Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022

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Eurovision Song Contest 2022
Country Azerbaijan
National selection
Selection processInternal selection
Selection date(s)Artist: 16 February 2022
Song: 21 March 2022
Selected entrantNadir Rustamli
Selected song"Fade to Black"
Selected songwriter(s)
Finals performance
Semi-final resultQualified (10th, 96 points)
Final result16th, 106 points
Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest
◄2021 2022

Azerbaijan participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 in Turin, Italy, having internally selected Nadir Rustamli to represent the country with the song "Fade to Black". The song was written by Andreas Stone Johansson, Anderz Wrethov, Sebastian Schub and Thomas Stengaard and was announced as the selected song by the Azerbaijani broadcaster on 21 March 2022.

Azerbaijan was drawn to compete in the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest which took place on 12 May 2022. Performing during the show in position 4, "Fade to Black" was announced among the top 10 entries of the second semi-final and hence qualified to compete in the final. In the final, Azerbaijan placed 16th with 106 points. It was later revealed that the country placed 10th in the semi-final with 96 points, receiving all 96 points from the juries and 0 points from the televote in the second semi–final.

Background

Prior to the 2022 contest, Azerbaijan has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 13 times since its first entry in 2008.[1] Azerbaijan has won the contest on one occasion in 2011 with the song "Running Scared" performed by Ell and Nikki. Since their debut in 2008, Azerbaijan has had a string of successful results, qualifying to the final and placing in the top ten each year until 2014, including a third-place result in 2009 with the song "Always" performed by AySel and Arash and a second-place result in 2013 with the song "Hold Me" performed by Farid Mammadov. However, in 2018, Azerbaijan placed eleventh in the semi-final with the song "X My Heart" performed by Aisel, making it the first occasion that Azerbaijan did not participate in a Eurovision final since their debut in 2008. In 2019, Chingiz with "Truth" brought Azerbaijan back into the top 10, finishing in 8th place with 302 points. For the 2021 contest, Samira Efendi was internally selected to represent Azerbaijan with the song "Mata Hari". Efendi went on to qualify for the grand final, finishing in 20th place with 65 points.

Before Eurovision

Internal selection

On 30 December 2021, the Azerbaijani broadcaster İctimai Television (İTV) opened a song submission period for interested composers to submit their songs into the Azerbaijani selection until 31 January 2022. All entrants were to provide a brief description of themselves as part of their submission. Six songs were shortlisted from around 300 submissions, which will be offered to the chosen artist for selection.[2][3]

Nadir Rustamli was announced as the selected artist on 16 February 2022, during İTV's breakfast show Sabahın xeyir, Azərbaycan ("Good morning Azerbaijan").[2] Rustamli's entry, titled "Fade to Black", was officially released on 21 March.[4][5]

At Eurovision

According to Eurovision rules, all nations with the exceptions of the host country and the "Big Five" (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) are required to qualify from one of two semi-finals in order to compete for the final; the top ten countries from each semi-final progress to the final. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) split up the competing countries into six different pots based on voting patterns from previous contests, with countries with favourable voting histories put into the same pot. On 25 January 2022, an allocation draw was held which placed each country into one of the two semi-finals, as well as which half of the show they would perform in. Azerbaijan has been placed into the second semi-final, to be held on 12 May 2022, and has been scheduled to perform in the first half of the show.[6]

Once all the competing songs for the 2022 contest had been released, the running order for the semi-finals was decided by the shows' producers rather than through another draw, so that similar songs were not placed next to each other. Azerbaijan was set to perform in position 4, following the entry from Serbia and before the entry from Georgia.[7]

Voting

Points awarded to Azerbaijan

Points awarded by Azerbaijan

Jury Vote Issues

In a statement released during the broadcast of the grand final, the EBU revealed that six countries, including Azerbaijan, were found to have 'irregular' jury voting patterns during the second semi-final. Consequently, these countries were given substitute aggregated jury scores for both the second semi-final and the grand final (shown above), calculated from the corresponding jury scores of countries with historically similar voting patterns as determined by the pots for the semi-final allocation draw held in January.[10][11] Their televoting results were unaffected. The Flemish broadcaster VRT reported that the juries involved had made agreements to vote for each others' entries to secure qualification to the grand final.[12]

During the broadcast of the final, Azerbaijan's votes were read by the EBU's Executive Supervisor, Martin Österdahl, instead of the scheduled spokesperson, Narmin Salmanova.[13] This was attributed to connection difficulties during the voting, however the Azerbaijani broadcaster İTV released a statement implying that this was instead due to their refusal to present the calculated aggregate scores. The statement went on to request clarity from the EBU over the issue and also revealed that the Azerbaijani jury would have awarded 12 points to Ukraine under the original scores rather than to the United Kingdom.[14][15]

On 19 May, the EBU issued a further statement clarifying the voting irregularities identified in Semi-Final 2. This confirmed that the six countries involved had consistently ranked each others' entries disproportionately highly: the Azerbaijani jury, as well as the juries from Georgia, Romania and San Marino, had each ranked the other five countries' entries as their top five, proving beyond statistical coincidence that they had colluded to achieve a higher placing. This prompted the suspension of Azerbaijan's intended semi-final votes (shown below) in favour of the EBU's calculated aggregate scores, shown above.[16]

Azerbaijan's suspended jury results (Semi-final 2) [16]
Score Country
12 points  Poland
10 points  Georgia
8 points  Romania
7 points  Montenegro
6 points  San Marino
5 points  Finland
4 points  Australia
3 points  Sweden
2 points  Serbia
1 point  North Macedonia

References

  1. ^ "Azerbaijan - Eurovision Song Contest". EBU. Archived from the original on 11 July 2019.
  2. ^ a b Jabbarov, Elvin (16 February 2022). ""Nadi̇r rüstəmli̇ avrovi̇zi̇ya təmsi̇lçİmi̇z oldu!"". 12XAL (in Azerbaijani). Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  3. ^ Granger, Anthony (30 December 2021). "Azerbaijan: İTV opens song submissions for Eurovision 2022". Eurovoix. Retrieved 22 January 2022.
  4. ^ Granger, Anthony (21 March 2022). "Today: 🇦🇿 Azerbaijan Reveals its Eurovision Entry & 🇺🇸 American Song Contest Commences". Eurovoix. Retrieved 21 March 2022.
  5. ^ "Azerbaijan: "Fade To Black" – Nadir Rüstəmli releases his song for Eurovision 2022". Eurovisionworld. 21 March 2022. Retrieved 21 March 2022.
  6. ^ "Eurovision 2022: Which Semi-Final is your country performing in?". Eurovision.tv. EBU. 25 January 2022. Retrieved 25 January 2022.
  7. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 2022 Semi-Final running orders revealed!". Eurovision.tv. EBU. 29 March 2022. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  8. ^ a b "Results of Semi Final 2 of Turin 2022". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 15 May 2022.
  9. ^ a b "Results of the Grand Final of Turin 2022". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 15 May 2022.
  10. ^ "EBU statement regarding voting patterns during 2022 shows". Eurovision.tv. EBU. 14 May 2022. Retrieved 15 May 2022.
  11. ^ Cobb, Ryan (15 May 2022). "EBU reveals six national juries were removed from Eurovision 2022". ESCXTRA.com. Retrieved 15 May 2022.
  12. ^ Bruggeman, Floor; Grommen, Stefan; Arnoudt, Rik (15 May 2022). "Verdachte jurystemmen in 6 landen op Songfestival: organisator EBU moest uitslag laten herberekenen". vrtnws.be (in Dutch). VRT. Retrieved 15 May 2022.
  13. ^ "Eurovision 2022: Ukraine wins, while the UK's Sam Ryder comes second". BBC News. 14 May 2022. Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  14. ^ Argyriou, Giannis (16 May 2022). "Azerbaijan: Announcement for the cancellation of its jury vote". EurovisionFun. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  15. ^ Tagizade, Kamran (16 May 2022). "İTV AYB-DƏN İZAHAT TƏLƏB EDİB". 12XAL (in Azerbaijani). Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  16. ^ a b "EBU Statement: Irregular voting patterns during Second Semi-Final 2022". eurovision.tv. EBU. Retrieved 19 May 2022.