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Armenia: Eurovision National Competition

eurovision logoThe Eurovision Song Contest, an international music competition usually better known for its kitsch and often cheesy performances rather than its music, is no stranger to controversy in the South Caucasus. In 2008, the Armenian opposition in Armenia urged a boycott of the competition following a bitterly disputed presidential election held in February and a State of Emergency declared in March, while Georgia eventually withdrew after poking fun at Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin before Armenia and Azerbaijan engaged in some very public squabbling with even more controversy to come the following year.

Given how seriously each of the three countries in the region take Eurovision, many are already following developments closely. Indeed, speculation in Armenia was ripe that one act, Mihran and Emmy, had already been decided before voting took place in tonight's national final with others favoring another potential entry by Eva Rivas. Indeed, noted Unzipped, the choice was always going to be between the two acts even if the competition failed to excite Eurovision pundits in the same way as previous entries such as 2008′s Sirusho had.

[...] if until last couple of weeks, no one had doubts that Emmy & Mihran will win our national selection, current ‘word of mouth’ favourite is Eva Rivas.

[...]

I was really looking forward to Emmy/Mihran’s song. There was anticipation and good buzz surrounding it. However, I am not impressed, perhaps partly because I am not really into that kind of music. [...]

Eva Rivas’s song is classier. [...]

Despite the concerns about the vote possibly being fixed, the situation seemed to suggest otherwise as tonight's final approached. Even a Twitter user in Azerbaijan agreed.
eurovision_tweet_0001
On the night of the competition itself, some Twitter users in Armenia updated followers on their opinion on the two acts. As others noted, this became especially useful as no live webcast had been set up. Most, but not all, seemed happy that Mihran and Emmy did not go through as had been initially expected although none seemed excited about the choices on offer.

eurovision_tweet_0002

Meanwhile, The Armenian Observer comments on the competition and also says that yet another controversy involving one of Armenia's estranged neighbors in the region occurred.

Emmy & Mihran were accompanied by a modern dance group, whose choreography was a tribute to Michael Jackson, but I’m still wandering – what was Emmy’s poor singing a tribute to? Why bring an American dance crew if you have no voice? This is a SINGING contest!

[...]

PS: Apparently there was a little scandal with National Finals. Initially 10 participants were announced, but Sonya’s song dropped out apparently for plagiarizing on last year’s Turkish entry.

In conclusion, Unzipped, perhaps the best blog to follow on Armenia's Eurovision entries, offers its thoughts on the final choice of Eva Rivas in the comments section of its previous post.

I have to say, show-wise (stage presentation) Emmy & Mihran were the best during the national selection night. However, although both Emmy and Mihran looked cute, Emmy’s voce sounded very bad, Mihran could have done much better without her.

As to Eva, she provided with OKish performance, her voice was much better than Emmy’s.

Now my advice to Eva & producers. You have to seriously think of presenting a better show for Eurovision. Otherwise, not even win, but top ten would be out of reach. Eva should learn to move on the stage, she did not feel the stage and there were lots of awkward movements. She should choose different dress and different haircut.

In fact, I stand 100% with the commentary I provided writing this post. Choices of songs were not impressive. There were no winner songs there. But Eva’s win was RELATIVELY deserved. It was RELATIVELY better than the other ones.

Good luck, Eva.

  • http://www.ditord.com Observer

    I was really looking forward to seeing how Google’s Buzz and Twitter would work with a live event like Eurovision. I was expecting at least a little bit of Buzz on Google Buzz, but nah… Twitter is still the best when it comes to this sort of sharing. There was NO BUZZ throughout the show, and entries started to appear on my Google Buzz list only an hour after Eurovision was over.

    PS: Nice post, and superfast too, Onnik!

  • Anna

    Eva sucks………. she is a giant ugly horse.
    Emmy and Mihran were great. The show was perfect.

    the winner has been decided in advance, and not chosen by the audience

  • http://blog.oneworld.am Onnik Krikorian

    And, like I said, Eurovision is taken very seriously in this region and some controversy always emerges, especially at this stage with how the entry is selected.

    Rivas’s main rivals, the duo of Emmy and Mihran, bowed to the audience and quickly walked off the stage following the announcement of the contest outcome. Their team later cried foul as some of Emmy and Mihran fans claimed their numerous text messages had “failed to go through.”

    Some claimed that the win by the tall Russian-Armenian brunette with a model’s look was a foregone conclusion given the heavy support that she enjoyed from a powerful Diaspora production team in Moscow.

    “Our text messages were not going through. There is no turning art into a bargain. The problem is not with Eva Rivas’s persona, but with people who stand behind her,” said one disgruntled fan.

    http://www.azatutyun.am/content/article/1958131.html

  • http://blog.oneworld.am Onnik Krikorian

    Mika at Unzipped has also updated readers on his Facebook page:

    …and more details (AM). They (Emmy & Mihran team with Nadezhda Sargsyan) do not exclude the possibility of court proceedings (!)

    http://7or.am./hy/news/2010-02-15/11028/

  • http://blog.oneworld.am Onnik Krikorian

    Armenia Now also has more on the always controversial Eurovision in Armenia.

    Sunday’s Eurovision competition has created controversy and charges that the outcome was rigged.

    Nadezhda Sargsyan, the mother of contestant and popular singer Emmy, says she will file charges in court alleging that the vote result was falsified.

    Sargsyan claims that the names of several participants got blocked soon after a 15 minutes sms-voting started, which predetermined the outcome of the vote and as a result caused her daughters and other contestants to be robbed of their fans’ votes.

    http://www.armenianow.com/arts/20899/eurovision_participants_apply_court

  • Narine

    I personally voted for 20 times on behalf of Eva, but only ten were submitted. Later I learnt the same had happened to a lot of Eva’s fans. So it was not only Emmy and Mihran that failed to receive votes from the television audience. As for Eva’s victory, I am very excited and happy because she has that true Armenian appearance, beauty and talent. The song itself represents us, the symbol of Armenia, the apricote the seed of which gives strength to an Armenian girl who knows sha will overcome everything in the world due to her roots. Also, the song is worth being represented to the Eurovision contest as it is very modern, with a cool rhythm and suitable for Europeans’ ears.
    I which Eva God’s blessings!

  • Narine

    Dearest Eva, know people envy you for your beauty, your voice, your art. Just keep it up, and know the more envious people around you, the more values you have then! Otherwise, why would they envy in vain? Emmy has always been under her mamma’s wings, and thought this was another case with her again. You did it girl!

    Even that people say everything was decided beforehand, and even if it’s true, I welcome them and encourage them to continue the same way because this is a selection of a talent, beauty, motherland representation…
    Why on earth should Emmy go forward due to her ma, and the truest worthy person shouldn’t?
    Eva dearest, you are very loved by Armenians! Envious and bad people are not only in Armenia. Please, keep firm to your land, or at least its people who enjoy your presence! May you be under Christ’s powerful and all-mighty supervision always!

    You’ll do great at Eurovision.

    P.S. This victory was more wanted for me than it will be at Eurovision in which I have no doubt, as thus you firstly won the immorality!

  • Narine

    Emmy’s awkward fans ask where Eva’s Armenian second name is, poor you!!!! Does the name decide your national belongings? And I am asking you- where is Emmy’s just a single song of national origin, a single song about Armenia, where is your Armenian morality, Armenian inspiration in your music and dance? Where? We hear only words and get ideas about one thing- sex! This is Armenian mentality maybe… hmmm. If Rivas is a little slow in talking Armenian, she does think in Armenian, she does perform from the heart of Armenia, she does represent a beautiful Armenian appearance. And you, Emmulik, do sing in Armenian, but you do it displaying a dirty world shameful for an Armenian girl. Your movement and sighs make one think only of one thing.

    You dream of going to Eurovision for what? To represent Armenia? Or to represent the spoiled manners and lifestyle of Armenia? Or maybe you hoped for spending a honeymoon with Mihran…

    Eva jan, thanks for being such a great personality in every sense!

    You’re going to rock there in Oslo! Do not think of anything, just think of all the good and kind in the world. They will return to you! We keep on praying for you Eva Rivas!

    Your victory is just, beautiful and awesome!!!!!!!

  • ArturUSA

    hey europiens dont vote for armenia this year because the song has been choosen by illegitimate way shame on you.

  • arpi

    Hey ArturUSA, guess you haven’t been in USA too long if you like those losers Mihran and Emmy. I would be ashamed to have them represent Armenia. Get some taste and sophistication. Listen to Armenian liturgical music, Gomidas, our folk songs handed down through the ages. it’s all super sophisticated. Your Mihran and Emmy are just plain embarrassing. Let me hear you say Hey. Really? Yuk.

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