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)

Embed this video

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

Embed this video

There are 7 comments

Your comment is very welcome! Those not in line with the Terms of Use of this website will be removed by a moderator, and could lead to blocking your MyEurovision account. Reactions are only allowed in English and French.

Note that it can take a couple of minutes for your comment to appear here, it will appear immediately on your MyEurovision profile page
  • Posted on 11 September 2012 at 00:09
    I like most "Day after Day" by Elnur & Samir; it was a great idea, to perfom a struggle between an angel and the devil. And: Aserbaijan really surprised Europe with their first entry, because it was so extraordinary.

    But, of course: The song of Ell and Nikki, which won in Düsseldorf, in my homecountry Germany, was really beautiful. I've heard, that she is too old, and he is too young, and for this, they cannot represent a loving couple... what a deep bullshit! They were amazing!
    Azerbaijan, you really got glamorious and nice looking singers!

    Janina report to the moderator
  • Posted on 10 September 2012 at 02:36
    My favourite entry was Safura ♥
    It should won. The worst was 2008 and 2011. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 9 September 2012 at 15:40
    Even though I support my Slovenia (obviously), I've been following Azerbaijan's Eurovision progress since their debut and I wouldn't be surprised if Azerbaijan has the determination to knock Ireland off their perch as Eurovision’s most successful country. Their people are simply the most passionate Eurovision supporters I’ve ever seen!

    @Jupiter: If their national selection process works wonders for Azerbaijan and got them into the top 10 every time and a top 5 finish in the Grand Final since 2009, then why change it?
    Azerbaijan has a Swedish composer they can rely on that is Stefan Örn, who has worked on their Eurovision entries for the last 3 years and he has done a magnificent job for Azerbaijan. Although for next year’s contest in Malmö, I would prefer to see a different type of song rather than a fourth ballad in a row. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 9 September 2012 at 04:02
    Ell , Nikki and Sabina are all passionate singers with great ability ! Hope to see them conquer the charts ! Are Ell and Nikki still singing together , or separately now ? report to the moderator
  • Posted on 8 September 2012 at 09:17
    I am fond of the Eurovision Song Contest. Every time I like to fan of my country. But every year I pay attention to the representatives of Azerbaijan. They amaze me. I think that Azerbaijan is a country with great potential in ESC. For several years, Azerbaijan has shown good results. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 7 September 2012 at 15:11
    I love those guys, the song of EllNikki is so tender and nice - true love story, I adore it! i can really believe they love each other when I see them.

    As for Sabina - I love her voice, it take my heart every time I hear her. She is a gorgeous woman, a queen of jazz vocal.

    BTW, I've noticed that for the last 3 years Azerbaijan is always in TOP-5. Nice work, well done!

    I am looking forward to 2013 entry, no doubt it will be nice as always! report to the moderator
  • Posted on 7 September 2012 at 08:34
    I just love Azerbaijan's entries! They always fascinate me beyond words! However, it starts to get a little predictable - selecting unknown participant from a long and tedious selection process and awarding a ballad song from some swedish producers... Can Azerbaijan put something different next year? I guess we will have to wait and see.

    And about the voting thing, is it me or it is really fishy that Malta favors Azerbaijan's entries? I get it that Turkey loves them though, due to similar culture and everything..

    @Christocce: Who exactly do you mean? Azerbaijan? As far as I know, they did get into the final and eventually won the contest. report to the moderator