From land of fire to land of robots.

At Azerbaijan’s first rehearsal at Eurovision 2019, Chingiz brought staging A-game.

The performance starts with robots projecting a heart onto his chest.

Behind him a giant yellow heart pulses, which then explodes during the chorus.

The staging of “Truth” is heavy on impressive special effects which explains why Azerbaijan is closing the show.

In a press release Chingiz says:

“I love my staging, it’s absolutely cool! Obviously, the inspiration behind it is my entry song, ‘Truth’. The idea is that my heart is broken and I need to replace it with a bionic one.”

Spoiler Alert: At the climax of the song there is a moment where all the light on the stage is drawn to him and he vanishes into the ceiling which prompted spontaneous applause in the press centre.

Bottom line: Azerbaijan has spent shekels on this and it shows. Chingiz sounds fabulous, the song is elevated up by staging, and they are going to the final.

Chingiz — “Truth”: Reviews and Reactions

Azerbaijan: First rehearsal at Eurovision 2019

Azerbaijan: First press conference 2019

Read all of our Eurovision rehearsal reviews

Photo: EBU

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NickC
Guest
NickC

Just a suggestion, but maybe they should allocate the pots (toi SF1 and SF2) after the songs are announced, according to betting odds. Now we have a super strong SF2, and not so strong SF1. Complete opposite of last year…

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

I have to disagree (but you’re already used to that ;)), this is the next myth after “2019 is a weak year”, I think SF1 has better quality and if Ukraine would have stayed in the competition, hardly anyone would have claimed that SF2 was the stronger one. It’s just that in SF2 more entries have a realistic chance to advance.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

A song that had been growing on me since its release. Didn’t know how to rank it originally because it was a bit too slick to really connect with. The staging gives it that immediate clicking mechanism though.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

what?? do yall think this will win because of some alien abduction? or whatever it is? try harder
It’s Artsvik all over again, except that he will probably do better.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Well I liked Artsvik a lot. 🙂 And yes, the “beaming” is cool. But it’s more than that – the song has a great hook, and the vocals and sounds are awesome.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Thank you. Artsvik was really good!

Khazar
Guest

@ Jo. Yes It can win. Best show by far

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

A late contender. Yaaaass.
Some of us were really sleeping on this one before.
I already like the song. I love the staging. 😀

David F
Guest
David F

I really like the song and the music video, it’s great to see that the artistic vision has translated to something innovative and unusual the stage.

You should check out some of his other songs, Purple.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Yeah he is good, but I like his Eurovision song the best. That’s rare, and it’s a very positive sign for Azerbaijan at the contest this year.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

same, that staging feels so syfy, star trek (i am a huge star trek fan myself, all things syfy) nice backdrop too, and chingiz’s live singing is so good

those robot arms also a nice touch for the staging

David F
Guest
David F

I’d recommend The Expanse to you both too then! (If you haven’t seen it already)

Mario
Guest
Mario

Jurij Veklenko will represent Lithuania in the second Semi-Final of the Eurovision 2019 Song Contest on May 16. We invite you for a #RunWithTheLions! http://bit.do/eRMbw
#Vote

Marty Mc CU
Guest
Marty Mc CU

Chingiz has an advantage , his vocals demonstrates how well he can sing the song. He indeed has a very powerful voice. Look at the bit at the end of the clip from the EBU where he cries out loud, wow he’s going to give people goose bumps. I think this will be one of those songs which demonstrates that the live version is better than the studio version. If this is sustained I think he is for a shot to win this years Eurovision. The clip provided by the EBU shows this with the bit where he cries, and… Read more »

Matt C
Guest
Matt C

The blending of his backing vocalists with his voice is just amazing… not surprised to learn that Alex Panayi is his vocal coach!! This is a big big grower, could see it winning it all

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

And the award for making a song pop with creative staging goes to Azerbaijan! Chingiz will receive the trophy from the hands of DoReDos, obviously. I particularly love his outfit and how they managed to find such a fun way to stage a broken heart song. I still think the song is only nice and won’t make a good winner, but the package is very effective, I can see why the odds are responding so quickly. Need to check his vocals yet, but the delegation should be proud about the miracle they just performed.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

Oh, Sabrina, but this is better than DoReDos, musically. 😉

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Much, much better. So the ceiling here is also much much higher.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

So do you believe it _could_ win?

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

I think it won’t be the case, but in a scenario where the jury and the televote go for different things, this has at least as much of a chance as Sweden and Malta and even more than Cyprus and Switzerland. I believe someone will lose big time here, because there aren’t enough “safe mainstream” votes for all this crowded field.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Azerbaijan could be this year’s jury vote winner. “Dare to predict.”

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

If Sweden did so well with the jury last year, this could do too, the final package seems stronger. But then we would go back to the discussion about the lack of diversity on the juries, that sometimes act almost as a televote of experts, going for what’s easy on the eyes and not rewarding the best songs and those who take more risks.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

We will not leave this discussion behind as long as there is a criterion like “commercial marketability” in the jury hand-outs for Eurovision. Commercial marketability is undoubtedly the one thing that can best be judged by the broader public and thus by the televote. I really don’t get why the EBU is apparently so much insisting on that.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

I totally agree with you. Maybe EBU is worried about having winners without much popular support but the chance of it happening is minimal.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

If this wins the jury vote, then the juries are useless. 😉
I’d argue that this will surely be elevated by this staging, but it will ultimately lose to some act which will get _deservedly_ more jury support. It could be Netherlands, Italy, Australia or Portugal. What we are now witnessing is the waning of chances for Cyprus, Switzerland and Malta. That’s what I predict. 🙂

NickC
Guest
NickC

I think there are 13 songs with statistical chance of winning, based on my calculations:

1 Netherlands 30%
2 Italy 16%
3 Russia 15%
4 Iceland 14%
5 Switzerland 11%
6 Azerbaijan 8%
7 Greece 8%
8 Malta 7%
9 Cyprus 7%
10 Sweden 4%
11 Australia 2%
12 France 1%
13 Denmark 1%

Spain can join them tomorrow…

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

I know you like to do math, Nick, but based on observation I can already tell you that Denmark, France, Sweden, Cyprus, Switzerland, Iceland and Russia cannot win this year. The rest is debatable, and I’d add Portugal and perhaps even Slovenia, although I think that is unlikely.
But just out of curiosity, I’d be interested in how you calculate a Danish victory this year, because I honestly see the UK winning before Denmark does. Both not in this universe, of course. 😉

NickC
Guest
NickC

Denmark is 20th in the betting odds, has decent youtive views and spotify streams. I agree that it will not probably win, but the statistical probability of 1% cannot be rejected with 95% precision, at least for now.

I am surprised that you think Russia and Switzerland cannot win? I am not a big fan of the either song, but I think there are a lot of people who see a realistic chance for them.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

Thanks for your answer, that’s interesting. 🙂 We know betting odds are not reliable and YouTube views and Spotify streams can come from the country itself, so this doesn’t mean a lot, unless it’s in really huge numbers, which is not the case for Denmark. For Switzerland my reasoning goes as follows: Unlike last year (when “Fuego” didn’t win), we have three reggaetons in this year’s competition, it was always reasonable to assume that people won’t vote for all three of them, so the vote will split and weaken the chances of each one. Additionally, the strengthening of Azerbaijan by… Read more »

NickC
Guest
NickC

I follow your logic, and I agree mostly, but juries are unpredictable. If they heavily back either La Suisse ou La Russie, anything is possible. Also God knows what people vote for, they voted for Estonia in 2000…. (still my biggest shock).

L’oiseau
Guest
L’oiseau

Ufff… Good that you said that. I was afraid for a moment eh eh eh

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Hahaha, you can breath now, L’oiseau! Without the visuals, “Truth” is a 6 to 7 song for me. “My Lucky Day” would be between 4 and 5. Azerbaijan has a very enjoyable and decent song. It’s just not what I would expect for a winner. But between this and the dirty dancing, I’m team Chingiz all the way.

L'oiseau
Guest
L'oiseau

Oh God… yes… Dirty dancing does not do it for me at all. On your point on the jury, I really think that Azerbeijan is a strong contender to win the jury’s vote like last year’s Austria (funny enough both song by Symphonix). The thing is to see how the televote reacts, but I don’t see that flanking in the televote either… So, I would bet money I would definitively bet heavy on Azerbeijan right now.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

In my opinion, Austria had a better song. But I think jury winner would be too much for both. I believe Azerbaijan will do great with the televote. The song is pretty enjoyable, current, well produced and doesn’t have much of a rejection, the staging is creative, Chingiz is handsome as hell… I can blame a juror for putting it too high, but I think the audience has plenty of reasons to vote for it.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

We seem to have found this year’s dark horse. Like I said, it was very difficult for me to place before the contest, but it’s a good song – and it has immediacy. I still don’t think this is a contender for the win, before I have seen the staging with my own eyes, but it will finish higher than most of us expected.

L’oiseau
Guest
L’oiseau

Yes absolutely. I have the feeling it will be top 3. Duncan and Sergey are very tough competitors and we haven’t yet seen Mahmood. But still I think it’s winning material.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

Sergey will never finish top 3. Top 10, perhaps, but nothing more. Not even his fans are getting entirely behind “Scream”. Mahmood will be a contender and don’t underestimate Kate Miller-Heidke, Katerine Duska and Conan. The audience will see everyone with fresh eyes. 🙂

L'oiseau
Guest
L'oiseau

I thought so too about Sergey, but after seeing how they are staging it I think there is a chance there and don’t forget the vast influence of Russia in so many countries plus diaspora… Indeed good point about Kate and Katerine. Conan I dont’t know… 😀 But I am being maybe overly pessimistic as a precautionary measure for my country, I guess 🙂 (I am the type of guy who didn’t put Portugal in my predictions to qualify in 2017, so not to jinxs it, so… 🙂 )

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

But what’s so special about his staging, honestly? We haven’t seen it in full, granted, but it seems not fundamentally different from the one the kings of staging – North Macedonia – brought us this year. And it pales compared to Australia, Azerbaijan and possibly Greece or Malta. Staging will not save this. If this wasn’t Russia with its huge diaspora, we’d be talking about qualification by now. And you are far too pessimistic regarding Conan, but we already discussed this. Have faith. He’s great. I can’t vote for him in the semis, but I surely will in the final,… Read more »

L’oiseau
Guest
L’oiseau

It seems quite effective to me. It’s more than mirrors. It’s effectively eight other Sergeys interacting with him. I haven’t seen the full thing but it seems to tell the story well and never seen on stage. But yeah I get the point that musically it is highly overrated… On Portugal, well, may your words be heard by God, as we say in PT… 😀

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

Yes, l’oiseau, but we have seen many interactive LEDs over the years. Mans and Sergey himself did very or quite well with them, but Greta Salome even missed the final with a very intricate interactive LED. If you don’t have the song, LEDs _usually_ won’t help you – unless it’s completely new like it was with Mans, “Heroes” was pushed across the line by the staging, otherwise Polina Gagarina or Il Volo would probably have won. But, of course, I cannot prove that. 😉

L'oiseau
Guest
L'oiseau

Point taken 🙂 So curious how this turn out. Anyway if Russia would have sent this last year, we would have seen a different outcome I’m sure… That relates to a point you made above, that musically this year is so much better than last year or even 2017 and 2016.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

You think Russia would have won with this last year? I don’t. 2018 was already a really strong year, who would have thought that 2019 would turn out even stronger? In my opinion, the last really weak years were 2011 and 2008 – that’s a long time ago. So I have high hopes for the song quality of future Eurovision editions.
But I’m also curious how this year’s competition will turn out, we certainly have a lot of possible winners, so suspense is guaranteed.

Felix
Guest
Felix

Jenny B is shook that her robots fled from San Marino to Baku after the shade they experienced last year. ‘It’s me, Jenny B and my robot refugee’.

Mag
Guest
Mag

This is when there are money in country!!!!

Una
Guest
Una

Who’s got the money?

WannaEatMySpaghetti
Guest
WannaEatMySpaghetti

Something big is happening! Well done Azerbaijan 🙂 But I don’t want him to win. The song is not memorable enough.

MaRio
Guest
MaRio

Top3! And I like his outfit ?

ding dong
Guest
ding dong

I don’t know. Do you?

JJ09
Guest
JJ09

Azerbaijan has always been my favorite since the day of its release, this was so underrated before! I am so thrilled to see this at #4 on the betting odds! Baku 2020 is very very possible. My current Top:
1.Azerbaijan
2.Greece
3.Russia

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

They should have it in G?nc?, or Ming?çevir

allex
Guest
allex

He’s done an Eleni, best rehearsal of the day and the contest so far IMO (Sorry Greece)

Toby
Guest
Toby

I never understood why Azerbaijan fell out of the radar. Since its release its been my first place and reading all of this SERIOUSLY thrills me. I am happy to see that Chingiz finally gets the attention he deserved from the get go. Go for gold, beautiful man!!!

Rashad
Guest
Rashad

Now he’s 4th in the odds!

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

A pompous staging up to date. This is how it is done Russia. Though “Truth” was good even without the staging. I need to see more of it in order to give a complete review, but the snippet and what I read really looks like Azerbaijan is aiming for a top 5 placing. Very promising. I was a bit worried about those high notes, but he and his backvocalists sound pretty good together.

Paul
Guest
Paul

I’ve been feeling this since its release! Go on Chingiz!

Sarina
Guest
Sarina

This was by far the best rehearsal of the second semifinal . Anyway, generally speaking the second semifinal is way more stronger than the first. I am curious to see what Italy has done in the stage presentation.

Peters
Guest
Peters

This may be a surprise winner.

Sarina
Guest
Sarina

Totally agree. Only with Azerbaijan i felt the winner vibes. The hologram with the heart, the lights, the triangle , the effects, everything works perfectly. Azerbaijan brings something new this year in the technological level.

IVANOV
Guest
IVANOV

lol zero chances against Sergey.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

Love this!!!! Really dig the outfit as well!!!!

Raoul
Guest
Raoul

Yes, the outfit is terrific.

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

I am officially thrilled, can’t wait for the show. Kick-ass, Chingiz!!!!!

Raoul
Guest
Raoul

Azerbaijan has been in my top 3 so I’m really happy reading this.
But also, my goodness he’s hot.

L'oiseau
Guest
L'oiseau

Chigniz juist had a spectacular climb in the odds from nr 13 to nr 5 and counting!!! Everbody was looking for this year’s Fuego. Here it is… And I feel really good about it, because it’s my nr. 4 and I it has been hugely underrated… I feel winning potential here, guys

khan
Guest
khan

wow he’s get 4th place in the odds

Maggie
Guest
Maggie

I hate when I say this, but I told you so: This is the BOP of this year!!
It’s been one of my favourites from the start and he didn’t dissapoint! So glad the time for Chingiz to take some recognition came! He killed it today and damn those vocals are amazing!

Stian F
Guest
Stian F

You mean average song but great performance? Just like Fuego last year. The betting odds before rehearsals did in a better way reflect quality of the actual songs as they didn’t mix visual distractions into it. Now the betting odds doesn’t go by quality at all anymore..

Maggie
Guest
Maggie

I can not answer your question cuz you are referring to the betting odds.. as I can see you think that they reflect the real quality of the songs before rehearsals. I don’t think they reflect quality neither before, nor after the rehearsals.. I coudn’t care less about them and obviously I do not think Arcade (first before and after rehearsals) or Scream (second) have the best quality this year! I’m just saying Truth was my favourite BOP this year and visuals ( but in the first place those AMAZING VOCALS) only made it better now, after the rehearsal! Simple… Read more »

Andy
Guest
Andy

Fascinating stuff today. Watching the Netherlands and Russia made me think “I want to be wowed more”. Then, when Azerbaijan did that, I thought “wow but ESC should not be just about gimmicks and impressive tricks”.
I think there has to be a balance between the song quality and the ESC spectacle that most of us expect and so far I don’t know which country delivers that the best. Hopefully, the proper angles etc. will shed some light.

Una
Guest
Una

“I think there has to be a balance between the song quality and the ESC spectacle that most of us expect”. I couldn’t agree more with this statement. At the same time, Eurovision is known for OTT (over the top) acts. Bring them on. I like it. Competition will be more fierce, countries will invest more in bringing us OTT entries. And make it every year the best music TV show ever.

Ezal
Guest
Ezal

Here’s your ”You’re the only one” 😛
Great staging (not connected with the song tho), great looks and confidence, not impressed by vocals, I find that falsetto rather annoying. Sure Q ofc, the question is how far could this go..

just a fan
Guest
just a fan

Aaaaand we found bookmakers’ Eleni Foureira for 2019. Though I also see Spain’s Miki going up tomorrow…

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

*Miki’s first rehearsal is on Friday.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Maybe it smells a bit like a hype bomb coming, but to be fair – you’ve got to praise a delegation, when they deserve it. And boy, what a staging it is. This year Azerbaijan is thinking outside of the box and giving us a great show, worth being in top 10.

Una
Guest
Una

I’ve liked the song from the start and Chingiz is handsome and confident. And after this rehearsal I can see that Chingiz could well take almost all votes from the exSoviet block. And I think that Russia are in overdrive considering plans B and C and D now that the rehearsals of the second semi are over. Especially with Azerbaijan serving some Eurovision realness.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Very impressive leap in the odds from azerbaijan. Im interested to what baku 2020 would look like. Azerbaijan has gained a lot of experience with hosting international events in this last decade.

bop-whop-a-lu bop
Guest

all this is too much

MiskyDisky
Guest
MiskyDisky

I preferred the costume that he wore in the video.

Loin dici
Guest

I know there are a lot of efforts and things being planned perfectly by Ictimai for this performance, but ironically saying it became the Sergey Lazarev of its year.
Aside of my own dislike towards Azerbaijan’s approach, realistically this will go comfortably through the final with that staging and confidence. But again, I’m kind of sad to say, I don’t really like the fact that Chingiz was just being Ictimai’s device. Eventhough he wrote ‘Truth’, there’s not much trace of him in this performance.

Anita
Guest
Anita

good point.

Denis
Guest
Denis

Top 10 for sure!

Trh
Guest
Trh

This was much better than Sweden and will qualify so much higher. It maybe goes again to Baku, according to you a backward country, of course, according to your supramacist views. Step up your game or be loosers forever.

Denis
Guest
Denis

Oj, it’s you, the obsessive stalker writing same stuff over and over. At least come up with something new than your tired supremacist stuff. It’s a broken record by now
Seeing how this song is written, produced and recorded by Swedes in Sweden your hatred for everything Swedish must really go overboard. It’s even choregraphed by Swedes. Your ears must be bleeding listening to this!

Trh
Guest
Trh

Actually, I love it, you moron. I don’t hate Sweden as I said countless times. You think you are so inteligent, you can even read straight… I just hate racists like you who are butthurt that non-Nordics will win the contest. And besides, Symphonix is not an exclusively Swedish team and he had many people that were not from Sweden helping him like the visual designer and the coach. So stuff it in your brain made of rotten Ikea-feces-loaded meatballs

Khazar
Guest

Baku 2020? He is 5th in the odds

Trh
Guest
Trh

It is not going to be Stockholm 2020 either… jealousy jealousy

EV26
Guest
EV26

WOW! Semi 2 is tough af. Especially the 2nd part!

John
Guest
John

SO lucky to have placed a nice bet on him at 51/1.
Best performance of all semifinalists, and a real threat to victory. Back to Baku 2020?

Paul
Guest
Paul

how much did you put on?

John
Guest
John

Naah, wont exactly be a RICH man on the 19th in case he wins… Didn’t dare to bet that much. But heard him practicing with his backing singers last week, and that fab voice convinced me in a sec…

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

I also got him at 50/1.
I, however, literally placed the bet on him DURING the Netherlands rehearsal. As soon as the Netherlands was received kinda lukewarmly, I started looking at who might be a riser.

But hey, this happened with Netta and Eleni last year. Netta still ended up winning so I’m not counting my winnings yet. 😉

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Damn, Azerbaijan is in it to win it. I’m so impressed – it’s futuristic, artistic, simply fantastic, so different from the rest of the acts. Excellent closer of the semi, that is certainly going to battle for a top 5 finish.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

was it THAT good to be 6th in the odds ? the song is the typical awfully generic song from azerbaijan that doesn’t do much in the end so idk

Andy
Guest
Andy

I think people are reacting to the staging with that hologram thing. I watched it online and the reaction when it happened was natural and everyone was wowed. So, I could see the same reaction from the viewers that watch it live the first time. The song itself is ok imo.

Xristos
Guest
Xristos

He is 5th in the odds. It was so perfect; from greece with love ??

oli
Guest
oli

All is full of love björk copyright.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

The fact that there are robots on stage doesn’t mean that it’s an “All is full of love” video copycat.

esc stan
Guest
esc stan

Dark horse! Wow Azerbaijan skyrocketed in the odds :O

Rashad
Guest
Rashad

This was the best performance of both of the semi finals! I literally had tears in the mugham part. I was watching through the press center live broadcast. They said that Azerbaijan had the best reaction from the press center in total. Also Azerbaijan rose up to 8th from 13th in odds. Get that trophy back to the land of fire Chingiz! Baku 2020

Rashad
Guest
Rashad

Already 6th in the odds! 😀

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

lmfao azerbaijan better start buying votes from half of europe like they did in their gold days if they want the trophy in baku

KESC
Guest
KESC

Honetsly, what’s your problem with Azerbaijan? Why so much hate?! chill!

Una
Guest
Una

It’s quite well known that Azerbaijan influenced juries in 2013 was it? The year of Farid. All shade is deserved despite this very good entry this year.

Khazar
Guest

@ Polegend Godgarina you are so jelaous! At least Azerbaijan cant buy bookmakers opinion

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

jealous of what, their melfest rejects ? it’s true they (used to) buy votes, they were literally exposed.

Una
Guest
Una

I don’t think that all songs written/produced by Swedes for other countries are Melfest rejects. I only know of two – Denmark 2010 and Denmark 2018 that did very well in the big show even though it’s been said in both occasions that those song had been initially been submitted for Melfest. If other Melfest rejects slip into other selections that’s another story. I think that countries like Azerbaijan buy songs that are made especially for the artist they had chosen. It would make total sense. It’s not like they choose a song and then the artist. First they choose… Read more »

Aly Ryan
Guest
Aly Ryan

He’s already risen 7 places in the betting odds from 13th to 6th… This could be a real threat!

Sarina
Guest
Sarina

Indeed

Mirko
Guest
Mirko

Ok, this is really cool; but how this is in connection between the meaning and the staging?

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

does this song have a meaning at all

Ezal
Guest
Ezal

Lol 😀