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  • Writer's pictureLiv Webster

Celebrating Armenian success at Junior Eurovision


Maléna wins Junior Eurovision Credit: Andres Putting/EBU

Today is September 21, which is Armenian Independence Day. On this day in 1991, the people of Armenia voted in a referendum to gain independence from the Soviet Union. This year marks the 32nd anniversary of this momentous occasion.


In honour of the event, we're going to deep dive into one of the most successful Junior Eurovision nations to date, celebrating their achievements at the contest!



Debut at Junior Eurovision


Armenia has participated in Junior Eurovision (JESC) 15 times since their debut in 2007, the only year they've not returned since joining was 2020.


Their first appearance in 2007 resulted in cracking 2nd place finish with the delightful entry 'Erazanq' ('Երազանք') by Arevik. The song was exclusively in Armenian, featured traditional dance and music mixed with sailor aesthetics and early 2000s pop, it was certainly a buffet of ideas that went down well with the kids!



Results at Junior Eurovision


The nation has clocked up a strong resume of JESC results including two victories with 'Mama' ('Մամա') in 2010 and more recently 'Qami Qami' ('Քամի Քամի') in 2021, five second place finishes and two third places.


Armenia has never placed outside the Top 10, with their lowest results being back-to-back 9th place in 2018 with 'L.E.V.O.N' and 2019 with 'Colours of Your Dream', both I personally believe robbed bops that deserve more love from the voters!


For those who enjoy statistics: 100% of their placings have been in the Top 10, 60% in the Top 3 and 13% have been winners. Absolutely phenomenal results!



Flavour at Junior Eurovision


Junior Eurovision is first and foremost all about fun and entertaining children. Since Armenia's debut the nation has enjoyed the colour and spectacle of pop with dance. Almost all of their entries involve an eye-catching, well choreographed dance routine and vibrant costumes, setting them apart from other participants.


Movement on stage with big vocals is a sure-fire way to catch the attention of young viewers and they've got the formula down pat! One of my earliest recollections of the was Luara Hayrapetyan's entry 'Barcelona' ('Բարսելոնա'). The performance is wholly dedicated to Spanish football team FC Barcelona - not only is the tune catchy, it has hooks to hype the listener plus amazing costumes AND a dance break. What more could an 8-year-old watching the contest want!? She placed second in 2009.



It's not all about upbeat tunes - frequently the entries will incorporate traditional sounds, instrumentation and dance to keep the flavour uniquely Armenian. All 15 entries performed to date have been primarily in the native language with 10 entries supplementing with English lyrics.



First Victory: Vladimir Arzumanyan


Born in Stepanakert, Republic of Artsakh in 1998 - Vladimir Arzumanyan piloted Armenia to their first JESC victory in 2010 with the entry 'Mama' ('Մամա') at just 12-years-old. Before the contest he won a hotly contested National Final, winning by a single point. Keeping to tradition, at JESC he also won by a single point over runners-up Sasha Lazin and Liza Drozd representing Russia.


Vladimir is still performing and producing music - he returned to Eurovision consciousness in 2020 entering the beloved Armenian National Final Depi Evratesil with 'What's Going On Mama', placing third to eventual winner Athena Manoukian with 'Chains on You'.



Second Victory: Maléna


Born in the nations capital in 2007, Maléna has a long history with JESC. She first attempted to represent the Armenia in 2018, taking part in the national final with the entry 'Par' placing 8th in the semi-final. In 2020 she was announced to compete at JESC with the entry 'Why' but was subsequently withdrawn from the contest due to the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war.


The next year marked her time to shine - representing Armenia at JESC 2021 with the outstanding entry 'Qami Qami' ('Քամի Քամի'), securing a second victory in a highly competitive field. The song marks a strong move into more mature and contemporary music at JESC. This is quite easily one of my most listened to songs of all time - not only is it a fabulous winner, but could rival many of the best 'senior' Eurovision entries.


Following her win, she received the Armenian Scholarship for a summer program at the Berklee College of Music, in Boston, Massachusetts. Maléna released a cover of the song 'Cheri Cheri Lady', the song went viral on TikTok in Indonesia and Vietnam, reaching the top of the iTunes and Top 50 Viral on Spotify.



Former Armenian participants at Eurovision


It is always exciting to see a Junior Eurovision contestant graduate to competing on the big stage of the older, slightly cooler sibling of Eurovision.


The only Armenian JESC contestant to compete at Eurovision is Monica Manucharova. In 2008 Monica competed at JESC with the entry 'Im ergi hnchyune' ('Իմ երգի հնչյունը') placing 8th. She appears in 2016 at Eurovision as a backing vocalist for Iveta Mukuchyan with the captivating entry 'LoveWave'. Two years later in 2018 she was a backing vocalist for Sevak Khanagyan with 'Qami'.


With such depth from their participants, it's only a matter of time before we see another former Armenian JESC contestant grace the stage of Eurovision.


Hosting Junior Eurovision


Armenia have won twice and subsequently hosted twice in the following year. They hosted the 2011 edition of the contest in the capital Yerevan with the slogan 'Reach for the Top!'. Just over ten years later they hosted the 2022 edition, also in Yerevan with the slogan 'Spin the Magic'.


Other nations to have hosted JESC twice include: Belarus, France, Malta, Netherlands, Poland and Ukraine.


The future of Armenia at Junior Eurovision


Local broadcaster AMPTV have announced their intention to compete at JESC 2023. In July this year expressions of interest opened for young, aspiring singers aged 9-14 to apply to represent the nation. As of today we are still awaiting further updates, especially in light of recent political events.



Շնորհավոր անկախության տոնը (Shnorhavor ankakhut’yan tony) from Aussievision!


For continued updates on all the Eurovision news follow Aussievision on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Threads and YouTube. All links at: https://linktr.ee/aussievisionnet

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