National Final Throwback: Tamar Kaprelian – Poison (Ari Ari)

In 2018, Armenia opted for a National final to select their next Eurovision entrant. There were a handful of memorable acts, including of course, Kamil Show and eventual winner Sevak Khanagyan. However none reached the level of hype like Tamar Kaprelian. Having previously performed for Genealogy back in 2015, she had the experience to be able to tackle Eurovision as a soloist. Judging by fan reaction, it seemed she had the win in the bag.

The studio version showed incredible promise. It was contemporary, yet had distinct cultural influences that really added to the appeal. The melodies were catchy, especially in the bilingual chorus. Despite all that, the song still felt as if it was in the demo stage. The instrumentation was nice, but should have been more pronounced. Furthermore, the pre-choruses felt lacklustre. That was unfortunately highlighted in the live performance. The sound system was questionable in this national final, but ultimately it highlighted how easy it would be for those pre-choruses to be pitchy.

I definitely think some of the vocal issues during the performance can be credited to the terrible sound system. However, there’s also no denying that Tamar was a bit shaky during the 3 minutes. The song had huge potential, but I don’t know if her vocal tone really suited. She has such a pure tone but I think this song needed a different style of voice.

The visual performance at the national selection had some strong moments. The lighting was stunning, with the heavy use of spotlights and the starry background during the performance. The outfit choice was also on point and reflected the style of song, contemporary with traditional touches. Unfortunately, however, the staging at times felt incredibly static, even with the dancers. The chorus demands strong choreography, but what the team delivered was far from it.

At the time it was a shock not to see Tamar in the Depi Evratesil final, but looking back I think it made sense. She struggled with both televote and jury, and it just came down to a lacklustre performance. There were some great elements, but as a whole it just didn’t come together. For me this is a 5.5/10.


Year: 2018

Country: Armenia

Artist: Tamar Kaprelian

Song: Poison (Ari Ari)