The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — returned to the Armenian capital of Yerevan to finish its duties. After exploring the iconic steps of The Cascade, the Wiwi Jury turned their attention to the last two acts vying to represent Armenia in Lisbon. Among them, a Eurovision veteran and a former national final runner-up. Is the Depi Evratesil winner also among them?

Tamar Kaprelian — “Poison (Ari Ari)”

“Poison (Ari Ari)” reviews

Antranig: Continuing the foray into avant-garde ethnic music that “LoveWave” and “Fly with Me” carved out, “Poison (Ari Ari)” takes things one step further by being infinitely more accessible and radio-friendly than its predecessors. The talented Tamar Kaprelian has crafted a song that stands heads and shoulders above her competition and could contend for the title at Eurovision. As an Armenian, I’m so proud of Tamar and this gives me goosebumps every single time I listen to it — almost as much as Loreen’s “Statements” does. Sorry dear Iveta, step aside — “Poison (Ari Ari)” is by far the best song to ever come out of Armenia.

Score: 10/10

Jonathan: It’s fair to say Tamar built up quite a bit of hype around this song. And while “Poison (Ari Ari)” lives up to a lot of it, it doesn’t quite go all the way. The song beautifully blends traditional instruments and modern production. But in a way, it does this too well, as it ends up landing in a middle zone between the two and doesn’t push the boundaries enough either way to become a standout. This is still one of the best songs in Depi Evratesil this year and would be deserving of the ticket to Lisbon. But staging and Tamar’s live performance will be crucial in providing this with the epic climax moment it desperately needs in order to be a Eurovision front-runner.

Score: 8/10

Luis: Didn’t you need a song that updated what pre-jury Eurovision was to 2018? Well, here it is, in all its glory. Tamar provides an earworm with huge potential for a bombastic staging. It’s a very good sign when you can hum the chorus already in the first listen. Pure slayage.

Score: 8.5/10

Bernardo: This has ethno bop written all over it and I love it for that. In a year that — for sure — is going to be heavy on ballads, Tamar Kaprelian takes us back to Armenia with some Eurovision 2008 and 2009 flavour. The potential for staging is enormous, the chorus is catchy, the production is good. Everything works here. “Ari, Ari”, I am LIVING for this.

Score: 9/10

Robyn: This is a bop! “Poison” seems written for the Eurovision in the sense that it works both as audio, but it’s loaded with potential for an explosive stage show. The verses feel a little thin (though that could easily be remedied) but the chorus more than makes up for it with a massive explosion of fun and style. This is a serious contender for the ticket to Lisbon.

Score: 8.5/10

Deban: Just when you thought that Tamar Kaprelian was relying on her outstanding beauty to court votes, she’s dusted off the shadows of Geneology and emerged with a banging track.  The poison running through”Ari Ari” is in a league of its own; building Eurovision hype and validating Depi Evratesil in equal measure. More importantly, this excellent dance-edged folk stomper rides a thumping beat, and packs enough bounce to keep itself on a loop.

Score: 9/10

In our Depi Evratesil Wiwi Jury, we have 17 jurors but only room for 6 reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:

Barnabas: 7.5/10

Bogdan: 9.5/10

Chris: 8.5/10

Cinan: 10/10

Edd: 8.5/10

Erdi: 8.5/10

Lukas: 9.5/10

Natalie: 8/10

Rezo: 9/10

Sebastian: 8/10

 

 

 

 

 

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 7.5 and a high of 10.

Wiwi Jury Verdict: 8.75/10

Mger Armenia — “Forever”

“Forever” reviews

Chris: Mger is doing his best Dima Bilan impersonation here. Unfortunately, that was Eurovision in the ’00s — and we’re ten years past that. “Forever” could work if they embrace the campy feel of the song: make it a Liberace-esque spectacular. Unfortunately the suspicion is that this is meant to be a much more serious affair. Mger might be repping the country in his name, but hopefully he won’t be doing the same at Eurovision.

Score: 4.5/10

Robyn: What a self-indulgent mess. It’s similar to Omar Naber’s “On My Way”, where a dude shouts about his ambitious plans and expects everyone else to cheer him on. But most importantly, “Forever” sounds tired and old, not a representation of contemporary Armenian music. But surely this isn’t the end of the road for Mger — if he achieves his goal of immortality, perhaps he can represent Armenia at Eurovision 2097.

Score: 3.5/10

Bogdan: The song is dated, Mger’s singing style is dated, the lyrics are ridiculous. It’s like the soundtrack to a soap opera that only middle-aged housewives with poor musical taste will enjoy. To make matters worse, the repetitiveness of the chorus is grating. By no means should this be sent to Lisbon.

Score: 2/10

Cinan: I loved the way the song started, with these traditional sounds. Not a bad song by the way, but the lyrics could have been better. Also why is his stage name called Armenia? Like that’s amazing. Another key change on this song, yaaas! Loved it!

Score: 6.5/10

Natalie: Gotta love a singer who names himself after an entire nation. Only someone desiring immortality would do something like that. I dunno whether I’m supposed to take this song seriously or not, but I just can’t. It’s not just the really strange lyrics, but also the confusing production which can’t seem to decide whether to be dramatic or uplifting. By the time all the chord changes came in, I was completely lost. Armenia can do much better.

Score: 4/10

Edd: Whilst the production may be very generic and Mger’s vocals underwhelming, something about this grabs my attention. The melody is oh so epic, and that is one fantastic key change. If he can give us a visual performance as outrageous as the lyrics, I could buy this.

Score: 5.5/10

In our Depi Evratesil Wiwi Jury, we have 17 jurors but only room for 6 reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:

Antranig: 5.5/10

Barnabas: 5.5/10

Bernardo: 2/10

Deban: 2/10

Erdi: 7/10

Jonathan: 3.5/10

Luis: 3/10

Lukas: 5/10

Rezo: 4/10

Sebastian: 3/10

 

 

 

 

 

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: 4.11/10

SEE OUR LIST OF DEPI EVRATESIL 2018 RANKINGS HERE

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AngieP
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AngieP

“Poison (Ari Ari): Another song in which I like the instrumentation. I always like traditional elements in Eurovision songs. I’m not particularly in love with the verses, the chorus is better. Not my favourite but a good song. Need to see it live. 6.5/10

“Forever”: Love the instrumentation. The song itself is just ok. 5/10

Dear Mark
Guest
Dear Mark

Can’t stand this guy and his outdated stupid song.

doldol
Guest
doldol

8,75 for this!!!! meh…….. more than 1 point than the second in the ranking…………. we can’t really call them “experts”…………………. cronyism so no objectivity………………….it’s sad and bad……

Agnes with Unicorne
Guest
Agnes with Unicorne

Am I the only one who kept fingers for a song in Armenian language all those years? I’m for Sevak ? Poison is good, but something and I don’t what exactly I dislike in it.

Rick Narcoisian
Guest

no shade to tamar, but i think she is only rated so high cause shes friends with wiwibloggers, rather than the song. I like ari ari, but the chorus is very flat. Id be happy if she won tho. My favourite is asmik<3

David
Guest
David

I cant that , based on their review I’ll be 10/10 if I just passed from GBP or USD under the table, its a joke and makes good entertainment, that after their review and Tamar does not even get close, we will start questioning these so called “experts” . Lovin this joke !

Ron
Guest
Ron

Although everyone thought Kamil was going to bring out the joke entry into the selection, turns out Mger had something in store for us that will give Kamil run for his money. This song is hands down the worst song in the whole national selection. It sounds like something Philip Kirkorov would sing in 1991. This is a 1/10 for me.

Ron
Guest
Ron

Poison (Ari-Ari) is Armenia’s version of “Look What You Made Me Do” in all the right ways. It has attitude and the mixture of ethnic sounds and masterful transition from English to Armenian and vice-versa throughout the song, leaves one asking for more. However, I am afraid that the song may not leave a lasting impresssion and in a sea of 26 songs, it may get lost unless of course “Team Tamar” can pull off a clever staging. 9.5/10 for me.

James
Guest
James

I just can’t get all the hype around Poison. It is good song, but nothing more. 7/10

YUCK POISION
Guest
YUCK POISION

AHHHHH , POISION ….. it sucks, its old and reminds me of old folk song that my grandmother would play and she even said this song is outdated, and with the review from this website about camels and belly dancing clearly they disrespect my Armenia, YUCKK POISION

Yerevan is calling
Guest
Yerevan is calling

Tamar is awsome, but unfortunatly she stands no chance to win. Because here in Yerevan everyone knows that Mger Armenia is going to win just because he is very close with first lady. Hopefully no international jurry will award it any point as they gonna buy televotes. For Victory Tamar or Hasmik need to be absolute leaders of Jury, 3rd in televote and they need atleast that Mger Armenia, Kamil and Sevak Khanagyan weren’t in the top 5 of International jurry voting. Most possible winners of Depi Evratesil Are : Mger, Sevak, Kamil and then only Tamar, Asmik etc. This… Read more »

Ron
Guest
Ron

If Armenia was going to send Mger, they would just select him internally. Stop spreading false information. That song is garbage, there’s no way, anyone in their right mind, jury or public will vote for it. The most likely winner of DE is going to be Sevak because he has a huge fan base and his song is jury friendly even though Tamar and Asmik have better songs and absolutely deserve to represent Armenia.

Yerevan is calling
Guest
Yerevan is calling

LOL. May I write what I think? Most probably you have forgotten how jury and public “voted” for Boom Boom and Ayo lost in national selection. We’ll talk after semi finals when this garbage will qualify to final.
I just admited possible winners Sevak (just because of fan base), Mger (won’t repeat why) and Kamil (rich betting firm standing behind it and best promotion) .

Yerevan is calling
Guest
Yerevan is calling

In small country buying televotes is not a big problem.

Steve
Guest
Steve

I will vote for Tamar, but I’m sure that Poison won’t win. Sevak has got more fans and gives concerts everywhere to promote his song. Sadly, many people don’t think that ESC is a song contest and they will choose Sevak over Tamar because of his stunning vocals. No doubt, his vocals are stellar, but Tamar’s song is better by far and she also sings well. On the other hand, Asmik has strong voice too with a great entry, so she might share Sevak’s voice. At the end of the day it will be down to jury to decide who… Read more »

Alex
Guest
Alex

Not sure about the reviews it’s very subjective, but what’s not subjective and directly information from Yerevan is Tamar team has imploded and dis functional and this will be reflective on the live shows. No wonder the song is called “Poision” it’s effectively what’s happening / happened in the team. Now before everyone gets excited this is non subjective facts on the ground, and closing note powers at be in Yerevan can not understand her mannerism, time will show, but looks like “Poision” what the most accurate title 🙂

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

That sounds like gossip. Let’s wait until the shows start before we judge.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Agree that time will show, although all facts start with gossip and ultimately turns into fact. Respect that she is putting the effort but facts are facts in Yerevan and market always dictates and the market is sending this back to the rubbish bin

Lloyd
Guest
Lloyd

Yeah, keep adding the fuel to that fire of a gossip and it will explode, hopefully in your face. Name your sources, or get out of here.

Alex
Guest
Alex

@lloyd or whoever you are I sense some hostility. You are asking for sources? When is last time CNN, BBC, FOX or 1TV named their source? Firstly I won’t do wiwi bloggs any favours and announce it here but more important with integrity and respect there is no need to name them, but time will show and the public in Armenia are not stupid at all so the rumor mill is not here on this website but on the ground, as previously mentioned this is not to take away from her or anyone, good luck she has entered but it… Read more »

Ron
Guest
Ron

@Alex – can you please just leave. This is not a war it’s a song contest – everyone has their opinions and their favorites and there’s no need for hostility for any of the contestants. Whether you’re “Team Asmik”, “Team Tamar” or “Team Sevak” makes no difference – at the end of the day, everyone is hoping for the contestant who will give Armenia best possible result to represent the country (and of course deliver a song that people will love)

Alex
Guest
Alex

@ron, good pragmatic response the only issue I have though is that everyone is making their point with total respect on this thread, unclear why you refer it to a “war” where there was no such suggestion, the only fact was that Tamar team has imploded and disfunctional and it has been like this for last 8 weeks and progressively getting worse. It’s a sad case of events as clearly many people are trying to help her it might be useful she deploys some empathy and understand that in this type of project this show has nothing to do with… Read more »

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

As much as I like Tamar’s song… I still think Sevak should go to Lisbon. :/ Anyway a great song, which would probably do well in Eurovision.^^ 8/10

Colin
Guest
Colin

Tamar’s song is the most sensual song of this season thus far. A 9/10 for sure (with the potential for more).

Kaz
Guest
Kaz

I mean Poison is definitely in my top 5 but is no way Armenia’s best ever entry. To me it sounds like a Lady Gaga Song from 2008. I would love for Qami to win. It would take Armenia in a very new direction musically as I feel like the past two years have been similar (with varying results of success). I would also love to hear the Armenian language.

Pavel
Guest
Pavel

Not Qami but Kamil for the win

azaad
Guest
azaad

Poison is great, but a lot less avant-garde that those songs. Neither Lovewave nor Fly With Me seemed chart friendly (although I loved the former- still Armenia’s best entry and a risk that paid off well), while Poison is chart friendly ethno-pop- albeit well produced, with some care taken to the lyrics, more to the instrumentation and vocals. LoveWave and Fly With Me were written for jurors, this was for the televote. Interestingly, Iveta herself was a draw for the televoters by being a diva-esque model who had the monopoly on the straight guy vote in terms of her stage… Read more »

Paul
Guest
Paul

There’s no point in reviewing studio version, we haven’t even heard the song live, who knows, maybe it will get the same fate as Serena’s song, everybody thought she could win eurovision, but live performance showed differently.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

All Wiwi Jury reviews are done using available versions of the song before the national final (or Eurovision). And that’s a risk we take. Sometimes a great studio version flops on stage, other times an unremarkable studio version comes alive when performed on stage.

As some of our readers like to remind us, the Wiwi Jury gave a notoriously average score when reviewing the studio version of “Calm After the Storm”, totally not expecting the emotion and magic that the Common Linnets brought to the Copenhagen stage.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Good point but ultimately no one takes reviews or polls seriously

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

It’s just for fun sis, let it go.

DonK
Guest
DonK

Alex if no one takes reviews seriously, why has Tamar’s score left you so shook?

Alex
Guest
Alex

So soon? 🙂 what are you talking about if polls and reviews were taken seriously there would be no brexit or trump in power, all I’m saying is the market always wins and decides not polls 🙂 so keep your pants so to be honest do your research the market has decided nothing positive about this song and team. It is the facts and no hate speech or trying to take down someone putting the effort

Joe
Guest
Joe

Nah, I’m thinking more of how Amar pelos dois wasn’t even in the Wiwi Jury’s top 10 last year.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Tamar’s song is objectively very good.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Agreed. I think she’s definitely be the smartest choice to send to Lisbon.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Tamar is amazing. Her song is really good and you can already tell from the way that the song is structured, that they are thinking about some breathtaking staging. If it wins, super-happy. Top 5 material for Lisbon.

OIa
Guest
OIa

Tamar HAS to win! Easily the best entry that has ever come out of Armenia, and a top 5-contender in Lisbon.

Catriona Colville
Guest
Catriona Colville

They need to send Sevak.

Kris
Guest
Kris

Ari Ari: 9/10. Really good song with personality, melody and attached to its roots. I only don’t like the ‘Don’t ask why’ part…. It seems out of key and pitch.
One of my winners and probably best for Armenia.

Forever: 3/10.

Soy
Guest

Funny to see Tamar with the guy who’s opposing her lmao

Soy
Guest

Thanks wiwi for rating Tamar’s masterpiece a good score, but it’s still underrated 11/10