At Eurovision 2016 they delivered one of the most radio-friendly tracks of the year.

And on Friday Azerbaijan’s broadcaster Ictimai confirmed that they’re ready to do it again at Eurovision 2017 in Kyiv.

The Land of Fire has not yet revealed whether it will choose its act internally — as it did in 2015 and 2016. But we have a strong feeling they’ll choose the song behind-closed-doors. As you’re well-aware, Baku has a habit of commissioning songs from Swedish songwriters and producers, often to great effect.

Last year Samra’s “Miracle” gave plenty of Eurovision fans major feels ahead of the contest.

The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — praised the song for its catchy melody, infectious beat and expensive production value. As one juror wrote:

When singing about female emancipation, you’ve got to have sass and self-confidence. Samra has these attributes in spades. Her voice blends soul and pop perfectly, and her self-assured performances have managed to mix anger, sex appeal and optimism. The song features one of the best hooks of the year, supported by top-notch production.

Between 2008 and 2013, Azerbaijan managed to place in the Top 10 — securing five Top 5 finishes in a row from 2009. But beginning in 2014 the country began to slip down the scoreboard, finishing 22nd, 12th and 17th.

However, there is reason to be hopeful. In 2014 and 2015 Azerbaijan went with classy songs that failed to make an impact on stage. Some criticised the acts as being too artsy (see Elnur’s interpretive dancers during “Hour Of The Wolf”) or just plain boring (Dilara’s “Light A Fire” was beautiful remastered, but it just didn’t fill the stage in Copenhagen).

Samra, on the other hand, looked fierce and brought one of the few upbeat, well-choreographed songs of the year. The poor dear was ill during the first week of Eurovision this year, which she admits impacted her vocals. But her styling and pyro were on point!

In any event, how do you want Azerbaijan to choose its act? Do you want another internal selection? Or should they stage a national selection for the artist as they did in 2014 with Dilara? Do you expect — and hope for — another Swedish song? Or is it time Azerbaijan let its local songwriters show off their skills? Let us know below!

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Anthony Ko
Editor

@Mark B
They did have their own song, “Day After Day” on their Eurovision debut in 2008. Composed by Govher Hasanzadeh with lyrics provided by Zahra Badalbeyli.

Mark B.
Guest
Mark B.

‘..and prove to the world that they are like any other modern european country.’
Omg)) /killme

Mark B.
Guest
Mark B.

Seems like they don’t have any decent songwriters in the entire sultanate. They know pretty well that with their own song they will end up somewhere at the bottom of scoreboard – this is a best case scenario, the worst – they’ll stay in the semi. So don’t expect from them their own production which is hideous even for the Turkvizion format.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Azerbaijan just like any other modern European country? To quote John McEnroe – “you can not be serious”. Only today the unfortuante citizens are “voting” on extending the evil regime’s powers. Considering there already dire human rights record, this can not be a good thing.

Azerbaijan should be banned from the contest and from the EBU until they clean up their act.

Kris
Guest
Kris

I agree with an esc fan……….The fact that her song dint gain any commercial success is a testament to that. There was a definite pro-russia vs anti-Russia element to the contest and it was in that wave that many people voted for jamala.

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

Europe complains that muslims want only to take, take, take, but Azerbaijan is a country that wants only Europe’s approval and nothing else. I don’t blame them for modern music because this is voted most, let’s be onest, Jamala won for anti-Rusia message, not traditional music.

MatthewBof
Guest

Azerbaijan has yet to send a song that has disappointed me, though their approach isn’t perfect. Everyone says it’s bad that they borrow from Sweden, but really, I find it hard to blame them. Azerbaijan is a very small country, known for very little globally. Eurovision is probably their main opportunity to really be appreciated on a global scale, so naturally they want to take full advantage of that and seeking help from the most successful country in modern Eurovision is a great way to do that. But do I think they need that? No. I really don’t. They always… Read more »

Zebb
Guest
Zebb

The unfilled turk cultural presence in ESC worked a lot in Jamala’s favor. I hope my words will not sound like a crime, but Azerbaijan definitely should try once more this… meta, used by armenians foremost.

Alenn
Guest
Alenn

@Charles:

Exactly! After the results of the past 3 years, they should realise that their once-winning formula isn’t working anymore and people are getting tired of that attitude. But if they decide, just for once, to make a change and choose something more related to Azerbaijan, I think that would be greatly appreciated. I’d rather listen to a song in Azeri than another stereotypical English pop song about miracles, wolves, angels and demons or whatever…

Charles
Guest
Charles

@Alenn: You are absolutely right as far Jamala’s music impact in Eurovision is concerned especially with the ethnic turkic element in her song which screamed truth from top to bottom … But I’m afraid Azerbaijan will stick to their Swedish formula in the name of whatever that is but not music … we all know what the country wanted to portray back in 2012 … and I’m afraid such vibe, spirit and intention will never die down. It’s a thing called ego or power … pretty much like a Kardashian … What I would love to see them do bravely… Read more »

Charles
Guest
Charles

.. .as if Azerbaijan would ever EVER confirm NOT taking part of this (except if it was held in Armenia for obvious reasons that can be called “my ego is always bigger than yours”)… not in the name of music necessarily … but other higher goals that float around … isn’t it Russia? You also know what I’m talking about … 🙂

Alenn
Guest
Alenn

Honestly, I don’t get why Azerbaijan has to take part every year with a Swedish-produced song, sung in English. I know they have the money to do that and it’s a way for them to show us what a “modern” and “western” country they have become, but this is getting so boring and predictable. It’s a shame, because I know Azerbaijan has a rich musical tradition and great composers such as Eldar Mansurov and I’d love to hear such music in the Eurovision. I hope Jamala’s victory with her traditional sound and Turkic language will inspire them to make a… Read more »

jamaladingdong
Guest
jamaladingdong

I honestly like Azerbaijan’s entries and some singers as some of them have good songs and artists. But at the same time, I hate how they were produced given all the Swedish collaborations and all that jazz. Also due to the fact that they have a dirty laundry with EBU that’s gradually getting obvious. These are some of the factors as to why I cannot even put them in my personal top ten every year.

Jak
Guest
Jak

I don’t see anything wrong with Azerbaijan importing songs by Swedish songwriters, but they definitely have great local musicians and producers too.

Recently I have heard that song ‘Payiz Geldi’ by Vugarixx featuring Tomris, in the beautiful Azerbaijani language, and just adored it. You should check it out – a great song solely produced in Azerbaijan.

They don’t need Swedish help anymore, in my opinion, but it is always up to ITV.

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

Say what you want about Azerbaijan, but I admire them for trying so hard to be modern muslims, and prove to the world that they are like any other modern european country. Is not that great ?
And about music, hope the composers will be from Azerbaijan, not matter the genre, it can be pop, but … about composers … grass is not greener in …Sweden.

YoungsterJoey
Guest
YoungsterJoey

Glad they’re back but hope they would ease on using some Swedish influence in their entries.

I was a fan of Samra’s “Miracle,” I know it was initially a MelFest submission, but I liked it cause 1) It was a good pop tune 2) It was finally a change from ballads that Azerbaijan kept sending year after year.

Nikos
Guest
Nikos

Not impressed the last few years from them. I’d like to see something more creative from them.

Amor Amankwah
Guest
Amor Amankwah

They really need to commission a Azeri songwriter to write for them. I am tired of the generic or straight up weird songs written by Swedes. The only song I like from them is from 2008 and 2012. Maybe we can even hear a little Azeri language.

Maclaren
Guest
Maclaren

Happen to work with a lot of guys from the region. Local currency, manat, has dropped down in value significantly – no happy times at the present. Doubt that any sort of Eurovision would be helpful at this point of time. On the other hand, my Azeri colleagues were telling me stories about selling their balconies for the Formula 1 event (food and drinks included). So maybe a ‘black market’ would still flourish

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

Glad about this, they’re actually one of my favorite countries – although I would also like them to at least use some Azeri elements in 2017’s entry.

Guðrún Karlsdóttir
Guest
Guðrún Karlsdóttir

Expect to see something more Azeri with its great traditional music which they showed us during esc 2012. Best of luck.

Montenegro also confirmed participation by the way.

Nick
Guest

Actually i dont think that they can send someone better from azerbajian, they just like to steal from other countries and represent as a own stuff, the one of the basic prove is a Armenian musical instrument which calls Duduk and so on i just dont want to continue because i need minimum a week to write all that stuff
But anyway, we will see what gone happen!

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest
(J)ESC Fanatic

@johanleekens

Oh, yes…

And yes, Azerbaijan, Russia and Ukraine are probably the only countries that will never be eliminated in the Semi-Finals, especially Russia…

johanleekens
Guest
johanleekens

@(J)ESC Fanatic
Big 5 + Host, so Italy, Spain, Germany, UK, France and Ukraine

MTD
Guest
MTD

Azerbaijan 2016 is among the 3-4 songs that I still listen to (Bulgaria, France & Russia being the others). So, yes, I am OK with having Swedish songs. Hahah

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest
(J)ESC Fanatic

@johanleekens

The other 6?

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest
(J)ESC Fanatic

@Anabela SakamTe

Why would they do that? They love Eurovision.

Kris
Guest
Kris

Also why no word on Montenegro?

Kris
Guest
Kris

Her singing last year was pathetic……I had to mute the sound coz I thought my woofer was damaged….. Turned out it was her voice. I was surprised at it being through in the semi.

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest
(J)ESC Fanatic

They really disappointed me this year. The studio version of “Miracle” is great but live it sounded so weak. Just mediocre. They didn’t deserve to qualify.

My favorite Azeri entry is by far 2010, “Drip Drop” is an amazing song and it deserved to win. They could have won if it wasn’t for the bad draw.

But anyway, I hope they finally send something that “screams” Azerbaijan and not Sweden. Or at least something as good as their early efforts, the later ones are much weaker.

FranciscoTe
Guest
FranciscoTe

Always good, quality songs and nice stage shows by Azerbaijan. I expect another great entry from them. Good luck.

EF0912
Guest
EF0912

No more Swedish songs please. Or at least have some Azeri writers on it collabing with Swedes/Brits/Foreign composers. They’ve fired the HoD of 2015 and 2016 (Tamila Shrinova) so a new approach may be on the cards and I hope it is. It seems internal selections (bar 2009) haven’t really gone their way but I also think that Azerbaijan have lost an appetite for a win but still want respectable results

KennyESC
Guest
KennyESC

Isn’t strange for you that after 2013 they aren’t in Top 10 like before? I mean do someone remember this? http://wiwibloggs.com/2013/05/20/lithuanian-press-did-azerbaijan-buy-votes-at-eurovision/27267/ I’ve recently founded it. (P.S.: That Nikki girl in the comments just make me laugh when I read her comments, like that guy sayin’ “I’m American”and Nikki replying things like”u ar dirti armeniansss GO FARID GO AZERBAIJANIII”) I think it’s real, I mean isn’t it strange they are not in Top 5 anymore?! I think EBU should ban Azerbaijan for 15+ years, so they learn the lesson. It’s just unfair. Plus a lot of their entries are awful, like… Read more »

Racal
Guest
Racal

Great… The Land of Cheaters is back, ready to copy-paste another Swedish song and buy their way to the finals.

johanleekens
Guest
johanleekens

This means we now have 7 confirmed finalists

Anabela SakamTe
Guest
Anabela SakamTe

Oh that’s great!! I was scared they’d withdraw.. Phew!!!

DenizNL
Guest
DenizNL

Very happy with this news! Most of the time they are in my top 5.

Darren
Guest
Darren

While I usually don’t like their enteries and it annoys me how they always qualify (their qualification in 2014 still surprises me). Their internal selections have been good, I liked Azerbaijan in 2015 and 2016, so continued participation in the same format is OK by me, however, I would love to see something typically and essentially Azerbaijani, they have a rich music tradition, as seen when Baku hosted in 2012 and it would be nice to see that brought to the stage, instead of Swedish penned songs.

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

Potential jurors all over Europe breathe sighs of relief, and start thinking about how they’re going to spend that sweet sweet bribery money.

gigi
Guest
gigi

Montenegro also confirmed participation!

Tom
Guest
Tom

Honestly wished Azerbaijan would withdraw. Most entires they sent are swedish melfest rejects. So honestly…would not really care.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

They’re always all about how Armenia is stealing their traditional music (the duduk in Apricot Stone, the folk sounds in Jan Jan) but they’ve never sent anything that remotely reminds of Azerbaijan. Their songs are good, but they could be from anywhere really… I hope they do step up their game!

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

If they dare to send another uninspired, generic song written by the Swedes, they can stay in the semi-final.