Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest

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Member stationİTV
National selection events
Participation summary
Appearances12 (11 finals)
First appearance2008
Best result1st: 2011
Worst result11th SF: 2018
External links
Eurovision Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan's page at
Song contest current event.png For the most recent participation see
Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest 2020

Azerbaijan has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 12 times since making its debut 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 was the last country in the Caucasus to debut in the contest.

Azerbaijan won the contest in 2011, with Ell & Nikki and the song "Running Scared" setting the record for the lowest average score for a winning song under the previous voting system (in place from 1975 to 2015), with 5.26 points per country. The country achieved five consecutive top five results in the contest, finishing third (2009) and fifth (2010) before their 2011 win, and fourth (2012) and second (2013) following their win. In 2018, Azerbaijan failed to advance from the semi-finals for the first time.


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 15 October it was given permission to take part by the EBU.[3]

Azerbaijan's first Eurovision performance by Elnur and Samir placed 8th 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 a song by Ell & Nikki.[4][5] With their entry only receiving 5.26 points per voting country, Azerbaijan holds the record of the lowest average score for a winning song under that voting system (in place from 1975 to 2015).

The country managed another two consecutive top 5 results with Sabina Babayeva finishing fourth with 150 points in 2012 and Farid Mammadov second with 234 in 2013 but in 2014 Azerbaijan failed to place in the top 10 for the first time since their debut, finishing 22nd, the country's lowest result in a Eurovision final to date. Azerbaijan has since failed to come in the top ten coming 12th in 2015, 17th in 2016 and 14th in 2017. 2018 saw Azerbaijan's first non-qualification, with "X My Heart" by Aisel failing to make it past the first semi-final. However, in 2019 Chingiz managed to bring Azerbaijan back in the top 10 for the first time since 2013 by finishing 8th with the song "Truth".

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 from 2009–2013, 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 country's president Ilham Aliyev himself launched an inquiry into why his country did not award Russia any points in the Eurovision 2013 final.[6] Since 2009 the Eurovision Song Contest has consistently become the most watched television show on Azerbaijani television even though the contest is broadcast from after midnight local time because of time difference from the Central European Time. 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.

The country spent €160 million (300 million Azerbaijani Manat) on hosting the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, including building a completely new arena for the event.[9] As of 2018, this is the largest amount of money any host has ever spent on hosting the Eurovision Song Contest.


Table key
  Second place
  Third place
  Last place
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 Host country[a]
2013 Farid Mammadov English "Hold Me" 2 234 1 139
2014 Dilara Kazimova English "Start a Fire" 22 33 9 57
2015 Elnur Hüseynov English "Hour of the Wolf" 12 49 10 53
2016 Samra English "Miracle" 17 117 6 185
2017 Dihaj English "Skeletons" 14 120 8 150
2018 Aisel English "X My Heart" Failed to qualify 11 94
2019 Chingiz English "Truth" 8 302 5 224

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


Year Location Venue Presenters Image
2012 Baku Baku Crystal Hall Leyla Aliyeva, Eldar Gasimov and Nargiz Birk-Petersen Pht-Vugar Ibadov eurovision (26).jpg

Awards received[edit]

Marcel Bezençon Awards[edit]

Year Category Song Performer(s) Composer(s) Host city Ref.
2012 Press Award "When the Music Dies" Sabina Babayeva Anders Bagge, Sandra Bjurman, Stefan Örn, Johan Kronlund Azerbaijan Baku
2013 Artistic Award "Hold Me" Farid Mammadov Dimitris Kontopoulos Sweden Malmö

Related involvement[edit]

Heads of delegation[edit]

Year Head of delegation Ref.
20122014 Husniye Maharramova [az]
20152016 Tamilla Shirinova
2018 Leyla Quliyeva
2019 Husniye Maharramova

Commentators and spokespersons[edit]

Year Commentator Spokesperson Spokesperson background Ref.
2006 Unknown Did not participate
2008 Husniye Maharramova and Isa Melikov Leyla Aliyeva Maiden Tower, Baku
2009 Leyla Aliyeva and Isa Melikov Husniye Maharramova Fountains Square, Baku
2010 Husniye Maharramova Tamilla Shirinova Baku Skyline
2011 Leyla Aliyeva Safura Alizadeh Bay of Baku, Baku
2012 Konul Arifgizi and Saleh Bagirov Flame Towers, Baku
2013 Konul Arifgizi Tamilla Shirinova
2014 Sabina Babayeva
2015 Kamran Guliyev Tural Asadov Baku Skyline, Baku
2016 Azər Süleymanlı
2018 Flame Towers, Baku
2019 Murad Arif Faig Agayev


See also[edit]


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


  1. ^ Kuipers, Michael (18 June 2007). "Azerbaijan not joining after all". ESCToday. Archived from the original on 20 June 2007. Retrieved 18 June 2007.
  2. ^ "News Eurovision Finland 2007 Новости Евровидения 2007 Финляндия". Archived from the original on 8 July 2007. Retrieved 18 July 2007.
  3. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest | Belgrade (Serbia) 2008 – Articles". Archived from the original on 10 February 2010. Retrieved 17 October 2007.
  4. ^ "Azerbaijan's Eurovision rebirth". Agence France-Presse. 16 May 2011. Archived from the original on 30 September 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
  5. ^ Sperling, Daniel. "Azerbaijan win Eurovision Song Contest 2011". Archived from the original on 30 May 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
  6. ^ "Eurovision: Azerbaijan probes Russian 'nul points'". BBC News. 20 May 2013. Archived from the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Ell & Nikki (2011) IN POST STAMPS". Archived from the original on 6 August 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  8. ^ "Stamps on Azerbaijan's Eurovision-2011 win issued". Archived from the original on 4 January 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  9. ^ "Eurovision 2014 was the second most expensive ever". Retrieved 13 March 2016.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Winners of the Marcel Bezençon Awards 2012". 27 May 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  11. ^ "Winners of the Marcel Bezençon Awards 2013". 19 May 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  12. ^ a b Granger, Anthony (26 January 2019). "Azerbaijan: Husniye Maharramova Returns as Head of Delegation". Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  13. ^ Granger, Anthony (22 September 2016). "Azerbaijan: Tamilla Shirinova Dropped as Head of Delegation". Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  14. ^ Granger, Anthony (7 December 2018). "Azerbaijan: Head of Delegation Dismisses Report of Artist Reveal in Two Weeks". Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  15. ^ a b Kuipers, Michael (17 May 2007). "Azerbaijan to debut in 2008?". Archived from the original on 19 May 2007. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  16. ^ Floras, Stella (7 May 2008). "Azerbaijan: Azerbaijan: Elnur, Samir & Ruslana in Istanbul". " Archived from the original on 28 August 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
  17. ^ Montebello, Edward (8 February 2011). "Malta: Azerbaijani TV host is a jury member". " Archived from the original on 14 March 2017. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
  18. ^ Schacht, Andreas (14 May 2011). "The 2011 Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final!". " Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
  19. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (26 May 2012). "Running order for the voting tonight". " Archived from the original on 18 June 2012. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
  20. ^ Cavadsoy, Şahin (9 May 2016). "AZƏRBAYCAN DİLİNDƏ "EUROVİSİON"U O, ŞƏRH EDƏCƏK". (in Azerbaijani). Archived from the original on 10 September 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  21. ^ ""May we have your votes please?"". EBU. 11 May 2018. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  22. ^ Granger, Anthony (28 April 2019). "Azerbaijan: Murad Arif Returns To Commentary Booth After Thirteen Years". Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  23. ^ "Eurovision 2019 Spokespersons – Who will announce the points?". 18 May 2019. Retrieved 18 November 2019.

External links[edit]