- Strong regional allies in semi
- Vocals are shakyand very nasal
- Song isn’t particularly strong in comparison to others of this genre
- Betting markets are unmoved
Farid Mammadov has won this year’s Azeri selection with the song, Hold Me! I don’t see Azerbaijan as contenders this year, despite the absence of Turkey.
Azerbaijan’s lowest finish in Eurovision was 8th place, achieved in their inaugural year with the song Day After Day, by Elnur & Samir. Admittedly, this song wasn’t for everyone’s ears, but its power and individuality awarded Azerbaijan a respectable debut outing.
Five years later, and a 5th, 4th, 3rd and a 1st placed finish under their belt; Azerbaijan is facing a mighty struggle to maintain their string of top-5 finishes. Georgia, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus have sent much stronger and more instant, radio-friendly entries. Moreover, the vocalists representing each of those Bloc states are exceptional, whereas Farid is nasal, flat and struggling to sing in key.
The word in the blogosphere suggests that Azerbaijan will enjoy copious support. I would dispute that, as in each of those years Azerbaijan outscored its rivals, it did so with a better song. This time however, Azerbaijan has the weaker song.
I have no doubts that Hold Me will improve in terms of presentation, and that Farid will have round-the-clock vocal coaching. Will that really mask what is a poor, dated ballad that lacks the creative flair and wow-factor of its predecessors?