Best performance, worst place: Armenia only tenth at Eurovision-2009

With 92 points received in a combined vote by viewers and national juries, Armenia finished only tenth in the 25-nation Eurovision final in Russian capital Moscow Saturday night.

This is the lowest spot Armenia’s representative has earned on the country’s fourth appearance in this popular pan-European song contest.

The duo of sisters Inga (27) and Anush (28) Arshakyans, graduates of the jazz-vocal department of the Komitas State Conservatory in Yerevan, provided the country’s arguably best executed entry so far as they sang Jan-Jan, an upbeat ethnic tune with elements of modern music.

In the televoting by 42 countries, however, only the Czech Republic awarded the highest 12 points to Armenia’s entry. Other European countries that have large Armenian Diasporas and provided high points for the country’s participants in the last three years failed to do so this time around under the modified televoting procedure, in which 50 percent of the evaluation is based on the vote by national panels of judges.

(Last year Armenia’s Sirusho finished just outside the top three, while Andre and Hayko finished in the eighth places in 2006 and 2007, respectively.)

Meanwhile, Armenia has not changed its ‘allegiance’ and gave its 12 points to Russia, whose average-performing representative finished just behind Armenia’s.

Interestingly, Armenia gave one point to Azerbaijan, which came third in the competition. The top finisher was Norway, scoring a record 387 points for its entry Fairytale written and executed by young ethnic Belarus singer Alexander Rybak.

The contest in Moscow will be remembered by Armenians also due to the row over the image of one of the symbols of Nagorno-Karabakh used in the video material preceding the performance by Inga and Anush in the semifinal. The Russian organizers removed it from the video clip in the final after receiving complaints from Azerbaijan.

But the image of the large monument located in Stepanakert, 'We are our mountains', better known as Tatik Papik (an old Armenian man and woman hewn from rock) was twice exposed to viewing on the backside of a notepad that Sirusho held while she was delivering the Armenia vote results live.

More information about Eurovision is available on its official website www.eurovision.tv