Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest

Azerbaijan has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 13 times since making its debut in 2008, after İctimai Televiziya (İTV) became an active member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). İTV had broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest in previous years, purchasing broadcasting rights from the EBU. Azerbaijan was the last country in the Caucasus to debut in the contest and the first to win.

Member stationİTV
National selection events
National final
  • Land Of Fire
  • 2008
  • 2010
  • Milli Seçim Turu
  • 2011–2012 (artist)
  • 2013
  • Böyük Səhnə
  • 2014 (artist)
Internal selection
  • 2009
  • 2011–2012 (song)
  • 2014 (song)
  • 2015–2021
Participation summary
Appearances13 (12 finals)
First appearance2008
Best result1st: 2011
External links
Eurovision Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan's page at
Song contest current event.png For the most recent participation see
Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest 2021

Azerbaijan won the contest in 2011, with Ell & Nikki and the song "Running Scared" setting the record for the lowest average score for a winning song under the 12 points voting system, with 5.26 points per country. The country achieved five consecutive top-five results in the contest between 2009 and 2013, finishing third (2009) and fifth (2010) before their 2011 win and fourth (2012) and second (2013) following their win. In 2018, Azerbaijan failed to advance from the semi-finals for the first time.


Azerbaijan's first try at Eurovision proved to be successful as the country qualified for the final from the first semi-final and came 8th with 132 points in the final evening.

Previously, another broadcaster, AzTV, wanted to participate in 2007, but EBU rules did not allow this as AzTV was not an active member of the EBU. AzTV was denied active EBU membership on 18 June 2007, as it was considered too connected to the Azerbaijani government.[1] On 5 July, İTV became a full EBU member,[2] and on 15 October it was given permission to take part by the EBU.[3]

Azerbaijan's first Eurovision performance by Elnur and Samir placed 8th with 132 points. In 2009 Azerbaijan achieved an improvement on their 2008 debut, coming third and receiving 207 points with the song "Always", performed by duo AySel & Arash.

On 14 May 2011, Azerbaijan won the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 with a song by Ell & Nikki.[4][5] With their entry only receiving 5.26 points per voting country, Azerbaijan holds the record of the lowest average score for a winning song under that voting system (in place from 1975 to 2015).

The country managed another two consecutive top 5 results with Sabina Babayeva finishing fourth with 150 points in 2012 and Farid Mammadov second with 234 in 2013, but in 2014 Azerbaijan failed to place in the top 10 for the first time since their debut, finishing 22nd, the country's lowest result in a Eurovision final to date. Azerbaijan has since failed to come in the top ten on four occasions, coming 12th in 2015, 17th in 2016, 14th in 2017 and 20th in 2021. 2018 saw Azerbaijan's first non-qualification, with "X My Heart" by Aisel failing to make it past the first semi-final. In 2019, Chingiz brought Azerbaijan back in the top 10 for the first time since 2013 by finishing 8th with the song "Truth".

Popularity of the contestEdit

Since debuting in 2008, the contest has been extremely popular in the country. After placing in the Top 10 at their debut in 2008 and also ending in the Top 5 from 2009 to 2013, the contest has become a matter of "national pride" and of very high importance. The high importance of the contest within Azerbaijan became evident and world news in 2013 when the country's president Ilham Aliyev launched an inquiry into why his country did not award Russia any points in the 2013 final.[6] Since 2009, the contest has consistently been the most watched show on Azerbaijani television, despite the fact that the contest is broadcast from after midnight local time due to the time difference from Central European Time. Azerbaijan issued a postage stamp dedicated to their victory with Ell & Nikki in 2011.[7][8]

The country spent €160 million (300 million Azerbaijani Manat) on hosting the 2012 contest, including building a completely new arena for the event.[9] As of 2019, this is the largest amount of money any host has ever spent on hosting the contest.

Participation overviewEdit

Table key
Second place
Third place
Entry selected but did not compete
Year Entrant Song Language Final Points Semi Points
8 132 6 96
3 207 2 180
5 145 2 113
1 221 2 122
4 150 Host country[a]
2 234 1 139
22 33 9 57
12 49 10 53
17 117 6 185
14 120 8 150
Failed to qualify 11 94
8 302 5 224
Contest cancelled[c] X
20 65 8 138
Confirmed intention to participate [10]


Year Location Venue Presenters Image
2012 Baku Baku Crystal Hall Leyla Aliyeva, Eldar Gasimov and Nargiz Birk-Petersen  

Awards receivedEdit

Marcel Bezençon AwardsEdit

Year Category Song Performer Composer Place Points Host city Ref.
2012 Press Award "When the Music Dies" Sabina Babayeva Anders Bagge, Sandra Bjurman, Stefan Örn, Johan Kronlund
2013 Artistic Award "Hold Me" Farid Mammadov Dimitris Kontopoulos

Related involvementEdit

Heads of delegationEdit

Year Head of delegation Ref.
20122014 Husniye Maharramova [az]
20152016 Tamilla Shirinova
2018 Leyla Quliyeva
2019 Husniye Maharramova
2020 Leyla Quliyeva
2021 Isa Melikov

Commentators and spokespersonsEdit

Year Commentator Spokesperson Ref.
2006 Unknown Did not participate
2007 Murad Arif and Leyla Aliyeva
2008 Husniye Maharramova and Isa Melikov Leyla Aliyeva
2009 Leyla Aliyeva and Isa Melikov Husniye Maharramova
2010 Husniye Maharramova Tamilla Shirinova
2011 Leyla Aliyeva Safura Alizadeh
2012 Konul Arifgizi and Saleh Bagirov
2013 Konul Arifgizi Tamilla Shirinova
2014 Sabina Babayeva
2015 Kamran Guliyev Tural Asadov
2016 Azər Süleymanlı
2019 Murad Arif Faig Aghayev
2021 Murad Arif, Husniya Maharramova Ell & Nikki