Features

XTRA Preview & Review: Armenia – Depi Evratesil: Semi-final 2

The national final season is in full swing. On Thursday, February 22nd, Depi Evratesil is resuming with its second semi-final! We’ve taken a look at the entries and the procedure below, so here is the XTRA Preview & Review!

XTRA Preview: Depi Evratesil

Depi Evratesil (which is Armenian for Towards Eurovision) is being held for second year in a row. It was introduced as the country’s selection process last year and had the format of a talent show. However, this year Depi Evratesil has a different format and unlike last year, it will select both the artist and the song. A total of twenty acts are competing in the national selection.

Tomorrow, the rest of the twenty songs will be competing for five spots in the final, on February 25th. The qualifiers will be decided based on a 50/50 jury and public voting. The national selection will air on the First Channel at 19:15 CET.

We will be tweeting throughout the show, live at @ESCXTRA!

XTRA Review: Depi Evratesil

Maria’s Secret – “Escape”

Dimitris: The song was really good until it gets to the part of the rap. However, I really like the rest of the song, but the rap part isn’t making it better, but worse.
Score: 6/10
Miki: This is interesting and unexpected until it becomes a Nicki Minaj B-side track. Putting that on the side, It has some rather catchy moments throughout and I’m waiting for the live performance of this to give my final verdict. The studio version of “Escape” earns a 5.5/10.
Score: 5.5/10
Angelos: Well she sounds good, but the song it not good enough to stand out and gets easily lost.
Score: 3/10
Emanuel: Radio friendly, modern, good instrumental, and guess what: I love the rap. That’s something that usually never happens, so well done girl. I love the way the song builds all over the three minutes. It doesn’t get boring unlike any others. I’m curious to see how she will sound live. For now is an 8/10.
Score: 8/10

Arman Mesropyan – “What You Hide”

Dimitris: Don’t have to say much about this. Just a plain, bland and boring ballad. Nothing really interesting about this song.
Score: 1.5/10
Miki: “What you hide” is a radio friendly mid-tempo song that just falls flat in the this line-up. This could benefit from a bit of stronger arrangement cause it just feels very uneventful.
Score: 2.5/10
Angelos: Another boring anonymous male slow song in this selection that lacks of a chorus and really goes nowhere. The keychange towards the end can not save this one either.
Score: 1/10
Emanuel: Oh well, this one is so original, isn’t it? Memorable, great lyrics, not boring at all. I can see this winning the national final and get a good result in Lisbon. Now, think about the opposite of everything I said above and you have my opinion about this “masterpiece”.
Score: 2/10

Kamil Show – “Puerto Rico”

Dimitris: I might not be a fan of the Spanish-language songs trend, but this is actually a fun song. I really enjoy it and it is probably the only joke entry I liked immediately.
Score: 7/10
Miki: I know this is supposed to be the joke entry and take us on a fun dancy ride for 3 minutes, but I’m not boarding that train, sorry. This passes the line of being camp and goes straight to being completely cringey. I gave it a 2, plus 1 for being the superior Spanish entry in the Armenian selection (?!?!?).
Score: 3/10
Angelos: This is a fun joke entry, not to be taken too serious. A mix of Verka and Rudolfo. Doubt Armenians will go for this one though. The second song with lyrics entirely in Spanish in the whole line-up.
Score: 5.5/10
Emanuel: I love this, and to be honest that’s something that I’m not proud of. I know that it is a joke entry, and I hate when Eurovision isn’t taken seriously, but this is so fun. The lyrics in the chorus are hilarious, and I find myself singing them everytime I listen to the song. It’s a joke entry, but a clever one. I would prefer them to send a serious act, but this isn’t bad at all.
Score: 7.5/10

Suren Poghosyan – “The Voice”

Dimitris: Just another uninteresting, plain ballad. I think it will easily get lost among the other songs. There’s nothing that can make it stand out.
Score: 3/10
Miki: Yeah, these R&B ballads don’t sound current nor interesting at all. On the bright side, there are way worse songs in this selection.
Score: 4.5/10
Angelos: An anonymous ballad that literally goes nowhere. Very forgettable.
Score: 4/10
Emanuel: I felt kinda nostalgic listening to this song. Probably that’s because it is old fashioned, in a bad way. It’s far from being the worse ballad in the selection, but it doesn’t change the fact that it isn’t good enough for Eurovision. They have far better options.
Score: 4/10

AlternatiV – “Stare at Me”

Dimitris: A nice song, but not something amazing. It gets too repetitive and annoying after a while. I don’t really think it can shine among the other songs.
Score: 3/10
Miki: Pleasant, radio friendly and inoffensive. I’m not sure whether it packs enough punch to stand out among the other acts though.
Score: 5/10
Angelos: Ordinary boy band radio friendly mid tempo song. Not bad, but not memorable enough to stand out.
Score: 4.5/10
Emanuel: When I saw the name of the band I was really expecting something alternative. It seems that after all they are just a boy band like so many others. This is what I call fake publicity. The “cliché” in this song reaches levels that surprise me. The whole package is just bland. A non qualification for the table 2, please.
Score: 4/10

Amaliya Margaryan – “Waiting for the Sun”

Dimitris: It starts out as a typical ballad but I love the way it builds up to the last chorus. The instrumental is also really good and with a good performance this could do well.
Score: 8/10
Miki: A perfectly competent balad, I have a feeling If performed well this could be a true dark horse. I like the anthemic instrumentation towards the end. I just wish this song had a bit more personality.
Score: 6/10
Angelos: Sweet and well sung ballad, it doesn’t sound very Armenian though. With a good performance this should do well in Eurovision.
Score: 7.5/10
Emanuel: Beautiful song, beautiful voice and beautiful singer. The instrumental in the last minute is just stunning. Everyone was talking about this song once it came out, and for that reason I had my expectations high. And the song corresponded to those expectations. One of the best options they have for Eurovision.
Score: 9/10

TyoM – “Follow the Ocean”

Dimitris: This song is just simply nothing interesting. It lacks a bit of everything; uniqueness, originality, power, good vocals.
Score: 1/10
Miki: “Follow the ocean” has plenty of things not working in its favour. The cringe worthy lyrics, the weak chorus and the amateurish arrangement. Not my cup of tea.
Score: 2/10
Angelos: Not a song I would like to listen to for a second time. Poor english combined with an unpleasant voice.
Score: 3/10
Emanuel: This is weak in every possible way. The instrumental seems unfinished and sounds empty, the lyrics are once again written by a five year old children, and don’t even make me talk about his english. I don’t like to criticise the english accent of other people as mine isn’t any better, but I can’t get over the fact that I didn’t understand half of the song.
Score: 3/10

Sevak Khanagyan – “Qami”

Dimitris: Nothing really got me to love this song, I found it just a nice song. However, that was until the last chorus of the song, where it gets powerful. It’s a good song and I think it has pretty decent chances of doing well.
Score: 7/10
Miki: I like this, I just don’t love …yet. I feel that after a few listens I will be completely on board with “Qami”. Plus, the fact that is sung in Armenian earns it a few extra points.
Score: 7.5/10
Angelos: I like “Qami”. It stands out from the rest, got a nice build-up, and he sings well.
Score: 7.5/10
Emanuel: The first time I heard the song it didn’t catch my interest. Probably because I was more interested in some familiar faces. Now I regret it and I fell in love with the song. Love the way it builds until that last minute that honestly is outstanding. I would just add some traditional soundings in the first part of the song and it would be perfect. If he delivers a good vocal performance this can shine in Lisbon. Love also the fact that it is completely in Armenian, and that would be a first time for the country. I don’t think I need to say that the language sounds beautiful.
Score: 9/10

Mariam Petrosyan – “Fade”

Dimitris: I love how relaxing this song sounds. It’s something fresh and original. Her voice is stunning as well.
Score: 7/10
Miki: I don’t mind this but It just doesn’t feel like a track I would listen to on daily basis. It’s perfectly competent though. I’ll give it that.
Score: 5/10
Angelos: Definitely one of the better entries from the whole selection. Competent, fresh and it stands out.
Score: 7.5/10
Emanuel: While the song was playing I just caught myself thinking about random stuff, so I guess it says a lot about how interesting I think this song is. I don’t think it is bad. I just think it isn’t memorable enough. Anyway, she has an interesting voice, and the song is relaxing. At least from the little part that I remember.
Score: 5/10

Asmik Shiroyan – “You & I”

Dimitris: I really like the summer vibes of this song. And I’m not surprised of how the song is actually like, considering its songwriters. It sounds like it could be a Sigala song. Not quite sure about how well it would do, but it is definitely something refreshing and new for Armenia.
Score: 8.5/10
Miki: “You & I” is a standout track in this year’s Depi Evratesil. It feels very light, fun, summery and current without losing personality. Based on the studio version, Asmik can deliver an amazing vocal performance.
Score: 8.5/10
Angelos: This sounds very 90’s and summery and as far as you can get from anything Armenia has ever sent before. Reminds me slightly of “Say yay”.
About it’s chances? I doubt this would set the scoreboard on fire, but I’m sure it will become a fanfave, if it’s not already.
Score: 7/10
Emanuel: I have been playing this song since it came out. Some say it’s too generic, some say it’s too old fashioned, I say it is catchy and radio friendly. Anyway, it doesn’t have any chances to win at Eurovision, even though Asmink has everything that a Eurovision winner needs. Her voice is just fantastic, and this style of music fits her well. She is also gorgeous and it is always a good help. With a good stage performance it could shake that arena in May.
Score: 9/10

Who do we want?

The XTRA Jury, this time consisting of Dimitris, Miki, Angelos and Emanuel has spoken. Below you can see the average each song achieved. Their favourite for tomorrow’s show is Asmik Shiroyan’s “You & I”!

  1. Asmik Shiroyan – “You & I”: 8.3
  2. Sevak Khanagyan – “Qami”: 7.8
  3. Amaliya Margaryan – “Waiting for the Sun”: 7.6
  4. Mariam Petrosyan – “Fade”: 6.1
  5. Kamil Show – “Puerto Rico”: 5.8
  6. Maria’s Secret – “Escape”: 5.6
  7. AlternatiV – “Stare at Me”: 4.1
  8. Suren Poghosyan – “The Voice”: 3.9
  9. TyoM – “Follow the Ocean”: 2.3
  10. Arman Mesropyan – “What You Hide”: 1.8

Below, we’ve included a playlist for you. Which of these ten do you like best? Make sure to let us know who you like by commenting!

[ypt playlist_id=PLZzraMOF5G3MnVw_pvu_c45ktjWqB5TeU]

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