The Armenian national final was broadcast live from the National Opera Theatre in Yerevan tonight, and it was presented by Gohar Gasparyan and Khoren Levonyan. The show was opened by Inga and Anush, who had represented Armenia in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. Before the competing acts performed, Lys Assia, the winner of the first ever Eurovision Song Contest, in 1956, took the stage and wished all the participants the best of luck. Initially, ten songs had been selected for the final, but the song Never, performed by Sonya, was withdrawn from the competition, thus only nine entries remain. The winner was picked by a combined vote of the TV public (SMS voting) and an expert jury. This is the final result (in order of appearance, winner in bold):
Another Story - Ays Dzmer
Ani Arzumanyan - The Mermaid Song
Meline Beglaryan - We Must Believe
Emmy & Mihran - Hey (Let Me Hear You Say)
Davit Ashotyan - Infected Dreams
Nick Egibyan - Countdown
Maria Kizirian - Little Red Riding Hood
Razmik Amyan - My Love
Eva Rivas - Apricot Stone
Several entries of tonight's final featured elaborate stage performances. Ani Arzumanyan was supported by a folk choir, while Emmy & Mihran were accompanied by a modern dance group, whose choreography was a tribute to Michael Jackson. The stage act to Apricot Stone started with a musician in a black coat playing ethnic motives on a duduk, a traditional Armenian flute, and during the song, Eva Rivas was accompanied by the composer of the song on the piano.
During the interval act, Andre, the Armenian representative in the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest, performed, as well as Sirusho, who had reached the fourth place in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest with Qélé Qélé. In the end, Eva Rivas convinced both the jury and the public with her ethnic pop-song Apricot Stone, the lyrics of which show her strong feelings towards her Armenian motherland. Thus, she will represent Armenia in the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo.
Eva Rivas is 22 years old, and she grew up in the Russian city of Rostov-na-Donu. From the age of nine, she sang in the Armenian choir Arevik. At the age of 16, she participated in the contest "Song of the Year of Armenia", held annually in Moscow, reaching the first place. In December 2008 she signed a record contract with an Armenian production company for five years. Her song Apricot Stone was composed by Armen Martirosyan, and the lyrics were written by Karen Kavaleryan.