Tonight last year’s runner up Azerbaijan will select their Eurovision entry for Copenhagen through the television show Böyük Səhnə. The selection process has been going on for months with over 250 artists applying this year and the final 14 taking an intensive vocal training regime to perfect their voices and work on their potential Eurovision entries.
The show will be broadcast at 19:00 CET and you can watch the show here.
Just three artists remain and tonight either Khana, Dilara or Elkin will finally win the right to represent Azerbaijan after tough competition through the casting shows and the heats which have taken place over the past two months. Husniye Magerramova and Tural Assadov will be the hosts for tonight, where the final three artists will present their Eurovision entries for the first time. The line up tonight is:
1 – Erkin Osmanli – Erkin previously took part in the Azerbaijani national final in 2011 but lost to eventual Eurovision winners Ell & Nikki. His music is pop rock inspired and he has taken part in many music and dance projects across Azerbaijan.
2 – Dilara Kazimova – Dilara is a professional opera singer from Baku who previously took part in the Azerbaijani selection process in 2008 and in 2010. Having worked extensively in the music industry, she has previously sung with a few rock bands as well as being a part of The New Waves Contest in 2010.
3 – Khana Hasanova – Khana is no stranger to the Azerbaijani selection shows, having previously participated in 2011 and in 2013, this year she has made it to the final three. A hip hop inspired, R&B singer and dancer, she is a student of a prestigious arts university in Azerbaijan and has even released her first album in Azerbaijan.
Don’t forget to check back at ESCDaily.com where we will be liveblogging the event and bringing you all of the action from tonight’s national final.
WE’RE OFF! And wow! A theatrical opening to the show with all three acts stepping into the stage surrounded by dancers and exciting music, squaring each other up as if they are about to head into battle. Intense! We’re now introduced to the panel who will decide tonight’s results featuring a few familiar faces including Eurovision 2011 winner Eldar! It’s time to introduce the acts and the first act is Erkin Osmanli.
Girls, Girls, Girls is the name of the song which will be covered by Erkin. It’s a country western song, set in an American western style saloon, complete with on-stage bar! Cowboys and cowgirls are everywhere! It’s a modern sounding indie rock song, very catchy, nice styling and his vocals are very good. Quite a happy opening song sung entirely in English, perhaps slightly tacky and not very Azerbaijani influenced, it sounds very wild western. The judges votes are as follows:
8 8 8 6 8 : 38 points
The second artist on stage is Dilara Kazimova and she’s in a kitchen, watching a TV and baking a cake to the song History Repeating. It’s just crazy. There’s so much going on and I have no idea anymore, dressed as a 1950’s housewife, she proceeds to bake a cake whilst singing about history repeating itself. She can sing, but it’s all a bit theatrical, slightly jazzy in style, it’s all a bit “Coronation Street”. The judges votes are as follows:
8 8 8 7 9 : 40 points
Third on stage is Khana Hasanova and she really reminds me of Rita Ora, in both look and style. Her song is called Dance Again. A cover of the Jenifer Lopez song, she is on a podium surrounded by dancers in a shiny pink and black metallic outfit. It’s very techno, dance and latinpop influenced. The whole performance is in a futuristic style, her vocals are good but her pronunciation of some of the English lyrics may leave a little to be desired, nevertheless a fantastic performance. The judges votes are as follows:
9 9 9 7 7 : 41 points
Time for a performance from panel member and singer Tunzala Agayeva. She is incredible! Surrounded by dancers with light batons, she performs a high energy number in Azerbaijani, a great song, the other panel members and the audience love her!
Next up on stage is Dilara Kazimova covering Happy by Pharell Williams. In an off white dress, she has a costume change half way through into a pink dress, then finally onto a red sparkly dress. She is surrounded by dancers, wheeling her around in a chair, being her entourage, this performance is very showbiz. During the performance she is on the red carpet and presented with an Oscar! Very theatrical. The judges votes are as follows:
9 9 9 9 10 : 46 points
Khana Hasanova is next on stage to perform Run by Snow Patrol as her second performance, the first ballad of the night, she wears a long purple dress, standing solo on stage she is surrounded by panels which move to reflect the mood of the song, her vocals are powerful and the song is emotionally charged. The judges votes are as follows:
10 9 9 9 9 : 46 points
Erkin Osmanli‘s second performance is a cover of Love Me Again which he sings from an obscure looking metal cage which he breaks free from. He is wearing a black leather biker jacket and a cape and is surrounded by dancers also wearing black leather and floating capes. There seems to be an awful lot going on here, the crowd love him! The judges have voted as follows:
9 10 9 8 8 : 44 points
Another interval with a performance from Azerbaijan’s Junior Eurovision entrant for 2013 Rustam Karimov with the song Me and My Guitar as well as a performance of If I were a boy by Azerbaijan’s 2012 Eurovision representative Sabina Babayeva and a performance of The One by panel member Eldar. A quick summary of the results so far:
Khana Hasanova : 87 points
Dilara Kazimova : 86 points
Erkin Osmanli : 82 points
Time to hear the Eurovision songs!
The first song is A normal life by Khana Hasanova and she is channeling Sabina Babayeva’s white dress with moving projections on it, standing solo on stage, she performs the heartfelt ballad in English to a dark backdrop of the stars. The judges have voted, results will be revealed later.
The second song is Take it up from Erkin Osmanli and it’s a standard pop song, nothing fancy or over the top, which is what he has become known for over the course of the national selection. With a yellow backdrop, he is dressed in a denim shirt and skinny jeans accompanied by his guitar, he is also sat on top of a pile of sheet music and music stands. It seems quite pop rock influenced, time for the judges to vote, and we move on.
Finally it’s Dilara Kazimova with Impossible. With a “natural” theme, she and her all female band are dressed in nude coloured dressed with flowers on them. It’s a heart felt ballad, with a trio of strings and a grand pianist. With a green backdrop, she performs on a large green leaf, it’s all very nature inspired. The whispering towards the end of the song is almost haunting, it’s quite a captivating performance. The judges have voted.
The results are in:
Erkin Osmanli: 122 points
Dilara Kazimova: 136 points
Khana Hasanova: 129 points
Dilara Kazimova is the winner!
She is presented with the award and will represent Azerbaijan at Eurovision 2014 with the song Impossible. She’s overwhelmed with the results and is in tears. Thank you so much for sticking with us at ESCDaily through the liveblog despite technical troubles, we want to hear your thoughts, did you like Dilara’s song? Will she manage to maintain Azerbaijan’s impeccable reputation at Eurovision? We’d love your comments.