winner of the upcoming series of Georgian Idol will represent Georgia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv.
The show will be broadcast from January 1 onward. Auditions will be held across Georgia and anyone over the age of 16 can apply for the show. Ten contestants will be chosen by a four-member jury for the live shows.
Georgian Idol already has a connection with Eurovision. Season 4 winner Nodiko Tatishvili and season 5 runner-up Sopho Gelovani represented Georgia in 2013 with “Waterfall”. They finished 15th in the final with 50 points. Georgia is the fourth country that are selecting their Eurovision representative through a televised talent show, after Malta, Israel and Spain.
Georgia’s most recent attempt was in 2018 with “For You” by Ethno-Jazz Band Iriao. The song finished in last place in the second semi final in Lisbon. This was the second time in a row that Georgia failed to qualify and it was the nation’s worst placing in their history.
Georgia have been present in every Eurovision Song Contest since 2010, and only missed 2009 since their debut in 2007. They are yet to win the contest but in 2010 they achieved their personal best with “Shine” by Sopho Nizharadze which finished in 9th place. Just one year later they managed to match this achievement as their entry “One More Day” by Eldrine also reached 9th place. In contrast, Georgia is currently the most successful country in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest with 3 wins to their name.
Georgia in the Eurovision Song Contest
Georgia debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2007, they were represented by Sopho Khalvashi and the song “Visionary Dream”. Sopho finished 8th in the final scoring 97 points, the song received 12 points from the televoters in Lithuania. Georgia has only ever missed one contest since their debut, this was in 2009 when Georgia had selected Stephane & 3G with “We Don’t Wanna Put In”, the song proved controversial for its lyrics aimed at the Russian President. The EBU asked for Georgia to rewrite the lyrics of the song or change the song completely. Georgia was forced to withdraw as it continued to state the lyrics were not of a political nature.