By Gayane Abrahamyan
This year on May 18th for the first time Armenia will participate in the Eurovision International Song Festival in Greece side by side with 38 other countries. And for the first time viewers will have the opportunity to vote for Armenian participant. The honor to represent Armenia belongs to 26-year-old singer Andre, a native of Karabakh.
Karabakh- origin singer Andre will soon appear on Euro stage
“I was so excited at first when I learned the news of my participation. Then I realized what a tremendous responsibility it is, after all I am going to represent not Andre’s personality but the country, and that is very serious,” says Andre.
Armenia got the right to participate in the competition in July 2005 after getting membership in the Organization of European Broadcasters.
“After long efforts we received the right for participation. We are the first in the South Caucasus with the right to represent ourselves; Georgia and Azerbaijan are still negotiating,” says general producer of the Public TV Hrach Keshishyan.
Armen Martirosyan’s “Stay With Me” was chosen from 20 submitted songs as the one Andre will perform.
The singer’s candidacy was chosen by the H1 Arts Council. Keshishyan says the Council has taken into account the fact that Andre has been named the best singer for two years and that he stayed on the first place at the Hot Ten program for 18 weeks.
Public TV will see to the participation expenses, although Keshishyan still doesn’t imagine the amount.
The semi-final is planned for May 18th and the final run will be on the 20th. The voting in the semi-final will be through SMS, while the final tour provides for phone voting. But according to the requirements of the competition no phone calls will be accepted from Armenia.
“I have great expectation on the side of the Armenian community living in Greece and the citizens of Armenia there, although I hope also there will be foreigners who will vote for me,” says Andre.
According to composer, director of the State Song Theater Arthur Grigoryan at the moment Andre is the best candidate who could represent Armenian pop music in a proper way.
“This is a competition where purely voice capabilities are not enough; only dancing, moving freely on the stage, scene manners, costumes –all these together only can become decisive in the victory, and Andre is among those unique singers with us who has not only high level performance but also artistic characteristics,” says Grigoryan.
Though Eurovision is a first for Armenia, competition is not new to Andre. He has represented Armenia in Moscow, Almaty (Kazakhstan), in Shanghai. In the “World Art Championship” in Hollywood, he was named World Champion.