Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017

Eurovision Song Contest 2017
Country  Azerbaijan
National selection
Selection process Internal Selection
Selection date(s) Artist: 5 December 2016
Song: 11 March 2017
Selected entrant Dihaj
Selected song « Skeletons« 
Selected songwriter(s)
Finals performance
Semi-final result 8th, 150 points
Final result 14th, 120 points
Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest
◄2016 2017

Azerbaijan will participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 with the song « Skeletons » written by Isa Melikov and Sandra Bjurman. The song was performed by Diana Hajiyeva (Dihaj), who was internally selected by the Azerbaijani broadcaster İctimai Television (İTV) to represent the nation at the 2017 contest in Kiev, Ukraine. Dihaj’s selection as the Azerbaijani Eurovision entrant was announced on 5 December 2016, while the song « Skeletons » was presented to the public on 11 March 2017.

Azerbaijan was drawn to compete in the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest which took place on 9 May 2017. Performing during the show in position 8, « Skeletons » was announced among the top 10 entries of the first semi-final and therefore qualified to compete in the final on 13 May.

Background

Prior to the 2017 Contest, Azerbaijan had participated in the Eurovision Song Contest nine times since its first entry in 2008.[1] Azerbaijan had 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 their lowest placing in the contest to this point, placing 22nd in the final with the song « Start a Fire » performed by Dilara Kazimova. In 2016, Azerbaijan placed seventeenth with the song « Miracle » performed by Samra.

Before Eurovision

Internal selection

On 23 September 2016, İTV announced it’s intentions to participate in 2017 but didn’t give any further details about the selection process.[2] On 5 December 2016, it was revealed that Diana Hajiyeva was internally selected to represent the country.[3] Despite not having announced anything about the song, Hajiyeva said in an interview that she was planning to keep her experimental style at Eurovision.[4] Her song for the contest in Kiev, « Skeletons », was presented to the public on 11 March 2017.

Promotion

On 8 April, Dihaj performed during the Eurovision in Concert event which was held at the Melkweg venue in Amsterdam, Netherlands and hosted by Cornald Maas and Selma Björnsdóttir.[5]

At Eurovision

Dihaj during the opening ceremony of Eurovision 2017

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. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) split up the competing countries into six different pots based on voting patterns from previous contests, with countries with favourable voting histories put into the same pot.[6] On 31 January 2017, 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 first semi-final, to be held on 9 May 2017, and was scheduled to perform in the first half of the show.[7]

Once all the competing songs for the 2017 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 8, following the entry from Finland and before the entry from Portugal.[8]

Semi-final

Dihaj took part in technical rehearsals on 30 April and 4 May, followed by dress rehearsals on 8 and 9 May.[9] This included the jury show on 8 May where the professional juries of each country watched and voted on the competing entries.

At the end of the show, Azerbaijan was announced as having finished in the top 10 and subsequently qualifying for the grand final.

Final

Shortly after the first semi-final, a winners’ 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 reverse order the countries appeared in the semi-final running order. Azerbaijan was drawn to compete in the first half, in the position 12.

Voting

Points awarded to Azerbaijan

Points awarded by Azerbaijan

Split voting results

The following five members will comprise the Azerbaijani jury: [10]

  • Aleksandr Sharovskiy – Chairperson – theatre director
  • Afak Malikova – artistic director
  • Anvar Sadigov – accordionist, arranger
  • Sevda Alakbarzadeh – pop and jazz singer (only semi-final)
  • Anar Huseynli – vocalist, musician
  • Emil Mammadov – jazzman, jazz pianist (only final)

References

  1. ^ « Azerbaijan Country Profile ». EBU. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  2. ^ « Light your fire! Azerbaijan confirms for Eurovision 2017 | Eurovision 2017 Predictions, Polls, Odds, Rankings ». Wiwibloggs.com. Retrieved 2017-03-04. 
  3. ^ « Azerbaijan: Dihaj †» a.k.a. Diana Hajiyeva †» will sing at Eurovision 2017 | Eurovision 2017 Predictions, Polls, Odds, Rankings ». Wiwibloggs.com. 2016-12-05. Retrieved 2017-03-04. 
  4. ^ Davies, Megan. « Azerbaijan: Diana Hajiyeva discusses Eurovision ». Eurovoix.com. Retrieved 2017-03-04. 
  5. ^ Jordan, Paul (29 March 2017). « Eurovision in Concert sets a new record with 33 acts ». European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  6. ^ Jordan, Paul (25 January 2017). « Semi-Final Allocation draw to take place in Kyiv ». eurovision.tv. Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  7. ^ Jordan, Paul (31 January 2017). « Results of the Semi-Final Allocation Draw ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 31 January 2017. 
  8. ^ Jordan, Paul (31 March 2017). « Semi-Final running order for Eurovision 2017 revealed ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  9. ^ « Press ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  10. ^ Jordan, Paul (29 April 2017). « Who will be the expert jurors for Eurovision 2017? ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 3 May 2017.