Ictimai TV, Azerbaijan’s national broadcaster, have been whittling down their contenders for at Eurovision 2024 on a weekly basis, and this past weekend announced the remaining six acts.
From 214, then to 15, now 6 acts hope to represent Azerbaijan in Malmo, Sweden. Per Ictimai’s Instagram announcement, “As a result of live auditions followed by jury voting, these 6 artists and their songs will continue competing for the chance to represent Azerbaijan at the Eurovision stage in Malmö: Dear @emiliyayaqubova @milamilesm @ilkin.dovletov @etibar.asadli @aiselofficial @itsfahree @qorqudlive @sabinazadehmusic keep it up, we wish you the best of luck! We hope to see the rest of our gifted participants shine bright at big stages and make their fans proud.”
The live auditions were performed 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).
The six acts, comprised of eight individual named performers, are:
- Emy Lia
- Mila Miles & İlkin Dövlətov & Etibar Əsədli
- Sabina Quluzadeh
This list includes the familiar name of 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.
Of course, it’s not just the Aisel show, and other artists took to social media to address their progress in the national selection.
Sabina Quluzadeh, a semi-finalist in The Voice of Azerbaijan in 2021, took to Facebook to express gratitude for making it this far.
“Made it to the next stage of the official selections for Eurovision song contest!,” she wrote. “I’m one of the six artists on the final! So excited, so grateful! Dear followers, friends! Your support and love is unconditional! And I appreciate it with my whole heart! This is, little Sabinas dreams coming true! And she loves you all! Thank you so much!”
The other acts include Emy Lia, who is based in London and won the The Voice of Azerbaijan in 2016 and has released several singles, including “Так Бывает” (“It happens”) two weeks ago.
Fahree also addressed his fans on Instagram, stating “That’s it! Today the results were announced and I received a pass to the next round with my name marked in the last 6th!”
“I wish success to everyone again,” Fahree continued, “because each participant deserved to represent our country! The song I wrote is very important to me and I sincerely believe it!”
Qorqud, the artistic name of musician Elvin Nozruzov, also posted to Instagram, saying “The results have been announced today. I have moved to the next and last stage. I am one of the 6 candidates selected and only one person will represent the country on the Eurovision stage in 2024 Good luck to everyone. I believe in the success of my song. Choose a song that deserves it.”
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 think of the six acts named by Ictimai? Do #YOU want Azerbaijan to give Aisel another shot, or do you think they should go with one of the other five acts? Let us know in the comments below, on our social media, or in our forum.