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Azerbaijan: Elnur Huseynov – Hour Of The Wolf

    Azerbaijan have finally put us out of our misery in presenting the widely tipped Elnur Huseynov as their Eurovision representative. Elnur graced the Eurovision stage in 2008 when he duetted with Samir, eventually placing 8th. Elnur will perform Hour of the Wolf in the second half of semi-final 2. Hour of the Wolf is something of a return to form for Azerbaijan, having sent Dilara to Copenhagen with an anaemic and lifeless ballad. It was no surprise she finished 22nd in the final. Elnur's song, while delicate, has far greater energy and benefits from mesmerising cinematic power during the refrain and…

Review Overview

Song Appeal
Vocal Strength
Staging Potential
Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
Historical Support Strength

Cometh the Hour...

If the Azeris can put together a powerful visual package, Hour of the Wolf should be seen as a genuine top-5 song and potential winner.

User Rating: 3.61 ( 26 votes)

 
 
Azerbaijan have finally put us out of our misery in presenting the widely tipped Elnur Huseynov as their Eurovision representative. Elnur graced the Eurovision stage in 2008 when he duetted with Samir, eventually placing 8th.

Elnur will perform Hour of the Wolf in the second half of semi-final 2.

Hour of the Wolf is something of a return to form for Azerbaijan, having sent Dilara to Copenhagen with an anaemic and lifeless ballad. It was no surprise she finished 22nd in the final.

Elnur’s song, while delicate, has far greater energy and benefits from mesmerising cinematic power during the refrain and climax. The Balaban seems to be Azerbaijan’s instrument of choice which adds a certain gravitas to songs from that region. However, the grandeur of the orchestral elements gives Hour of the Wolf a spine-tingling quality the juries and televoters simply can’t ignore. Moreover, we know Elnur’s voice packs a powerful punch and covers three-octaves with ease – the juries have a history of rewarding supreme vocalists.

Given the strength of Azerbaijan’s entry, they will undoubtedly embark on creating a strong visual package for Vienna. While the Greeks have requested the services of famed Fokas Evaggelinos, Azerbaijan would give him a much stronger package to work with, in addition to a limitless supply of money. If the Azeris can put together a powerful visual package, Hour of the Wolf should be seen as a genuine top-5 song and potential winner.

Can Azerbaijan repeat their 2011 success?

  • Qualification History
  • Final Performance
  • Allies
Azerbaijan have never failed to qualify. 100% qualification success.

Highest semi-final score: 180 (2009: Aysel & Arash – Always)
Lowest semi-final score: 57 (2014: Dilara Kazimova – Start a Fire)
Average semi-final finishing position (since 2008): 3rd
Average semi-final score (since 2008): 117 points

Azerbaijan has finished in the top-10 six times in seven final appearances.

Highest score (since 2004): 234 (2013: Farid Mammadov – Hold Me)
Lowest score (since 2004): 33 (2014: Dilara Kazimova – Start a Fire)
Average final position: 6th
Average final score: 160 points

Average Points Received

Russia – 10.1
Czech Rep’ – 10.0
Georgia – 9.8
Moldova – 8.1
Malta – 7.9
Cyprus – 7.8
Poland – 7.4

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33 comments

  1. For peace we pray…

  2. Lot of good quality songs in this weekend!

  3. How quick things change. Over a weekend the contest went from pretty average to possibly the best quality year in esc for many, many years. There will be good songs finishing outside top 10 this year and great songs finishing outside top 4. Even some decent songs that won’t even qualify.

    I’m loving this chorus incredibly uplifting and full of hope. I think it’s a strong sign that the chorus is good when you remember it despite not having it on repeat for 3 minutes like in some songs this year.

  4. This one stayed in my head despite the onslaught of Russia, Albania, SanMar and Oz. It’s very theatrical but quite beautiful. But since it comes from Azerbaijan, predicting its score (especially after last year) is basically a game of chance.

    • I’ve been thinking there is a real possibility of the same top 4 as 2011 with Russia of course taking over Ukraine’s spot.

      • Mmmmm…no, I don’t think so. Structure’s an issue with this one. It hasn’t got a bridge. 2-verse-2-chorus songs don’t win.

        • Well that didn’t stop a clumsy carpenter who was buried in the running order to get 8th last year with no Azeri voting power (when they have accessible songs).

          It’s pretty easy to say no against something which is 1000 to 1 :). How about you come up with your most realistic top 4 and stop being on the no-side for once 😉

          • I’m waiting for Montenegro’s song before I start getting into all that. I’m not expecting much from Knez, but you can be sure I will come up with some theories later.

          • Montenegro price is crazy btw given the fact Zeljko composed the song and we all know his Esc record.

          • Belarus will come from off the radar and win easily.The televoters will forget everyone else and remember the girl with a violin trapped in a sand timer.The narrative of slowly sinking, but being rescued at the last second by Legolas’s brother will resonate with everyone.
            Latvia will be close behind because they slayed the jury vote with expressive dance skills never seen before in Esc and a power vocal chorus.Iceland will shock and be the highest Scandi because everyone loves a good chorus,and its all chorus.
            Plus a lot of people will think its “that Forest girl from Denmark again” and vote for her because they liked her last song Teardrops.
            Fourth place is still up for grabs)

          • Lol Durhamborn! Probably the best predictions I ever read 😀

            So I keep my nostalgic references of 2011 a little bit longer, weren’t Estonia over-rated by the bookies back then?

          • Wow Durhamborn, you almost sound like an ESCtoday commenter. 😛

            I’m interested in Montenegro. Zeljko is good, but he does all kinds of stuff. My Serbian friend showed me a recent song of his which frankly sounded like Avicii…

            and Knez himself looks like something I could pull out of my nose. My Serbian friend tells me he’s just a 90s hasbeen.

            Can Zeljko really write a non-qualifier, I wonder? I don’t think it’s going to be a ballad.

          • @Durhamborn I have been speculating about the possible 4th after your rock solid top 3 and I am pretty sure it will be Lihuania, no in fact I know.

            They flirt they giggle and they kiss at least 5 times on the stage, they forget the lyrics most parts of the song but that doesn’t matter cause the audience will feel their love. At the end of their song they announce there is a baby on the way and they will get married if they win ESC. They come joint 1st with Belarus in an extreme televote-figure, but some narrow minded judges push them back to the average of 4th place.

          • Fourth i cant decide.The greatest singer ever to come from the Baltics Getter Jaani was nobbled because everyone was jealous of her.They might do the same with Lith given its obvious how talented they are.
            There is also the risk they might forget they are on stage as they are too “busy” backat the hotel.
            This Esc betting is a minefield.Belarus at least are certain.Violins are a lock.

          • In reply to Ben: Zeljko does all kind of stuff indeed but has several modes of operation. The esc mode functioned very well, he has a feeling for that, arguably always the same song style but somehow very jury/televote frienldy. So I expect another “classy Balkan ballad”.

          • It would be quite easy to make Lith win Esc.

            A background story of their current affair “Started as rivals ended up as lovers” “A little baby on the way?”

            Reduce the kiss by one in the actual performance and by the end of it Vaidas goes humble on his knees and asks for her hand in front of all the viewers. Monika says yes and expresses her genuine happiness with couple of tears running smoothly down her cheek. Slam dunk! Even the violins will be forgotten 🙂

          • Hay, Montenegro song is out and this is exactly what Knez needed. I’m positively surprised by Zeljko but he has an exact feeling what to write for a specific performer. I can see this uniting the Balkan vote, it’s authentic and stands out.

          • Thanks Boki. I’ll have it up later. Just working on reviews for now. Hold fire.

  5. I’ve heard this three times now and the only thing I can vaguely remember is the “I won’t sleep tonight” bit, I struggle to remember the rest of it

  6. Just so you know, I won’t be doing reviews next year. I’ve decided to sign up this girl…

    • I really feel for this girl. I have high functioning Aspergers Syndrome and I can just see the autistic traits so much in her. I feel like someone needs to gently sit her down and tell her she’s embarassing herself.

    • You never know, the contest could be Caming From Slovenia next year!

  7. Azerbaijan is an intriguing little fish perusing the sea of ballads this year. I find myself revisiting the song,on a daily basis, fascinated by it, so much so that I’m inclined to feel I’m listening to the Winner.

    I took the liberty of playing it for my teenage Sister today and it got the thumbs up. She told me Elnur was “Cute”, citing his “Ginger Beard” reminded her of her favorite Pop-star,(No prizes for guessing!). But what really struck me was what the chorus invigorated for her, as immediately after the 3 minutes expired she said it felt like our most admired animated film, “The Polar Express” from about ten years ago.

    It clicks. The narrative of the song “I won’t sleep tonight” correlates neatly with the three children setting out on night long trek to find Santa. Also the choir from Wolf ties in aurally with the momentous Christmas Caroling which profoundly eviscerates the spirit of the universally celebrated festivity. That is in my view “Hour of the Wolf’s” unmatched USP. It can capture a time and a place, pre-pubescent years when technology and other material things we now crave, were predominantly irrelevant. It’s like that treasured Cuddly toy or Action figure you gleefully received at 5:30 on Christmas morning, the intricacies of that moment, of how it felt still retained to this day.

    This is my point. There is many a song this year in Eurovision, whereby the Singer has impressive vocals, the lyrics are well written, the song structure is there, the instrumentation is nice and so on so forth, but why should average Joe watching on the Saturday Night care?. All that’s needed is something to connect with, that actually exerts real to life emotional vibes ,whether Happiness or Sadness, a bearded lady trying to fit in, or a German teenager making a mockery of prying her lover into her arms. Azerbaijan capture a relatable real to life festive visceral mood with a contemporary song, a capable, competant singer, and hopefully the staging to follow suit.

    Quite frankly I have high hopes for Azerbaijan and I expect them to convert. Besides, who in the real world, the millions of casual viewers, those that want to invest in a song that reaches out to them, those who’ll tune in to Eurovision, will have the time for entries as superficial and banal as Sweden or Estonia?, I certainly won’t.

    • My family’s never seen The Polar Express, so why should they vote for Azerbaijan?

    • I kind of know what you’re getting at here, B&B15. I keep returning to the Azeri entry too and have it in my top-4 favourite songs to listen to. It does offer great build and there are enough layers in the song to interest both the casual viewer and juries. Out of all the songs selected, I think Azerbaijan and Norway have the best story to tell on stage. Azerbaijan have already suggested a hypnotic package, which already sounds better than last year’s trapeze artist. Having backed Azerbaijan one both Betfair and the high street (e/w), I do think they’ll prove to be the value once in Vienna.

  8. Can anyone explain the drift of Azerbaijan? I got matched today at 90? Crazy price for a strong song. Surely given how serious they take this competition this price could be traded in the 20’s when they unveil their staging in rehearsals…

    • Sounds like he could get into trouble if trying to reproduce the studio version, not because he’s a bad singer but some song parts are too demanding (Harel Skaat syndrome?).

  9. What on Earth happened to Azerbaijan’s odds today?

    • I am trying to get to the bottom of it. It’s not as if there was low liquidity either – there was plenty of money sat there ready to back.

    • It only takes a few hundred to take something in from 70s to 30s at the moment on BF.Its very low liquidity outside of the top two.It cant be due to song quality, as for me Azer is easily the weakest from the east.They would have to spend a years oil revenue to get this to do well in the televote.

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