It’s the final countdown! Sergey Lazarev, Dima Bilan and LOBODA close Zhara Fest 2017

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Sunday is meant for rest, but forget that! Drop the beat — and while you’re at it turn up the heat and pass us a drink. Last night saw the conclusion of Zhara Fest — the international music festival that celebrates pop music from the Russian-speaking world. Over the previous few nights we’ve seen the likes of Ani Lorak, Dima Bilan, Nigar Jamal and Sofia Rotaru own the stage at the Sea Breeze Resort in Baku. All that foreplay led to a major climax on Sunday as concert-goers welcomed Eurovision 2016 pop sensation Sergey Lazarev to the stage and enjoyed encore performances from Dima Bilan, Emin and LOBODA. 

Two days ago we met one half of the duo that won Eurovision 2011. And yesterday we just had to complete the circle. Eldar Gasimov joined us for a long walk by the Caspian Sea before giving us an exclusive interview.

The star upped his boomerang game with wiwibloggers Bernardo Tavares Pereira and Deban Aderemi in the Boulevard Hotel Baku before departing for his vacation in Turkey.

Word spreads fast in Baku, and it didn’t take long for other Azerbaijan Eurovision stars to join us. Miss Miracle Samra arrived with her mother — total sweetheart — to give us the latest scoop on her career and achievements after Eurovision.

With a lovely smile and a sassy sense of style — inspired and created by her own mum — Samra even shared the screen with Eldar for a quick message to all wiwibloggs followers.

We had loads of fun catching up with them, so we almost forgot that a major party was set to unfold at the Seabreeze Resort. We gathered ourselves, focused and headed back to the beach where Zhara Fest was once again serving its A game.

Eurovision 2008 runner-up Ani Lorak dazzled on the red carpet once again in a light and airy black dress with decorative bows at the shoulders. She cinched the outfit at the waist, adding even more drama to her already dramatic silhouette. The Ukrainian superstar loves her fans so much that she wanted to leave a quick message for all y’all who follow wiwibloggs on Instagram.

Our hearts stoped when the man of the hour, the only one — Russian sensation and Eurovision 2016 televote winner — Sergey Lazarev arrived at the red carpet. Clad in black from head to toe, Sergey looked classy and classic. Orange ain’t the new black — Sergey is!

The “You Are The Only One” singer knows how to work his angles. Playing to the left, voguing to the right, he made sure that every photographer got a different piece of him. The smorgasbord was on and reporters indulged while they could.

From the red carpet to the stage in less than half an hour, Sergey Lazarev enchanted his fans by performing his latest single “Lucky Stranger” before singing “Prosti menya” (Forgive Me) — his duet with Eurovision winner Dima Bilan.

Flanked by four dancers, Mr. Lazarev busted some moves and belted it out with style, poise and conviction. We don’t know what he did, but we accept the apology!

She is the anti crisis girl everyone loves and she wants you to be her valentine. Ukraine’s 2009 Eurovision act LOBODA brought her signature sass and a smoke machine to Baku. The 10,000-strong crowd approved.

The Ukrainian diva has a career filled with chart-toppers and that showed tonight as everyone sang along to her greatest hits. She gets it! And the crowd get her.

When the time came, we couldn’t resist Sergey Lazarev’s call for an interview. We talked Eurovision 2016 and, perhaps more importantly, we talked Eurovision 2018.

The star was in Portugal a couple of days ago filming a music video, and he’ll be returning with his friend Dima Bilan to record the video for their duet “Prosti Menya” later this week.

At the end he challenged Deban to a hand wrestling competition, which he obviously won. Lazarev kills it on every front.

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A post shared by Sergey Lazarev (@lazarevsergey) on

We finished the night with a one-on-one meeting with Eurovision 2008 winner Dima Bilan. After three days of intense performances the Russian star was clearly tired, but he mustered the strength to give us some insight into his high-flying career.

Among other things we discussed Eurovision, Bilan’s new career in movies, Julia Samoylova’s Eurovision 2017 ban and his recent collaboration with Sergey Lazarev.

Zhara Fest was spectacular and we had an incredible time in Azerbaijan. The land of fire was hot and we can’t wait to return.

You can see more on-the-ground footage on our Instagram, Twitter and Youtube channels now and in the days to come.

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