It’s time to X Azerbaijan off our list.
Sometimes we wonder if half the competing artists in Eurovision works as motivational coaches on the side, as overcoming obstacles in ones personal life, staying strong and believing in yourself are among the most popular themes to sing about. This year Aisel from Azerbaijan is one of the frontrunners of this trend with a message of great personal importance to her. It would have been a whole lot more interesting if her song had a more universal message, of let’s say the importance of Human Rights and free speech, but then again this wouldn’t have made the EBU very happy.
In all fairness Aisel has a lot going for her, as she supposedly is in great shape vocally, she’s an experienced performer who has already made something of a name for herself in neighboring countries, she believes in her song and she has teamed up with Fokas Evangelinos, a legendary stage director and the brain behind acts like Greece 2005 and Russia 2016. We expect great things when she takes to the stage for her first rehearsal only hours from when this review is written.
On the other hand we find it a bit off to wrap such a personal message into such an incredibly generic package. But then again this is Azerbaijan so we’re hardly surprised. When Aisel was announced as this year’s entrant it was stated that she would compete with a song written by Azeri songwriters, but somewhere along the road this changed and she ended up with the usual ready-to-assemble stuff from Ikea-land.
We genuinely wonder why a country that otherwise is so proud of their culture and heritage suddenly seem to grow an inferiority complex when it comes to the music they wish to present in Eurovision. Azerbaijan has a lot to learn from countries like Albania, Georgia, Moldova and Greece. If being in it to win it is the only thing that matters, then this tactic hasn’t exactly been working out so great lately either. We get the feeling the Azeri lost interest at some point, or perhaps it just became too costly to buy votes and pour whiskey to the accredited press.
With X My Heart we predict another mid table finish.