Preview: Armenia aim to break non-qualification streak

This post is in collaboration with Joshua Mayne and ESCDaily 

Armenia are returning to their national final selection process (Depi Evratesil), after internally-selected Srbuk finished 16th in her semi final last year. Since their first participation in 2006, Armenia has only failed to qualify three times, with two of those coming in the last two years. Will the return to a national final format be the key for success in Rotterdam?

Agop – Butterflies

‘Butterflies’ is a fresh and catchy song that is enjoyable on first listen. It is a track, however, that could have more appeal as a studio version rather than live performance. The big question will be whether Agop can bring strong vocals to his live rendition. Combined with an eye-catching visual performance though, this entry has the potential to challenge some of the favourites.

Arthur Aleq – Heaven

Arthur Aleq brings his song ‘Heaven’ to Depi Evratesil, incorporating pop and traditional Armenian instrumental. The song shows off Aleq’s falsetto well, but it feels as if it lacks peaks and troughs. This plateau will make it hard to maintain the audience’s attention and interest for the whole three minutes.

Athena Manoukian – Chains On You

The Armenian-Greek singer Athena Manoukian has expressed interest in competing at Eurovision, and she now has her chance. ‘Chains On You’ is a modern track that could easily be featured on a pop radio station. Whether that is a good or bad thing for Eurovision is debatable, but this song appears to be a favourite to represent Armenia.

ERNA – Life Faces

This entry features an intriguing mix of jazz, pop and alternative elements. ERNA possesses great vocal control, which is crucial for a song with such a strong jazz influence. Although it is not a fan favourite, ‘Life Faces’ cannot be ruled out as a potential winner – it is unique and oddly catchy.

EVA Rida – No Love

‘No Love’ is another pop entry in Depi Evratesil, but lacks some punch compared to the other songs. The melody itself is interesting, with various instrumental breaks. However, against arguably stronger entries, this song may not have the x-factor to win on Saturday.

Gabriel Jeeg – It’s Your Turn

‘It’s Your Turn’ brings vibes of early 2000s Eurovision dance-pop entrants. It begins as a slow ballad, progressing into disco, and then into an almost Caribbean-dance style entry. Although fun and likely a guilty pleasure for many, it is unlikely that this entry will have the legs to win this competition.

Hayk Music – What Is To Be In Love

‘What Is To Be In Love’ is a soft, gentle ballad which incorporates some strong falsetto. If executed well live with warm staging, this could definitely be a moving performance. Whether it has enough substance to win the national final is another question, though.

Karina EVN – Why?

‘Why?’ is a pop song that may struggle to stand out in Depi Evratesil 2020. There is nothing inherently wrong with the entry, but it lacks edge and an element of uniqueness. The repetitive nature of the song will not help it’s chances, either.

Miriam Baghdassarian – Run Away

Miriam Baghdassarian is an Armenian-Canadian singer who recently participated in La Voix 2018 (the French-Canadian version of The Voice). The vocals are powerful and moving in her song ‘Run Away’. Although, her entry is slightly one-dimensional. Will there be enough in the song to interest viewers?

Sergey & Nikolay Harutyunov – Ha, Take a Step

Standing alone in the rock genre is Sergey and Nikolay Harutyunov with their song ‘Ha, Take a Step’. The gritty vocals and a powerful bridge are the main positives of the song. However, it is typically difficult to win a Eurovision national final with a rock entry unless it is extremely well-liked. It is possible, but this song may lack the power and melodic drive to win.

TOKIONINE – Save Me

A favourite leading into Saturday night, ‘Save Me’ is a modern entry that could translate well onto the live stage with a slick and contemporary performance. The song is powerful, with comparisons drawn between the work of Benjamin Ingrosso and The Weeknd. Interestingly, TOKIONINE was one of the songwriters on Armenia’s 2019 entry ‘Walking Out’.

Vladimir Arzumanyan – What’s Going On Mama

After winning Junior Eurovision in 2010, Vladimir Arzumanyan will be attempting to represent his country at Eurovision 2020. His song ‘What’s Going On Mama’ has a nice laidback vibe to it, but like a few entries this year, is rather repetitive. What will be interesting though is to see how his live vocals will match the studio vocals, which appear to be digitally altered.

Depi Evratesil 2020 will take place this Saturday 15th February, at 19:00 CET. 

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