Depi Evratesil: Judges Choose Week 2

October 29, 2016 0

Depi Evratesil continued its judges’ team draft as nine of 28 remaining contestants performed. Have we seen Armenia’s future Eurovision representative on stage? Previously on Depi Evratesil: we finally get some stakes to this competition as the first batch of finalists perform for a spot on a team with one of the six judges. Aram mp3 picked up Lucy and Sero Gevorgyan, filling up half of his squad. Inga Arshakyan picked up potential frontrunner Syuzanna Melqonyan while Essai Altounian snagged Opera Viva. Iveta Mukuchyan recruited Christina Mangasaryan as Hayko took a risk with Egine. Anush Arshakyan is still looking for her first team member. Here’s how things shook out in week two of round two of Depi Evratesil: Team Iveta Mukuchyan The first audition of the episode came from Vahe Aleksanyan, who auditioned in the first round with Beyonce’s “Listen” and “Rise Like a Phoenix” by Conchita Wurst. Vahe went back to the Eurovision well, opting for “Tonight Again” by Australia’s Guy Sebastian. Of the three songs he’s done so far, this one seemed to match Vahe’s vibe the best. However, unless the song has gone through a significant rewrite I wasn’t aware of, a lot of the words were wrong. He didn’t let it phase him, […]

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#tbt: Anti-Crisis Girl Svetlana Loboda Asks Russia to “Be My Valentine”

October 27, 2016 0

Ukraine went a little too deep into Eurovision-ness with the their 2009 entry “Be My Valentine (Anti-Crisis Girl)” by Svetlana Loboda. Background Song Title: “Be My Valentine (Anti-Crisis Girl!)” Artist: Svetlana Loboda Semi-Final: 6th place in the second semi-final Grand Final: 12th out of 24 countries Last year’s entry: “Shady Lady” by Ani Lorak (2nd place) After back-to-back runner-up finishes at the Eurovision Song Contest, it makes sense that Ukraine would double down on what had been working for them. The previous two entries featured aggressive pop tracks performed by strong female characters. Also, the 2009 Contest was taking place in Moscow, which means the rivalry between Ukraine and Russia would be reaching a new high. Enter Svetlana Loboda’s song “Be My Valentine (Anti-Crisis Girl)” and the Hell Machine: This may be one of the most over-the-top Eurovision performances of the last ten years. The Hell Machine–the name for the gears and ladders setpiece–is one of the most elaborate setpieces even before you add in pyrotechnics. Metallic backup singers on stilts join Svetlana Loboda and her army of centurion dancers. Also, a drum kit? The camera work is frantic, partly because of direction to add even more energy to the performance, but also because […]

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Depi Evratesil gets interesting as it enters second phase

October 23, 2016 0

Armenia’s selection process Depi Evratesil entered the second phase of competition Saturday. Nine of 37 contestants performed for a chance to move one step closer to Eurovision. After three weeks of audition episodes, Depi Evratesil moved on to the next phase of the competition on Saturday’s episode. Over the next few weeks, the 37 contestants who passed the audition round will each sing again for a chance to get drafted onto a team headed by one of the six judges. You may be saying to yourself “doesn’t that make this The Voice?” Well, yes and no. Each contestant gets to sing a full version of a song of their choosing. A judge cannot buzz in to draft a singer until the last ten seconds of the performance, which I like for a couple reasons. One, there isn’t a sense of panic creeping into a performance if judges haven’t buzzed in after the first power note. Two, it allows for a full critique of a performance rather than a snippet. As for the buzzing in, it is a first come, first serve scenario. Unlike The Voice, where the contestant gets to choose their coach if more than one buzzes in, the first judge to […]

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#tbt: “Shady Lady” Ani Lorak Takes Ukraine to Belgrade

October 20, 2016 0

Ukraine’s Ani Lorak took the stage in Serbia in 2008 with “Shady Lady,” which might be the prime example of a perfect Eurovision entry. Background Song Title: “Shady Lady” Artist: Ani Lorak Semi-Final: Performed fourth in the second semi-final, finishing in 1st Place. Grand Final: Performed 18th in the Final, finishing in 2nd place behind Russia. Last year’s entry: “Dancing Lasha Tumbai” – Verka Serduchka Back in 2010, a blog I followed at the time did a post about Ukraine’s 2007 Junior Eurovision entry. I was ever so vaguely aware of the existence of Eurovision, but this sent me down a fascinating YouTube rabbit hole. The next video to load up was Ani Lorak’s performance of “Shady Lady” at the 2008 Contest. As gateway drugs go, this is top quality. First, it opens with a loving, lingering shot of European stage technology, which America only sorta got a taste of when The X Factor debuted in 2011. The pulsing beat and pop-strings-of-severe-importance kicks in immediately, forcing the audience to pay attention. Ani Lorak starts to sing in front of a screen, which is actually booths containing backup dancers. “Shady Lady” is Lip Sync for Your Life dragtastic, and we are only 20 seconds into the […]

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#tbt: Verka Serduchka has everyone “Dancing Lasha Tumbai”

October 13, 2016 0

Let’s jump back to 2007, when Ukraine’s Verka Serduchka served Eurovision realness. Background Song Title: “Dancing Lasha Tumbai” Artist: Verka Serduchka Semi-Final: No semi-final this time since Ukraine finished in the Top 10 in 2006. Grand Final: 2nd place! More on that in a bit. Last year’s entry: “Show Me Your Love” – Tina Karol (7th place) If you have ever attended a Eurovision viewing party, chances are you played some version of Bingo. Squares might have included “backup dancers,” “military costumes,” “fake languages/words,” “Eurovision is not a political Contest1,” and “drag queens.” Ukraine’s 2007 entry “Dancing Lasha Tumbai” by Verka Serduchka would get you a win without having to use the free square. Verka Serduchka is a character played by Ukrainian performance artist Andriy Danylko. Drag performances aren’t typically associated with Eastern Europe, particularly in 2007, which shows Ukraine fully embracing everything that’s fabulous about Eurovision. The song was originally titled “Danzing,” which would have been fine by itself. However, the phrase “lasha tumbai” within the song caused some problems. Aside from the fact that it’s not a real phrase in any language, when someone with a Ukrainian accent sings it, it kinda sounds like “Russia goodbye.” It’s at this point in recent […]

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