Azerbaijan hoping for return to the top 10 with Dihaj’s ‘Skeletons’
Azerbaijan is not messing around when it comes to the Eurovision Song Contest. The country has reached the final in every single year they participated so far, won the contest in 2011 and reached the top 5 in their first six years of taking part. Recently however, the country has been struggling to live up to their previous success. For three years in a row they missed out on a spot in the top 10, finishing 22nd, 12th and 17th. It’s Dihaj’s job to bring the country back to the highest Eurovision heights again with the track ‘Skeletons’.
Like most years, the Eurovision delegation of Azerbaijan gets some help from Swedish composers. ‘Skeletons’ is written by Isa Melikov and the Swedish songwriter Sandra Bjurman, who was one of the writers of the Azeri’s winning song ‘Running Scared’ six years ago. They came up with a suspenseful mid tempo pop track with a powerful chorus. The build up is flawless and the climax is very satisfying. It will be interesting to see how this is going to be performed live, as the choir like backing vocals play a big part and could make the song come to live even more in a live setting. Dihaj herself has got a pleasant raw vocal style and her stylish and memorable image will help to get the European voters to pay attention to her performance. It seems like Azerbaijan is on the right track for their best Eurovision result in years!
UPDATE – Review on semi final performance:
Eurovision is definitely known for its sometimes over the top performances and Azerbaijan did their best to deliver this year. Dihaj is surrounded by a big blackboard while a guy with the head of a horse stands next to her on a ladder. What the actual f***, right!? I have zero clue what it has to do with the lyrics of the song (which were at times hard to understand anyway because of Dihaj’s pronunciation) and I have no idea why she started writing on the board halfway through while it was almost impossible to read what it said anyway. The good news however is that ‘Skeletons’ is a powerful composition with an anthemic chorus and Dihaj has a strong enough voice and star quality on stage. All together, I’d say Azerbaijan is a deserved qualifier, but I higly doubt they will reach top 10 on Saturday.
UPDATE – Review on final performance and result (14th):
Dihaj from Azerbaijan had to take the stage after Portugal with her somewhat confusing performance of ‘Skeletons’. Vocally everything was in order and ‘Skeletons’ is a well written and contemporary composition with a compelling chorus, but the whole act with the horse, the blackboard and the writing, it just doesn’t make any sense to me. I’d say this mid table result for Azerbaijan was about right.
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