It was last held in 2015 but the Turkvision Song Contest returned on Sunday for a 2020 edition, showcasing the best talent from 26 Turkic regions. In the end it was Natalie Papazoglu from Ukraine who took home the trophy with her entry “Tikenli yol”.
Turkvision, also known as Türkvizyon, is a singing contest inspired by Eurovision for regions who have either a large Turkic population or a widely spoken Turkic language. This year’s contest was the fourth edition of the show, following the previous one in 2015.
The show was hosted in Istanbul. However, due to precautions around Covid-19, each of the participants performed remotely from their home country. Similarly to Junior Eurovision 2020, each act pre-recorded their performance and these recordings were then broadcast during the show.
Despite the remote aspect, Natalie Papazoglu still managed to impress with her upbeat ethnopop song “Tikenli yol” (“Thorny road”), sung in the Gagauz language. Wearing a striking purple breastplate, Natalie performed in front the standard Turkvision digital background. While the contest did not use a televote, Natalie secured the most points from the jurors and was crowned the winner of this year’s contest.
Natalie Papazoglu – “Tikenli yol”
This is Ukraine’s first victory at Turkvision, although the country has participated during all four editions. Their previous best result was in the debut 2013 contest, where Fazile Ibrahimova placed third with “Elmalım”.
Other nations competing in the contest this year who have also appeared at Eurovision include Albania, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Germany, Moldova, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Turkey.
Of these countries, Bosnia & Herzegovina placed the highest, finishing in third place. Azerbaijan secured another top-five result at the contest, having previously won in 2013. Moldova and Poland made their debut in Turkvision this year, finishing seventh and 18th respectively.
Turkvision 2020: Full results
- Ukraine: Natalie Papazoglu
- Yakutia: Umsuura – “Mokhsoğollor” (204 points)
- Bosnia & Herzegovina: Armin Muzaferija – “Džehva” (194 points)
- Tyumen Oblast: Adilya Tushakova – “Havalarda” (193 points)
- Azerbaijan: Aydan İlxaszade – “Can Can Qardaş Can” (193 points)
- Tatarstan: Diliya Ahmetshina – “Ğafu it, awılım” (191 points)
- Moldova: Pelageya Stefoglo – “Ateş Gibi” (191 points)
- Germany: Seyran Ismayilkhanov – “Odun” (190 points)
- Moscow: Olga Shimanskaya (NAPOLI) – “Hadi Gel” (186 points)
- Găgăuzia: Yulia Arnaut – “Kemençä” (185 points)
- Khakassia: Darya Tacheyeva – “Ot chalynda” (181 points)
- Turkey: Ertan & İsrafil – “Ne Yaptıysam Olmadı” (179 points)
- Serbia: Haris Skarep – “Doživotno osuđen” (178 points)
- Kazakh Uyghurs: Sada Ensemble – “Sevgiyi besle” (178 points)
- Tuva: Oorzhak Omak Çopanoviç – “Bayla la Talgam” (176 points)
- Kyrgyzstan: Aiganysh Abdieva – “Yupiter” (176 points)
- Bashkortostan: Ziliya Bahtieva – “Halkyma” (174 points)
- Poland: Mishelle – “Doğma yerlər” (172 points)
- Albania: Ilire Ismajli – “Perseri” (171 points)
- North Macedonia: Cengiz Sipahi – “Kal Yanımda” (171 points)
- Northern Cyprus: Çağıl İşgüzar – “Acıtır Hep Hayallerim” (171 points)
- Romania: Sunai Giolacai – “Niye?” (167 points)
- Belarus: Svetlana Agarval – “Məni anla” (166 points)
- Nogai: Zhanna Musayeva – “Muñayma” (159 points)
- Kazakhstan: Almaz Kopzhasar – “Kim ol” (159 points)
- Iraq: Sarmad Mahmood – “Kelebek” (150 points)
The result was determined solely by a jury, who awarded their points via satellite link. The jury was composed of one person from each participating region. Each juror assessed every song individually, excluding the entry from their own region, and awarded them a score from one to ten points. The entry with the highest total score from the jury was declared the winner of the contest.
Who is Natalie Papazoglu?
Natalie Papazoglu was born in Kalush, Ukraine. She initially gained attention after participating in the sixth season of X Factor Ukraine in 2015, where she finished in fourth place.
Papazoglu subsequently attempted to represent Ukraine at Eurovision 2016. Although she submitted the song “Die in the Future or Live in the Past” to the country’s national selection Vidbir, it was not selected to participate in the semi-finals. The song was later released in 2018.
The Ukrainian singer was initially chosen to be her country’s representative for Turkvision 2016 through a casting event. However, the 2016 edition of the contest was later cancelled. Thankfully, Natalie eventually got the chance to compete at Turkvision in 2020.
What is Turkvision?
After Turkey withdrew from Eurovision following their last appearance in 2012, Turkish music channel TMB TV and international organisation TÜRKSOY developed the Turkvision Song Contest. Countries and regions that are either Turkic-speaking or of Turkic ethnicity are eligible to participate in the contest.
The first contest took place in 2013, which was won by Azerbaijan’s Farid Hasanov. It then continued annually in 2014 and 2015, with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan emerging victorious in respective years. Although a fourth edition was initially planned for 2016, the contest was later cancelled. Subsequent attempts to revive the show in 2017 and 2018 also failed.
Turkvision eventually returned in 2020 and was hosted remotely from Istanbul.
What do you think of the results of Turkvision 2020? Do you think Natalie Papazoglu was a deserving winner with “Tikenli yol”? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!