The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to rate and review the 41 songs that had been selected for Eurovision 2020. Next up, we take a look at Azerbaijan‘s Efendi and her song “Cleopatra”. Did we worship this queen? Read on to find out!

Efendi – “Cleopatra”

“Cleopatra” reviews

Jonathan: Having known of Efendi for a couple of years now, I was excited to see her finally selected for Eurovision. And she did not disappoint with “Cleopatra”. A pop banger infused with ethnic instrumentation, Buddhist chanting and a dance break – it’s a lot, but I am totally on board for the ride. Efendi adds her own touches to the song, with the rolled R’s on “Cleopatra” adding an extra flourish. The song is bold and ensures that it’ll be ingrained in the listener’s memory whether you understand what’s going on or not.

Score: 8

Oliver: This song is jaw-droppingly fantastic. There is so much to process in Azerbaijan’s entry to the contest right from the word go. The ethnic trills coupled with the spiritual chant crossed with the infectious chorus makes for a song perfect for the Eurovision stage – not just as an audio spectacle, but as a visual one too. Traditional flares with a pop foundation, as is the case with “Cleopatra” is undeniably a favourite genre of mine, and I am so glad that Azerbaijan blessed us with a real banger.

Score: 10

Åri: I want to acknowledge this as the bisexual anthem everyone sees in this, but it does not get to me. I’m sorry for this score, but I’m not feeling this song at all. Lyrically, I feel like “Cleopatra” would have been better left unwritten. It annoys me in ways I can’t explain. The song is outdated, Efendi’s voice is irking me… I can’t let myself give it a higher score. Sorry.

Score: 3

Robyn: The energy of this song is incredible. “Cleopatra” throws almost everything in the mix but somehow this kitchen-sink approach works. Dance-pop, Buddist chanting, drum and bass, Latin rhythms — yeah, why not?  Efendi is the right singer for the song (!) and with the vocal talent and attitude needed to deliver it. This song deserves to have people dancing to it, singing along with the hard R of the chorus. This will surely be a Euroclub hit for years to come.

Score: 8.5

William: Cleopatra was a woman of myth, legend, beauty and passion. She may have looked into the future and taken note from Efendi. This Azerbaijani queen has delivered the most lavish music video of the 2020 season — and one that pays proper homage to the last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt. Whether twerking by a car or bathing in Moroccanoil, our girl is hitting all of her cues! But ultimately it’s the music and the meaning that have me hooked. The song evolves fluidly over the three minutes, progressing from a call to prayer to an ethnic dance banger — all brought home with a fierce beat and an overdose of percussion. Amid all that noise Efendi manages to find her voice again. Listen and you may find yours too.

Score: 9.5

Efendi – “Cleopatra” rankings

In the Wiwi Jury we have 22 jurors but only have room for five reviews. The remaining scores are below:

Angus: 7

Antranig: 9

Barnabas: 5

Bernardo: 6.5

Calvin: 7

Deban: 6.5

Esma: 6.5

Florian: 7

Lucy: 6.5

Luis: 8

Natalie: 6.5

Pablo: 7.5

Renske: 7.5

Ron: 6.5

Sebastian: 9.5

Tobias: 5.5

Tom: 7.5

We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 3 and a high of 10.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.28/10

What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!

See all our Eurovision 2020 reviews and rankings

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Mr X
Mr X
4 months ago

Azerbaijan 5/10

Josh Sterling
Josh Sterling
4 months ago

I will give a 10/10 (it’s my 3rd place)

Polegend Godgarina
4 months ago

it’s a good song but it could’ve been better. the production sounds very cheap, either way you can tell it was meant to have a great performance more than anything.

ESCFan2009
ESCFan2009
4 months ago

Azerbaijan – 8.5/10 (11th/41)

Stephanie
Stephanie
4 months ago

Last year’s entry of Azerbaijan, Shut up, was just great. It was actually the first time that I truly liked a song of Azerbaijan. This year however… I really don’t like. I think that she can do much better than than this!!!

Ashton
Ashton
4 months ago
Reply to  Stephanie

It was called Truth not Shut Up 🙂

Stephanie
Stephanie
4 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

Sorry my mistake!

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
4 months ago

When I first heard it, I was glad because it was filling a gap that nobody really filled this year in that this was going to be a guaranteed fire-and-choreography stage show spectacular that was going to take Rotterdam by storm. Efendi definitely looked like she was going to deliver the goods, too. Well, we’re getting no stage show….so that kinda leaves us with the song. And that is why this is my biggest faller of the year. Worst lyrics of the year. Weak, plastic production on the track. Annoying hook. Some nice ethnic touches, but that’s it. I honestly… Read more »

Marionette
Marionette
4 months ago

Jaw dropping plastic crap

Pablo Nava
Editor
4 months ago

This is the first time in forever Azeraijan plays the wacky, and it is so refreshing to see, in a way. It harks of late 00s and I kinda sorta enjoy it

Milye
Milye
4 months ago

This Ari dude annoys me much. This is not the first song he hates

Héctor
Héctor
4 months ago

For me this is overrated, I would say that coming from any country. But almost every uptempo song sung by a young lady is overrated here. It has some interesting features before the chorus, like that dark Egyptian (?) spoken part, but overall it feels a bit pretentious and trying a bit of everything: uptempo, dark/mysterious, rap, LGBT lyrics, dancing break. The Egiptian background music sounds good too though. I would say “Cleopatra” reminds me of those Turkish entries coming from the 00s. Like those, this had a great potential for staging. I could see this qualifying but ending like… Read more »

Markus
Markus
4 months ago

I loved Azerbaijan’s entry last year, but this here is just bad taste.

KESC
KESC
4 months ago

I don’t understand how some people say that this is overrated. If this was sent by Sweden or Russia, everyone would go crazy and this would immediately be at the top of the odds. For me, it’s one of the best entries this year and one of my favourite Azeri entries overall. Yes, lyrics-wise it may not be the strongest song, but even the fact that the lyrics are simple makes me enjoy the song more. The lyrics really contribute to the fact that this is a fun song, spreading positive vibes. I just love the part when she starts… Read more »

ESC 2019
4 months ago
Reply to  KESC

If Sweden have this song, its not even go to the final. But its Azerbaijans song, they always be in the top. Becuse its Azerbaijan.

Roelof Meesters
Roelof Meesters
4 months ago

Wow… this is incredible from Azerbaijan! They obviously had a vision for this and this would have been soooo strong on stage. Imagine the Buddhist chanting on stage… This is a gem we sadly lost this year but it’s infective chorus will stay in my playlist forever. 10/10 for me, this and 2012 are the best Azerbaijani entries in Eurovision.

Markus
Markus
4 months ago

“Imagine the Buddhist chanting on stage…” Do you know what you are talking about? That’s what you call cultural appropriation.

Milan
Milan
4 months ago
Reply to  Markus

Well, that IS cultural appropriation, minuses or not.

Ada
Ada
4 months ago

My favourite of the year. So impactful!

Denis
Denis
4 months ago

Not to judge others taste but is how this rated so high? It’s a messy song, all over the place. Style over substance. Shady lyrics, some weird buddhist mantra in the middle. With songs like this you have too find the balance to not go overboard and I dont think the manages the balance

Hector
Hector
4 months ago
Reply to  Denis

I have no idea how people can’t like this – it’s my favourite of the year, like generally this could have been so good on stage.

Mikey
Mikey
4 months ago

Overrated

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
4 months ago

I’m sorry, but I really dislike this entry. It has that guilty pleasure quality, and at first I was fascinated by the complexity of “Cleopatra”, but now… it just got boring and irritating. It’s too unusual to pass it off as your typical bop, but it doesn’t go bonkers either, thus what’s left is a half-decent chaotic piece of music. And there are so many jarring elements in it – poorly written lyrics, conveying the self-empowerment message with the subtlety of a TV commercial, out of place traditional instrumentation, the exaggerated and cartoonish manner of Efendi’s singing, confusing, disorganised structure…… Read more »

Paul
Paul
4 months ago

Best song of the year!!!

MALTESER
MALTESER
4 months ago

To see that this got less than Australia is an absolute joke. Australia is the generic, bland and depressing song that would have been performed by a singer making herself look like a lunatic. Azerbaijan is the ethnic, catchy pop banger that may I remind you won the televote last year for Norway. Yet, Australia get’s more points. Lmao.

Denis
Denis
4 months ago
Reply to  MALTESER

Tgst doesn’t mean this would have done the same.

MALTESER
MALTESER
4 months ago

I just don’t understand the wiwiblogger that gave this a 3. Fine, subjective as music is. But how can you say that this is outdated?

Marionette
Marionette
4 months ago
Reply to  MALTESER

Because it sounds very 2000 and late

Mia
Mia
4 months ago

This is amazing, make way to miss Efendi to my top 10! Catchy memorable funny song, nice vocal, talented performer and great visuals. Sadly we won’t see this on stage, that could be hit or miss tho, but I don’t think Azerbaijan would dissapoint with staging. Now excuse me, I’m going to listen Cleopatrrra and dance 😀
9/10

Tom
Tom
4 months ago

Another overrated entry thank u next

Colin
Colin
4 months ago

AZERBAIJAN – I am myself surprised on my opinion here. Obviously, it’s kind of a mess, but it’s such a charming, unique mess that it becomes immensely fun! Musically, it’s a good combination of modern pop elements and some more traditional Mid-Eastern (and even Far-Eastern) sounds. It mixes them in a way that it never gets boring and it keeps on surprising as it goes. I almost always need good, or at least solid lyrics, but if not, make them sound just like this: ”queen like me… straight or gay or in between”, ”Cleopatra had Mark Anthony, you know who… Read more »

Ashton
Ashton
4 months ago

I think this is overrated. It’s fine, but it’s amazing parts and it’s horrible parts cancel each other out to become mediocre. The Buddhist chanting was a stroke of genius, while the aggressively overdone rolling of the r’s in the word Cleopatra are cringe-inducing. I was really hoping that Efendi would do something in Azerbaijani, akin to a more ethnic version of When The Music Dies (my second place in 2012, ballad perfection), but sadly we can’t always get what we want. Would probably have come 9th or 10th with a big boost from the televote, but I just cannot… Read more »

Emily
Emily
4 months ago

I kinda have mixed feelings about this one, much like I did with Azerbaijan’s entry last year (and Truth was my biggest grower last year). It’s catchy, for sure. I don’t really know if I like the “la-la-la-la”s because for a song that’s based on an Egyptian queen, it just sounds really corny to me? It’s not bad at all, but if we’re talking about ranking it, I’d have it somewhere in the middle. Thinking about staging, Azerbaijan always pulls it off so I would’ve expected it to be in the top 10 if the contest happened.

Donkey
Donkey
4 months ago

I felt shot in the stomach when I saw that result. This is such a good song and I was certain this would be the winner of the wiwi jury. 9.5/10 from me

Kosey
Kosey
4 months ago

7. Azerbaijan – 8.5/10 – Can our ancestors hear Samira’s wail through the dust in the core of our bones? For me, it is a resounding yes, as attitude drips from every steamy pore of this gorgeous entry. The song gives us an excellent message of loving ourselves, being true to ourselves and never giving up. Boring is not something you can throw at it, as it twists in unexpected directions, entwining age-old truths with the most modern of sensibilities. Samira plays both parts perfectly. I was looking forward to the staging of this song more than any other. It… Read more »

Colin
Colin
4 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

So, this is your last Top Ten song? Nice. It’s my 13th (used to be my 14th till today, but I upped it’s place before posting). Interestingly, I wasn’t sold (to say the least) when I first heard it, but then it surprisingly became one of my most listened songs. There’s just something really entertaining here.

Kosey
Kosey
4 months ago
Reply to  Colin

I am with you Colin, it is the entertainment that appeals to me. I like the message in the song but I am not going to pretend it is profound or anything like that – it sits alongside Russia in my Top 10 as those openly fun entries that are done well but don’t take themselves too seriously. Not wanting to spoil the surprise, but I only have my 30th place available now – and I’m really hoping it doesn’t win the WiwiJury, although to be honest, my gut says there is a reason why they have left it until… Read more »

Colin
Colin
4 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

Yeah, Azerbaijan and Russia bring some real unpretentious entertainment and I support that! 🙂

As for the remaining song, it’s my 14th (and both my 13th and 15th are an 8/10, so my score isn’t a secret either), so I’d prefer that over my 25th, which is currently in the lead, but even so, I’m a bit confused by some of the averages. On one hand, I am happy that Finland and Netherlands scored better than I thought, on the other, I find some entries to be somewhat overrated. I mean, tastes differ, so it’s okay.

Mia
Mia
4 months ago
Reply to  Colin

Well obviously some people don’t like that entertainment. I noticed in general entries like this receiving a lot of support, but at the same time a lot of unarticulated hate and insults online, which makes me sad because I like the song. When I don’t like something I try to choose my words, at least I try..

Tibor
Tibor
4 months ago

Okay, we’re almost there. “Cleopatra” is doing this fashionable thing, where you just, instead of really composing a song, throw the toolbox at the listener with a resounding “Débrouille-toi!” This sort of structural principle is getting old rather quickly, if you’ve heard it for the first time you might think: How bold!, but we have now heard it so many times (even more than once in this year’s Eurovision) that it has really lost its edge and its surprising effect – if there ever was one to begin with. If somebody has called Samanta Tina’s effort “messy” and will be… Read more »

Kosey
Kosey
4 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

I love them both Tibor, so I obviously don’t mind a bit of a mess!

Mia
Mia
4 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

I don’t know how to explain it, either you like it or not 🙂

Thanos
Thanos
4 months ago

Well this is one of these songs that a voice in your head tells you you shouldn’t like but in the end you end up humming it all day annoying your family. The production is very good and this song had all the potential to finish REALLY high if the Eurovision happened. It could follow the Fuego footsteps. Also no one can deny how hot Samira is! Nevertheless I would expect a very tacky performance and because it does feel cheesy and a bit trashy at some points I can’t rank it highly unfortunately… My top so far: 1. Switzerland… Read more »

Gigi
Gigi
4 months ago

Absolutely love this song and artist. It’s my 3rd place. Can’t wait to see what she’ll perform next year. 9/10

Odysseas
Odysseas
4 months ago

Liked it at first, but then i started finding it annoying. The “la la la la” part is just awful now. But in any case, a good song. Could have been in top 10 with a nice staging.

Overall: 5.5/10 (23rd)