Armenia: Wiwi Jury reviews Sevak Khanagyan and Mariam


Today the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continued its tour of Armenia, travelling to the historic Temple of Garni. After exploring the Greco-Roman architecture, the team sat down to review two more Armenian hopefuls — Sevak Khanagyan and Mariam. Did we spot a potential winner?

Sevak Khanagyan – “Qami”

“Qami” reviews

Antranig: I have been craving a song sung entirely in Armenian ever since Armenia debuted at Eurovision. If “Qami” is that song, it will have been a worthwhile wait. “Qami” is beautiful and mesmerising with a strong message and this is a genuine contender to win Depi Evratesil. My only objection to sending “Qami” to Eurovision is that it’s likely to finish at the lower end of the top ten while Armenia has an option that could contend for the title. Pick your poison carefully, Armenia!

Score: 7.5/10

Jonathan: “Qami” is a fairly strong ballad and Sevak handles the light and shade of it well. It does take about two minutes to properly get going, and once it does, the backing choir drown Sevak’s vocals out too much in the studio version. But, if he manages to deliver an emotional live performance, then this could be a treat of the national selection.

Score: 7.5/10

Luis: Oh wow. In this field of men singing ’90s ballads, coming into this I was fearing it was another dated snoozefest. Then Sevak came and hit me in the face with “Qami”. This is a fantastic ballad and the last minute is explosive. Sevak’s voice is soft, yet dark, yet very appealing. He should be in Depi Evratesil’s top 3 (at least!) easily.

Score: 8/10

Bernardo: There you go. “Qami” is a well-constructed song in Armenian nonetheless, which captures your attention from the very first minute. Sevak’s vocals are warm and inviting, powerful yet fragile. Live, this could be splendid and I wouldn’t mind seeing it in Lisbon.

Score: 8/10

Robyn: A song like this needs a skilful singer and Sevak can do the job. Unlike a few songs in Depi Evratesil, “Qami” takes the listener on a journey. The lyrics might be in Armenian, but the music conveys enough meaning to hook in those who don’t understand the language. There’s potential for this to be amazing live — and it could be a contender for the win.

Score: 8/10

Deban: “Qami” draws strength from its connection with the forces of nature, and in turn, stirs a powerful emotion. Sevak is an accomplished vocalist with years of televised singing experience both at home and abroad. It is a brave move to sing in Armenian — not many will understand what he’s singing about. However, no one can deny the power and strength of his vocal presence.

Score: 8/10

In our Depi Evratesil Wiwi Jury, we have 16 jurors but only room for 6 reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:

Barnabas: 8.5/10

Bogdan: 7.5/10

Chris: 6.5/10

Cinan: 8/10

Edd: 5.5/10

Erdi: 7.5/10

Lukas: 7.5/10

Natalie: 7/10

Rezo: 8/10

Sebastian: 5/10






Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 5 and a high of 8.5.

Wiwi Jury Verdict: 7.46/10

Mariam – “Fade”

“Fade” reviews

Chris: It’s quite hard to tell whether “Fade” is a good song at heart, because the production simply overwhelms everything. Ignore Coco Chanel’s advice: take multiple things off this one. Mariam may have a good voice, but the digital effect is far too overused.

Score: 4.5/10

Robyn: “Fade” takes too long to get going. It’s not until the second verse that things start to get interesting — and it’s only interesting because some weird buzzing noises suddenly show up. There’s a good song lurking, but the production hides the vocals under all the digital gimmicks. If any song needs a revamp, it’s “Fade”.

Score: 6/10

Bogdan: The song’s not bad, but it doesn’t have enough character to grab you either. We’ve heard it all before: the competent vocals, the melancholic lyrics, the so-called “modern” sound effects. “Fade” is okay while it lasts, but it’s totally forgettable once it ends. It’s all too safe and middle of the road to stand out as a winner.

Score: 5/10

Cinan: Mariam has a good song and her beautiful vocals are on, but I don’t really think it is going to win the national final. It’s a regular song, not style used last year with Artsvik. Armenia needs a song that will blow away the Altice Arena!

Score: 6.5/10

Natalie: Gently does it. I love how Mariam lets her soft voice be encompassed by all the beautiful sounds she’s packed into this song. Admittedly, especially when things get a bit dubsteppy, it does feel a bit weird, but there’s a lot of interesting things going on here, and I like it. I wish that she held back a little bit, though, at the end it all felt a bit confusing and messy. Still, this is a really intelligent and indulgent song, and I hope it does well.

Score: 7/10

Edd: I could actually see this song working as an uplifting ballad if the production was completely stripped back to just piano and strings. However, the cheap attempt at “Beautiful Mess”-esque modern production along with Mariam’s weak vocals make for an overwhelmingly underwhelming product. Toilet break.

Score: 2/10

In our Depi Evratesil Wiwi Jury, we have 16 jurors but only room for 6 reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:

Antranig: 7/10

Barnabas: 6/10

Bernardo: 5.5/10

Deban: 5/10

Erdi: 4/10

Jonathan: 6/10

Luis: 3.5/10

Lukas: 6.5/10

Rezo: 3/10

Sebastian: 4/10






Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 2 and a high of 7.

Wiwi Jury Verdict: 5.18/10

See our list of Depi Evratesil 2018 rankings here

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