Azerbaijani Eurovision fan club, INFE Azerbaijan, has revealed that fifteen artists took part in Azerbaijan’s auditions for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, Israel. The auditions took place by the Azerbaijani broadcaster, iTV, on 20th November.
As well as announcing the number of artists that took part in the auditions, INFE Azerbaijan have also revealed the names of these acts, which included many acts that had previously taken part in Eurovision selections in Azerbaijan. These names included Samira Efendi (who has participated in selections on multiple occasions), 2010 finalist Maryam Shabanova, 2012 and 2013 participant Vlada Ahundova, 2012 participant Altun Zeynalov, 2013 and 2014 participant Rilaya and 2014 participant Ruslan Alishan.
Three of the auditionees were also shortlisted to represent Azerbaijan in 2015 and 2016 – Huseyn Abdullayev, Narmin Behbudova and Narmina Seyidova. Sarkhan Jafarov also appears on the auditionees list – he took part in the 2014 selection for Azerbaijan in Turkvision.
The other remaining auditioning acts have previously taken part in The Voice of Azerbaijan – Tofig Hajiyev, Narmin Karimbayova, Elvin Novruzov and Leman Dadasheva. Emiliya Yaquabova, who won the first series of The Voice of Azerbaijan completed the audition line-up.
Internal selection for the fifth consecutive year
2019 marks the fifth consecutive year that Azerbaijan has used internal selection to select their entry for Eurovision. 2014 was the last time they used a national final, however, that was only to select the singer, Dilara Kazimova. The song, “Start a Fire”, was selected internally.
Internal selection hasn’t proven the most successful option for Azerbaijan. Since internal selection has been used to select Azerbaijan’s entry, the nation has never placed within the top 10 – something they only failed to do once when they used a national final format. In 2018, it also saw Azerbaijan fail to qualify for the final for the first ever time, finishing 11th in the semi-final.
Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest
Azerbaijan made their Eurovision debut in 2008, represented by Elnur & Samir, with “Day After Day”. The duo finished sixth in the semi-final meaning they qualified for the grand final, where they finished in a respectable eighth place. Then, between 2009 and 2011, Azerbaijan had a run of finishing in second place in the semi-final, but that wasn’t the only run of good results Azerbaijan has held. From 2009 to 2013, Azerbaijan placed in the top 5 on every attempt, including finishing victorious in 2011 with Ell & Nikki’s “Running Scared”.
In 2014, Azerbaijan finished outside of the top 10 for the first time in the history, finishing in 22nd place. Since then, they’ve never been able to re-enter the top 10, with their best result being 12th place in 2015.
2018 was also an unsuccessful year for Azerbaijan at Eurovision when they scored their first non-qualification. Aisel represented Azerbaijan in 2018 with “X My Heart”, which finished 11th place in the semi-final, one place away from qualification.
Who do you want Azerbaijan to select to represent them in Tel Aviv? Do you hope Azerbaijan will qualify again in 2019?
Let us know in the comments below or on social media @ESCXTRA. Also, if you want to test yourself on some Azerbaijan Eurovision trivia, check out our quiz here.