Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest

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Member station İTV
National selection events
Appearances 9 (9 finals)
First appearance 2008
Best result 1st: 2011
Worst result 22nd: 2014
External links
Eurovision Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan's page at

Azerbaijan made its debut at the Eurovision Song Contest 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 is the last country in the Caucasus to participate: Armenia was the first one, in 2006, followed by Georgia in 2007.

Azerbaijan since their debut in 2008 has never missed the final. Four years after the country debuted at Eurovision, Azerbaijan won the contest in 2011, setting the record of the lowest average score for a winning song under the current voting system (in place since 1975), with only 5.14 points per country (including Azerbaijan) and 5.26 (without Azerbaijan). Azerbaijan reached the Top 5 in five consecutive contests - 3rd in 2009, 5th in 2010, 1st in 2011, 4th in 2012, and runner-up in 2013.


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

Azerbaijan's first Eurovision performance by Elnur and Samir made it in the top ten placed at number 8 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 (without Azerbaijan) and 5,14 (including Azerbaijan), Azerbaijan holds the record of the lowest average score for a winning song under the current voting system (in place since 1975).

Popularity of the Contest

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 countries president himself Ilham Aliyev launched an inquiry into why his country did not award Russia any points in the Eurovision 2013 final.[6] Azerbaijan expects their act to end up in the Top 5 and the country often hires very well established songwriters and producers (most of them are Swedish musicians) to make their entry for the contest. Since 2009 the Eurovision Song Contest has consistently become the most watched television show on Azeri TV 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 2015, 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
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

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

Voting history

As of 2015, Azerbaijan's voting history is as follows:


Year Location Venue Presenters
2012 Baku Baku Crystal Hall Leyla Aliyeva, Eldar Gasimov and Nargiz Birk-Petersen

Awards received

Marcel Bezençon Awards

The Marcel Bezençon Awards were first handed out during the Eurovision Song Contest 2002 in Tallinn, Estonia, honouring the best competing songs in the final. Founded by Christer Björkman (Sweden's representative in the 1992 Eurovision Song Contest and the current Head of Delegation for Sweden) and Richard Herrey (a member of the Herreys and the Eurovision Song Contest 1984 winner from Sweden), the awards are named after the creator of the annual competition, Marcel Bezençon. The awards are divided into three categories: Press Award, Artistic Award, and Composer Award.[10]

Year Category Song Performer(s) Composer(s)
2012 Press award "When the Music Dies" Sabina Babayeva Anders Bagge, Sandra Bjurman, Stefan Örn, Johan Kronlund
2013 Artistic award "Hold Me" Farid Mammadov Dimitris Kontopoulos

Commentators and spokespersons

Year(s) Television commentator Dual Television commentator Spokesperson
2007 Unknown Unknown Azerbaijan did not participate
2008 Husniyya Maharramova Isa Melikov Leyla Aliyeva[11]
2009 Leyla Aliyeva Husniyya Maharramova[12]
2010 Husniyya Maharramova No Dual Commentator Tamilla Shirinova
2011 Leyla Aliyeva Safura Alizadeh[13][14]
2012 Konul Arifgizi Saleh Bagirov
2013 No dual commentator Tamilla Shirinova
2014 Sabina Babayeva
2015 Kamran Guliyev Tural Asadov
2016 Azer Suleymanli No dual commentator


See also


  1. Kuipers, Michael (2007-06-18). "Azerbaijan not joining after all". ESCToday. Archived from the original on 20 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. News Eurovision Finland 2007 Новости Евровидения 2007 Финляндия
  3. Eurovision Song Contest | Belgrade (Serbia) 2008 - Articles
  4. "Azerbaijan's Eurovision rebirth". AFP. 16 May 2011. Retrieved 16 May 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Sperling, Daniel. "Azerbaijan win Eurovision Song Contest 2011". Retrieved 16 May 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Eurovision: Azerbaijan probes Russian 'nul points'". BBC News. 20 May 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Ell & Nikki (2011) IN POST STAMPS". Retrieved 6 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Stamps on Azerbaijan's Eurovision-2011 win issued". Retrieved 6 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Eurovision 2014 was the second most expensive ever". Retrieved 13 March 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Marcel Bezençon Award – an introduction". Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Floras, Stella (7 May 2008). "Azerbaijan: Azerbaijan: Elnur, Samir & Ruslana in Istanbul". ” Retrieved 22 June 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Montebello, Edward (8 February 2011). "Malta: Azerbaijani TV host is a jury member". ” Retrieved 22 June 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Schacht, Andreas (14 May 2011). "The 2011 Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final!". ” Retrieved 22 June 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Roxburgh, Gordon (26 May 2011). "Running order for the voting tonight". ” Retrieved 22 June 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links