Azerbaïdjan 2015

Azerbaijan participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 with the song « Hour of the Wolf« , written by Sandra Bjurman, Nicolas Rebscher, Nicklas Lif and Lina Hansson. The song was performed by Elnur Hüseynov, who was selected by Azeri broadcaster İctimai Television (İTV) in March 2015 to represent the nation at the 2015 contest in Vienna, Austria. Hüseynov had previously represented Azerbaijan in its debut at the 2008 contest, where he performed the song « Day After Day » together with Samir Javadzadeh and placed eighth. In the second of the Eurovision semi-finals, « Hour of the Wolf » placed tenth out of the 17 participating countries, securing its place among the 27 other songs in the final. In Azerbaijan’s eighth Eurovision appearance on 23 May, « Hour of the Wolf » finished in twelfth place, receiving 49 points.

Background

Prior to the 2015 Contest, Azerbaijan had participated in the Eurovision Song Contest seven times since its first entry in 2008.[1] Azerbaijan has won the contest on one occasion in 2011 with the song « Running Scared » performed by Ell/Nikki. Since their debut in 2008, Azerbaijan has had a string of successful results, qualifying to the final and placing in the top ten each year until 2014, including a third-place result in 2009 with the song « Always » performed by AySel and Arash and a second-place result in 2013 with the song « Hold Me » performed by Farid Mammadov. However, in 2014, Azerbaijan achieved its lowest placing in the contest thus far, placing 22nd in the final with the song « Start a Fire » performed by Dilara Kazimova.

The Azeri broadcaster for the 2015 Contest, who broadcast the event in Azerbaijan and organised the selection process for its entry, was İctimai Television (İTV).[2] Azerbaijan had used various methods to select the Azeri entry in the past, including internal selections of both the artist and song, as well as national finals to select their artist followed by an internal selection to determine the song. Between 2009 and 2013, Azerbaijan organized a national final titled Milli Seçim Turu, which would result in the selection of a winning performer that would subsequently be given an internally selected song to perform at Eurovision. In 2014, the broadcaster utilised an existing talent show format titled Böyük Səhnə to complete a similar process where the winning artist was supplied with an internally selected song. In 2015, the broadcaster had initially planned to organise the Milli Seçim Turu show as a national final, however, plans to stage the show were later abandoned in favour of internally selecting both the artist and song.[3]

Before Eurovision

Internal selection

On 27 February 2015, İTV announced that both the artist and song that would represent Azerbaijan at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 would be selected internally.[4][5] Their announcement called for interested artists and songwriters to submit their entries to the broadcaster by 6 March. Eligible artists were those that were citizens of Azerbaijan or part of the Azeri diaspora, while songwriters could be of any nationality. On 13 March, İTV revealed that a national jury panel, whose members included the General Director of the Public Television and Radio Broadcasting Company of Azerbaijan and the head of delegation Tamilla Shirinova, had shortlisted three potential performers: Narmina Behbudova, Narmina Seyidova, and Elnur Hüseynov.[6][7] On 15 March, the broadcaster announced that Elnur Hüseynov was selected to represent Azerbaijan in Vienna with the song « Hour of the Wolf« , written by Sandra Bjurman, Nicolas Rebscher, Nicklas Lif and Lina Hansson.[8] Hüseynov had previously represented Azerbaijan when the nation debuted during the 2008 contest, where he performed the song « Day After Day » together with Samir Javadzadeh and placed eighth. In February 2015, Hüseynov won the Turkish version of the reality television singing competition The Voice: O Ses Türkiye.[8]

At Eurovision

Elnur Hüseynov at a press meet and greet

According to Eurovision rules, all nations with the exceptions of the host country and the « Big 5 » (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) are required to qualify from one of two semi-finals in order to compete for the final; the top ten countries from each semi-final progress to the final. In the 2015 contest, Australia also competed directly in the final as an invited guest nation.[9] The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) split up the competing countries into five different pots based on voting patterns from previous contests, with countries with favourable voting histories put into the same pot.[10] On 26 January 2015, a special allocation draw was held which placed each country into one of the two semi-finals, as well as which half of the show they would perform in. Azerbaijan was placed into the second semi-final, to be held on 21 May 2015, and was scheduled to perform in the second half of the show.[11]

Once all the competing songs for the 2015 contest had been released, the running order for the semi-finals was decided by the shows’ producers rather than through another draw, so that similar songs were not placed next to each other. Azerbaijan was set to perform in position 11, following the entry from Latvia and before the entry from Iceland.[12]

All three shows were broadcast in Azerbaijan on İTV and İTV Radio, with commentary by Kamran Guliyev.[13] The Azeri spokesperson, who announced the Azeri votes during the final, was Tural Asadov.[14]

Semi-final

Elnur Hüseynov with backing dancers at a dress rehearsal for the second semi-final

Elnur Hüseynov took part in technical rehearsals on 14 and 16 May,[15][16] followed by dress rehearsals on 20 and 21 May. This included the jury final where professional juries of each country, responsible for 50 percent of each country’s vote, watched and voted on the competing entries.[17]

The stage show featured Elnur Hüseynov in a black costume joined by two dancers dressed in grey. Hüseynov and the dancers performed a routine choreographed by Ambra Succi that was intended to convey a struggle between two wolves (the dancers) with Hüseynov ending the conflict. The staging for the performance focused on dark colours with the background LED screens displaying a mystic atmosphere with an arid forest, a full moon and wild nature.[15][16] The two backing dancers that joined Hüseynov were: Lukas McFarlane and Julia Spiesser, while three off-stage backing vocalists were also part of the performance: Tamara Nivillac, Krysten Cummings and Nicklas Lif.[18]

At the end of the show, Azerbaijan was announced as having finished in the top ten and subsequently qualifying for the grand final.[19] It was later revealed that the Azerbaijan placed tenth in the semi-final, receiving a total of 53 points.[20]

Final

Shortly after the second semi-final, a winner’s press conference was held for the ten qualifying countries. As part of this press conference, the qualifying artists took part in a draw to determine which half of the grand final they would subsequently participate in. This draw was done in the order the countries were announced during the semi-final. Azerbaijan was drawn to compete in the second half.[21] Following this draw, the shows’ producers decided upon the running order of the final, as they had done for the semi-finals. Azerbaijan was subsequently placed to perform in position 24, following the entry from Georgia and before the entry from Russia.[22]

Elnur Hüseynov once again took part in dress rehearsals on 22 and 23 May before the final, including the jury final where the professional juries cast their final votes before the live show.[23] Hüseynov performed a repeat of his semi-final performance during the final on 23 May. At the conclusion of the voting, Azerbaijan placed twelfth with 49 points.[24][25]

Voting

Voting during the three shows consisted of 50 percent public televoting and 50 percent from a jury deliberation. The jury consisted of five music industry professionals who were citizens of the country they represent, with their names published before the contest to ensure transparency. This jury was asked to judge each contestant based on: vocal capacity; the stage performance; the song’s composition and originality; and the overall impression by the act. In addition, no member of a national jury could be related in any way to any of the competing acts in such a way that they cannot vote impartially and independently. The individual rankings of each jury member were released shortly after the grand final.[26] In the second semi-final, Azerbaijan’s vote was based on 100 percent jury voting, which was implemented due to either technical issues with the televoting or an insufficient amount of votes.[27]

Following the release of the full split voting by the EBU after the conclusion of the competition, it was revealed that Azerbaijan had placed fourteenth with both the public televote and the jury vote in the final. In the public vote, Azerbaijan scored 48 points, while with the jury vote, Azerbaijan scored 40 points.[28] In the second semi-final, Azerbaijan placed eleventh with the public televote with 37 points and ninth with the jury vote, scoring 67 points.[29]

Below is a breakdown of points awarded to Azerbaijan and awarded by Azerbaijan in the second semi-final and grand final of the contest, and the breakdown of the jury voting and televoting conducted during the two shows:[20][25][27][30]

Points awarded to Azerbaijan

Points awarded by Azerbaijan

Split voting results

The following five members comprised the Azeri jury:[26]

  • Zumrud Dadashzadeh – Chairperson – musician and pedagogue, member of Azerbaijan Composers Union
  • Tunzale Aghayeva – singer, composer
  • Fidan Hajiyeva – opera singer
  • Faig Aghayev – singer
  • Samira Allahverdi – singer, choreographer

References

  1. ^ « Azerbaijan Country Profile ». EBU. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  2. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (4 September 2014). « Azerbaijan: Ictimai confirms participation in Eurovision 2015 ». ESCToday. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  3. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (17 October 2014). « Azerbaijan: Ictimai opts for national selection for Eurovision 2015 ». ESCToday. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  4. ^ Gürdoğan, Büşra (27 February 2015). « İTV Goes Internal This Year ». escbubble.com. ESCBubble. Retrieved 27 December 2015. 
  5. ^ « « Eurovision Mahnı Müsabiqəsi 2015″ üçün milli seçim qaydaları » (PDF). itv.az (in Azerbaijani). İctimai Television. 27 February 2015. Retrieved 27 December 2015. 
  6. ^ « Jury members held final internal selections to determine the performer who will represent Azerbaijan on Eurovision Song Contest 2015 ». itv.az. İctimai Television. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 27 December 2015. 
  7. ^ Weaver, Jessica (15 March 2015). « Azerbaijan: Elnur Huseynov will fly the flag in Vienna! ». ESCToday. Retrieved 27 December 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c Omelyanchuk, Olena (15 March 2015). « Elnur Huseynov is the Azerbaijani representative in Vienna ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 27 December 2015. 
  9. ^ Siim, Jarmo (10 February 2015). « Australia to compete in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  10. ^ Brey, Marco (25 January 2015). « Tomorrow: The semi-final allocation draw ». Eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  11. ^ Escudero, Victor M. (26 January 2015). « Allocation Draw results: Who’s in which Semi-Final? ». Eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  12. ^ Siim, Jarmo (23 March 2015). « Running order of Semi-Finals revealed ». Eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  13. ^ Vranis, Michalis (23 May 2015). « Big Poll Commentators: Here are the Semi-final 1 results ». esctoday.com. ESCToday. Retrieved 19 May 2015. 
  14. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (23 May 2015). « « Good evening Vienna » – Voting order revealed ». eurovision.tv. EBU. Retrieved 23 May 2015. 
  15. ^ a b Omelyanchuk, Olena (14 May 2015). « Azerbaijan’s Elnur: « I am very happy to be at Eurovision again« « . eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  16. ^ a b Omelyanchuk, Olena (16 May 2015). « Hypnotising stage presentation for Azerbaijan ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  17. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (20 May 2015). « Time for the juries to make up their minds ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  18. ^ « Elnur Hüseynov: Hour of the wolf ». eurovisionartists.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  19. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (21 May 2015). « Line-up is now complete for the Grand Final ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  20. ^ a b « Eurovision Song Contest 2015 Second Semi-Final ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  21. ^ Brey, Marco; Escudero, Victor M. (21 May 2015). « The second Semi-Final winners’ press conference ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  22. ^ Storvik-Green, Simon (22 May 2015). « Running order for Grand Final revealed! ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  23. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (22 May 2015). « Decision night for the 40 juries around Europe…and beyond ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  24. ^ Storvik-Green, Simon; Roxburgh, Gordon (24 May 2015). « Sweden wins 2015 Eurovision Song Contest ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  25. ^ a b « Eurovision Song Contest 2015 Grand Final ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  26. ^ a b Bakker, Sietse (1 May 2015). « Exclusive: Here are this year’s national juries! ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  27. ^ a b « Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 Second Semi-Final ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  28. ^ Quinn, Angus (24 May 2015). « Eurovision 2015 Split Results: Who Did the Jury Hurt? ». wiwibloggs.com. Wiwibloggs. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  29. ^ Adams, Willy Lee (25 May 2015). « Semi final split results: Who the jury hurt at Eurovision 2015 ». wiwibloggs.com. Wiwibloggs. Retrieved 23 December 2015. 
  30. ^ « Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 Grand Final ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 22 December 2015.