Miss Armenia, Miss Student, Miss Spring, Miss
Summer, Miss Waterpark, Miss Whatever... The culture
of such pageants and contests has been actively
penetrating Armenia together with other aspects
of western culture and it's becoming more and
more popular with each day.
Tuesday (July 15) another "Miss" was
added to the large archive of numerous "misses"
of Yerevan and Armenia. Miss Karaoke 2002/2003.
Forget what you know about karaoke. Forget about
Cameron Diaz in "My Best Friend's Wedding."
This event and people participating in it had
nothing to do with the amateur singing you can
usually hear at karaoke bars.
And sitting and listening to the beautiful voices
will make one think twice before ever singing
at karaoke again, at least not sober.
The contest took place at the open-air café
of one of Yerevan's karaoke bars, "Club 15".
The idea of the contest belongs to the bartender
of Club 15, Martin Karapetyan. One day in December,
Martin decided to do a small contest just to entertain
and cheer up the guests. The idea was that whoever
scored 100 got a small prize.
contestants took part to find who would be
the Queen of Karaoke.
A day turned into a month, a month into another
month and that's how Club 15 ended up having this
rather unusual event to be seen on one of the
streets of Yerevan.
"No one believed I would ever make it, but
I did," says Karapetyan
There were seven participants, each one named
after the month during which they were acknowledged
as best ones, starting from December up to June.
The sounds of recorded music were replaced by
really strong and beautiful voices. If not the
obvious anxiety of participants performing for
the first time in front of a big audience, one
could think it was a concert of some popular Armenian
The contest consisted of three sets, and during
the last one the participants were to sing something
without any music accompanying, so that the guests
(for it was they who were to vote in the end)
were able to give a more clear estimation of who
they thought was the best among the seven.
Karoake 2002/2003 won a trip for two to the
"Can you tell me a case of fair voting in
Armenia? However, I managed to make it transparent,"
says Karapetyan (in a reference to the recent
"The good thing about this contest is that
it reveals talents. Some may continue a singer's
career; some I know already got proposals. Everyone
can try themselves without having to pay for it,"
says Suzanna Morsikyan, one of the participants
who was recognized as "Miss Juicy" (in
a segment of the competition partly sponsored
by a fruit juice producer).
The winner of the contest, Narine Mnatsakanyan
sang Armenian pop and folk songs, including "Karot",
one of the most popular songs on Armenian radio.
Miss Karaoke 2003 got the winner's crown and
a trip for two to the Black Sea.