Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Armenia in Eurovision 2007

Rehearsals stage

Armenian stage design was very tasteful, in distinctive style, somehow magical, with a ‘bleeding heart’ and a ‘moving tree’ with white ribbons. Very impressive, indeed. Andrey Sichov from Russia, who directed stage design, certainly knows his job!

While video from Hayko’s rehearsal performance only partly captures stage’s magic, the pictures give better idea of the whole experience.

Source of pictures: Richard West-Soley from and Alain Douit from

Hayko’s rehearsals and Armenian stage design proved to be a success with overwhelmingly positive critical reactions throughout Eurovision related sites and blogs. Many Eurovision fans now call Armenia a ‘dark horse’ of the contest.
After first rehearsals, Hayko got epithets of “master of ballad” (!), “solid” and “professional” performer and “flawless” performance. Read some of the reviews here, here and here.

I think Hayko is talented performer, with pleasant voice, and I quite liked his improvised versions of old Yerevan songs in past.

When I first listened to this song Anytime You Need, I thought this song per se (without considering stage design and performance) is unremarkable. While music is OK, the lyrics are weak. And I do not particularly like music video, find it boring and prefer live clip from the national final selection. But my favourite part is the transition from English to Armenian at the end of the song, Hayko sounds really good in that part. One of the commentators called it
“a stroke of genius”.

I should confess that, with all reservations, this song grew on me. I always thought that this song may have a chance to get high points only if accompanied by memorable stage show. Now we have it, and the whole performance seem very different.

By the way, I was surprised to discover that Hayko is not fluent in English. I thought he could speak English, since I remember he lived quite some time in US doing recordings etc. But during his interviews, Diana Mnatsakanyan (head of Armenian delegation) is acting as translator, and not only. In one interview, when asked about what he wants to try in Helsinki, Diana (after translating the question) actually suggested Hayko the answer in Armenian; Hayko agreed smiling, and the answer was “Finish saunas”. This won’t get noticed by foreigners but was quite funny and amusing for Armenian listener.

In another twist, Hayko gained some following among gay men. His appeal to gay fans of Eurovision was apparent when over last couple of months in various internet forums he got nominated and appeared among top ‘hot’ male performers of Eurovision. Even those who do not like his song, consider him ‘hot’, and this may help him gain additional votes. Wonder, what his reaction would be on these revelations?

Well, good luck Hayko!

Some other interesting and curious facts about Armenian delegation in Eurovision:

-Hayko’s song is a part of the soundtrack of the new TV novel commissioned by ArmTV Don’t Be Afraid.

Source of poster: AGprint

- The white ribbons tied to a tree which is used in Hayko's performance is a symbol of hope or a wish for something one really wants to come true. It's an old Armenian tradition to do such a thing. (esctoday)

- {Yes, this is curious one!} Armenian Diaspora together with Armenian-Finnish Union, have invited Hayko for a meeting and surprised with a ‘present’: now the nameless island visible from the meeting place Villa Voosanta is officially named after Hayko and this brand new name will appear on all the maps in two days! (Eurovision Song Contest – Armenia website)

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