Ictimai TV channel, the official partner of Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in Azerbaijan, announced last week that the singer Samira Efendi would be representing the Caspian country in this year's pan-European song contest in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
“Finally I can share the great news with you! I am very proud and happy to represent Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest this year,” the singer wrote on her Instagram page after being selected as the national entry for ESC.
“Thank you to everyone who believes in me and supports me. I will try my best to make it unforgettable.”
The selection process involved five candidates, including also Laman Dadasheva, Elvin Novruzov, Jabrail Rasulov, and Riad Abdulov, according to Eurovision official website. Votes by an international group of musical experts, including music producers, authors and composers, journalists and television industry representatives favored Efendi as the best candidate to represent Azerbaijan in the upcoming show. Meanwhile, this was Efendi’s fifth attempt to make it through Eurovision as Azerbaijan's entry.
The professional career of Efendi includes participation in numerous popular musical programs such as the New Star, the Big Stage, and The Voice of Azerbaijan, where she ranked third. In 2017, she was announced the third best singer at the Silk Way Star international competition held in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Her next successful performance took place in 2019, again in Kazakhstan, at the Voice of Nur-Sultan singing show.
At this year’s ESC, Efendi will perform in the second part of the first semi-final on May 12. The song to be performed by the 28-year-old singer has not been announced yet. The song submission process launched by Ictimai TV wrapped up on February 7. Results are expected to be revealed soon.
Since making a debut in ESC in 2008, Azerbaijan has been sending singers to the Europe’s biggest song competition each year. Over the past twelve years, representatives of the Caspian country have made it through to the Eurovision finals. Eldar & Nikki duet from Azerbaijan won the contest with their “Running scared” song in 2011, meant to bring the grand show to capital Baku next year. In 2012, the pan-European music festival came ashore the Caspian Sea in the flamboyant Crystal Hall, when Loreen from Sweden won the contest with her song “Euphoria.”
This year's Eurovision Song Contest will take place in the Rotterdam city from May 12-16, with representatives of 41 countries participating. The first and second semi-finals are slated for May 12 and 14 respectively. The winner is to be known in Grand Final on May 16. Rotterdam Ahoy multi-purpose arena will play a host to the contest. Along with Azerbaijan, Russia will also participate in the music festival as the Caspian region country.