Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest

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Member station İTV
National selection events Land of Fire (2008–2010)
Milli Seçim Turu (2011–2013)
Böyük Səhnə (2014-)
Appearances 6
First appearance 2008
Best result 1st: 2011
Worst result 8th: 2008
External links
Eurovision Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan's page at

Azerbaijan made its debut at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2008, after İctimai Televiziya (İTV) became an active member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). İTV had broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest in previous years, purchasing broadcasting rights from the EBU. Azerbaijan is the last country in the Caucasus to participate: Armenia was the first one, in 2006, followed by Georgia in 2007. Azerbaijan, along with Romania, Greece, Russia and Ukraine have never missed a final since the introduction of the semi-finals in 2004 and alongside with Italy has placed in Top-10 each year.


Azerbaijan's first try at Eurovision proved to be successful as the country qualified for the final from the first semi-final and came 8th with 132 points in the final evening.

Previously, another broadcaster, AzTV, wanted to participate in 2007, but EBU rules did not allow this as AzTV was not an active member of the EBU. AzTV was denied active EBU membership on 18 June 2007, as it was considered too connected to the Azerbaijani government.[1] On 5 July, İTV became a full EBU member,[2] and on October 15 it was given permission to take part by the EBU.[3]

Azerbaijan's first Eurovision performance by Elnur and Samir made it in the top ten placed at number 8 with 132 points. In 2009 Azerbaijan achieved an improvement on their 2008 debut, coming third and receiving 207 points with the song "Always", performed by duo AySel & Arash.

On 14 May 2011, Azerbaijan won the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 with Running Scared song by Ell & Nikki.[4][5]

Since the introduction of the semi-finals, Azerbaijan is one of the only two countries to place within the top 10 every year that they have competed.

Popularity of the Contest[edit]

Since debuting in 2008 the contest has been extremely popular in the country. After placing in the Top 10 at their debut in 2008 and also ending in the Top 5 every year since 2009 the contest has become a matter of "national pride" and of very high importance. The high importance of the contest within Azerbaijan became evident and world news in 2013 when the countries president himself Ilham Aliyev launched an inquiry into why his country did not award Russia any points in the Eurovision 2013 final.[6] Azerbaijan expects their act to end up in the Top 5 and the country often hires very well established songwriters and producers to make their entry for the contest. Since 2009 the Eurovision Song Contest has consistently become the most watched television show on Azeri TV even though the contest is broadcast from after midnight local time because of time difference from the (CET). Azerbaijan issued a postage stamp dedicated to Azerbaijan’s victory with Ell & Nikki at Eurovision.[7][8] The duo also became national stars after their Eurovision 2011 win and the country spent a told 1 billion on hosting the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 also building a complete new arena.[9] This was the largest amount of money any country had ever put on hosting the contest, further proving the contests massive popularity in the country.[10]


Year Artist Language Title Final Points Semi Points
2008 Elnur & Samir English "Day After Day" 8 132 6 96
2009 Aysel & Arash English "Always" 3 207 2 180
2010 Safura English "Drip Drop" 5 145 2 113
2011 Ell & Nikki English "Running Scared" 1 221 2 122
2012 Sabina Babayeva English "When the Music Dies" 4 150
2013 Farid Mammadov English "Hold Me" 2 234 1 139
2014 Dilara Kazimova English "Start a Fire"

NOTE: If a country had won the previous year, they did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year.

Voting history[edit]

As of 2013, Azerbaijan's voting history is as follows:

12 Points[edit]

Table key

     Winner – Azerbaijan gave 12 points to a winning song / Azerbaijan won the contest.
     Second place – Azerbaijan gave 12 points to a runner-up song / Azerbaijan was runner-up in the contest.
     Third place – Azerbaijan gave 12 points to a third place song / Azerbaijan came third place in the contest.
     Qualified – Azerbaijan gave 12 points to a song that qualified to the Grand Finals / Azerbaijan qualified to the Grand Finals.
     Non-qualified – Azerbaijan gave 12 points to a song that did not qualify to the Grand Finals / Azerbaijan did not qualify to the Grand Finals.
Year Given Received
Final Semi Final Semi
2008  Turkey  Greece  Hungary
2009  Turkey  Norway  Turkey  Hungary
2010  Turkey  Turkey  Bulgaria
2011  Ukraine  Turkey  Malta
2012  Turkey  Albania  Lithuania
Did not Participate
2013  Ukraine  Malta  Austria


Year Location Venue Presenters
2012 Azerbaijan Baku Baku Crystal Hall Leyla Aliyeva, Eldar Gasimov and Nargiz Birk-Petersen

Marcel Bezençon Awards[edit]

Press Award

Year Song Performer Final Result Points Host city
2012 "When the Music Dies" Sabina Babayeva 4th 150 Baku

Artistic Award

Voted by commentators

Year Performer Song Final Result Points Host city
2013 Farid Mammadov "Hold Me" 2nd 234 Malmö

Commentators and spokespersons[edit]

Year(s) Television commentator Dual Television commentator Spokesperson
2007 TBC TBC Did not participate
2008 Husniyya Maharramova Isa Melikov Leyla Aliyeva[11]
2009 Leyla Aliyeva Husniyya Maharramova[12]
2010 Husniyya Maharramova No Dual Commentator Tamilla Shirinova
2011 Leyla Aliyeva Safura Alizadeh[13][14]
2012 Konul Arifgizi Saleh Bagirov
2013 TBA No dual commentator Tamilla Shirinova


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kuipers, Michael (2007-06-18). "Azerbaijan not joining after all". ESCToday. Archived from the original on 20 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-18. 
  2. ^ News Eurovision Finland 2007 Новости Евровидения 2007 Финляндия
  3. ^ Eurovision Song Contest | Belgrade (Serbia) 2008 - Articles
  4. ^ "Azerbaijan's Eurovision rebirth". AFP. 16 May 2011. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  5. ^ Sperling, Daniel. "Azerbaijan win Eurovision Song Contest 2011". Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Ell & Nikki (2011) IN POST STAMPS". Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "Stamps on Azerbaijan's Eurovision-2011 win issued". Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "Stamp on Azerbaijan’s Eurovision-2011 Win Issued". Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "Stamp on Azerbaijan’s Eurovision-2011 Win Issued". Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  11. ^ Floras, Stella (7 May 2008). "Azerbaijan: Azerbaijan: Elnur, Samir & Ruslana in Istanbul". ” Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  12. ^ Montebello, Edward (8 February 2011). "Malta: Azerbaijani TV host is a jury member". ” Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  13. ^ Schacht, Andreas (14 May 2011). "The 2011 Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final!". ” Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  14. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (26 May 2011). "Running order for the voting tonight". ” Retrieved 22 June 2012. 

External links[edit]