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

  1. Ukraine: Natalie Papazoglu – “Tikenli yol” (226 points)
  2. Yakutia: Umsuura – “Mokhsoğollor” (204 points)
  3. Bosnia & Herzegovina: Armin Muzaferija – “Džehva” (194 points)
  4. Tyumen Oblast: Adilya Tushakova – “Havalarda” (193 points)
  5. Azerbaijan: Aydan İlxaszade – “Can Can Qardaş Can” (193 points)
  6. Tatarstan: Diliya Ahmetshina – “Ğafu it, awılım” (191 points)
  7. Moldova: Pelageya Stefoglo – “Ateş Gibi” (191 points)
  8. Germany: Seyran Ismayilkhanov – “Odun” (190 points)
  9. Moscow: Olga Shimanskaya (NAPOLI) – “Hadi Gel” (186 points)
  10. Găgăuzia: Yulia Arnaut – “Kemençä” (185 points)
  11. Khakassia: Darya Tacheyeva – “Ot chalynda” (181 points)
  12. Turkey: Ertan & İsrafil – “Ne Yaptıysam Olmadı” (179 points)
  13. Serbia: Haris Skarep – “Doživotno osuđen” (178 points)
  14. Kazakh Uyghurs: Sada Ensemble – “Sevgiyi besle” (178 points)
  15. Tuva: Oorzhak Omak Çopanoviç – “Bayla la Talgam” (176 points)
  16. Kyrgyzstan: Aiganysh Abdieva – “Yupiter” (176 points)
  17. Bashkortostan: Ziliya Bahtieva – “Halkyma” (174 points)
  18. Poland: Mishelle – “Doğma yerlər” (172 points)
  19. Albania: Ilire Ismajli – “Perseri” (171 points)
  20. North Macedonia: Cengiz Sipahi – “Kal Yanımda” (171 points)
  21. Northern Cyprus: Çağıl İşgüzar – “Acıtır Hep Hayallerim” (171 points)
  22. Romania: Sunai Giolacai – “Niye?” (167 points)
  23. Belarus: Svetlana Agarval – “Məni anla” (166 points)
  24. Nogai: Zhanna Musayeva – “Muñayma” (159 points)
  25. Kazakhstan: Almaz Kopzhasar – “Kim ol” (159 points)
  26. 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!

Read more Turkvision news here

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sam
sam
9 months ago

yakutia should have won… they were AMAZING

FiKstan
FiKstan
9 months ago

When I read some comments/tweets about Turkvision being cheaply produced, it just made me kinda sad for the people who are genuinely thrilled that their regions get presented AT ALL in a music contest (especially autonomous regions like the Russian ones and even more so people with barely any official recognition at all, like the Uyghurs) Turkvision has never been a huge commercial event like Eurovision, they don’t have the huge budget coming from funding, ticket sales, advertisement deals and ticket sales like Eurovision. Ever since Turkvision started, I’ve just been delighted to see the variety of music and people… Read more »

Joe
Joe
9 months ago

My ranking:

  1. Yakutia
  2. Bashkortostan
  3. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  4. Ukraine
  5. Tatarstan
  6. Germany
  7. Moldova
  8. Poland
  9. Tyumen Oblast
  10. Nogai
  11. Moscow
  12. Azerbaijan
  13. Albania
  14. Khakassia
  15. Gagauzia
  16. Tuva
  17. Serbia
  18. Northern Cyprus
  19. Kyrgyzstan
  20. Belarus
  21. Kazakh Uyghurs
  22. Turkey
  23. Romania
  24. North Macedonia
  25. Iraqi Turkmen
  26. Kazakhstan (I WAS ROOTING FOR YOU! WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU!)
Joe
Joe
9 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Tuva bumped up a few slots because throat-singing.

Linus
Linus
9 months ago

Dont these regions have any money? i mean all of them had the same background when they sang. No offense but the winner would not have qualified in ESC. I really tried to like some of them but i could not. They sounded almost the same and no one was WOW.

FiKstan
FiKstan
9 months ago
Reply to  Linus

They were all given the same background so there won’t be any “disadvantage” for regions who couldn’t afford hiring a good graphic designer for their background, I think it’s a fine solution. Tbh I kinda think the producers of Turkvision should have maybe considered making a more modern background. But at the end of the day, we have to keep in mind that Turkvision does not even come close to the budget the EBU has for Eurovision and that this contest is the only way a lot of Turkic regions can present themselves musically to a somewhat bigger audience, so… Read more »

Denis
Denis
9 months ago

Think its fair to say Albania, Azerbaijan and others put way more effort into ESC than they to this. Who many watched this even?

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
9 months ago
Reply to  Denis

As far as I know, many entrants applied directly to TMB TV to compete in Turkvision, without the broadcaster’s involvement. It’s important to point out that Turkvision has almost no ties to Eurovision, and to my knowledge the only participating broadcaster that actually takes part in ESC is MRT (North Macedonia). The whole process was pretty chaotic and we didn’t know who exactly was gonna participate until the very end.
As for the viewing figures, the official YT live stream had around 600-700 viewers.

Last edited 9 months ago by Skiwalko
Acecraze
Acecraze
9 months ago
Reply to  Skiwalko

Although I’d say that this year’s Turkvision had the least viewers since it was announced pretty late and not promoted a lot, the YT live stream doesn’t really cover it, since most of the regional broadcasters from that region actually showed it live. There were definitely a few thousand viewers, but it has in fact been dead for 5 years, so most of the people interested in it back when it launched probably didn’t know that it was coming back this year

Hebbuzz
9 months ago

Hoe many viewers does TMB TV have? Their FB has only 1161 likes. And there are no posts of turkvision. Isnt this just a amateur volunteers project instead of a big event?

Joe
Joe
9 months ago

Watched it live. I was impressed by the general quality of the songs, but holy crap, they did NOT need to recap the songs ten times in a row!

Ashton
Ashton
9 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Same. I literally left for 20 minutes because I was annoyed at the recaps, and when I came back they were still going.

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
9 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Well, they needed to fill the time with something and the recap was all they had. I’m still surprised that every juror managed to cast the votes correctly in such a (relatively) short period of time. Would you have preferred that they show this montage recounting past editions for the third time? Also, the show was waaay too long (5 hours, damn) and I don’t know if it’s just me, but after a few songs I was so tired of that green screen background, some variety would have been much appreciated. But, taking into account the evident low-budget nature of… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by Skiwalko
Joe
Joe
9 months ago
Reply to  Skiwalko

They should’ve picked another interval act or had the jurors watch the performances and vote BEFORE the show. Y’know, like at Eurovision?

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
9 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Can’t argue with that.
By the way, that interval act was a separate online contest won by Napoli (who’s known for participating in the Belarusian NF multiple times). The contestants were asked to perform their interpretation of “Sari Gelin” (a popular folk song) and the winner was decided via an online poll.

Last edited 9 months ago by Skiwalko
Joe
Joe
9 months ago
Reply to  Skiwalko

Nah, the winner hasn’t been decided yet. It won’t be until January 21, apparently. The actual interval act was Ukrainian singer Natali Deniz, who competed in 2014. That lasted about three minutes, then came a few of the Sari Gelin covers, then the endless recaps.

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
9 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Thanks for the info, my source must have got that wrong (still, she seems to be in the lead at the moment). I have to admit, after the performances were over, I didn’t pay too much attention to what was going on. Sorry, I didn’t mean to misinform you. 🙂

Whisker
Whisker
9 months ago

I had no idea this happened, thanks Wiwibloggs for the post. I’ll try to find the other songs, the winning song is not bad as per my taste but then I have a very wide musical and forgiving palate. Too bad I don’t understand one word, I can only read into her body movement and the outfit. I don’t know where the areas in the contest stand from a cultural point of view, how they see life, how modern or progressive they are.

waitaminuteholdon
waitaminuteholdon
9 months ago

I love the idea of all these suppressed nations being free one day and I thank Turkvision for promoting them and making them visible to the world, good job. From an artistic point of view, though: really, I mean – REALLY bad selection. There was not one song that stood out, not one song that could actually be considered good and to be honest the one song that was objectively (from a musician’s point of view) well produced and rather put together, which was Kyrgyzstan, was completely overlooked. In future editions (that’ll hopefully happen), the broadcasters absolutely need to make… Read more »

Ashton
Ashton
9 months ago

Ok so you are just going to ignore Ukraine, Yakutia, Moscow, and Khakassia then? Ok…

Ashton
Ashton
9 months ago

Also, I am also a musician (producer), and whether you think a song is put together well isn’t objective. It is entirely up to the listener to decide. everything about music is subjective: you may love one song’s production, while someone else may despise it.

waitaminuteholdon
waitaminuteholdon
9 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

Song structure can be subjective if you have a specific artistic vision for it and you wanted to achieve something internal with it… but that’s in the artist’s mind
You can evaluate production, melody progression, lyrics, how the lyrics go with the melody and the overall performance of the singer without an ounce of subjectivity

Ashton
Ashton
9 months ago

….No, you can’t. A chord progression may sound great to one person and terrible to another. A person may hate one lyric, while another may think it is genius. You’re delusional if you think music can be evaluated without an ounce of subjectivity.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
9 months ago

“suppressed nations”? let’s not. if every “suppressed nation” was its own country, the entire world would be like italy pre-1861: a bunch of small duchies with virtually zero power. in the third millennium people should be able to live in a multi-ethnic society.

waitaminuteholdon
waitaminuteholdon
9 months ago

In the third millennium people should be able to live in a multi-ethnic society indeed, instead of packing so many under one 😉

In the third millennium, also, people should be able to live their lives without being preoccupied with the concept of “power”, especially since it has led to so much destruction in the past… but I’m aware we’re on Earth, not in utopia

Still, the millennium is young, and so are the people pushing for peace =)

waitaminuteholdon
waitaminuteholdon
9 months ago

Must be Russian, hehe… 😉

Khan
Khan
9 months ago

Quite a few good songs but jesus christ that backdrop was shocking

Ashton
Ashton
9 months ago

This was a surprisingly good edition of Turkvision, and well worth watching. My favs were Khakassia (my winner), Ukraine, Yakutia, Moscow, and Kyrgyzstan.