Coming out the highest of the trio of Caucusus countries (the others being Armenia and Georgia) is Azerbaijan, who also are the most successful of those three in the contest, having won in 2011. They suffered their first ever non-qualification in 2018 (albeit only just, having finished in 11th place in their semi) so can the bearded and hirsute Chingiz return Azerbaijan to form?
Chingiz is certainly proving popular with a particular Eurovision demographic of which I am a part, in no small way due to fact he enjoys working out combined with plenty of photos of him shirtless or in vest tops! Also it helps he looks like someone who might venture to venues like my beloved and iconic Royal Vauxhall Tavern!
It is all about the song of course (!) and it’s a catchy, well produced, uptempo dance pop track with a strong, memorable refrain and hook. It also contains some elements of traditional ethnic sounds which Azerbaijan sometimes include in their entries, and I’m glad to see it back here (perhaps no surprise given Chingiz’s own band, Palmas, uses traditional Azerbaijani and Turkish folk sounds with other genres such as rock and pop). While I am yet to see this performed live, the fact he has that band, and has performed in reality singing TV shows, suggests he should be able to perform live competently.
It was quite a surprise that Azerbaijan didn’t get through to the finals last year, relinquishing their 100% qualification record but I think this stands a better chance of going through. They lacked voting allies in the semi-final last year (yet still only just missed out on qualifying) whereas they have more this year. It’s not an easy semi-final to qualify from though, but with closing the show as well (i.e. a good place in the running order), I think this should get through to the final – though I don’t see this necessarily competing for the left hand side of the grand final board.
Official music video:
My preview video:
Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 2008
Appearances (excluding this year): 11
Best result: Winner 2011
Last year’s result: 11th in semi-final (did not qualify)