#ARMENIA: #AllAboard for the Live Blog of Դեպի Եվրատեսիլ/Depi Evratesil Semi-final 1 at 19.15 CET
Need your Eurovision fix on a Monday evening? Then look no further as Armenia starts its search for a song for Lisbon.
We at Eurovision Ireland will be trying to work out what’s going on at the far end of Europe, and seeing if we (well, I) can do better at predictions than last night’s shenanigans in Festival da Canção from Portugal.
Five songs from tonight will go through to the Դեպի Եվրատեսիլ/Depi Evratesial final on Sunday evening. They’ll be chosen by a combination of jury and public voting.
You know the drill. Hit refresh for an update of the blog. See if you agree, or if I’m talking out of my apricot stone. You can also watch the action HERE.
And we’re off, a little earlier than planned it seems. We get to meet tonight’s acts as they all come onto stage one by one.
We get an explanation of the rules, with the numbers you can call if you’re in Armenia. If not, then you’re call won’t count, although you may be charged.
So onto the songs
Gevorg Harutyunyan – Stand up
We start with a dark set with dramatic red lighting. Young Gevorg is being very breathy and has a collection of dancers with him. He’s in a long grey coat. The chorus tries to demonstrate his powerful voice and it gets more earnest as the song progresses. The beat is a little Ravel’s Bolero with lots of strings over the top. He even dances and pirouettes around the stage. The song maybe goes on a little, and is more cruise ship stage show than competition song.
Angel – Heartbeat
Angel likes the gym judging by her postcard. Followed up by a healthy smoothie. She has four wobbly dancers and wears a long silver gown with a hood. This is more upbeat than Gevorg’s and could have a decent beat. Angel appears to be struggling with some of the notes though. For the second verse, she ditches the silver gown and tries to interact with the dancers. This seems longer than three minutes.
Lusine Mardanyan – If you don’t walk me home
Lusine slows things down with a solo guitarist and dry ice. Her song is very competent and the best one so far. Even her English intonation is very good. I could imagine Natalie Imbruglia singing this as an album track. And to add to the drama, the performance is entirely in black & white. A likely qualifier.
Zhanna Davtyan – Unbreakable
Upbeat again, with what sounds like a bontempi organ providing the backbeat. Zhanna has two dancers and likes long notes. And it has a key change!! She’s dressed very well, as if she’s just come from her high-powered office job. And she looks not unlike Claudia Faniello. Could that be an omen.
Mger Armenia – Forever
More dry ice and that musical instrument that you here at the start of ‘Apricot stone’. Mger is a ‘he’ by the way, not a ‘they’. There’s some business going off behind him involving a dancer in a bedsheet, which she eventually throws off. She reveals some sort of box strapped around her midriff which is a little noteworthy if nothing else. The song? It’s little repetitive and has lots more long notes. The midriff appears to be a baby, as the dancer cradles it in the said bedsheet. All a little worrying to me.
After five song’s worth of tomfoolery, it’s time for a quick trip to the Green Room to speak to acts we’ve seen so far. It all seems very sedate and free of alcohol.
Nemra – I’m a liar
A group – at last – who like red wine it seems. And there’s nothing wrong with red wine from the Caucasus. It’s a refreshing mix of two guitarists, a keyboardist and drummer. This is perhaps the most contemporary thing of the show so far. They could actually be a college band regaling us their own compositions, and this one ain’t bad. There’s a decent guitar riff during the middle-eight, and this is hanging together very well. Best one so far.
Hayk Kasparov – Enamórame
Football is Hayk’s passion and shows off his keepy-uppy antics in the postcard. This surprisingly upbeat and very Eurobeat. Not quite Scandi-pop, but quite easy on the ear and catchy. It’s in Spanish too. Well, why not? He strains a little with some of the early notes but does get into his stride, especially when his young lady appears on stage to dance with him. Think Origo but Hispanic.
Tamar Kaprelian – Poison (ari ari)
Tamar was with Genealogy in 2015, but now faces the shadow alone. She comes on stage in a chair and has the outfit of the night, by quite a way. She sounds like she means business, and has an advantage with her English, being part American. It’s not a bad little ditty and bounces along between verse and chorus. I’m not sure why her dancers are in sparkly muzzles but it perhaps adds a little mystery. It may well be ‘Fly with me’ Part II, but this will be one to watch.
Robert Koloyan – Get away with us
Robert has a very deep voice, a little soul-like in fact. He’s also got the moves and so have his dance troupe. It could spring a surprise and get through to the final. It’s amongst a couple of reasonable songs so could get lost though.
Gata Band – Shogha
You want ethnic? Well this is it. A brilliant bit of Armeno-pop fronted by a man who has to be seen to be believed. It’s really bouncy and catchy and well get a huge cheer from the crowd. Which it did. A likely finalist.
The phone lines get thrown open now for the public to vote. They have 15 minutes. I’ll say it’s been diverse.
In the meantime, we get the usual filler of song recaps and chatter in the Green Room.
Next we take an unusual departure, and send an intrepid reporter out into the streets of Yerevan to talk to Hayk Public. About countries it seems.
Another recap, as the public voting window comes to a close.
Before the results, we delve into the world of JESC. It was hosted by Armenia last November if you recall. Feel free to read about our week covering JESC – it’s well worth it. Misha, who sang for Armenia sings ‘Boomerang’ for us.
More hilarity from the Green Room, and we’re getting all the performers taking selfies.
What next? It’s footage of Artsvik. Just to pile extra pressure on tonight’s performers.
But who are tonight’s lucky five? First out is…
Then Roberto Koloyan!
Then Gevorg Harutyunyan!
Then Lusine Mardanyan!
We’ll see those five in the final on Sunday 25 February.
Catch you soon!
Author: John Stanton
Source: Eurovision Ireland, AMPTV