By Laman Ismayilova
The Eurovision Song Contest 2020 has been cancelled over coronavirus for the first time in 64 years in the contest's history. The event was due to take place in Rotterdam on May 12-16.
"Over the past few weeks, we have explored many alternative options to allow the Eurovision Song Contest to go ahead. However, the uncertainty created by the spread of COVID-19 throughout Europe – and the restrictions put in place by the governments of the participating broadcasters and the Dutch authorities - means the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has taken the difficult decision to not continue with the live event as planned. The health of artists, staff, fans and visitors, as well as the situation in the Netherlands, Europe and the world, is at the heart of this decision," the message said.
Samirara Efendi, who supposed to represent Azerbaijan at Eurovision 2020, shared her thoughts about the situation.
"In view of the current situation with COVID-19 Eurovision 2020 had to be rescheduled to the next year. I will keep you posted on updates as they come in. Thank you for your support and stay tuned!," she said.
Azerbaijan officially confirmed its participation in Eurovision 2020 on September 16, 2019.
Samirara Efendi had to represent Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 with the song "Cleopatra", written by Luuk van Beers, Alan Roy Scott and Sarah Lake.
The singer was selected based on the votes of an international group of musical experts.
The 28-year-old Samira has taken part in the popular musical projects, such as "The New Star", "The Big Stage" and "The Voice of Azerbaijan". In 2017, she performed at the Silk Way Star, an international singing competition aired in Kazakhstan (3rd place). Last year, the singer successfully represented Azerbaijan at the Voice of Nur-Sultan.
Azerbaijan debuted at Eurovision Song Contest in 2008 after the Azerbaijani television channel ITV joined the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and received the official right to broadcast the competition.
Azerbaijan marked its debut in 2008 with the duo of Elnur and Samir, who managed to become eighth in the final with their song "Day after day".
The brilliant duet of Aysel and Arash, which represented Azerbaijan next year, took the third place at the song contest, while Safura Alizada, who represented the country at Eurovision 2010 in Oslo, became fifth.
On its fourth attempt with Ell and Nikki's "Running Scared" song, the Land of Fire won the event, bringing the contest to Baku’s Crystal Hall in 2012. Ell and Nikki were the first mixed-gender duo to win the contest since 1963 and the first winners from Azerbaijan.
It is noteworthy that Azerbaijan reached the Top 5 in five consecutive contests - 3rd in 2009, 5th in 2010, 1st in 2011, 4th in 2012, and 2nd in 2013.
In 2018, Aysel Mammadova brilliantly performed at Eurovision 2018 semi-final, but she couldn't make it to the final. The singer represented Azerbaijan with the song "X My Heart".
Azerbaijan's Chingiz Mustafayev impressed all Eurovision fans with his stunning performance last year. The singer finished in the eighth place at the song contest.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz