Today the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — caught a flight to Yerevan, where we hoped to bump into the Kardashians! That didn’t happen, but we were just as happy to watch the dancing fountains in Republic Square and to listen to Genealogy and their track “Face the Shadow”. Did we want Genealogy to face the shadow or step into the light? Read on to find out…

Armenia’s Eurovision 2015 song

Reviews: Genealogy with “Face the Shadow”

Angus: The hairography in “Face The Shadow” is on point – the men and women of Genealogy know how to work that wind machine! The bridge is also absolutely wild and I love the storm of voices fighting one another for dominance. Most groups concern a lead vocal and five backing to make the lead look better, but these are ALL lead vocalists!

Score: 8.5/10

William C: When I first heard this song, I thought it was an absolute mess. Since then it has become one of my favourites. I adore everybody’s voice and I think they should all represent Armenia as solo artists in the future. The song’s lyrics are so-so, but it makes up for it with exhilarating operatic vocals from Miss Mary Jean O’Doherty. This won’t win, but it has a good shot at doing very well.

Score: 10/10

Robyn: I love the concept behind Genealogy – six performers of Armenian descent from around the globe, united in the name of music. It’s very Eurovision. But in practice, the supergroup doesn’t always work. The different vocal styles sometimes clash and it starts sounding like a hastily produced charity single. There are good bits, though – the chorus is great and the climax of the song will surely be amazing live.

Score: 6/10

William: Yes, there may be a lot of cooks in this kitchen, but after hearing the live version of “Face the Shadow”, I want to eat, eat, eat! This has a musical theatre feel: It’s dramatic and powerful, and it brings together voices so distinct it shouldn’t work — but does. It’s in a genre of its own at Eurovision this year. I’ll face the shadow so long as Armenia is singing!

Score: 9.5/10

Kristin: As much as I like the idea behind Genealogy’s entry, I really am bored to death during the song. It just has too much going on, and yet nothing seems to happen. But kudos for the blatant use of the wind machine. And the fact that each singer is extremely talented. And the fact the video is beautifully shot. But other than that this song is DOA.

Score: 4.5/10

Chris: It’s taken me some time, but I am getting increasingly behind “Face the Shadow” the more I listen to it. My fear that this would fall apart live and that the wealth of different voices would clash now seems ridiculous. Sometimes I think that girls overshadow Essai and Vahe. But whatever: I can’t deny my growing love for this one!

Score: 9/10

Sami: All six singers are amazingly talented and I love their voices. They also look absolutely gorgeous (especially Vahe and Tamar), and the video clip is one of the best of this year. They have quite a bad draw in the semifinal, but if their performance is as clean as in rehearsal, they won’t have any problem making it to the final. The song is well produced, they sound great and it’s also catchy enough for the audience to remember it by the end of the night.

Score: 8/10

Deban: A boring build-up to a catchy chorus, “Face The Shadow” would’ve made more sense as “Don’t Deny”. Although every member is outstanding vocally, it is evident that “group harmony” is a secondary concern. Armenia is a nation rich in history and music with a strong cultural identity. However, unlike “Apricot Stone” which drummed a clear point of view, this entry feels muzzled. You need to own it!

Score: 5/10

Padraig: Call this a tale of two reviews. Initially I thought “too many cooks spoil the broth”. I also thought that, as six solo singers, the Genealogy members would struggle to blend. Boy was I wrong. After seeing their live performance I can confirm Armenia are bringing it. The staging is magnificent, if at times rather literal. There’s an apricot tree blowing in the wind, some Tinkara-esque visuals on the floor and lots and lots of purple. Of the six singers, Essai, Tamar and Inga were the stand-outs. Genealogy are ready to do some serious damage.

Score: 7/10

Bogdan: It’s fitting that, 100 years since the Armenian Genocide, the country appears to be marking the occasion at Eurovision (I know, I know…the song is officially about love, but please, “Don’t Deny”). And what a beautiful tribute to history, especially the video! Genealogy itself is an homage to its global diasporas, and surely they will get behind this. Undoubtedly the Armenian emigrants will support “Face the Shadow” and, if the performance is flawless, juries will love the composition and vocal harmonies as well, so this should be a no-brainer to qualify. I’m curious what will happen in the final.

Score: 9/10

Our jury consists of 29 people, but we only have room for 10 written reviews. Here are the remaining 19 scores. 

Anthony: 4/10

Denise: 8/10

Francheska: 6.5/10

Josh: 6.5/10

Judit: 6/10

Liam: 10/10

Luis: 8.5/10

Marek: 8/10

Mario: 8/10

Max: 6.5/10

Mike: 10/10

Mikhail: 4/10

Patrick: 4/10

Ramadan: 0/10

Renske: 6/10

Rezo: 9/10

Sinan: 10/10

Sopon: 8.5/10

Zach: 4/10

To reduce potential bias, we drop the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. We removed a low of 0 and a high of 10.

WIWI JURY AVERAGE: 7.19/10

SEE OUR CURRENT EUROVISION 2015 REVIEWS AND RANKINGS

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Anke Ross
Guest
Anke Ross

The song is not the best one but not the worst one either. The idea, performance, their voices, behavior, approach makes them the best participants.
The idea of unity, one genealogy belongs not only to Armenians but to the whole peoples. And don’t deny the others’ existence, their right for life, and respect them, and try to live peacefully with them. What is this, if not spreading love?

Sacra
Guest
Sacra

I doubt that they have ever had such a national dress stolen from Western Europeans:-) 0 points because it’s not song but propaganda.

Deniz@TurkNL
Guest

7/10

I really like the bridge part and the performance is going to be awesome.

Alex
Guest
Alex

This nonsense getting higher than Lithuania? :/

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Likable idea. But easily the worst song for me this year. It is awful, ridiculous and just plain rubbish. 0/10.

PP
Guest
PP
PP
Guest
PP
Leon
Guest
Leon

@Bogdan – Thanks for the clarification. I was left with that impression because a lot of reviewers were referencing their performance. It’s great to hear that the song is appreciated just as much. Now, can you all do us a favor and kick Ramadan out of your jury list. His biases are unnecessary.

Bogdan Honciuc
Editor

@Leon Actually I and most of Team Wiwi wrote our reviews way before the first rehearsals started, so the reviews and the scores were not influenced by what has happened in the last week. 🙂

Nari
Guest
Nari

I hope it will do better, than fans think, because it’s classy, and it’s different, oh and the artists are great

Lena
Guest
Lena

It’s my favorite. I think Armenia has a chance to win, and it will be an unexpected winer. Wish you all the best genealogy.

Maltish
Guest
Maltish

@Robyn: I feel sorry for Spain now :-(.

Leon
Guest
Leon

I do agree with the commentators that this entry has gotten a boost from the rehearsals and most reviewers took that into consideration, but nonetheless, I think this is a beautiful entry. The lyrics are a little bland but the whole theatrical, ethnic rock and opera mix works here and the music bridge with the church bells and Armenian music is just beautiful 8.5/10 for me. Not the best Armenian entry as a song but may be one of their best as a package.

Ramadan giving this and Israel 0/10…just a real classy pig move there.

LucyEAPercy
Guest

Just realised Otna said this too, sort it wiwi, y’all didn’t do that last year.

LucyEAPercy
Guest

This would have gotten a much lower score before rehearsals. Either review ALL songs BEFORE rehearsals or ALL after!! Other songs weren’t given this chance so this review isn’t fair really and has been swayed by the good rehearsal, as said should be all or none given that opportunity.

Easpag
Guest
Easpag

I think it’s pretty fantastic. If it qualifies, which it will, Italy will suffer, as it is definitely the more memorable of the two dramatic acts this year. In my opinion it’s also the better of the two, although that’s definitely a matter of opinion. The voices, the song, the performance- I live it.

9/10

mark lebron
Guest
mark lebron

My favorite song. 10/10

beccaboo1212
Guest

I like to call it by the original title in my mind – “Don’t Deny” 🙂

Eugene ESC UK
Guest

The whole song is written around two words “Don’t Deny” with only one intention perhaps and they just keep repeating it. The line “Face every shadow you deny” is said twice, deliberate, provocative and political? You decide. They even changed the title of the song, I wonder why? (I know really.) Unfortunately I think they lost their focus and forgot about writing a decent tune. I still don’t like the mix of voices and this is where the opera voice does not fit and where it may not go down too well at the ESC. For me it’s disappointing after… Read more »

davve
Guest
davve

I predict a placement around 6-15th place somewhere.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Maltish: “The Wiwi Jury is so of it’s game it hurts. Go home you’re all drunk.”

Baby, the party has only just started.

Jürgen
Guest
Jürgen

@Ewan, i’m sorry but eurovision = cheese fest. This is one of the least cheesy/cliché entries.

Mario ~ My Vision of Gay Love
Guest
Mario ~ My Vision of Gay Love

Oh….Did not expect such great reviews 4 Armenia’s song to be honest..! 😮 I’m pleasantly surprised because i really thought that i belonged to the minority of the eurofans that really liked Armenia’s song.. 🙂 I might disagree with the wiwi jury on other songs but i agree though on that song 🙂 I really like *Don’t Deny* <3 🙂 Its not really great song but at least its very good & better than most of the other songs of Vienna's Vision.. 🙂 I have it currently as my 5th most liked song on the 1st SF & my 10th… Read more »

Jürgen
Guest
Jürgen

I think their voices sound amazing live and it totally works. Armenia has definitely sent beter songs but performance wise this is one of their strongest.

Ewan
Guest
Ewan

It’s just cheese cheese cheese cheese to the max. I know this is eurovision but the concept is frustratingly try-hard and creates an un-engaging song and performance.

Otna
Guest
Otna

I’m fascinated that a lot of the reviews seem to think the chorus is the best part of the song. The lack of good lyrics in the chorus is the main reason why I don’t like it. Also, I wonder what Armenia would have scored if this review was done before the rehearsals, as the rehearsal seems to have bumped up everyone’s impression – I guess it benefited from the running order by being second last on here 😛

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

One good singer out of six is not a good ratio. Seriously, when Tamar performed the acoustic version of the song, the full folly of this “Genealogy” gimmick came to the forefront. It is not as if the other singers are mediocre, they are just bad. The song itself is a composition mess and although the staging helps the performance a lot, this deserves to be one of Armenia’s worst placed entries. I do not think it deserves to qualify but due to old friends, it probably will.
3.5/10

Darren
Guest
Darren

I like the concept of the song and the costumes, but I just dont like the song. But tbh its rare that I do like a song from Armenia. 2008, 2010 and 2014 was the only times. It should qualify though, it has alot of neighbours voting in its semi.I think that wiwi jury is a bit high though. I’m giving them 5/10

Jerome
Guest
Jerome

7.5/10 If there was a side competition about illustrating the theme, Building Bridges, I would give Armenia 12 points. Their concept of bringing people from around the world to one of their cultures and delivering a song about embracing everything you are really appealed to me. However, when I first listened to “Face Every Shadow” (or “Don’t Deny”), I was thrown by the different voices trying to sing the same song. I was worried that it would be a disaster live onstage. But, after seeing their rehearsals, I was absolutely relieved. Their voices, while still distinguishable from each other, all… Read more »

Maltish
Guest
Maltish

The Wiwi Jury is so of it’s game it hurts. Go home you’re all drunk. If you believe saying “Don’t Deny” multiple times is better than all the other songs which do in fact try to be different they you’re obviously smoking crack.

Menelaus
Guest
Menelaus

Ramadan gives 0/10 to Armenia and Israel.

Otna
Guest
Otna

OMG wow that score is so much higher than I expected because I don’t like the song myself, but thanks xd