Sweet and sentimental in a tasteful setting but I never in a million years thought this would be the winner in the end.
Ell/Nikki - Running Scared (Azerbaijan 2011)
This is the kind of song that is tailormade for studio production. It contains some parts that are hard to sing but will sound excellent with several takes and quite a bit of overdubbing.
I was doubtful from the beginning how it would sound live, but I must admit that the couple manages to hit the notes far better than expected. Both of them, especially Ell, possess an undeniable charm that works well with the song.
The difficulty affects their vocal delivery anyhow, you can sense a hesitation in their voices and the singing is weaker than in the recorded version.
The stage performance, designed by a Swede, is elegant but also a bit anonymous, where the waterfall of fire leaves a more lasting impression than the singers themselves.
The song, also designed by Swedes, is also elegant but has precious little to do with what goes on in the world of Azeri music.
That is my big problem with this entry - anyone could theoretically hire Madonna to sing for them or have RedOne write their entry.
But when this contest is more about who has the biggest wallet rather than who can write the best song, then there isn't much point to a song contest anymore.
My grade: 3 / 5