Azerbaijan, stand up. The 56th Annual Eurovision Contest (aptly summarized by Amplifier as “The World Cup for pop”) took place in Düsseldorf, Germany over last week, with a winner being named on Saturday. That winner was Azeri duo Eldar Gasimov and Nigar Jamal, performing under the name Ell-Nikki, who took home top honors with their torch song “Running Scared.” The win was the first for the country of Azerbaijan in their four years of participation in the contest, though they’ve finished in the top ten every year.
While we here at Popdust love a good underdog story—miss you already, Memphis Grizzlies–the song, written by the Swedish team of Stefan Orn, Sandra Bjurman and Iain Farquharson (always with the Swedes) isn’t really doing it for us. A stodgy ballad in the OneRepublic mold (piano, yearning vocals, the very mildest of hip-hop production flourishes, the hook is uninspiring and the lyrics sound (perhaps not coincidentally) like they’ve been fed through Babelfish a could times, especially on the dramatic but meaningless chorus: “I’m running / I’m scared of breathing / Cause I adore you.” Perhaps you’ll agree more with the judges than us, though, so check it out below: