Azerbaijani public broadcaster Ictimai TV has called for songs today in order to hold a competition to decide the country's entry in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest. Both national and foreign composers are invited to submit their songs. An internal committee will select a number of songs.
Moreover, it has been announced that the final of the Azerbaijani selection will feature 9 participants instead of the 10 announced. Nicola Barkley has pulled out of the competition as she learnt that anew semifinal had been introduced when she was spending her Christmas holidays with her family in the United Kingdom. As a result of this, she didn't have time to prepare her perfomances and is officially out of the race, British daily Edinburgh News report.
"But even if the televised semifinal was to take place on Monday, it wouldn't leave Nicola – who is currently awaiting the judge's final decision on a date – enough time to prepare. Not only does she have to learn and practise four new songs, one of them must be in the native Azeri language and another must feature some sort of performance – a band or dancers", the newspaper claims.
However, Ictimai TV have assured that Nicola hasn't participated in the semifinal because she fell ill during her stay in Scotland, which led her to lose her voice: “We got in touch with her and understood that she would not join the selection tours. Nicola Barclay can take part in our selection tours next years. She also was upset with this occasion”, the broadcaster told news agency APA.