Israeli band in Azerbaijan for 2012 Eurovision Song Contest

By Jennifer Lipman, May 21, 2012
Eli Hadar: The youngest offical guest at Eurovision 2012

Eli Hadar: The youngest offical guest at Eurovision 2012

If some of the musicians performing at this year's Eurovision Song Contest would have trouble locating the host country, Azerbaijan, on a map, for one singer the competition has been something of a homecoming.

Ran Shem-Tov, the lead singer of Israel's entry – rock band Izabo – has revealed that his grandfather came from Baku, the Azari capital.

Mr Shem-Tov told an Azari news site that he was enjoying his stay in the country and in particular, seeing the foods that he remembered from home.

Izabo, which Paddy Power gave odds of 200 to one of winning, will perform at the first semi-final on May 24 for a place in Saturday's final.

The rock band took its name from Michelle Pfeiffer's character "Isabeau" in the 1985 film Ladyhawke.

Although their chances are not looking high for the contest, Izabo can already claim one victory at Eurovision. Eli Hadar, the five-month-old daughter of band member Shiri Hadar, is the youngest attendee to have been given an official delegate pass by the organisers.

Azerbaijan, which shares a border with Iran, has built ties with Israel over recent months and earlier this year agreed to purchase Israeli weapons systems worth £1 billion.

Last updated: 3:04pm, May 21 2012