Nigar & Eldar get gold in Azerbaijan
Tonight, the Azerbaijani national selection show final was held in the capital of the country, Baku. In the end it was Nigar Camal and Eldar Gasımov to win the trophy and will thus get the Azeri ticket to Düsseldorf, to the 56th Eurovision Song Contest.
Tonight's show began with all the participants arriving through the rain with white cars to the arena, followed by a dance act and the host welcoming the viewers and introducing the jury in Azeri and English!
The show went on with their 2010 Eurovision Song Contest representative, Safura, performing her Drip Drop.
Then it was turn for the contestants to take the stage by storm. The lucky five - Nigar Camal, Eldar Gasımov, Aynishan Guliyeva, Ilqara Ibrahimova and Ilhama Gasımova - all had their chance.
Nigar Camal - dubbed to be the local Jennifer Lopez and performing Cry Me A River - was up first, followed by Aynishan Guliyeva performing the hit song Sway.
Ilqara Ibrahimova took the stage next, performing Thank You. The only male candidate Eldar Gasımov had a go with Je T'Aime, before the last contestant Ilhama Gasımova had her chance with The Game Of Love.
"Don't think about it as a contest, think about that you're representing your country, good luck" - Sofia Nizharadze
After that it was time for participants from other countries to show what they have in them on stage too. Namely, Sofia Nizharadze, who represented Georgia in 2010 with Shine, took the stage.
In the meantime, there was also a live connection with Malta where they held their national selection today as well, just the semi-final. Tomorrow, you can follow the Maltese national final on Eurovision.tv live too!
And the winner is...
Then it was time for the finalists to have another go with performances - all of them performed once again, now with very different songs - from traditional to disco songs.
Later, Anna Rossinelli, who represents Switzerland in Düsseldorf this year took the stage with her Eurovision Song Contest entry of In Love For A While.
Then it was time for the finalists to perform once again - this time with the songs from the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, starting with Jade Ewen's My Time, Kejsi Tola's Carry Me In Your Dreams and Anastasia Prikhodko's Mamo to Brinck's Believe Again and Soraya's La Noche Es Para Mí (The Night Is For Me).
The last Eurovision Song Contest guest was Senit, who represents San Marino in Düsseldorf. She made a good effort speaking some Azeri on stage too and thanks to the host she managed!
"I will enjoy the show and I'll be of course very scared on stage as it'll be the first time I'm doing it," Senit talked about Düsseldorf. "San Marino will be the winner, of course!"
After a greeting from the TV Director ad interim at the EBU, Jørgen Franck, the time for the fourth round of songs was up - the finalists had one more chance to show what they got. This time, all of them performed well-known pop songs.
Now a decision was close and the jury had the hard task to pick one winner. In the meantime, Safura took the stage again, this time with three new songs.
In the end of the three-hour show, the jury decided as a surprise move, it was Nigar Camal and Eldar Gasımovas as duet who would carry the Azeri flag in Düsseldorf. Congratulations!
Who are they?
Nigar Camal was born in 1980 in Azerbaijan but she has been living in London since 2005. She is especially talented in singing R'n'B, soul and pop music. Her greatest inspirers are Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, Brandy, Craig David and Chris Brown.
Eldar Gasımov was born in Azerbaijan in 1989. He began singing already when he was very young and has taken part in several concerts in different cities of Azerbaijan and Russia.
How it all started...
The Azeri broadcaster, iTV, started the search for their participant for the 56th edition of Europe's favourite TV-show already last fall. Then a total of 77 contestants made it to the first round, competing for 7 weeks.
Following that, as a result of televoting and jury voting, 10 contestants managed to secure a place in the semi-final.
The lucky ten had to prove their talent before the jury from the 3rd of January till the 10th of January when the ten was cut down to the final five.
These five - Nigar Camal, Eldar Gasımov, Aynishan Guliyeva, Ilqara Ibrahimova and Ilhama Gasımova - competed tonight in the Grand Final of the Azerbaijani national selection for the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest.
The winner of the show was picked by a jury. The three-hour selection will also be broadcast live in Georgia and Turkey.
Last year, Safura finished 5th representing Azerbaijan with the song Drip Drop.