Can you identify Azerbaijan on a map of Europe?
By Aaron Hicklin
Azerbaijan, a country of 9 million people and barely 35,000 square miles is odds-on favorite to win one of the world's most adorable awards tonight when it competes in the 55th annual Eurovision Song Contest, an unparalleled celebration of eurotrash that's watched by over 130 million people in 44 countries, and like so many other European obsessions - soccer, Kylie Minogue, proper vacations - completely bypasses America, perhaps because we can't fully appreciate the nuanced way in which politics, history, and European feuds and rivalries play out in the scoring. Eurovision was the birthplace of Abba (who won here in 1972 with "Waterloo") as well as that other immortal Swedish hit, "Diggi-Loo, Diggi-Ley," by the Herreys, a pop-cult classic that's well worth watching again, here. Whoever wins tonight has a lot to live up to.