Aussievision's Depi Evratesil 2020 rankings 1st to 12th
After a short lead up, Armenia’s Depi Evratesil 2020 will take place this weekend with 12 acts competing to represent Armenia in Rotterdam. The acts were chosen from a field of 53 entries and were announced last month, with the songs being released last week.
The winner of Depi Evratesil will be selected by a combination a 9 person jury panel and a public televote. For today the Aussievision team have ranked all the songs that will be performed, to offer our opinions and thoughts. Below is our full ranking with comments from our team from 1st place to 12th.
1st – TOKIONINE - ‘Save Me’ (102 points)
Highs: 12 points from Laura, Dale, Fleur, Steven, Liv and Ruby
Lows: 5 points from Mike
Liv: I do enjoy the futuristic, electronica going on here. Has a nice mysterious vibe and pulse. Not bad. Certainly an enjoyable studio – might be a touch tricky to project live. There is something alluring and hypnotic about this that I really enjoy.
Dale: This has 'Statements' vibes to it. Modern production, interesting composition and kept me interested for the three minutes. Not sure what this will be like live, but it's certainly my frontrunner based on the studio.
Fleur: Slightly dated but it’s not bad. I don’t mind it. It has a good beat and I like the electro elements in this, although I am not sure if it has enough to win.
Steven: Funky electro-pop with a catchy chorus, good vocals and a strong title. What more can I say? If it were up to me, I’d be sending this to Rotterdam.
Kyriakos: ‘Save Me’ has strong music and beats that makes this a stand out for me. I can picture some very exciting staging with strobe lights. The song has movement, TOKIONINE is looking for how you can save him and he takes you on his journey. The negative for me is that the song does have many repetitive lines.
Mike: I feel this is all a bit messy, but it has some impact that many in this selection lack. Some interesting production elements used during the chorus and the drop.
2nd - Miriam Baghdasaryan – ‘Run Away’ (79 points)
Highs: 12 points from Guy and Kyriakos. 10 points from Ruby
Lows: 3 points from Fleur
Kyriakos: This was my winner from the Armenian selection as it sounded the most contemporary. I love the build up to the chorus and I really dig the beats. Miriam has a great voice and she really showcases it with ‘Run Away’. She just sings with her soul and I look forward to her live performance.
Laura: A promising, current ballad with appropriately dramatic lyrics and a very stripped-back chorus. I like that Miriam showcases her vocal power but she herself (and her voice) is the best feature of this song.
Mike: Miriam clearly has a great voice and this song features some Scandi-esque production. I just wish the song had more of a melody to hang onto.
Fleur: Another song that probably won’t cause any ripples. Miriam does not have the vocals to take it to the next level.
Emma: Well produced track that allows Miriam to show off her vocal range. Good staging could elevate this.
3rd - Athena Manoukian – ‘Chains On You’ (64 points)
Highs: 12 points from Mike. 10 points from Laura, Dale, Fleur and Kyriakos
Lows: 0 points from Guy. 2 points from Steven and Liv
Mike: Armenian RnB! This song has a real vibe to it. The production works for the song and Athena combines the vocals and rapping fairly well. I’m looking forward to seeing this live performance.
Liv: I always appreciate a bit of diversity in a national final. This does something. After reading Athena was actually born in Greece I can definitely hear a bit of Mediterranean coming through the song along with Armenian. One of her hits ‘XO’ was even filmed in Sydney – she certainly has experience and exposure over the other artists in the selection.
Laura: A solid party rap song with an infectious hook and a simple beat. Possibly one of Armenia’s best hopes, but I have the feeling juries may (try to) kill this off for being a bit too repetitive and monotone, with basic lyrics that don’t make much sense. A (not-so-)guilty pleasure.
Dale: Has a British-grime sound, at points it reminds me of a cross between Rihanna and Cher Lloyd. It's got fun attitude, could be an absolute mess live though!
Fleur: Okay this is different, I give it that but I don’t like it much. That said, I think this is the one that will win. The lyrics are a mess. It is a bop and somewhat catchy, but that’s about it. I can see it do rather well in the televotes especially with younger fans.
Steven: Chains on You: Whilst I quite enjoy the Eastern flavour of elements of this song, this form of “speak-singing” just isn’t for me (although I understand that it appeals to others).
4th - Karina EVN – ‘Why?’ (51 points)
Highs: 10 points from Mike. 8 points from Laura, Fleur and Guy
Lows: 0 points from Steven and Ruby
Liv: Quite predictable but fun enough. I would boogie to the drop in this at 3am.
Ruby: Upon hearing this song I am left with the song title speaking for me. Why? Some perhaps enjoyable aspects, but very much ruined by how often the word ‘why’ is sung.
Laura: Yay, a cheap bop that sounds like it came straight out of the early 2010s! The title sums up my experience listening to most of these songs, but not this one! The talking part is entertaining and I can see this being a crowd-pleaser, even if it does go in exactly the direction I expect it to. For some reason, that counts as being refreshing in this particular selection of songs. It’s comfortable and familiar.
Fleur: This starts of sounding like a typical Eurovision pop song but then Karina gives something contemporary. This might go well with a re-vamp but then again, I could not see it doing overly well at Eurovision.
Emma: Modern sounding Calvin Harris type track but the spoken word part sounded terrible and some of the lyrics didn’t fit in well with the music.
5th - Agop – ‘Butterflies’ (49 points)
Highs: 12 points from Emma. 10 points for Steven
Lows: 0 points from Laura and Guy. 1 point from Liv and Ruby
Emma: Catchy bop which is the song I enjoyed listening to the most out of the 12. The lyrics were a bit simple and the chorus a bit repetitive but nevertheless this still gets my 12 points!
Laura: This song isn’t quite sure what it wants to be. It wants to be one of those piano ballads from the mid-2000s that feels quite high school musical theatre at the start, then in the first chorus it goes to rock guitars, then in the breakdown there’s an aggressive piano solo, then there’s a weird almost dubstep bit after the bridge?? This is confusing and I’m making it sound better than it is. It’s trying to do too much and falling flat on its face.
Mike: The piano in this gives it almost a Coldplay feel at times. The chorus is kinda catchy, but dreadfully simple and repetitive. Some decent elements in this song.
Steven: An indie/Brit pop track with a decent beat, lots of energy and a good lyrical hook (butterflies /hypnotise).
Ruby: Not a bad effort – ultimately begins to fall apart due to poor lyrical selection and ends out to be a quite monotonous song.
Liv: Benign enough, does song a bit early 2000s and I’m struggling a bit with diction. This is okay. I did apricate the random soft-drop towards the end.
6th - Vladimir Arzumanyan – ‘What’s Going On Mama’ (45 points)
Highs: 8 points from Steven. 7 points from Guy
Lows: 0 points from Fleur and Kyriakos. 2 points from Dale
Steven: Very contemporary, radio-friendly mid-tempo pop song by a handsome chap with good vocals.
Mike: Very contemporary sounding song and production. Not an overly challenging vocal to hit for Vladimir means this shouldn’t be too difficult to replicate live. Maybe lacks a moment or a killer punch to really hit home.
Fleur: Vladimir has a pleasant voice but this song is forgettable. Seriously, I heard it an hour ago and I don’t remember how it goes.
Ruby: A sweet song that will create some momentum due to Vladimir’s Eurovision past (with a similar song title - ‘Mama’) but ultimately may struggle and fade into the background.
Kyriakos: Unfortunately I can only say one things about this song… What’s Going On Mama…
=7th - EVA Rida - ‘No Love’ (42 points)
Highs: 8 points from Mike
Lows: 0 points from Emma. 1 point from Steven
Mike: Starts with some nice jazz elements before going electro-pop. Eva’s vocal has some nice tones to it. The song is fairly simple but may come across well live.
Fleur: EVA has a jazzy voice. It has that modern Festival da Cançao sound, but again it does not have enough to win. It does sound like it was translated into English as the lyrics don’t quite fit the tune.
Laura: I’m a fan of these guitars and her smoky voice reminds me of certain singers from the early 2000s. What I’m not a fan of is the trap beat - all the bones are there for it to be a better song but at the moment it sounds like it would have worked better as a simple dance/house track (think something along the lines of Everything But The Girl or Florence & The Machine’s dance collaborations). I would love it as a remix but its current version isn’t doing as much for me as I hoped.
Dale: Love the chorus here and I think Eva could really serve believable pain and struggle with this. Could be great live.
Kyriakos: Eva has a raw mature voice that enticed me from her opening line. Unfortunately I don’t like the chorus, it doesn’t seem to go anywhere particular with me. I did enjoy the last 30 seconds when she goes up with her vocals ever so slightly.
=7th - Gabriel Jeeg – ‘It’s Your Turn’ (42 points)
Highs: 10 points from Liv. 8 points from Ruby
Lows: 0 points from Mike. 1 point from Kyriakos
Liv: What is this. No really – it has about 6 different genres and eras in it. I wasn’t quite sure something so dated could be crafted in 2020…in saying all that – I bloody love it. Cha, cha, cha! When that last 2 minutes kick in with the big band vibe and I am living. There is something charming about this identity crisis.
Laura: Jazzy, but this sounds like it was created on a literal MIDI keyboard (very cheap!). The tempo change is a nice change of pace, as well as the Latin salsa beats. It’s the kind of song that might have worked in Eurovision in the 2000s and has its own charm in that regard, but it sounds dated in 2020.
Dale: I lost track of the amount of tempo and genre changes, but this hodge podge of a song I quite like. It's fun, latin dancey combined with an Eastern flair with terrible synths. I'm here for it.
Fleur: This screams late-1980’s Eurovision. The problem is it’s 2020. I cannot see this going anywhere in Depi Evratesil. It is not the worst song in this selection though.
Kyriakos: I chose to give this song one point instead of zero points for being unique. The song keeps changing tune which makes it interesting. Electronic sounds, latino music, and pop jammed in-between.
9th - ERNA – ‘Life Faces’ (34 points)
Highs: 7 points from Ruby
Lows: 0 points from Steven and Liv
Ruby: Perhaps this screams more Junior Eurovision then anything else, but I still seem to enjoy the contrasting elements between the verses, choruses and bridge. ‘Life Faces’ gives a lot of room for Erna to perform and take the staging in a different direction.
Laura: This sounds like a very theatrical Bond theme-esque ballad at first. The structure is looser at the start but then when the beat kicks in I’m confused about the direction this is going in. The high note at the end is very piercing and shrill, not a fan. Also, what are these lyrics? They make no sense!
Liv: I find this sound really irritating but I can imagine some cutesy staging to go with it.
Mike: This is a weird little song. Some elements are kinda catchy and other parts are just odd. It’s Erna’s vocal that really carries this.
Kyriakos: I love Erna’s voice. She shows some nice range in ‘Life Faces’. The song sounds unique compared to the rest, but it also doesn’t seem to go anywhere. The background music sounds like background Nintendo game music. I do love the Armenian touch in the last 30 seconds though, shame that wasn’t incorporated earlier.
10th - Arthur Aleq – ‘Heaven’ (28 points)
Highs: 8 points from Liv
Lows: 0 points from Kyriakos. 1 point from Laura, Dale and Guy
Liv: Some promising ethnic and rock elements meshing through this – it needs a solid revamp and production behind it but has some nice moments. I need more oomph live and it could really come together. Does slowly build (perhaps a little too gradually – if Qami was too slow to find that top gear than this certainly is too).
Laura: Feels more cohesive and the strings and guitars backed by a strong kick drum are a solid combination in theory, but the instrumentation sounds too sparse and reliant on the main vocal to make it shine. The fact that it doesn’t do that and the vocals sound so flat in the studio makes me have extremely low expectations for it as a live performance.
Fleur: This is very middle of the road. It really does not go anywhere. I find it a tad annoying as it is awfully repetitive.
Emma: Pleasant track that I thought I was going to really like but it went downhill. This wouldn’t stand out enough at Eurovision and was a bit boring to be honest.
Steven: Good vocals, an intriguing opening and interesting verses, leading to a chorus that just doesn’t grab me at all.
Kyriakos: ‘Heaven’ sounds very dated to me. I don’t feel like heaven right now.
11th - Hayk Music – ‘What It Is To Be In Love’ (23 points)
Highs: 10 points from Emma
Lows: 0 points from Laura, Dale, Liv and Ruby
Kyriakos: Wow this song brings me back to being in high school in the early 2000’s. It reminds me of Frankie J’s music and for that reason it hits a nostalgic nerve in me. With that it does seem dated, but it could shine in a live performance. I want to see him on stage singing while playing the piano.
Steven: A pleasant showtune/Disney number which is far too repetitive and - most annoyingly - never actually explains “what it is to be in love”.
Emma: The song that stands out from the pack the most. Lyrics are a bit cheesy but he has a beautiful voice and this could work well if he plays the piano on stage.
Mike: The song itself isn’t that bad, but my god the lyrics are so soppy and awful. He also laughably overcooks the vocal. There were 2 other songs that I found worse, so it gets a point it really doesn’t deserve.
Laura: This sounds like it was left on the cutting room floor when they were making the High School Musical soundtrack. Far too cheesy for my enjoyment - anyone who is lactose intolerant had better watch out!
12th - Sergey & Nikolay Harutyunov – ‘Ha, Take a Step’ (21 points)
Highs: 7 points from Steven
Lows: 0 points from Dale, Mike, Fleur and Emma
Steven:A powerful and impactful song that is difficult to place in any one musical genre, but which I enjoy. Its difference could be its strength.
Liv: I like that they are going for some bigger vocals – they are lacking overall in this national final line up. Has some anthemic elements. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this do very well.
Laura: The first singer sounds like a literal Disney Villain crossed with someone like...Jon Bon Jovi. It’s a strange combination but this song has a clear structure. Please, can someone give the second singer a lozenge??
Fleur: I’m not sure what to say here. I don’t particularly like this at all. I don’t like either of their voices. Seems like it goes on for a lot longer than 3 minutes.
Kyriakos: This song takes a step into the depths of not knowing what it is trying to be. Kudos to the chorus which has some nice elects to it.
Depi Evratesil 2020 will be aired on the 15th of February on Armenia's Channel One and www.1tv.am at 19:00 CET (For Australians it will air on the 16th of February at 5am AEDT and 4am AEST).
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