Great news gang! A for Armenia is back in it following last year’s period of martial law as a result of the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Azerbaijan.
I’ve a particular penchant for Armenia, because in 2008 it was responsible for sending one of my all time favourite entries – a woman called “Sirushu”, a top pop star singing the brilliant end-of-an-era ethnopop banger “Qele Qele” (let’s go! let’s go!) which has also ended up as the name of this blog.
Also, chess is compulsory there in schools, they have the world’s longest cable car ride, you can’t by law play guitars, pianos or drums at night and best of all, they all LOVE the underrated fruit of apricot. Boom Boom, Chaka Chaka and all that.
Their entry this year is top drawer – a space-pop song with brilliant choreo and other-wordly beats complemented by lyrics that talk about going to far away places to be who you truly are, and how the winds can take you to an ideal state of being. When you reach that peace of mind, don’t let it go for anything in the world – anyone can reach this ideal, anyone can strive to go to that place and be free of mind and spirit, and so on.
The problem is that that was their winning entry to the Junior Eurovision, whereas their effort into the “adult” contest is some kind of Diet Lilt Lumineers song from a season finale of a show that then gets cancelled about being on the verge of giving it all up, but in the end realising that you can face those difficulties with a bit more self love.
It’s all very Gen Z, and genuinely difficult to sing along to it without replacing the lyrics with those of One, two, buckle my shoe (Three, four, knock at the door) although I’ve just looked up the rest of the lyrics to that and they include “a big fat hen”, “dig and delve”, “maids a-courting”, “maids in the kitchen”, “maids in waiting” and “nineteen, twenty, my plate’s empty” which is surely some sort of Wikipedia edit piss-take.
In the press release Rosa says “The odds seemed like they were against me – an unknown girl from a small town in Armenia. But the power of manifestation is real when it is combined with hard work, persistence, and just putting oneself out there”. “Manifestation” may well be partly responsible, but I’d wager it’s more about the fact that our Rosa almost won the Armenian pre-selection in 2013 with a song combining whistling and dubstep, which would have been infinitely preferable to this Radio 2 C-list dross.