Both the Armenian public and the Eurovision community on the whole were shocked earlier Monday, February 19, when fan favourite and ESC veteran Tamar Kaprelian failed to qualify for the final of Depi Evratesil, the national final used to select which participant will represent Armenia in each year’s contest. Even those who did not want the 31-year-old to take the stage in Lisbon, Portugal, come this May were convinced that she would at the very least advance from her semi-final, making her elimination that much more unexpected.
As reported by ESC Daily, the first semi-final of Depi Evratesil took place on Monday night local time. Kaprelian performed her YouTube hit, Poison (Ari Ari), which has reached almost half a million views since its release just over a month ago. She was one of five other contestants also eliminated; Hayk Kasparov, Angel, Zhanna Davtyan, and Gata Band. The five acts to move on to the final and have a chance at representing Armenia in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest are Gevorg Harutyunyan, Mger Armenia, Lusine Mardanyan, Robert Koloyan and Nemra. The winner will be chosen on February 25.
Facebook and Twitter quickly blew up with reactions to Tamar not qualifying, with the majority of users up in arms over the vote and posting extremely angry statuses questioning why the Armenian public made the choice they did. The slim amount of people who felt that the former 2015 Eurovision Song Contest contestant deserved the place she got, as they did not enjoy her live performance whatsoever, were quickly attacked by other users and told they were wrong in their opinion. Some of the more invested fans are even going so far as to suggest that the result may have been fixed, as Tamar Kaprelian’s popularity level prior to performing was so huge that her not getting through simply does not make any sense in their minds.
The Arizona native was part of supergroup Genealogy, who particpated in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Don’t Deny. The song’s lyrics detailed the horror and aftermath of the Armenian Genocide, which took place in 1915 and is still disputed by the government and residents of many countries, specifically Turkey. Kaprelian performed alongside five other singers with Armenian roots; Mary-Jean O’Doherty from Texas, Stephanie Topalian from California, Vahe Tilbian from Ethiopia, Essaï Altounian from France and Inga Arshakyan, who was born in Armenia. The group advanced to the grand final after placing seventh in their semi, ranking 16th overall.