This past weekend, Ictimai TV held its first live audition round for 15 aspiring acts hoping to represent Azerbaijan at Eurovision 2024.

In front of a judging panel including Eldar Gasimov and Nigar Jamal (Ell & Nikki, who won Eurovision 2011 for Azerbaijan with “Running Scared), and Aysel Teymurzadeh (one half of AySel & Arash, who came third at Eurovision 2009 with “Always), 15 hopefuls performed with their goal being a ticket to Eurovision 2024 in Malmo, Sweden.

Though 16 acts had been put through to the audition round, one unnamed act had to drop out of contention for unspecified reasons.

The remaining 15 acts are as follows:

  1. Emy Lia
  2. Tofig Hajiyev & Camal Qurbanov
  3. Aisel
  4. Rilaya
  5. Mar
  6. İlkin Dövlətov & Mila Miles & Etibar Əsədli
  7. Sabina Beyli
  8. Lexa
  9. Edgar Ravinov
  10. Əmrah Musayev
  11. Alesker
  12. Rahib Mirzoev & Tofiq Yadigar
  13. Səbinə Quluzadə
  14. Qorqud
  15. Fahree

The first name to stand out is Aisel, who represented Azerbaijan at Eurovision 2018 with “X my Heart.” She holds the unfortunate distinction of being the first Azerbaijani performer to not qualify for the Eurovision Grand Final, and she will no doubt be fired up to try again.

Sabina Beyli, a young Boston, Massachusetts based artist with a significant following on TikTok and Instagram, is also in the running.

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.

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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