Azerbaijan wins Eurovision 2011
Azerbaijan won the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday.
The Azeri duo Elli/Nikki took top honors with a love song in the annual competition of 43 countries that was watched by an audience of more than 100 million people.
Elli/Nikki consists of Eldar Gasimov and Niga Jamal; won with the competition with their duet “Running Scared”.
Before performing their song; the duo came to the stage waving Turkish and Azeri flags as Azeris and Turks believe that the Azerbaijan and Turkey are “two states; one nation”. As Turkey couldn’t make it to the finals; Azeri singers in a wat represented all Turks.
Azerbaijan received the highest points (12 points) from Russia; Turkey and Malta. Ukraine; Greece; Croatia; San Marino; Romania and Moldova gave Azerbaijan 10 points each.
Azerbaijan has only competed in Eurovision since 2008. This was the country’s first win. Its highest previous placing came in 2009 when AySel and Arash reached the top three.
The competition was broadcast live from the Atlantic Ocean to the Caspian Sea.
The Eurovision Song Contest has been a launching pad for international careers. Swedish pop group Abba became famous after winning in 1974 with “Waterloo” and Canada’s Celine Dion took top honours in 1988 while competing for Switzerland.