Azerbaijan: Major success since 2008 debut

Azerbaijan: Major success since 2008 debut
Ell/Nikki who won the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest for Azerbaijan.Photo: Alain Douit (EBU)

The next country who's Eurovision Song Contest history we explore, is that of this year's host nation, Azerbaijan. Although they have only been participating since 2008, the Land of Fire have made quite an impression to date.

From the minute that the very first delegation from Azerbaijan turned up at Europe's Favourite TV Show in Belgrade in 2008, it became evident that the nation were going to take the competition very seriously, and were ambitious to register a victory sooner rather than later.

This of course happened in 2011, and back in May 2012 Baku was host city and put on a spectacularly impressive show.

Azerbaijan's record to date

  • First participation - 2008 - Elnur & Samir - Day After Day
  • Best result - Winners (2011) - Ell/Nikki - Running Scared
  • Semi-Final record - 4/4 attempts successful - 100% qualification record
  • Highest score in the Final - 221 (2011) - Ell/Nikki - Running Scared

You can read all about the previous entries and artists from Azerbaijan in our history pages here.

Although Azerbaijan have only entered the Eurovision Song Contest on five occasions their worst result to date was a very impressive 8th place in the Final in 2008. Their other four attempts have all resulted in top five finishes, with Ell/Nikki bringing home the trophy in 2011. You can see the winning song in the video below.

Ell/Nikki - Running Scared (Winners of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest)

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Facts about Azerbaijan's participation

  • Did you know that 2012 entrant Sabina Babayeva had tried to represent her country every single year since 2008?. She was finally chosen this year and finished in 4th place in the Final with When The Music Dies
  • The Baku Crystal Hall was constructed completely from scratch in order to host the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest
  • Azerbaijan has preferred the entries from Turkey since they began entering, awarding them the maximum 12 points in 2008,2009,2010 and 2012
  • Turkey has awarded Azerbaijan the maximum 12 points every year from 2008 to 2012. Malta has also awarded Azerbaijan 12 points for the last three years in succession from 2010 to 2012
  • Ironically, in 2011, Azerbaijan did not win the First Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest, even though they won the Grand Final. This honour went to Loucas Yiorkas and Stereo Mike from Greece

You can see Sabina Babayeva's stunning performance of When The Music Dies, from the Grand Final of 2012 in the video below.

Sabina Babayeva - When The Music Dies - Live - Grand Final

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