Despite having a fair amount of success at Eurovision the last few years with internal selections, Armenia will be using the TV show Depi Evratesil1 to select its representative for the 2017 Contest. The three-month competition began Saturday with over two dozen auditions.
The judging panel features six Eurovision alumni. They are:
- 2016 representative Iveta Mukuchyan, rocking a set of blue braided dreads.
- Essaï Altounian, who was part of 2015’s group Genealogy.
- 2014 representative Aram mp3, looking good with a beard.
- Hayko, who represented Armenia in 2007.
- Inga Arshakyan, who was also part of Genealogy and represented Armenia in 2009 with her sister (and fellow judge) Anush Arshakyan.
The auditions were pretty straightforward. A contestant would take the stage, offer their rendition of a pop song, and the judges would buzz in if they liked what they heard or saw. If a singer receives enough judges’ approval, they move on to the next round. Although the judges offered critiques, they do not seem particularly picky at this stage. For example, one male contestant received the approval of three judges as soon as they realized he was singing “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” even though his actual performance was rather underwhelming. Another contestant gave an incredibly pitchy performance of “Wrecking Ball” but her leather outfit seemed to curry favor.2
A total of twelve contestants advanced to the next round. Those folks are:
- Saro Gevorgyan
- Alexander Plato
- Mary Mheryan
- Vahe Aleksanyan
- Mariam Yevriyan
- Syuzanna Melqonyan
- Amalya Margaryan
- Kristina Avetisyan
- Anna Sedrakyan
- Only Girls (a five-person girl group)
The next episode of Depi Evratesil airs Saturday, October 8 on Public Television of Armenia.