Eurovision 2014: Georgia’s The Shin and Mariko in focus

A skydiving parachutist and a mix of many musical influences didn’t score Georgia all that many points in 2014. Their song, for better or worse, remains hard to forget among Eurovision fans.

Three Minutes To Earth was internally selected to represent Georgia at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest by a panel of experts appointed by GPB. The announcement was made at a press conference at the Georgian broadcaster’s Assembly Hall on the 4th of February. Later that month, The Sin and Mariko recorded their song and it would take until the 14th of March before the public got to hear it.

The song may have lasted for 3 minutes, depending on how you look at it, its downfall took a long shorter or the whole evening. Either way, the 15 points they received in the second semi-final wasn’t enough to earn them anything better than a bottom position on the scoreboard. Maybe the progressive structure of Three Minutes To Earth was not understood by the jury nor the viewers at home.

Georgia’s Eurovision song was composed by Zaza Miminoshvili, guitar and panduri player on The Shin, and written by Eugen Eliu. Among its most remarkable elements, the performance included a parachutist (including a parachute) and a number of traditional Georgian musical instruments.

Three Minutes to Earth – opinions from fans

In order to find out what Eurovision fans today think of this Georgian entry from 2014, we asked our Eurovision Fan Panel. It includes team members as well as fans from all over the world.

🇳🇱 🇩🇰 Wouter V – This song was treated as a running gag in 2014, and I must admit that I didn’t appreciate it all that much right from the start. Until I found myself at the Georgian delegation party in Copenhagen and experienced these extremely talented musicians up close and personal. Hearing them perform this song, and several other songs, in that intimate setting – it was a rather small party – really changed my mind. When I listen to the song today, I try to shift focus between the song as a whole and individual instruments and appreciate it for yet another layer every time.

🇬🇧 Kat H. – While Georgia haven’t had many hugely successful entries since their first attempt in 2007, I have always secretly enjoyed the unusual, Bohemian approach which Georgian entries take (and this is no exception).
It’s a pretty bad song, with pretty bad vocals and pretty bad staging (see the dude in a parachute) but its main downfall was the fact that it preceded the Polish sex show in SF2 that year and consequently came last.

🇦🇺 Craig M. – I got to see this song live in 2014, when we went to the Eurovision final! It was a real surprise for some that it never qualified for the final, but for me, it really stood out. It’s not a song I love, or one of the Eurovision songs I have on my playlist, but I respect it as a unique, quirky entry that stood out.

🇭🇺 Vangelis M. – Generally I like Georgia in the contest most of the time. I feel that is an underrated country. But I have to admit that I was not really expecting from this song to be able to be in the final. Although it’s a song I remember and also I remember the staging, it’s not one of their good entries. Even if we compare it to their next year entry with Nina and warrior which was such an amazing performance.

🇩🇰 Charlotte J. – Three Minutes To Earth… oh my. Please remind me never to pick up skydiving, should it cross my mind. I don’t want to be reminded of this song. I really don’t get it, this is just too weird for me. I applaud Georgia for often being brave to serve us something out of the box… this is just too far out.

🇨🇿 Josef S – This is one of the entries where I still don’t know if I like it or not, even after 7 years. It’s like too many different genres sung and played all at once. I would say that I like some parts but as a whole I am not so sure. Let’s say it’s a little bit below average. I know much worse songs but a lot better ones as well.

🇮🇪 Paul K. – Every year, there’s that one song that’s just ridiculous and even gives a ridiculous staging. 2013 was Montenegro, 2012 was Austria, 2011 was 2011 😅 and for 2014, it was Georgia. Just not my type of song and the performance was very funny but corny at the same time. It’s a hard “no” from me.

🇨🇴 🇫🇮 Alvaro S. – I remember when I watched this song for the first time on its semifinal. I felt… confused. I know this will be mean but the green dress which deserved the Barabara Dex award, the parachutist, the messy presentation that gives me some psychotropic vibes. Really, what they were thinking when they decided this was the way to go?

🇬🇧 Michael O. – Well this is certainly one of Eurovision’s oddest ever entries but as a result it has never grown boring. Obviously it was never going to qualify to the finals, but it has a certain factor that draws you in for another listen, even to this day.

🇷🇸 Miljan T. – First of all – I have totally forgotten about this song. Then, listening to it again, it’s absolutely clear why. The only thing remarkable about it is – why would anyone send such a song to a contest? While I appreciate that there are people who like this kind of song while they’re… lounging perhaps, I can’t think of any reason to expect something like this to do well in a pop-music competition.

Enjoy The Shin and Mariko’s performance from the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest in the embedded video. Below the video, you can read more about them.

The Shin and Mariko – a mini biography

Both The Shin and Mariko were very well established on the Georgian music scene when they represented their country at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest. Mariko, born in 1984 in Tbilisi, builds her experience on some eight years of musical training, a career as jazz artist and a soloist position at the Tbilisi Municipality orchestra Big Band.

The Shin, which roughly translates from the band’s native language to “coming home” was formed in Germany in 1998. Band members Zaza Miminoshvili (guitar, panduri) and Zurab, aka Zura, J. Gagnidze (bass, vocals) had both been living there for four years at the time. They were joined by vocalist and percussionist Mamuka Gaganidze, aka Muki, in 2002.

Music has always played a large role in each of the band’s three members lives. However, Zaza started out studying mechanical engineering, Zura’s studied information technology while Muki entered the faculty of Oriental Studies at Tbilisi State University and later pivoted to cinematography, then law. Their interest for music stuck around though, and despite other career efforts they all found themselves playing music in several formations. Most notably they had previously worked together on the highly acclaimed band Adio.

In August 2019 Muki passed away. He lost his fight against cancer.

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