Countdown to Eurovision 2022: #34 – Azerbaijan

#34 – Azerbaijan
Fade To Black
Nadir Rustamli
Songwriters: Andreas Stone Johansson, Anderz Wrethov, Sebastian Schub, Thomas Stengaard

The Kirkham Report welcomes you to my coverage of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest!  From April 3 to the end of the contest on May 14, I’ll be here with all the latest ESC news and info, and of course, that means I’m also bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such.  Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary.

There are 40 countries participating this year, up from39 in 2021 – Armenia and Montenegro return to the contest after taking 2021 off, while Russia has been excluded this year due to their incursion on the sovereign state of Ukraine;  Belarus was disqualified in 2021 for three years because of rules violations on their song entry, that runs through 2023.

In at #34 this year is the official entry from Azerbaijan, “Fade To Black” by Nadir Rustamli. It is performed in English, and is scheduled to be performed 4th at the second semifinal on May 12. The country made the selection of the song and artist internally.

22 year old Rustamli won season two of The Voice of Azerbaijan in 2021, catapulting him to national stardom. He’s been singing most of his life, although he graduated university with a degree in business administration.

What I’m thinking about this song…quite honestly, I love his voice, and see why he won his nations Voice franchise. The song…not so much. It’s nice…but that really about it. It thematically and stylistically reminds me – almost TOO MUCH – of 2019 winner “Arcade” by Duncan Laurence. Trying to copy a recent winner is never a great idea, especially when it’s not on the same caliber. I know the song has some serious pockets of support out there, but honestly, I don’t think it’s going to get out of the semifinals, we’ll see. Rustamli’s performance, though, is STUNNING. I wish he was doing a more worthy song.

Azerbaijan has a pretty damn good track record for a country relatively new to EuroVision, having debuted in 2008, and have participated each year since, sending 14 songs to the contest as of 2022. They won their first Grand Champion title just three years in, in 2011, with “Running Scared” by Eli and Nikki, who became the first mixed gender duo since 1963 to win the contest, as well as the lowest point total overall to achieve a win using the then-current scoring system; it’s been revised since. They have missed the Grand Final only once, in 2018, and have also managed to pick up a runner up and a third place victory in their years of participation; last year’s entry, “Mata Hari” by Efendi, finished in 20th place overall.

Here’s the official music video for “Fade To Black” – check it out…

Join The Kirkham Report throughout the next few weeks as I bring you the 2022 entries, and more, plus after and during the countdown, the latest updates on this year’s ESC and all the craziness that surrounds this contest every year! Because of some personal issues, I am WAYYY behind right now on the countdown, but I promise I will be caught up in time to conclude my countdown next Sunday!

Be sure to check out and like my Spotify Playlist Channel “Euro-Visionaries” – it’s filled with hours and hours of ESC competitors, songs, covers, and Junior Eurovision tunes as well from the beginnings of the contest right up through the present day – if you’re an ESC fan, you’ll LOVE my channel!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website at http://eurovision.tv and on their official YouTube channel!

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