In six weeks time 43 acts will take to the stage during the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. And while vocal and song are important, what happens on stage is vital. Getting your performance wrong can mean the difference between making the grand final and crashing out in the semis.
And a country that knows that more than most is Azerbaijan. After a run of strong results at the start of the decade, in recent years things have tailed off for Baku.
This year they’re looking to turn things around. Aisel‘s entire act has been carefully managed by the Eurovision “Dream Team“. “Shady Lady” hitmaker Dimitris Kontopoulos has written her song. “Running Scared” songwriter Sandra Bjurman has written her lyrics.
And staging supremo Fokas Evaggelinos will handle the performance. Although full details are under strict embargo, Team Azerbaijan slipped out some teasers today.
The main news is that four Portuguese backing vocalists will join Aisel on stage to perform “X My Heart“. Among them is Rui Andrade, who placed third at Festival da Canção 2014 and was a backing vocalist for The Tolmachevy Twins at Eurovision 2014.
Salome Caldeira, Hugo Baptista and Sandra D’ Andreade will also appear on stage. These four backing vocalists will play a “significant role” in the performance and have been chosen to honour Portugal as the Eurovision host nation.
Azerbaijan will also have a sixth stage team member, Greek singer Stefania Rizou, but she won’t be on stage with the others. Instead she’ll be off stage and focus on adding additional vocal firepower to the mix.
Aside from the stage team, further details are thin on the ground. But with Fokas at the helm of the performance, Eurofans can expect a memorable show. Past stage shows include Ukraine and Russia 2008, Greece 2009 and more recently Russia 2016.
For some artists, working with the “Dream Team” would add pressure, but this Azeri star takes it all in her stride. Aisel says she feels “confident” in her performance and hopes voters will like it as much as she does. Her extensive promotional tour has allowed her to put in plenty of practice before Lisbon.
She’ll perform “X My Heart” in the first half of the first Semi-Final on May 8.