Azerbaijan – like a lacklustre audition for an erotic revue

Efendi, Azerbaijan, First Rehearsal, Rotterdam Ahoy, 9 May 2021 — EBU / Thomas Hanses
Efendi, Azerbaijan, First Rehearsal, Rotterdam Ahoy, 9 May 2021

“Let’s go!” cries Efendi, right at the point when her Mata Hari is supposed to bang. She barely even manages to rally herself and this is a rather lacklustre showing.

Let’s start with the good bits. There’s a green/purple/gold backdrop that looks nice. As it progresses the images become more middle eastern, and at one point turn into a snake. This is the bit I sniggered out loud at.

Efendi is flanked by 4 female dancers in varying degrees of black body-stockinged cladness. She’s sporting a little back number herself. They deliver a rather lifeless interpretation of this, over which Efendi delivers some unremarkable vocals with the odd, and I mean very odd, intonation.

I’m going to be honest with you. None of this says Dutch spy to me, which is from where the song takes its inspiration. I mean, I wasn’t exactly expecting her to be in trench coat flitting around like Michelle of The Resistance, but there’s nary a nod to what the song at least titularly purports to be about. It loos more like an audition for an erotic revue, which will see none of the people on stage getting the job.

Subsequent runs through tighten this up a bit but for a song that needs to burst with energy and nail the dancing this doesn’t quite succeed. It’s banger enough to make it through, and with camera cuts and lighting the frenzied ending is elevated somewhat, but has the human element of the performance taken some of the wind out of it?

Monty x