Azerbaijan: Dilara Kazimova Wins Böyük Sehne 2014

Fourteen participants took on the challenge of competing in Böyük Sehne, Azerbaijan’s national selection. And after weeks of vocal training and song preparations and plenty of cover performances, it all came down to tonight’s final. Or should we say February 28th’s final? As it turns out tonight’s “live” show was actually pre-recorded on Friday. You can watch the entire final at the end of this post. 

Having survived last week’s semi-final stage, Khana Hasanova, Dilara Kazimova and Erkin Osmanli had to sing it out in front of a five-person jury. Among that professional body was Eldar Gasimov, from 2011 winners Ell and Nikki, and Swedish composer Stefan Örn, who composed entries for Azerbaijan in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Erkin Osmanli kicked off the show with his rendition of “Girls, Girls, Girls”, while Dilara sang “History Repeating” and Khana performed a cover version of “Dance Again”.

First Round Jury Points

Erkin – 38

Dilara – 40

Khana – 41

During the second round, all 3 finalists performed a rendition of an existing hit single. Dilara performed Pharrell Williams’s “Happy”, Khana sang Leona Lewis’s “Run” and Erkin performed John Newman’s “Love Me Again”.

Second Round Jury Points

Dilara – 46

Khana – 46

Erkin – 44

To add to the suspense, the juries did not reveal the points until after the third and final round. The points from all three rounds were then added, counted and verified.

Final Result

1. Dilara Kazimova – (40 + 46 + 50 = 136 points)

2. Khana Hasanova – (41 + 46 + 42 = 129 points)

3. Erkin Osmanli – (38 + 44 + 40 = 122 points)

With a grand total of 136 points, Dilara Kazimova is the overall winner and will represent Azerbaijan at Copenhagen this year. Unsurprisingly, it seems that all you Wiwi readers have picked the right winner in our poll. And you even got the rankings right!

Guest performers during the show included last year’s Junior Eurovision representative Rustam Karimov with his entry “Me and My Guitar”, 2012 Eurovision representative Sabina Babayeva, who performed Beyonce’s “If I Were A Boy”, and Eldar, who performed his single “The One”.

Dilara’s song will be chosen internally by ITV and will be announced by the 15th of March. Eurovision fans are already saying that she’ll be singing “Impossible,” which she performed tonight.

Watch the Final

About the winner

The kind folks in Azerbaijan have sent us the following biography of Dilara.

Dilyara is a young, but already established singer with a profound background as a solo artists, and as a member of music bands in Azerbaijan.

It is the third time already that Dilyara is participating in Azerbaijani National Selection for Eurovision Song Contest and two times before she qualified to in the final.

First time she took her chance as a member of band «Unformal» in 2008, when Azerbaijan debuted on the Contest. Later, in 2010 she took her second chance in a female duo «Milk&Kisses», and again qualified to the final. The same year she went to represent Azerbaijan on another international music festival «New Wave» in Yurmala, Latvia.

While Dilyara was competing for her right to go to the Eurovision 2014 at the Big Stage show, she has passed the “blind audition” and moved in two rounds at Ukrainian version of famous vocal show “The Voice” that is now produced in Kyiv, Ukraine.

What do you think of tonight’s winner? Did the juries make the right decision? Is Böyük Sehne a success once again?

Anthony Ko contributed this report from the U.K. Follow him on Twitter at @bjorneo. You can also keep up-to-date with the latest Eurovision news and gossip by liking our Facebook page.