Will Azerbaijan manage to re-enter the Top 10 in 2018?

by Stratos Agadellis 1,153 views

We are already halfway on our #10DaysofConfirmations project, as the Day 5 is here! Today, next to confirm its participation in Eurovision 2018 is a country of the Caucasus peninsula. The Azeri broadcaster İctimai confirmed to ESCToday its 11th in a row appearance in the contest. 

A short but rich history for Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan firstly entered Eurovision in 2008 in Belgrade, after the İTV broadcaster became a full EBU member. Until 2008, the contest had been airing in the nation for several years. For all these years since their debut, the Eurovision Song Contest has seen extremely high popularity in the country.

The country made a successful debut in the contest, earning an 8th place with their entrants Elnur & Samir and their entry Day after day. Afterwards, for 5 consecutive years was never finishing outside the Top 5! Until 2013, Azerbaijan was acheiving impressive results, having ended up in all 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th places! Therefore, the country has won the contest once; in 2011 with Ell & Nikki singing Running scared. Following their victory, İTV hosted the 2012 contest in Baku. For the staging of the contest, a brand new arena was constructed, the Baku Crystal Hall, with a capacity of 27,000 people. The host country had spent the gratest amount ever given for hosting Eurovision; € 160 million!

Although the country has never missed any finals, their results since 2014 haven’t been as successful as in the previous years. The best placing for Azerbaijan has been a 12th place in 2015 with Elnur Hüseynov and his pop entry Hour of the wolf. However, the country has never finished last, as their worst result was a 22nd place out of 26 countries in 2014.

In 2017, the nation was represented by the singer Diana Hajiyeva (stage name Dihaj) with an eccentric performance of her song Skeletons, featured by a man wearing a horse’s head. Despite being one of the favourites and was featuring relatively high in all polls and odds, the act only managed a 14th place by 120 points.

Which could be the best selection method for them?

İctimai TV has run many different national selection shows for picking up their Eurovision entrant and song. These are Land of Fire (2008 and 2010), Milli Seçim Turu (2011–2013) and Böyük Səhnə (in 2014). However, in 2009 and by 2015 and after the broadcaster has chosen to select their hopeful and entry internally.

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