Athena Manoukian Armenia Eurovision 2020 Chains On You

The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to rate and review the 41 songs that had been selected for Eurovision 2020. Next up, we take a look at Athena Manoukian, the winner of Armenia‘s national final Depi Evratesil 2020, and her song “Chains On You”. Were we chained to her rhythm? Read on to find out!

Athena Manoukian – “Chains on You”

“Chains on You” reviews

Angus: It’s difficult to put a finger on why a song that sits somewhere between Cardi B, late-era Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea doesn’t work. But the fact is it doesn’t. “Chains On You” feels tired, lengthy and only comes alive in the spoken bridge. The music video is a glossy presentation, but it can’t distract from a subpar song.

Score: 3

Antranig: “Chains on You” was always a good song but the original version was so repetitive it was nauseating. Then Athena presented us with perhaps the best revamp in recent memory and turned a good but repetitive song into a dynamic one. Armenia always do best with atypical Eurovision songs. They failed to qualify with two extremely stock standard Eurovision entries and this change of genre would have ended that run in a weak semi-final. In these tough times we are all enduring, the positive message of “Chains on You” seems all the more fitting.

Score: 8

Barnabas: Every year there are a few entries at Eurovision that can only be classified as “trash”. And “Chains on You” does fit in that category. The sad thing about it is that Armenia has tried so hard to be edgy this time that it just makes me cringe. The lyrics are as deep as a puddle and the overly autotuned parts just make it worse. However, it’s still kinda bearable until we get the chorus where we’re tossed in the face with Athena mumbling “chains on chains on you” for 69 times in a row – I’d rather have a pie thrown in my face. Finally, I am sad for Athena, she’s a very competent performer. She should have just brought a better song.

Score: 2

Natalie: I have to say I consider this a real stand-out from this year. The gritty, raw urban production and Athena’s stellar vocals and attitude are intoxicating. It’s not often that we hear this kind of music at Eurovision, especially performed and produced this well. The “Diamonds shinin’ on me” refrain with the ever-encroaching bass line gets me every time. It has energy, it has earnestness, and good Lord does it spark. I honestly believed with some killer staging and dance moves that this one might have been able to pull out a “LoveWave” or even a “Fuego” and reach for the top. It will always be part of my Eurovision playlist, that’s for sure.

Score: 8

Oliver: Right from the outset, “Chains on You” had the potential to make a serious dent in the competition. I am, by no means, a connoisseur of rap music, but Athena’s song was instantly grabbing and arresting with the revamped version taking it to new heights. It made use of an international genre, yet still retained a distinct Armenian flare to remind you of the origins of this number. After two somewhat lacklustre years, Armenia has definitely put itself back on the Eurovision map.

Score: 9

William: Diamonds shining on who? Diamonds shining on Athena Manoukian. This song defies Eurovision convention, proving that R&B and hip-hop do have a place in this sphere. Risky, bold, daring — Athena takes no prisoners as she pops and locks and reminds all of us of our self-worth and potential. She may sing of chains, but baby this is all about emancipation. The production has had a major revamp since Depi Evratesil — it now takes us on a journey through space-age sounds, sensual breaths and even electro-bass. This is fire.

Score: 9.5

In the Wiwi Jury we have 22 jurors but only have room for five reviews. The remaining scores are below:

Åri: 5

Bernardo: 6

Calvin: 7.5

Deban: 6.5

Esma: 7

Florian: 3

Jonathan: 8

Lucy: 5

Luis: 8

Pablo: 6.5

Renske: 7

Robyn: 7.5

Ron: 7

Sebastian: 8

Tobias: 3

Tom: 7

William: 9.5

We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 2 and a high of 9.5.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 6.5/10

What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!

See all our Eurovision 2020 reviews and rankings

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Josh Sterling
Josh Sterling
1 year ago

I will give a 8.75/10 for this

ESCFan2009
ESCFan2009
1 year ago

Armenia – 3/10 (38th/41)

ESC2020
1 year ago

The worst song, and sibger EVER. 010

Zsófi
Zsófi
1 year ago

It was steadily climbing up on my toplist from dead last, with the revamp, it easily jumped into my top 10 and comfortably chained there. 1. Australia 10/10 4. Romania 9.5/10, I dont like the revamp tbh. 5. Ireland 9/10, this just bring joy and I could really use it as a cosplay music video tbh. 6. Armenia 9/10 10. Bulgaria 8.25/10, a bit slow build for me but still a+ quality 11. Moldova 8/10 okay my taste is trash but im trash for this 12. Greece 8/10 also for this 15. Croatia 7/10 tbh i dont get why so… Read more »

Guest
Guest
1 year ago

This got a 6.5 mark while Croatia’s song only got 5.13?

Mr X
Mr X
1 year ago

Armenia 2/10

Thanos
Thanos
1 year ago

Really good revamp and kinda catchy song but that’s where the pros really stop for me. I give it a 4/10.

Teddie
Teddie
1 year ago

Love this track. Again, the only downside is the comically mispronounced words (“nutty” instead of naughty and “potty” instead of party).

The Roop is On Fire
The Roop is On Fire
1 year ago

The instrument’s minimalistic beats and Athena’s rap and singing blended well. That is why the revamp is considered as a success among fans of the contest.

Héctor
Héctor
1 year ago

Actually this was my dead last before the revamped version was released. It was very annoying and pretentious and it wasn’t something I would listen by myself. In fact, it was the best song to torture me if you ask me. Now that it has been polished, it has climbed a little bit in my top, because at least it is listenable now. 2. Australia – Montaigne – Don’t break me (8) 4. Romania – Roxen – Alcohol You (8) 5. Spain – Blas Cantó – Universo (8) 7. Bulgaria – Victoria – Tears Getting Sober (7.5) 11. Italy –… Read more »

yodenman
yodenman
1 year ago

I know people have their own opinions but how can one Jury member give a 9.5 and another one gives a 2. Come on. How can supposed music fans be so far apart with their scores. A difference of 2 or 3 I can understand but 7.5.

Sally
Sally
1 year ago
Reply to  yodenman

This song is polarising. The score clearly reflects that, no?

Bella
Bella
1 year ago
Reply to  yodenman

… If you know people have their own opinion, what do you not understand about someone liking that song and someone else not liking it?

Nobody Important
Nobody Important
1 year ago

And the award for the revamp of the Year goes to…

Idksmth
Idksmth
1 year ago

Appearently Armenia knows how to polish an unlistenable song to something enjoyable. Going from monotonous and annoying to something sassy and interesting is really great, so good job to them. For me the chorus in this song is the deal breaker. It’s made better with the revamp but it’s still a bit monotonus, so I can’t rate this song as well as I’d want to. With that, I still think that this would place 8th – 10th in the semi, so therefore we’d see them in the final. Hopefully they keep Athena next year and they find a better song… Read more »

Typhlosion123
Typhlosion123
1 year ago

This is hands down my favorite song and I don’t care what y’all think. Armenia has never won so far so this would have been a good first time for me since Armenia has been the best for me for several years now (Love Wave, Jan Jan, Qele Qele and Walking Out). I don’t understand why my country was first in the betting odds and Athena wasn’t. She slays!

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
1 year ago

Basically, since Armenia’s dire 2015 entry (one that I still think is the biggest misuse of the talent involved in recent Eurovision history), they have been hitting it out of the park with me when it comes to their entries. This year, Armenia managed to overcome the worst (that’s right Belarus and Moldova) NF of the year and come up with a song that made it into my top ten. I love everything about this. Nothing about this is awkward or seems not to fit Athena as an artist. It’s all very authentic. It’s easily the best revamp you’ll see… Read more »

Colin
Colin
1 year ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

Same opinion on the winning song. IMHO, while Armenian NF was indeed very weak, Moldovan one was the worst in terms of staging and production, while hats down, Belarus has it in a bag song-wise (I mean, not even a single song exceeded a 4/10 mark for me).

Ashton
Ashton
1 year ago

The revamp pushed this from a hated song for me into one of my most-listened to. It’s so so good, modern and fresh – but the best part is that instrumental towards the end. It’s so impactful and almost sexy-sounding, probably due to the thumping and hypnotic bass, and if the music video was anything to go by I reckon that Armenia and Athena would have given us a show on stage in Rotterdam. I can’t even express how good this revamp is. I do think it’s a bit rude to call a song trash, though, Barnabas, since every song… Read more »

mark dowd
mark dowd
1 year ago

Painful on the ear at times and not a pleasant listen…..worst Armenian entry for years. They got lucky that ESC was cancelled. It has GOTTA be better in 2021.

Emily
Emily
1 year ago

I’m not gonna post a lengthy comment, since this genre isn’t my cup of tea at all. Sorry, Armenia. Clearly many like this, and I’m not gonna knock people for having a different taste in music.

Polegend Godgarina
1 year ago

the production could be more expensive-sounding, but this song rides the current pop trends very well and athena has proven herself to be completely capable of giving it added value on stage

Odysseas
Odysseas
1 year ago

SLAY YOU GREEK-ARMENIAN QUEEN!! This song is a BOP. Was one of the few who liked it before the revamp. It could be easily a world-class song. American pop-stars are hiding under their blanket now…
Overall: 9/10 (7th)

Mia
Mia
1 year ago
Reply to  Odysseas

Nice effort, with emphasis on *effort*
Or should I say “this my sh*t, bow down bitch*s” 😛

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
1 year ago

I’m sorry, but I’m really not into this song. I find it monotone and tiring, plus the persona Athena portrays in “Chains On You” to me feels very unpleasant and irritating, definitely not like someone I’d like to spend 3 minutes with. I wasn’t blown away by her vocals in the NF performance either. The revamp was a great improvement, but not enough to make me like this entry. Besides, I’m not a big fan of this type of music, so there’s that. Gorgeous music video, tho! 4/10

Mia
Mia
1 year ago

“In these tough times we are all enduring, the positive message of Chains on You seems all the more fitting” I just can’t, lmao 😀
I like Athena’s vibrant personality, appreciate the effort to present this genre in ESC, nice rewamp with dark undertones and great visuals, but let’s not pretend this entry is more than that.
6/10

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
1 year ago

Credit for the best re-vamp of the season. This song is dark, exciting and has a real groove. Athena’s voice has a real Beyoncé-type sound that is a real gift. The dancing and the choreo are all great. I also love the syncopated ethno sounds. I’m not a big fan of the Chorus words being rapped, although the rapping does work in the extended Verses very well (or primary Bridges, I’m not 100% on this song’s structure). The (other) Bridges of the song (“Boyyy”) really bring out the best in Athena’s vocal tone. Maybe with a more tuneful song, she… Read more »

Tibor
Tibor
1 year ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Okay, that Beyoncé there came really out of nowhere, I nearly choked on my tea. 😉

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
1 year ago
Reply to  Tibor

Ahahaha! It comes from my very first listen of the song, months ago. Notes: “Rapping, hip-hop, Beyoncé vocal! Repeating hooks, Diamonds ooo, breathing thrust noises, and of course hurt me. Dark.”

Tibor
Tibor
1 year ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Got it. 🙂

Euromess
Euromess
1 year ago

Antranig is the typical person who ruins the credibility of a site. 8 to Armenia and 2 to Italy, for example. Bafoonery. We know that these considerations do not come from professionals, but there is a limit. Keep writing articles, for the rest there are YouTube comments. Wiwi should think about who to put on this jury and who not.

Polegend Godgarina
1 year ago
Reply to  Euromess

lol stop attacking him, he ain’t trying to tell the objective truth, he’s just expressing his own taste like everyone else

Ashton
Ashton
1 year ago

Maybe so but he is always so abrasive towards songs he doesn’t like. And let’s be real, his taste is so inconsistent it’s unnerving. He would give a song a 1 and then an extremely similar song a 9, or at least a song with the same vibe. It’s really weird and seems haphazard, at least to me.

Colin
Colin
1 year ago
Reply to  Ashton

Well, I’m not necessarily defending Antranig (although I do defend his right to be honest), but some songs of a very similar ”vibe” or genre can have vastly different impact on me. There have been vintage sounding power-ballads which scored a 10/10 for me, but at the same time, some missed the mark and ended-up *really* low as well. Still, when I don’t find any difference in song’s style or quality, I would be interested in asking the person what made them love one of the songs, but not the other.

Ashton
Ashton
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin

Yeah I get it. It’s just that he is kind of mean to the artists in his reviews, and I seriously can’t figure out his taste. But I guess I don’t need to.

Euromess
Euromess
1 year ago

Excuse me, everyone, I forgot one essential thing. Antranig is Armenian. Not that it doesn’t make sense. In fact, it confirms my point even more. But here’s the thing, it’s not the right song to take as an example. He can’t be the least bit objective with the things he doesn’t love, let alone the song of his country. They shouldn’t consider the votes of those who vote for their country, it’s against the spirit of the contest. Anyway, my idea is that when you vote in such a jury, considering the audience you can reach and the impact you… Read more »

Donkey
Donkey
1 year ago
Reply to  Euromess

OK yea but in his defence he did say that he used to hate Armenias song before the revamp. But his comments can be very extreme at times

Jo.
Jo.
1 year ago

the revamp really made it work, but for me it’s still a bit dull.

Mika Rähub
Mika Rähub
1 year ago

This is my number 4 below azerbaijan, Ukraine and Bulgaria. I’m so glad that this got a respectable score because I was expecting much worse. It gets a 9/10 for me

Colin
Colin
1 year ago

Another thing that would be interesting to compare is Armenia vs Latvia. Both songs have rap verses, urban elements and energetic performances. Personally, I find these elements much more cohesive in the Armenian entry, but feel free to disagree.

Kosey
Kosey
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin

Ooh, you will have to wait Colin, but for me, there is a world of difference between these two entries….

Ashton
Ashton
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin

Love them both. Both were surefire qualifiers to me.

Tibor
Tibor
1 year ago

I’m starting to feel like I’m super negative this year, but I’m not, it’s just that these entries are all so dull. This is from the category “tried but failed”. I find her vocal performance in the spoken verses extremely annoying (when she doesn’t try to sound so raunchy it gets better), and the whole production is not on point. I still would have put her through as a borderline qualifier into my ideal contest top 26, exclusively based on the idea this song represents and even though the execution to my ears falls completely flat.

Colin
Colin
1 year ago

ARMENIA – The art of a good revamp is something that deserves an article on it’s own. Mostly, they don’t change a song all that much. The worst ones tend to dismantle good songs, while some of the more successful ones are no more than a patchwork on a weak song. Then we come to Armenia 2020, the song I initially had little interest in. Sure, Athena’s energetic live already helped the song to stand out and win, but it still felt too tired and repetitive to do a serious impact. The revamp elevated the production levels, added some really… Read more »

Erasmus
Erasmus
1 year ago

Revamp totally saved it. Hope to see her internally selected, she deserves it, think she can do even better. Also the MV is the best one of the year imo. my score: 7/10 1. Romania 10/10 2. Bulgaria 10/10 3. Belgium 9/10 4. Australia 8,5/10 5. Czech Republic 8/10 6. Portugal 8/10 7. Italy 8/10 8. Israel 7,5/10 9. Russia 7,5/10 10. Armenia 7/10 11. Albania 7/10 12. UK 7/10 13. Ireland 7/10 14. Spain 6,5/10 15. Cyprus 6,5/10 16. Poland 6,5/10 17. Serbia 5,5/10 18. Austria 5,5/10 19. Greece 4,5/10 20. Moldova 3,5/10 21. Croatia 3,5/10 22. Macedonia 3,5/10… Read more »

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
1 year ago

In Eastern Europe, I think.

Erasmus
Erasmus
1 year ago

omg, didn’t even realize that I forgot it. It would’ve been between Ireland and Spain though – with a 6,5 as a score 😀 thank you for correcting me!

Kosey
Kosey
1 year ago

25. Armenia – 6.5/10 – this is almost into guilty pleasure territory. It is completely trashy, but I am compelled by the debauchery of it all. The revamp made it sound classier whereas if anything I wanted it to be rougher and dirtier. I find movement irresistible when this song plays.