The azaleas I planted last year seem to be dead. No leaves - well maybe a couple of tiny ones. Last summer was tough - very hot and dry. I did mulch when I planted, tried to water weekly (but couldn't do daily) and mulched again in fall. Live in Rochester, NY. Any chance there is hope for them or should I give them up?
The issue of stressed plants going into winter, and severe winter die back may be quite a bit to overcome.
I would certainly trim up the plants, feed and water.
These links will refresh you on the care requirements.