Eurovision Song Contest 2013 Entry: Azerbaijan - Farid Mammadov - Hold Me
Apr 23 2013 06:44 pm CET

"Hold Me" by Farid Mammadov is the latest Eurovision Song Contest entry from the pop music industrial complex of Azerbaijan. Will Turkey's absence this year have an adverse affect, or is Azerbaijan on its way to another top 5 finish?

Country: Azerbaijan
Title: "Hold Me"
Artist: Farid Mammadov
Semi-Final: Second, Position 4
Last year's entry/position: "When the Music Dies" - Sabina Babayeva (4th Place)

I am genuinely curious if there are a team of scientists in Baku commissioned to engineer pop songs specifically for the Eurovision Song Contest. I mean, I think every country should have that. Azerbaijan has submitted yet another solid entry with "Hold Me" by Farid Mammadov.

Interestingly, except for Azerbaijan's debut in 2008 and its automatic entry to the final last year, the country has finished in second place in semi-finals. Although I think this song will advance, I have a feeling the runner-up streak will end this year. The reason for this is because none of Azerbaijan's friends are in the second semi-final. Also, with Turkey not participating this year, those are free points that are not up for grabs. Yes, the diaspora vote will benefit Azerbaijan, but that will play more of a factor in the final than the semi-final.

As for the semi-final, there isn't a lot of direct competition to siphon votes away. Israel's entry is probably the closest in style, but I see no reason why both countries couldn't advance. Following FYR Macedonia's entry will be a bit of a gear shift for audiences, but Mammadov's vocals should get the tone of the show back on track.

Unfortunately, Azerbaijan has set a very high bar for itself. Its "worst" performance was its debut in 2008 when the country finished in 8th place. Unless vote splitting among the favorites greatly fragments the scoreboard, I just don't see this song cracking the top 5 and even the top 10 may be a bit of a stretch. Of course, even when I suspect Azerbaijan of musical engineering to the nth degree, I tend to underestimate how the country scores, so it could be another top 5 entry.

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Mike McComb –

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