Monty’s Eurovision Countdown – Azerbaijan

My lovely horse
Courtesy of EBU - Andreas Putting

Skeletons by Dihaj

If you find yourself in one of those arguments about how far Eurovision has travelled in recent years, then this should be one of those songs you pluck out to evidence your view this year. As some countries struggle to secure solid, contemporary songwriters, nations like Azerbaijan seem to be able to click their fingers and have them running; possibly scared. This year they’ve once again rented in from Sweden’s Sandra Bjurman, behind four of their six entries from 2010 – 15, and matched her with home-grown talent Isa Melikov, whose previous form includes production credits with winners Ell & Nikki, Arash, and Dima Bilan.

Dihaj (Diana Haciyeva) is almost unrecognisable from her attempt to represent Azerbaijan in 2011, which included an appearance where Elnur Huseynov appeared from a Christmas present to cavort around Diana and mumble some backing vocals. Then she covered Lady Gaga and Ukraine’s Alyosha, but now she’s giving us a slice of modern pop that without the dreaded Eurovision tag wouldn’t sound out of place in the UK charts. I don’t think it’s strong enough to tilt for a win, but it’s another strong and solid entry for a country with one of the strongest records in their 10-year history, never missing the final, and with a run of 6 top 10 placings. This could well see them back there this year.

My marks – 10 points