Depi Evratesil ended its second phase with all six judges filling out their rosters.
Previously on Depi Evratesil: 10 hopefuls went through their second audition to become Armenia’s Eurovision act. Anush and Aram mp3 completed their teams while Iveta was the only other judge to recruit a finalist. In the end, only five singers moved on to the next round.
This week, the last nine singers performed for the judges. With nine acts and eight slots to fill, the odds look good for this week’s hopefuls. Here’s what happened on Depi Evratesil:
Only Girls opened this week’s episode with a song that might be an Armenian power ballad?1 The women were dressed in military fatigues and their harmonies were in pretty good shape. The lead singer sounded a little shaky in parts, but as a whole the quintet carried more confidence than their first go-round. Essaï scooped them up, which surprised me given that he already has a group on his team.
Sona Dunoyan, who auditioned with Meghan Trainor’s “No,” dipped into the Top 40 pool again with Justin Bieber’s “Sorry.” Sona sounded a little too warble-y in parts and seemed to be inside her own head for a lot of the performance. However, the notes were there and many of the flaws in the performance are things a coach should be able to work through. Iveta will hopefully be that coach.
Gevorg Harutyunyan performed James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” with a mashup of an Italian song.2 Given some of the song choices that have ben presented on this series, this isn’t necessarily a bad one. Gevorg gets a little too caught up in the performance, ending with a whole bunch of twirling which… maybe save that for a later stage of competition? Again, working with a coach should fix some of these problems, and Inga will be in charge of that.
Aksel Daveyan opted to do “Feelin’ Good” a la Michael Bublé. When will singing competition contestants learn that this song is a trap? The power of the song comes from the band, not the lyrics or the singer. The charisma of the singer accentuates the band, but will always be secondary to the music. As a result, even a fantastic performance of this does not make this a singer’s song. Unfortunately, this was not a fantastic performance, as Aksel seemed to get lost a couple times and just stood on stage during an interlude. The judges listened politely, but no one buzzed in.
Karine Harutyunyan, who killed it with her rendition of “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston, came back for seconds with “Listen” by Beyoncé. Even though three of the judges already had full rosters by this point, it was still a battle to buzz in first when the countdown timer started. Inga won the battle. Although Karine can sing her face off, I think she needs to work on her stage presence. I would hate for Armenia to send an act to Eurovision that is a female singer standing center stage singing a ballad—that’s way too boring.
Zemfira Fridon made my favorite song choice of the night: “The Best” by Tina Turner. Perhaps there is something about the Armenian accent that lends itself to emulating Tina Turner, but I’ve been waiting for someone to do a song of hers since week two. Although the voice matched well, Zemfira’s performance came across as frantic and “opening act” rather than the main attraction. I loved it, but I can understand why none of the judges snatched her for their team.
Eva Kans opted for “We Are the World” which… what? Along with a baffling song choice, her performance slurred all over the place and just. kept. going. This was one of the most unpleasant things to listen to, so it’s no surprise that Hayko pulled Eva into his team. UGH.
Amalya Margaryan is another example of this. She covered Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”—which went on, and on, AND ON. When it wasn’t pitchy, the song came across as yelling rather than singing. Spoiler for the rest of this process: I will actively root against 75% of Team Hayko.
Narine Jinanyan closed the show with “Love on Top” by Beyoncé. I adore the boldness of this choice. The song is difficult enough to sing with awkward and inconsistent phrasing, but then you add in the multiple key changes at the end and you get the equivalent of a 5k mud run obstacle course. Inga and Essaï are the only judges at this point with a vested interest in this song, but all of the judges seemed to be keeping a checklist of every trap Narine navigated past. Essaï buzzed Inga’s buzzer for her, so Team Inga is set.
Team Iveta Mukuchyan
- Christina Mangasaryan
- Vahe Aleksanyan
- Hasmik Shiroyan
- Sona Dunoyan
Team Aram mp3
- Saro Gevorgyan
- Lilit Harutyunyan
Team Anush Arshakyan
- Stepan Hovhannisyan
- Marta Kirakosyan
- Alexander Plato
- Anna Sedrakyan
- Anna Danielyan
- Eva Kans
- Amalya Margaryan
Team Inga Arshakyan
- Syuzanna Melqonyan
- Gevorg Harutyunyan
- Karine Harutyunyan
- Narine Jinanyan
Team Essaï Altounian
- Opera Viva
- Only Girls
Since Essaï only had three on his roster, he got to choose someone from the pool of 14 contestants who did not get buzzed through in this round. After a recap of all those performances, Essaï recruited Marissa, who sang “Sweet People” a few weeks back.
Next week on Depi Evratesil: We enter phase three of the competition! 24 contestants remain… who will represent Armenia at Eurovision?