Earlier this month, Ictimai TV said that 214 songs were submitted – of which 88 were from local composers – for Azerbaijan’s Eurovision 2024 internal selection.

This past weekend, the Azerbaijani broadcaster announced on Instagram that 16 of those entries were being passed through to a live audition round.

Ictimai wrote, “[n]ext round of selections for the Eurovision 2024 begins! Only 16 from all the applicants have passed to the next round of LIVE AUDITIONS! 🎤 Best of luck to everyone! 🌟 ”

Details of the selection process, who is on Ictimai’s internal selection panel, or who is in the Round of 16 have not been revealed, but Ictimai typically keeps these details under wraps until closer to the artist and song reveal. Typically, Azerbaijan is one of the countries to run close to the March deadline to reveal its entry.

Though we may not know who has gone through to the Round of 16, we do at least know of one local artist who did not: Orkhan Nadirov.

In a post on his Instagram, Nadirov released the audio track for what he said was his Eurovision 2024 entry, “Prince and Prince.” With lyrics by Alvin Babayev, the track is also available on Nadirov’s YouTube channel and you can judge for yourself if it would have made a worthy contender for Eurovision 2024 or not.

Azerbaijan have typically used some variation of internal selection to make their choice since 2015. In their earlier years, Azerbaijan did use song contests to pick the artist and later internally select a song, though Milli Seçim Turu 2013, which was won by Farid Mammadov’s “Hold Me,” remains the only national final to date.

Azerbaijan’s Eurovision 2023 representatives, the twin indie-rockers TuralTuranX, were selected by a panel led by Eldar Gasimov, one half of the country’s Eurovision 2011 winning duet Ell & Nikki.

TuralTuranX’s “Tell Me More” failed to qualify for the Grand Final in Liverpool, United Kingdom, coming in 14th of 15 in Semi-Final 1 with 4 points from the 1st all-televote Semi-Final since 2007.

This was only Azerbaijan’s second non-qualification (Aisel’s “X My Heart” from Eurovision 2018 being the first) since the Caucasus nation’s debut at Eurovision 2008.

TuralTuranX’s “Tell Me More” was also the only all-Azerbaijani penned and produced entry since their debut (Elnur and Samir’s “Day After Day”), so it remains to be seen whether or not Ictimai sticks to an all locals approach.

What do #YOU want to hear from Azerbaijan in 2024? Do #YOU want another locally sourced entry or do #YOU mind if Azerbaijan hires foreigners to help them return to the Grand Final?

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