Depi Evratesil: The Semi-Finals

The Armenian public finally had its chance to weigh in on the six Depi Evratesil finalists. Who advanced in the Eurovision selection competition?

Marta and Anush Arshakyan perform during the Depi Evratesil semi-final. (Photo: Armenia Public Television) Marta and Anush Arshakyan perform during the Depi Evratesil semi-final. (Photo: Armenia Public Television)

Previously on Depi Evratesil: each team was down to two contestants who faced off in one last duel to become finalists. After six battles, six finalists emerged to get one step closer to representing Armenia at the Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev in May.

Surprisingly, Saturday’s show was not the final but a semi-final. Each contestant gave a performance, complete with backup dancers and vocalists. After all six performed, televoting opened for the Armenia public to select their favorites. Once voting closed, each contestant got to perform a duet with their mentor before the results were revealed. Four of the six acts advanced to next week.

Here’s how things shook out on Saturday:

Team Anush Arshakyan: Marta

Marta opened the show with a cover of Beyonce’s “Naughty Girl” with two backup dancers in tow. This song is consistent with what Marta has presented the last few weeks: unconventional pop R&B tracks that include a lot of breathiness and vocal idiosyncracies. Although this song choice matches the singer, there’s a little too much happening on stage and I fear Marta may be getting drowned out.

Team Essaï Altounian: Artsvik

Artsvik starts in the center of a fog-filled stage for her rendition of “Hurt” by Christina Aguilera. Although I love Artsvik, this may be my least favorite performance of hers in the competition. There wasn’t anything technically wrong with how Artsvik performed the song, but I think the velvety roundness of Artsvik’s voice doesn’t match the vocal tone of Aguilera. There wasn’t much to latch onto for this performance.

Team Hayko: Egine

With four backup dancers wearing bedazzled caps with “Egine” on them, Armenia’s answer to Nicole Scherzinger took on “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” by Fergie, with a few bars of LMFAO’s “Shots” mixed in. As much as I can’t stand Egine, she knows her lane and capitalizes on it. Much like with her first duel a couple weeks ago, Egine focuses more on the dancing and performing rather than the singing. She certainly commands stage presence, but that’s not going to be enough to carry Armenia to a win in Kiev.

Team Aram mp3: Lucy

So, Lucy decided to draw on her experience of winning Hey Superstar1 and performed her own song in this round. Her video played on the backdrop, tinted in red.

I would not have recommended going this route. One, it’s a little too self-promotional and two, the song’s not that great. There isn’t much range, the stage presentation was dull, and it seems like there wasn’t much thought but into these choices.

Team Inga Arshakyan: Syuzanna Melqonyan

“Je Suis Malade” tapped into Syuzanna’s Celine Dion side (even though it isn’t a Celine track) and blew the competition away. This was easily the strongest vocal of the night. The performance remained subdued, which might be a slight turnoff compared to the competition, particularly the French delivery.

Team Iveta Mukuchyan: Vahe Aleksanyan

Vahe is dressed in all black for his cover of “The Writing’s on the Wall” by Sam Smith. A ballet dancer prances around the stage as Vahe tries to sell a James Bond vibe. Overall, this was probably Vahe’s best performance in the competition, but there were still lyrical and enunciation problems. Of course, with four people advancing, I could see him sneaking into fourth place.

Results

Unless the professional jury (who I believe is separate from the mentors) evaluated the duets, we’re ready to find out who advances to next week’s show.

Lucy came in sixth and earned 20 points from the jury. Egine came in fifth with 25 jury points. Syuzanna finished fourth(!) with 31 points, followed by Artsvik(!!) with 32, and Vahe(!!!) with 33. That means Marta won the jury(!!!!) with 48 points(!!!!!). That is not at all how I expected scores to play out. Did the audience agree?

Apparently not. Vahe landed in sixth with 15 points, giving him a total of 48. Lucy earned 17 points, for a total of 37 which mathematically eliminates her from the top four. Egine earned 33 points from the home audience, giving her a total of 58. Syuzanna took third place and 36 points, giving her a total of 67 points. Things are not looking good for Vahe. Artsvik came in second with 39 points, giving her a total of 71 points. That means Marta won both the jury and audience vote. She earned 49 points, for a grand total of 97.

That means our final four are Marta, Artsvik, Syuzanna, and Egine. Given how the votes went down, will Marta represent Armenia on the Eurovision stage? Or will there be more surprises on next week’s show?

  1. Armenian Idol  

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