The 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.
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.
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.