Sing up for Azerbaijan

IPSWICH/Azerbaijan: With 600 Azerbaijani athletes set to venture to Ipswich in 2012, it’s time to stand united in support of the country’s Eurovision entry.

Safura Alizadeh is preparing to represent her country at the exciting event, which is arguably the world’s most highly anticipated music contest.

The 17-year-old will perform her hit Drip Drop after winning the nation’s version of Britian’s Got Talent.

It is only the third time the country has entered into the high-profile competition and having come third in last year’s event, Safura has been tipped for success.

Today, a woman who is believed to be Ipswich’s only Azerbaijani resident has vowed her support for the nation.

Bilgeis Mamedova, known to her friends as Bela, has been working with Ipswich Borough Council to boost relations between the two nations ahead of the Olympic Games.

The mother-of-two told the Evening Star that the Eurovision Song Contest was deemed as a “very big competition”.

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“In Azerbaijan, people take it very seriously and people get very excited about it,” she said.

“It is an extremely big event with the younger generations.

“Because the country is four hours ahead, the show is on very late at night, but most people stay up all night to watch it and support the country.”

Ms Mamedova said she would be tuning into the show with her two children.

The support comes after Azerbaijan Olympic chiefs pin-pointed Ipswich as an ideal location to give their athletes the best preparation for the 2010 games after sampling some of the town’s sporting facilities last year.

A spokesman for the European Azerbaijan Society said: “It is an excellent song musically and it taps into Azerbaijani music and definitely has a western feel.

“It indicates that the nation is very much so a westward facing country.”

Meanwhile, the Azerbaijan ambassador, Fakhraddin Gurbanov, will be travelling to Ipswich on June 4 to discuss the details surrounding the hosting of the Olympic squad.

The Eurovision Song Contest is set to take place at 8pm on Saturday. Tune in to BBC1 to watch the UK and Azerbaijan entries.

n Who will you be supporting in this weekend’s Eurovision Song Contest?

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