Newcomer Azerbaijan is putting a big effort in the country's debut this year at the Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade. On February 2nd, the Caucasian country will select its first ever representative in a national final said to be a television production of the highest level. Resources, equipment and personnel, both from Azerbaijan and other European countries, are gathering together in Baku to make up a show to remember.
The Azerbaijani national final, to be held on February 2nd, has been already baptised as a "Eurovision Song contest in a miniature scale". Indeed, the show, in which companies, resources and manpower from Azerbaijan and abroad are involved, promises to be spectacular.
Ukraine is a key piece in this big Azeri project. The Ukrainian company Luxen Ltd. is working on the production whilst Euromedia is to promote the show and develop Public Relations tasks. Yuriy Melnik, member of Luxen, explained that the stage for the national final has been built mostly in Azerbaijan. The twelve cameras that will show the national final to the world come from Azerbaijan as well. Estonia's Tarmo Krimm has been taken on as multi-camera director and Sweden's Ola Melzig and Per Sundin will take care of the lighting. The three of them already have big Eurovision experience.
Azerbaijani national final is seen as a platform to boost local music and make it known to the rest of Europe. Also, the national broadcaster ITV wants to show its capability to host such an amazing spectacle. Melnik stated that the aim of the companies involved in this project is to achieve the highest result possible for Azerbaijan.
The Azerbaijan's national final will take place on Saturday February 2nd at 18.00 CET. Three competitors – Unformal, Elnur Guseynov and Aynur Iskenderli – will fight to represent their home country at the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest. Moreover, three Eurovision stars will perform in the show: Sertab Erener (Turkey 2003), Ruslana (Ukraine 2004) and Marija Šerifović (Serbia 2007).
The show can be followed on the Internet, webcast by escTV .