‘Idol’ Finalist Nutsa Buzaladze Under Fire After Controversial Performance

Nutsa Buzaladze

Heavy/ABC "American Idol" Top 12 contestant Nutsa Buzaladze

Powerhouse singer Nutsa Buzaladze has been busy performing around the world since making it to the Top 12 on season 21 of “American Idol.” But now the singer has issued an apology to fans who have vowed to stop supporting her following her decision to appear at an event in Russia.

Buzaladze has lived in Dubai for several years and has plans to move to Hollywood, but her journey on “Idol” has turned the 25-year-old into a superstar in her native country of Georgia, where she was already known for winning “X Factor Georgia” in 2015. She recently performed before thousands at a summer music festival, according to Yahoo, and will headline her own concert in the city of Batumi on June 30, 2023.

However, Buzaladze is now awash in controversy after singing at an event in Russia, which has angered many of her fans in Georgia — a small country located on the edge of Europe that shares its northern border with Russia and sits across the Black Sea from Ukraine. The war in Ukraine, ongoing since February 2022, has left many Georgians nervous given their proximity to the violence and experience with being invaded by Russia in the recent past. According to NPR, Russian troops still occupy about 20% of Georgia since attacking the country in 2008.

Georgia president Salome Zourabichvili told NPR in February, “We are in a place in – geostrategically in a place which is under constant … pressure from Russia.”

That’s why many fans are up in arms after video surfaced of Buzaladze singing and celebrating in Russia on June 23, with people calling her a “traitor” and accusing her of betraying her native country. Here’s what you need to know:

Video Surfaces of Nutsa Buzaladze Singing at Event in Russia

On June 24, a video surfaced on Facebook of Buzaladze singing with a group of Georgian and Russian celebrities the night before at an event in Moscow. The video has shocked and angered many fans who’ve flooded social media with rants against the singer for appearing there, with some predicting her career is over and saying that she should not be allowed to re-enter Georgia.

Hundreds of people commented on one of the Facebook posts of the video, expressing their “disgust” and frequently calling Buzaladze and the other singers “traitors.”

“Shame on you all,” one wrote, while another commented, “These Russian rats should be deprived of Georgian citizenship and deported to Russia”

On Twitter, someone wrote, “I can’t believe all those months of stanning Nutsa came to this…”

Another tweeted, “After @AmericanIdol Nutsa Buzaladze @Nutsabuza held a concert in Moscow. Traitors never change.”

The same day the video began circulating, Buzaladze issued an apology to fans on social media in Georgian, which is written Mkhedruli script.

“To all my friends and fans,” the English translation of her message reads, “Today, I’ve broken your heart so much and I feel obligated to explain everything to you because it hurts me.”

“Russia is not a market where I would like to continue my career in the present or in the future,” she continued. “Despite the multiple offers, every project or corporate offer has been turned down. This decision of mine is absolutely firm and thoughtful.”

Buzaladze told fans she has not considered releasing her music in Russia and has been invited to participate a charity concert in Ukraine, adding that she has repeatedly said “Russia is an occupant.”

“However, I have many Georgian friends in Russia,” she explained. “Yesterday was my very close friend’s birthday (he’s like family to me). My friends living in Russia know that I don’t even consider commercial proposals (for performing there). I was invited as a guest at a birthday party. At the end of the night I was asked to sing, which of course I couldn’t turn down to my best friend on her birthday.”

Buzaladze concluded, “I think that the main mistake was to go to Russia … Never thought all of this would result in this. I realize my responsibility and it hurts that I cut off the people who always have my back the most and I want to say sorry to all of you.”

Buzaladze restricted Instagram comments on her apology post, so only five comments were shown, all from people who left heart emojis. But on Facebook, she received nearly 5,000 comments, many from people who were not satisfied with her apology.

“You have to explain to a friend why you can’t sing and visit in an occupant country,” one wrote. “It’s as simple as that! It was better to explain to a friend than to upset the army of fans … Nothing will justify going to Moscow today, yesterday and tomorrow. This is so very sad.”

But some fans are sticking up for the singer, urging others not to “cancel” her after one mistake.

“Nutsa is a world class singer,” someone wrote. “Great patriot of Georgia. She didn’t sing for Russians and even if she sang … her profession demands it.”

Nutsa Buzaladze Has Been Vocal About Her Support of Georgia in the Past

Buzaladze has been vocal over the last 18 months about her support for her native country and her feelings about Russia. At the time of the invasion of Ukraine, on February 25, she wrote an emotional Facebook post about it.

She wrote, “I can’t stop but crying!!!! My heart and soul is with Ukraine and with Ukrainian people! Please be strong ✊🏻✊🏻✊🏻

Buzaladze continued, “I keep remembering this feeling i had when I was a kid , when Russia had a war with my small country😢they occupied 20% of my country , killed innocent people and burned down our beautiful land 🥺😢, IT IS SOOOO SAD!! My heart is tearing apart everytime I hear news about Ukraine💔Please god save us and end this war please please please😢😢😢😢😢

On May 26, days after performing on the season finale of “American Idol,” Buzaladze headed to Washington D.C. to perform the Georgian and United States’ national anthems at the Library of Congress in honor of Georgia Independence Day. She posted several photos and videos of the event, where she wore a custom gown reflecting the Georgian flag.

“May 26 is the most precious day for all Georgians,” she wrote in one post. “I wish you to live together in a united, strong and prosperous Georgia! Glory and Honor to those who fought and sacrificed for our country’s freedom! ♥️”

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