“Betrayed by a lover, so hard to recover, couldn’t see the forest from the trees.” These are just some of the words that Samira Efendi sings in Azerbaijan’s mysterious and enchanting Eurovision 2020 song “Cleopatra”.

The song is built around the myth and legend of Cleopatra — Egypt’s final Pharaoh who has beguiled artists, writers and historians for centuries. She’s known to have seduced many powerful men, such as Caesar and Antionius. And now Efendi is poised to seduce listeners with her mystical sound and endlessly sensual looks. Not to mention some out-there Buddhist chanting.

The video is lush and expensive. We see Efendi bedecked in garments befitting of an Egyptian queen. Amid her personal splendour we see stunning landscapes — include a vast desert — adding to the myth and hype of Cleopatra, but also Efendi, our Azerbaijani queen.

Cleopatra: Azerbaijan’s Eurovision 2020 song

Who is Samira Efendi?

Samira Efendi may be familiar to Eurovision fans as one of the five singers shortlisted as Azerbaijan’s act for Eurovision 2019. While Efendi missed out to Chingiz, it seems like she still made a good impression on the broadcaster.

In 2014, Efendi competed in Azerbaijan’s national final Böyük Səhnə. She made it to the third heat, where she was eliminated just before the grand final. But her three performances on the show proved Efendi is an experienced performer with a strong voice.

Broadcaster Ictimai says Samira Efendi was selected from a short list of five acts.

The other four in contention were Laman Dadasheva, Elvin Novruzov, Jabrail Rasulov and Riad Abdulov.

In the end, Samira Efendi was chosen by an international jury, which included music producers, composers, television industry professionals and journalists.

Azerbeijan at the Eurovision Song Contest

Azerbaijan has been participating in the Eurovision Song Contest since 2008. In total, the country has now participated 12 times. In 2011, Aazerbeijan achieved its best Eurovision result ever when Ell & Nikki won the contest with ‘’Running Scared’’. Last year Azerbaijan placed 8th with Chigiz and Truth.

What do you think of Cleopatra? Do you think Efendi will qualify for the final? Let us know in the comment section down below!

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Rob
Rob
7 months ago

The bridge could’ve had more spunk, but I really adore this song! A little bit Beyoncé-ish, I reckon. This should end up high; top 10 at least.

However, I’m just starting to listen to everything, so things might change for me. But still: top 10 should be easy. This is how I like my music – slightly different yet very commercial, and with Middle Eastern tunes in it. That’s how, for example, Elena Paparizou won also. 😀

Also worth mentioning: “straight or gay or in between”? 12 Points for Azerbaijan for including just that line!

The Roop is On Fire
The Roop is On Fire
7 months ago

Does she have a grudge against the letter R?

KellyC
KellyC
7 months ago

It’s not a masterpiece, but some Eleni-Iveta-like staging can make it iconic.

Undermyskin
Undermyskin
7 months ago

The song is surprisingly good! If it’s sang well live it absolutely might be a top 10 material!

esc1234
esc1234
7 months ago

that song is stuck in my head and it cant go away. like cleopatrrrrrraa. Azerbaijan is back in the game

Ffs
Ffs
7 months ago

Hahahahaha !!!

Nnamdi
Nnamdi
7 months ago

I’m conflicted. It’s kinda like witnessing Sofia Vergara having a breakdown.

Safiya
Safiya
7 months ago

I don’t normally listen to music of this genre but I think it’s good to have something like this at Eurovision, it adds some diversity. Yes, it’s cheesy, yes the lyrics are questionable, yes, it’s kind of weird, but it’s quite catchy, memorable and can easily become a guilty pleasure. And it seems to me that even the producers don’t treat this song very seriously, it is meant to be fun.

Mr X
Mr X
7 months ago

“Trashy” entertainment from the land of fire. Why not ?

Azerbaijan 6/10

KuhKatz
KuhKatz
7 months ago

Modern Azerbaijani Cleopatrrrrrra with Buddhist chant, well…..
It has some good elements in it, but ends in a huge mess.

And I do have the same feeling here as I have with Armenia’s Athena Manoukian, I struggle to like the singer here as I don’t like the attitude of them (at least Azerbaijan is somehow listenable)

Kredential
Kredential
7 months ago

What a mess. It’s like the song is trying to be so many things it’s not, when it really should just focus on one or two.

Dave
Dave
7 months ago

Wow!! It’s great. Well done!

Joey
Joey
7 months ago

I’m still processing this one, I’m not too sure what I think of it. What I do think is that I’m sure Azerbaijan will go all out with the staging on this one, and I’m excited to see what they do with this. Good luck Azerbaijan!

Koen
Koen
7 months ago

I think she had pronunciation lessons from Luca Hänni: DiRRRTy DenSin! 😀

Overall, I like this entry. Taking a lot of things that tend to work at Eurovision and putting them in a blender. It may be eyerolling for some here, but sometimes it just ends up being a fun entry.

Jake
Jake
7 months ago

Reminds me of Dana singing about Cleopatra in 1998. 🙂

RD_12
RD_12
7 months ago

Hands down one of the worst songs from Azerbaijan ..

Con b
Con b
7 months ago

I hope she sings in her native Azerbaijan Language, because then we wouldn’t have to understand the awful English lyrics ?

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
7 months ago
Reply to  Con b

Like Cleopatra
La-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la-la-la, like Cleopatra
La-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la-la-la, like Cleopatra

I don’t think a translation will help too much.

Con b
Con b
7 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

Fair point

Tusan
7 months ago
Reply to  Con b

“Stop, don’t say that it’s impossible
‘Cause I know it’s possible”

Eric Saade, 2011, came in 3rd place. You’re welcome.

Una
Una
7 months ago

The chant is in the Nicheren Buddhist tradition. Soka Gakkai International would be interested to know about this. EBU – how could you accept this? You did not want to put in with Georgia, nor with the moment of silence from Romania, but you accept this chant. I am offended, EBU. I am offended, Azerbaijan. I am offended, Samira. I am offended, songwriters whether you are Dutch or not. I am offended, wiwibloggs, for the sh*it I have read on comments on your site. Yours truly.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
7 months ago
Reply to  Una

Romania got kicked out of Eurovision 2016 because they didn’t pay their debts. It had nothing to do with their song.

Una
Una
7 months ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

I hope this comment will be allowed in the spirit of fairness considering the vilifying comments on this post. Romania 2016 had a very po-lit-ical song. And the artist was very vocal about the reasons he made the song and its message. Tens of people were burned to de-ath in a fire in a club a few months before the national selection. Public safety issues, co-rrup-tion. Lead to the prime minister resigning from his position. Read the lyrics in that context and your will probably understand. That would have been an extremely controversial entry. And E-BU got the easy way… Read more »

The Roop is On Fire
The Roop is On Fire
7 months ago
Reply to  Una

Well, if some gays are offended by the song’s use of “gays” in the lyrics, why not those practicing that kind of Buddhist tradition?

Kiara
Kiara
5 months ago

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is the chant that is used in the song. I practice the Nicherin Buddhisme. I was lovely surprised to hear this chant, just like that in the middle of the song. I only hope the writers used these words, knowing what it means and not just because it sounds funny or nice to ad to the lyrics. But I trust she knows what she is singing.

Lulu
Lulu
7 months ago
Reply to  Una

Lmao chill

Jo.
Jo.
7 months ago

Pass.

Erik
Erik
7 months ago

Among the better songs this year. I think it will grow on me. I’m still waiting for the next Turkic languaged song in esc, though. Seems Turkey doesn’t seem to return any soon, I have my hopes for Azerbaijan. I hope you will have the courage

KellyC
KellyC
7 months ago
Reply to  Erik

Turkey won’t return till we get rid of jury.

LinusESCfan
LinusESCfan
7 months ago

No azeri song writers this time either. Is Azerbaijan the only country that never trust their own song writers?

The Roop is On Fire
The Roop is On Fire
7 months ago
Reply to  LinusESCfan

I think it equates to that “fake it til you make it” statement. Azeri mentality in Eurovision: don’t be too authentic so you’ll win or have a higher placing in the contest.

Azaad
Azaad
7 months ago

The composer for Skeletons in 2017 was Azeri (Isa Melikov- although a Swede wrote the lyrics), and Chingiz was credited on the songwriting team for Truth- two entries that were objectively far better songs than Cleopatra, although this a guilty pleasure bop if ever there was one.

Leo M
Leo M
7 months ago

Well there definitely bringing something to the table but I am not sure if people will go for this. It’s good, not great – probably will qualify. SF1 is looking pretty tough similar to 2018

eurana
eurana
7 months ago
Reply to  Leo M

oddchecker. everybody is putting money in Cleopatra. The odds is shortening all day

Icy Box
Icy Box
7 months ago

Baku 2021

Nathan
Nathan
7 months ago
Reply to  Icy Box

Dublin 2021 but best of luck to Azerbaijan from Ireland ???????????

OhhHoney
OhhHoney
7 months ago

Say Cleopatra again….

Bella
Bella
7 months ago

It’s… ok. Not sure why but to me this looks like the kind of thing that will be a disaster live (either that or they will pull a typical Azerbaijan and add a ton of backing singers doing the vocal heavy lifting, while the main singer – who can’t sing – will be lip-syncing). Wait and see.

Alex
Alex
7 months ago
Reply to  Bella

Yes. There’s a lot vocal effects that I don’t know how they will translate to stage. It’s not easy. + they will need dancers on stage as well.

KESC
KESC
7 months ago
Reply to  Bella

“Who can’t sing”? Which of the Azeri singers couldn’t sing, besides Samra?
If you are referring to Chingiz, Aisel, Dihaj or whoever, yes, they had backing vocalists, but does that mean they all can not sing or what?
If so, all countries using backing vocalists would send singers that can’t sing, right?

I would advise you to rewatch the Mugham part of Chingiz’s performance, which should be a PROOF for you that he CAN sing.

https://youtu.be/cR68fdp5DmA
Now, come and say again that Samira can not sing.

https://youtu.be/ydSRajFaw5Y

Two songs, two different genres, and a strong live performance!

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
7 months ago
Reply to  KESC

Samra was dreadful. The rest could definitely sing. Very underwhelmed by Aisel’s vocals, though. She was very quiet throughout the entire performance. Maybe it was a sound problem or the fact that they made her jump around.

KESC
KESC
7 months ago

Aisel sounded kinda off, true! Cause that song didn’t suit her from the beginning. She has a beautiful, deep voice, but she could not present it with X My Heart.

Sabrina
Sabrina
7 months ago
Reply to  KESC

I wish we had Aisel back someday singing something jazzy.

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
7 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

I would gladly watch 3 more minutes of Aisel running up and down a stage with her arms sticking out.

The Roop is On Fire
The Roop is On Fire
7 months ago
Reply to  KESC

KESC: 2014 singer is not hitting her notes too. See how you did not mention her in your comment?

Azaad
Azaad
7 months ago
Reply to  KESC

Most Azeri acts are good singers- they often tend to be mismatched to the songs picked for them, but they sing them well nonetheless. Samra and Dilara had off days but I wouldn’t say they’ve always sung bad outside of ESC, and Chingiz’s voice should not be insulted when Victor and Serhat competed against him last year.

eurana
eurana
7 months ago

Another Eleni Foureira. This is going to the top of the top. Cómmon Europe. Try something new this year.

Patrick
Patrick
7 months ago
Reply to  eurana

Eleni ? didn’t ? invent? that ?sound!!!! Get over it!

LinusESCfan
LinusESCfan
7 months ago
Reply to  eurana

Getting tired of people saying you can never do a song like Fuego och Billie Eilish again haha. Get over that.

Musimakeup
Musimakeup
7 months ago
Reply to  eurana

i disagree too The ethnic sound is central and Eleni F didn’t have any. I don’t see the comparison either.. And about something new on the contrary everybody agrees there are way too much ballads this year. A little rythm and dance won’t hurt the show..

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
7 months ago

This song screams “guilty pleasure”. I know it’s bad, I know the lyrics are awful and structurally it’s one big mess, but I enjoy it anyway and I won’t feel ashamed when I’ll be dancing to it in May.

Citizen of Memel
Citizen of Memel
7 months ago

A homophobic country is fishing for votes from homos? I know it ain’t getting a vote from me! Also, it sounds like her voice is too weak for the song. Caucasus and Balkan countries tend to send entries that sound good in studio record and awful while live, “Cleopatra” is no good even in a record studio. This will qualify, obviously, because East Europe will vote for whatever shiat azeri or russians would send. I feel like this year is full of disappointment due to exaggerated hype from so many countries. As a person working in the management field, all… Read more »

Citizen of Memel
Citizen of Memel
7 months ago

For those who like to down vote anything that is against “let’s support because support”, go and check Athena’s live performance. I kinda like Armenian song (though it gets annoying in awhile), the live performance is a disaster – Athena cannot sing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f8jDV6Kcyc

Milan S
Milan S
7 months ago

I don’t think that it’s bad, I just regret it apparently appropriates an existing chant. Otherwise it’s quite catchy and pleasant to listen, I can imagine lots of people loving it. And yes, blatant fishing for gay vote really sounds strange coming from Azerbaijan. One step short of shouting “I am gay!”

poe-tay-toe chips
poe-tay-toe chips
7 months ago

Is this a GOOD song? No.

…But is this a FUN song? Yes!

This is garbage, but it’s ENJOYABLE garbage if you know what I mean.

Azaad
Azaad
7 months ago

The song you wish qualifies, but understand if jurors totally blank it.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
7 months ago

Congratulations Samira Efendi and Azerbaijan.
The music video is a lot of fun. Odds are shortening fast. Of course there will be divided opinions over the lyrics and the music, but it is pretty much a perfect video release for you, so well done.

Marseille
Marseille
7 months ago

Wth did I just see and hear…
This is the only Cleopatra that matters: https://youtu.be/2SLNxRxrSJE

Bella
Bella
7 months ago
Reply to  Marseille

I was going to go for this Cleopatra: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSGcAX-_fKU

… One of these 3 Cleopatra sisters competed on season 2 of The Voice UK and reached semi-finals in will.i.am’s team! 🙂

Cilla
Cilla
7 months ago

erm, why is she singing “Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo?” – does anyone know what this is? This is the gongyo prayer from the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), it’s a religious chant. The song is trying a bit too hard, some nice elements, will stand out compared to the rest but its a cultural mess. Israel much the same this year, great song. one of the best this year and my personal fav along with Switzerland, Norway, Malta, Iceland but white people writing songs with “made up African?” and now more bizzare culturally mixed up tracks trying to be “cool” – what is going… Read more »

Una
Una
7 months ago
Reply to  Cilla

It shouldn’t have the chant in the first place. What artistic value can it have other than KITSCH. It screams DESPERATE. Like the video. Azerbaijan is down the drain. Big time. Why did EBU accept this? This is unacceptable. It’s offensive a-f-. No brains in Azerbaijan? No brains in EBU? VATzeFAK? Eurovision fans know about this but those fancy brains in Baku and Geneva don’t? REALLY? I AM OFFENDED! IT IS OFFENSIVE! Jurors from SF1. Please take note. Will you? Let’s hope for a no repeat.

The Roop is On Fire
The Roop is On Fire
7 months ago
Reply to  Cilla

If she releases this in the US, people will be angry and will yell “cultural appropriation” to her.

Milan S
Milan S
7 months ago
Reply to  Cilla

I’m a bit disappointed the chant is fake. Like it was so hard to invent an original chant reminiscent of ancient Egypt!

Pedro Paulo
Pedro Paulo
7 months ago

wow what a great song his is for Azerbaijan…I love the arabic roots on it: so different.
This will stand out in a year full of boring balads.
This most likely be the winner of 2020…is there Corona in Baku??

musimakeup
musimakeup
7 months ago

Not bad !!!! IF and only IF they could manage the perfect staging and revamp it to make the song evolve a little more, the song and interpretation could be a really dangerous winning material…

Pedro Paul
Pedro Paul
7 months ago

wow what a great song his is for Azerbaijan…I love the arabic roots on it: so different.
This will stand out in a year full of boring balads.
This most likely be the winner of 2020…is there Corona in Baku??

Berco
Berco
7 months ago

I am very disappointed about the song, I expected for a different entry. It sounds cheesy and very low quality when compared to the standard Azeri entries. I can totally get the interesting sounded bridge part, which makes all us remind the native language parts of “Spirit in the sky”. Yes, the last year’s televote winner.

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
7 months ago

Switzerland and Azerbaijan couldn’t be more different this year.

pretty_polly
pretty_polly
7 months ago

I would love this song if it weren’t for that lame chorus: having a bunch of la-la-la’s instead of an actual chorus just sounds lame (that’s the same reason I can’t really get into the Lithuanian song). Too bad, because the buildup of the song is pretty great and the production values are good too.

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
7 months ago
Reply to  pretty_polly

Yeah, there are certainly a lot of la la las

Joe
Joe
7 months ago

Will not scroll too far down here. All I’m saying is Azerbaijan have pulled off a rare feat indeed and impressed me two years in a row. Amazing vocalist, amazing production, and holy crap they just mentioned being gay or bi in a POSITIVE way! I’m very pleased with this entry and it shuts down any conversation about this being another X My Heart.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
7 months ago
Reply to  Joe

I have an uncomfortable question for you: Between San Marino and Azerbaijan, who would you pick? 😉

Joe
Joe
7 months ago

San Marino, of course!

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
7 months ago
Reply to  Joe

You know what, shockingly, me too. Turns out, after 40 released entries, ‘Freaky’ seems quite fun to me.

EuroSluuuuuutty
EuroSluuuuuutty
7 months ago

Don’t fall for the gay baiting. Congratulate the delegation not Azerbaijan. Local media and the Azerbaijani ppl (non fans) are trashing her for “gay propaganda”.. no words

Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
7 months ago

You rather they send a gay-bashing track instead?
I think it’s a good song and I will support it. Perhaps this will nudge the whole country to be more accepting towards LGBT if it really does well.

Rashad
Rashad
7 months ago

Lol, where are they trashing her? It’s one of the few entries that most non fan Azeris actually liked from what I have seen. It’s just so easy to throw out a fake rumor and say no words, huh?

Miguel
Miguel
7 months ago

An arabic song. Azerbaijan taking advantage of its culture, in a good way.
But for whatever reason I feel underwhelmed at the end of the song. Im not feeling it, despite the interesting mix of beats and influences.

Una
Una
7 months ago
Reply to  Miguel

Turkik, not Arabic. Country with its own identity. Former Soviet. *NOT ARABIC*

GEE
GEE
7 months ago
Reply to  Una

Egypt is not Turkik dear.

A random russian guy
A random russian guy
7 months ago
Reply to  GEE

It is not Arabic either when we speak about Cleopatra. It is rather Coptic and Hellenic. As for Arabic and Buddhist vibes, well they may be exotic for Azerbaijan, but don’t forget that the territory of today’s Azerbaijan was under Arabic rule in the 8th-11th centuries ann in the Middle ages the Silk road from China was crossing Azerbaijan. So Azeris have experienced both Arabic and Oriental influence on their culture.

Una
Una
7 months ago

Why have a Buddhist chant in a Eurovision entry? Honest question. I wish the Azeri delegation explained that. This is a respectful question.

Una
Una
7 months ago
Reply to  GEE

Azerbaijan enters Cleopatra. Azerbaijan is different from Egypt. Azerbaijan is Turkik as per language. Culturally it is both Turkik and ex Soviet. This is history. Let us celebrate the land of fire in all its glory. I say this honestly because no country is bad. I mean it. OK?
Cleopatra belongs to Egypt. Egypt was not a Muslim country at the time of the pharao. History. Egypt has a history of several thousands years before AD. Facts check, please. No hate.

Travestchy
Travestchy
7 months ago
Reply to  Miguel

But Azerbaijan is not an arabic country, not even their people. The ONLY thing they share with arabs is the fact of a majority is muslim.

Erik
Erik
7 months ago
Reply to  Travestchy

Yes, Turkic and Semitic languages are two completely different languages groups. But Turkic languages are influenced both of Indo-European and Semitic languages. Languages are not isolated from each other. For example Arabic word for a book is used in several other languages.
In just the most recent 100 years the people of Azerbaijan has used Arabic, Cryllic, and now Latin letters. Of course Turkic is not the same as Arabic, but they are not entirely isolated. Same goes with influence from french for example. Also influence from Russian of course.

Vera
Vera
7 months ago

I am shook!
Like this.. Will be epic on stage

Darren
Darren
7 months ago

I quite like this!
Sure the lyrics are a bit meh but it can’t be denied that this will be a crowd pleaser and liven up a relatively mid-tempo semi.
The “Gay, Straight, in between” line feels a bit random and forced but it’s still not bad.
Still better than “Luna Moon Me Up” which still sends shivers down my spine.

Karworld
Karworld
7 months ago

I liked it until I heard the word Cleopatra. I guess many will love it as a female queen and the potential choreography, but in my case it goes directly to my bottom 10.

Milan S
Milan S
7 months ago
Reply to  Karworld

Hm, you didn’t like it for long then…

Una
Una
7 months ago

Moderator or moderators. Please check some of the comments below. More negative stuff. Please and thank you.

Eurovision, is it love or hatred?
Eurovision, is it love or hatred?
7 months ago
Reply to  Una

Moderate you first of all, and this comment section will be less toxic and pityful.

Eurovision, is it love or hatred?
Eurovision, is it love or hatred?
7 months ago
Reply to  Una

Una: “I am the only one who have the right to be hateful the others haven’t cause I’m a princess”
Colin: “me too”
Una: ” I am the only one allowed to be hateful towards other countries here, the others are allowed but only ,if they don’t touch to Belgium”
Colin: “my beloved Una you’re right, always, even if you are disrespectful, cause I’m like you, an hateful drama queen”.

Una
Una
7 months ago
Reply to  Una

Moderator or moderators: I was referring to those comments down this article on Muslim culture, antisemitism etc. Thanks.

Emkay
Emkay
7 months ago

This is ridiculous…and I love it.

Edu
Edu
7 months ago

This is amazing!!! Didn’t expect it.
Bravo Azerbaijan! Fingers crossed in Buenos Aires 🙂

Matt
Matt
7 months ago

I thought that there couldn’t be any other entry as kitsch,plastic and trash as serbia BUT…i was wrong!Azerbaijan is even more kistch and trash!Really bad!

Edu
Edu
7 months ago
Reply to  Matt

How DARE you???

Matt
Matt
7 months ago
Reply to  Edu

How do i dare what?To say my opinion?We have democracy in my country,i don’t know about your country,so respect others’ opinions

Alex
Alex
7 months ago

Btw Fandom saying this will be Balladvision
Reality: Semifinal 1 only has like 6 ballads xD
Semifinal 2 has 8 ballads I think

Sabrina
Sabrina
7 months ago
Reply to  Alex

In the end, we’ll probably lose some good ballads to make way for some so so uptempo songs in the final.

Sabrina
Sabrina
7 months ago

The kind of entry it’s hard to judge without checking what they have in mind for staging, but for now I have mixed reactions. On one hand, the whole thing is very, very messy (why the Buddhist chanting?). On the other, Azerbaijan has been playing too safe, so it’s interesting to see them taking the leap and coming out with something that the juries may hate. It will stand out, because we don’t have anything like this in the lineup, but raising some eyebrows along the way. In any case, the lyrics are terrible and Enfendi looks gorgeous.