Eurovision 2012: Three Days to Go
You can't help but feel that the next thing on Azerbaijan's mind after the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest is Baku's bid for the 2020 Olympics as this is not a song for a nation desperate to have everyone back again next May. Sabina Babayeva was selected in a process similar to that which produced the victorious pairing of Ell/Nikki last year. On her way to being given the nod as the Azeri voice for the home leg, Sabina put her unique stamp on Norway's brilliant 2008 entry Hold On Be Strong but rest assured, the song she's taking to Eurovision is more suited to her vocal range. As Euroballads go, When the Music Dies is rather generic stuff, I can already picture Sabina looking pained and emotional when getting to lyrics which explain how raw everything is for her at the moment. She surely has the competency to bring a note perfect performance to the watching world and have Azeri hearts swelling with pride but whereas previous entries from Azerbaijan have all had the certain something which made them stand out from the crowd as genuine contenders, it is ironic in the year they're holding the trophy that they've opted for blandness. Perhaps one of Ictimai TV's accountants was put in charge of choosing it.
Since they first popped up in 2008, Azerbaijan has yet to truly stuff up during scoreboard hour. Being the host nation is not necessarily a surefire way to getting a few bonus points (it didn't work for Norway in 2010). This isn't looking like Top 10 material at the moment but stranger things have happened at this Contest. I wouldn't place it any lower than 15th.