The first preview countdown to complete a geographical set! It’s the last of the three countries of the Caucasus, and none have made it out of the bottom 13 for me. Highest placed is the most successful of the three overall in the contest – former winners Azerbaijan. They defend a 100% qualification record – can they maintain that in Lisbon?
Azerbaijan are known for putting in effort with their songs and their staging, though while they continue to qualify for the grand final, their final results have not been as high in the last few years. They internally selected once again, and Aisel will be flying the Azerbaijani flag with a party banger. It’s pretty classic Eurovision pop fare and was well received at the Eurofest event at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern recently – there is a but coming though….
I’ve not placed this that highly – for a few reasons. While I love an upbeat party banger, this does feel a little tired/cheap/heard all it before feel to it – it doesn’t have the innovation or distinctiveness you get from Azerbaijani entries usually. Also, the live vocal is a total unknown (and in 2016 that almost was their undoing). Finally, I know Eurovision lyrics are often corny or nonsensical, but these really take the biscuit… A couple of examples: “Misty moon I’m your loon”; “I cross my heart, I’m stronger than cannonballs”; and “Luna moon me up, to the to-o-op”…
Televoters are unlikely to punish this on the first and third points just mentioned, and can even overlook so-so vocals. Will the juries though? They so tend to upmark Azerbaijan but will they do so again with this far more generic offering. Azerbaijan has that flawless qualifying record, but they’ve been given the opening slot of semi-final 1 – the very first song of Eurovision 2018 to be broadcast live. It could be seen as an honour, and show organisers do like to get the show off to a party start but also slicky staged so both the song and Azerbaijan’s reputation for good staging mean it’s a good fit. However, it’s also a tricky slot – entries performing in that opening slot of the first semi don’t always get through. As I keep saying, it’s a tough semi so I do think it’s on the cards whether this will qualify.
Official music video:
Azerbaijan at the Eurovision Song Contest:
First entered: 2008
Appearances (excluding this year): 10
Best result: Winner 2011
Last year’s result: 14th