Azerbaijan has had a very brief history at Junior Eurovision, with this year marking the third participation for the nation. Results wise, they haven’t quite reached the heights that they often do at Eurovision, but this year they have put their hopes into the talented young artist Fidan Huseynova with the song I Wanna Be Like You. Will this be a success story for Azerbaijan?
The song has been released in two versions, the original and the recent revamp. Unsure of which version they would end up with for Junior Eurovision, I held off reviewing this entry, but it seems they will be sticking with the second version. Strangely enough, this feels very reminiscent of Aisel and their Eurovision process for 2018 which saw what felt like countless revamps and changes.
Just like Aisel and the Azerbaijan Eurovision bid of 2018, this entry feels underwhelming. There are so many similarities between the two, starting with the fact that we have two incredible singers given songs that just don’t suit their vocal styles. Fidan’s voice lends itself to theatrical ballads, and I think perhaps they should have gone down that route for Junior Eurovision. What we have instead is an undercooked pop song, even in its second version.
The introduction and first verse of the song are very charming and set up the song well, but it falls flat at the chorus and doesn’t really seem to recover. The addition of a generic pop beat hasn’t added any extra value to this song other than making it feel even more outdated than what it did the first time. This has so much potential, but it just isn’t reaching that potential.
The saving grace of this entry is the live vocal performance from Fidan which is fantastic. Having seen the first rehearsal, I think the staging is nice if not a bit plain, but again this feels like it has been recycled from their Eurovision performance this year. I think this will come across on camera well and be able to gain the support of some viewers, but I think for many it will be lost in the field of 20.
Sorry Azerbaijan, this isn’t your winning song. For me, it’s 5/10.
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