Picture source: Narmeen (Facebook)

It’s been a while since Eurovision 2015. However, singer Narmin Behbudova — also known as Narmeen — still has the event in mind. She recently told a local news portal that she was supposed to sing for Azerbaijan in Vienna instead of Elnur Hüseynov… but plans changed at the last minute.

Speaking to Media.Az, Narmin Behbudova recounted her experience of almost taking part in Eurovision.

“I should have represented Azerbaijan in 2015 in Austria. Then I was known in musical circles. I successfully performed as part of the group Dervish [not to be confused with the Irish group].”

“I remember that they called me and said: ‘Get ready, you are going to Eurovision.’ I was in a state of shock — I didn’t think that such a thing could happen. I recorded a song in the studio, they did a photoshoot with me, I started to rehearse, I even went to Sweden, where the preparation happened.”

“However, at the last moment, everything suddenly changed. That year, our Elnur Huseynov won The Voice of Turkey, resulting in the decision to again send him to Eurovision, and to return me to Azerbaijan.”

Fortunately, Narmeen was not too sad that her chance of going to the contest disappeared. In retrospect, she thought it was a good decision. She told Media.Az: 

“[I wasn’t broken], because everything happened very spontaneously. I wasn’t ready for that contest then, after all, I just started to flourish as a vocalist and didn’t know English very well.”

“Now I have matured, but I am not moving in the direction [of Eurovision], that being, I won’t submit entries. If they think it’s necessary to send me to Eurovision, I will happily agree to represent Azerbaijan in a good manner.”

Interestingly, the song that Narmeen recorded ended up at the contest after all, two years after she recorded it. She explained to Media.Az: 

“A different country bought that composition in 2017. Now, I don’t remember which. I was watching the contest on television and suddenly started to sing along with one female singer, although I saw her performance for the first time. I put out the question: “From where do I know that track?” And then it came to me… I opened my notebook and saw the words of the song in it. By the way, the girl sang the song very beautifully.”

Our editor William sat on Azerbaijan’s internal selection jury in 2015. Ahead of Eurovision 2017, he said in our Wiwi Jury review video for Switzerland’s Timebelle that he’d heard the song “Apollo” during the same selection as “Hour of the Wolf,” which was ultimately chosen. The jurors heard songs anonymously — so they didn’t know the names of any artists. But it would make sense that Narmeen was the singer of “Apollo”, since she says her song was later performed at Eurovision 2017.

Would you like to see Narmeen represent Azerbaijan at Eurovision in the future? Which song do you think she was supposed to sing? Let us know in the comments down below!

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Im so fab
Im so fab
8 days ago

The downhill of this country has no limit. They buy, use and resell Swedish songs every year. Serbia 2017 could be her song, I’m too bored to look up if they had Swedish producers.

Azerbuyjan $hould $top buying $wedish $ongs every year. Plastic doesn’t mean fantastic.

Jake Dallas
Jake Dallas
9 days ago

I don’t know. There seems to be a lot of loose ends here through this shady 2015 process. So this was an internal selection, but kind of like what Switzerland does now which is basically a jury only national final behind closed doors, so William being invited makes sense to get an international perspective. However, and maybe I’m missing something, doesn’t that mean that these songs were reviewed at more or less the same period of time. I especially remember William saying in the Swiss NF video in 2017 that he preferred Hour of the Wolf, confirming that it was… Read more »

Polegend Godnova
9 days ago

that actually happens pretty often… it wasn’t “her” song. it was a writing camp’d song she recorded a demo of, then ictimai tv ended up selecting someone else. michela’s “chameleon” had been thrown around broadcaster like a flipper for two years before becoming what we know as well. either way, apollo would’ve done better than hour of the wolf imo.

Simona Simone
Simona Simone
10 days ago

Another proof that wiwi is far from the objective, black on white news portal. Especially dear William who is involved on many sides and so biased. And oh yeah, surely it must be Apollo because he said so. Right, there was no other reject around!
Time to turn to another Eurovision portal. This one does not deserve the highest figures.

Tom
Tom
8 days ago
Reply to  Simona Simone

BAI FELICIA!

Tom
Tom
8 days ago
Reply to  Simona Simone

Agree. This blog is super biased and especially William becomes a tasteless figure (see Spain coverage this Year)

Riks
Riks
10 days ago

Azerbaijan is literally the most useless country in Eurovision, always buying songs and disrespecting the rules with things such as cheating.

Polegend Godnova
9 days ago
Reply to  Riks

they’re a dictatorship what did you expect… they’re only participating to show the world how much of a modern and developed country they are because they can afford to buy swedish demos and have their clueless singers perform them expensively lmao

Thallo
Thallo
9 days ago
Reply to  Riks

They literally haven’t brought anything authentic to the competition… ever!

motopapi
motopapi
8 days ago
Reply to  Thallo

And it’s such a shame bc Azeri artists seem to have interesting proposals 🙁

Esc43
Esc43
8 days ago
Reply to  Thallo

Since when do u watch eurovision? Wasn’t their 2009 entry authentic? Lol. And one of the best songs ever

LOL
LOL
7 days ago
Reply to  Esc43

Absolutely, there were only 6 Swedes and one Iranian-Swede making the song! Plus the Iranian-Swede was performing too.

Very authentic!

Henry
Henry
10 days ago

This is actually pretty sad and pathetic. Turns out there’s such a thing as a “Eurovision songs market” from which multiple countries can “borrow” a song, record it in multiple versions, try it in their selection process, then dump it and return it back, and the whole process gets repeated endlessly until the 278th artist records their own version of the same song, and gets selected for Eurovision. What happened to the idea of sending an artist with a certain style, vision, consistency and own unique repertoire? Everything that’s really valuable about music is being trashed by this kind of… Read more »

Charlie
Charlie
10 days ago
Reply to  Henry

I doubt sending bought songs is Azerbaijan’s only flaw, as they’ve cheated and such.

Meckie
Meckie
10 days ago
Reply to  Henry

Other countries also do it, not only Azerbaijan. The German ESC 2019 song was not taken for Swiss selection, so it went to Germany. Also Austrian ESC 2018 song was refused in UK selection. Danish ESC 2013 song was rejected by Germany. Danish ESC 2010 song was rejected in Melodifestivalen, also like Danish ESC 2018 song. Bulgaria shared some songs with Azerbaijan. San Marini refused Azerbaijani ESC 2020 song Cleopatra. That’s only some examples. Deep down it is such a ESC mess, a pool of songs of mostly only the same authors, songwriters and composers. Only always the same bunch… Read more »

Charlie
Charlie
9 days ago
Reply to  Meckie

Yes, a lot of countries have done this and I understand it’s one way for songwriters & producers to get their work out there, but none of those countries send these songs year after year.

Azerbaijan has sent bought songs 14/15 times they’ve participated which is just an insane!

potaxio
potaxio
10 days ago

Ok, I didn’t expect the day when we’d find out that there was an Azeri reject at Eurovision would come

Esc41
Esc41
10 days ago

So would Azerbaijan had sent Apollo as their Esc entry in 2015? For a reason I can’t explain, I can’t imagine Azerbaijan sending such song

TheDrMistery
TheDrMistery
11 days ago

Elnur’s entry was… not that great and his performance even worse. Due to all nations voting for mostly the same songs he placed 12th anyway which was very generous. Still, he and Samir were truly amazing in 2008 and it’s disappointing that he had to compete in “The Voice” afterwards despite that success.

It’s curious to imagine “Apollo” as Azeri entry in 2015 but Timebelle did a very good job. Certainly good enouugh to qualify.

Colin
Colin
11 days ago
Reply to  TheDrMistery

Funnily enough, I much prefer the Azeri entry of 2015 to their 2008 debut. It just proves how tastes are so individual. I agree about Apollo being good enough to qualify. I want to think that if they kept the staging from their NF that they would have.

Charlie
Charlie
10 days ago
Reply to  TheDrMistery

Their 2008 entry was awful, I still don’t understand why it got to 8th place.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
10 days ago
Reply to  TheDrMistery

I really liked Azerbaijan’s 2015 entry. It’s in my top ten for that year.

Whisker
Whisker
11 days ago

Oopsie. They should have given the song to a solo act.

Colin
Colin
11 days ago

To do a bit of a detective work, I’ll look at the 2017 songs with a single female vocalist, excluding Azerbaijan, as well as countries whose singer(s) were a part of the songwriting team – Georgia, Albania, Belgium, Finland, Poland, Iceland, Latvia, Denmark, and Lithuania). Remining countries are: UK, Germany, France, Greece, Czechia, Armenia, Serbia, North Macedonia, Malta, Switzerland Now, a little guesswork is needed: I don’t think that an Emmelie DeForest song (UK) would have circled around for so long, I think that it would’ve been very noted back then if Armenia was the one that ”took over” an… Read more »

Nils
Nils
11 days ago
Reply to  Colin

Take a look at the comments down below, it’s already been solved. Switzerland was the delinquent.

Colin
Colin
11 days ago
Reply to  Nils

Thanks. 🙂 Well, I’m glad that I was (relatively) close. Interestingly, the Swiss entry is certainly my favorite out of the six ones I shortlisted. Despite of the song being passed on, it was worth a wait. Timebelle did really well indeed.

Kristian
Kristian
10 days ago
Reply to  Colin

She said she sang the song beautifully , that would exclude Greece and Serbia atleast.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
10 days ago
Reply to  Colin

I remember it being “Apollo” too. I’ve never understood why they took a good act such as Timebelle and saddled them with such a bad song. Then, all the Azerbaijan-stuff came up about that song from 2015 and it made more sense. Horrible song.
The other one that could’ve been was Serbia but the timeline wouldn’t be right.

Colin
Colin
10 days ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

I really like Apollo. The staging didn’t work at all, but I do like the song, and Timebelle as performers. I would’ve thought that something bland like Germany or Serbia was the one passed on from 2 years ago, but turns out, it was Switzerland. 😉

sam
sam
11 days ago

i remember william saying something in a video about hearing apollo in the azeri internal selection a couple years back but sung by a different singer. i think it’s pretty safe to assume that apollo was narmeen’s submission

sam
sam
11 days ago
Reply to  sam

to back that up here are the songwriters & producers of apollo: Elias Näslin, Nicolas Günthardt, and Alessandra Günthardt

so i’d say it checks out as those are some of the most swedish names i’ve ever heard

avis
avis
11 days ago
Reply to  sam

Both Günthardts are actually swiss

Denis
Denis
10 days ago
Reply to  sam

If you think Günthardt sounds Swedish in any way then..

Meckie
Meckie
11 days ago
Reply to  sam

Here it says, that the sing “Apollo” was part of internal selection in Azerbaijan for Eurovision 2015. This article is written in German, so use a translator if necessary.

https://www.srf.ch/sendungen/eurovision-song-contest/timebelle-unser-esc-trio-und-die-geschichte-hinter-apollo

Jack
Jack
11 days ago

I follow you Apollo…

Hebbuzz
Hebbuzz
11 days ago

If you dont remember the countey it probably was Armenia. Kinda snobbish not to reveal the titel of the song. If i sell something i know what I sell and what prize i got for it.

Anyway is someone interested in searching the credits of all 2017 songs? If she is not there she has no right of talking. What journalist doesn’t ask for the title and a link to her recording of her composition. Without fact checking there is NO reliable news.

sam
sam
11 days ago
Reply to  Hebbuzz

armenia isn’t known for getting their eurovision songs from other countries and almost always have an armenian songwriting team behind their acts, “fly with me” in 2017 included

nell
nell
11 days ago
Reply to  Hebbuzz

it was not Armenia. stop assuming stuff like this.

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
11 days ago

Tijana bogicevic, in too deep?

euroboy
euroboy
11 days ago
Reply to  Frisian esc

No, In too deep was written in 2016/17 and was rejected by N. Macedonia and Bulgaria in their internal selections. The song she is talking about is Apollo. https://youtu.be/ABnd7abvZY4

Franck
Franck
11 days ago

I remember in a video William said he was part of the jury preselecting the Azerbaijani entry for 2015.
He said so because Deban and he were reviewing the 2017 Swiss national final and William told us that Timebelle’s «Apollo» was one of the competing entries for the internal selection. So I bet it’s the song Narmeen is talking about.

Meckie
Meckie
11 days ago
Reply to  Franck

Here it says, that the sing “Apollo” was part of internal selection in Azerbaijan for Eurovision 2015. This article is written in German, so use a translator if necessary.

https://www.srf.ch/sendungen/eurovision-song-contest/timebelle-unser-esc-trio-und-die-geschichte-hinter-apollo

Nils
Nils
11 days ago
Reply to  Meckie

Wow, I didn’t expect that. I was pretty sure she was referring to ‘This is Love’ or ‘Dance alone’. But obviously this all checks out.

Dawid
Dawid
11 days ago

If she has evidence it’s plagiarised, go to court. Otherwise it’s just seeking for attention

Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
11 days ago
Reply to  Dawid

I guess the song was either Polina Gagarina – “A Million Voices” or Nina Sublatti – “Warrior”.

Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
11 days ago

Oh wait, those are songs from 2015. Nevermind lol.

Lorena
Lorena
11 days ago
Reply to  Dawid

She is not talking about plagiarism, she said that the song was sold. Perfectly legal, I bet it was by a Swedish composer. Anyway, 2017 did not have many outstanding songs, so I think it was nothing great.

Lorena
Lorena
11 days ago
Reply to  Lorena

I bet it was Dance Alone, North Macedonia 2017, by Swedish Joachim Persson. As I said, nothing memorable.

Day one
Day one
11 days ago
Reply to  Lorena

It was apollo sung by Switzerland
William mentioned when hearing it that he heard the song in the 2015 Azeri selection

Lorena
Lorena
11 days ago
Reply to  Day one

Anyway, Swedish composer and nothing remarkable.

Denis
Denis
10 days ago
Reply to  Lorena

Actually it is written by Swiss people, the Güntharts. But we get it. This is not your first post about how you dislike everything Swedish and how everything about Swedish songs are unremarkable while pretending every other country is more remarkable.

Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
11 days ago
Reply to  Lorena

How dare you.

Dawid
Dawid
10 days ago
Reply to  Lorena

What’s the point of bringing it up then?