Tag Archives: macedonia

Eurovision 2012 Preview Part 7 – Serbia, Macedonia and Netherlands

We’re at the halfway point in this year’s Eurovision preview blogs, and we’re now on to the countries who will be battling it out in the second semi-final, which will be held a fortnight today on 24 May. As with the first semi-final, there will be eighteen countries competing for ten places, and the line-up for this second semi includes the current bookies’ favourite – however, more on them in a few days’ time. Today’s preview starts with Serbia. Since winning in 2007, the Serbs have had results that have been modest rather than spectacular. This year they’re sending Željko Joksimović singing a song called Nije ljubav stvar, which translates as “Love is Not an Object”. This is clearly the winner’s reprise from the national selection, replete with the ticker-tape and mass finger-clicking.

Feels very much like they’re channelling that vibe of a few years ago, with the large ethnic flute and all. Might do quite well, but probably not as well as it would have done in about 2006.

Next up and just a short hop away are Macedonia. They’ve sent Nancy Dell’Olio-a-like Kaliopi, who performs Crno i Belo, or “Black and White”. There’s a caged bird and a spiral staircase in the video, which practises a level of subtlety not seen since the glory days of Heart. There’s even a screechy bit reminiscent of THAT bit towards the end of Alone.

Rawk. Incidentally, Kaliopi represented Macedonia in 1996 when they had their first tilt at Eurovision, but failed to get through the (unscreened) qualifying competition. Which doesn’t bode well as they attempt to make it to the final for the first time in five years. Mind you, the wait to return to the final of Eurovision has been even longer for the Netherlands, who haven’t managed to qualify for the big night since 2004. In a bid to try and break the dry spell, they’ve decided to send Joan Franka, wearing Native American headdress whilst singing You and Me. Watching this, you may be left wondering if you had an accident, and when you woke up it was 1973. Are you mad, in a coma, or back in time?

Not sure that raiding the Cowboys and Indians section of the fancy dress shop will do them any favours, particularly as the song isn’t terribly strong. I suspect it could be another year in the wilderness for the Dutch. Next time, we’ve got Malta, Belarus and Portugal, three countries who’ve never won Eurovision. Will any of them come close to scoring their first-ever win? Find out soon…

Chris x

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Eurovision 2011 Preview: Macedonia, Israel and Slovenia

It’s time for a Saturday triple-bill in the latest Eurovision preview. First up today it’s the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The homeland of Alexander the Great has a Eurovision track record that gives lie to the notion that Balkan states have run rampant in the contest ever since the introduction of televoting. They’ve yet to record a Top 10 finish and haven’t managed to qualify for the final since 2007 (in both 2008 and 2009 they finished 10th in the semi-finals, but lost out on jury votes). This year they’re hoping to put that right with Vlatko Ilievski performing Rusinka. Vlatko comes across as a not-unappealing combination of Ewan McGregor attempting some Ricky Martin moves, albeit in that 40-a-day voice that seems endemic amongst male singers from the Balkans:

Nothing amazing, but then given that his main competition appears to have been a bloke dressed as a chicken, it’s not like he had to do anything fantastic to win the national competition. And after the double helping of angst we had yesterday (and will have had on the night of 12 May before the Macedonian entry), anything will come as a relief. Although perhaps not a bloke dressed as a chicken.

Next are Israel. Having enjoyed a consistently good run of form from their debut in 1973 through to the end of the last century, Israel have struggled a bit in the last decade. So it’s perhaps no surprise that they’ve decided to enlist the help of the artist who helped them to their most recent victory. And, following on from Boom-Boom and Da Da Dam, here’s Dana International with Ding Dong. Disappointingly, it’s not quite as all-out camp as you might expect from the singer and the song title:

That won’t give Dana International her second Eurovision victory, and I’m not even sure it’s got the necessary impact to make the final. Fear not though, there’s some major camp coming up in the classic corner in a bit.

Last up today are Slovenia. Slovenia are another country who have struggled to get past the semis since they were introduced in 2004 – in fact they’ve only managed to do so once, in 2007. Hoping to improve their record and maybe even give them their first Top 10 result for a decade is Maja Keuc with No One, a song that’s possibly even more auto-tuned than the Azeri entry:

Of the three entries we’ve seen today, I’m going to stick my neck out and say that, purely on the basis that it sounds the most like a contemporary pop song, that one will get through to the final. I’ll have the odds for the second semi-final in a few days’ time. Meanwhile, let’s delve into the archives once more. First we have Slovenia and the camp injection that I promised you. Back in 2002, five years before Scooch did a cheap knock-off of the same idea, Sestre gave us cabin crew in drag performing Samo Ljubezen. And these bitches are fierce:

See, I promised you camp and I gave you camp. Next we have Israel. And for me there was really no question as to which classic entry of theirs to go for, because as far as I’m concerned it’s their best and one of the best songs never to win Eurovision. The runner-up in 1983, and subsequently a major international star before her untimely death from AIDS-related illness in 2000, here is the wonderful Ofra Haza with Khay:

Fantastic. A superb voice and a true talent. And I’m not going to say anything else, except that I’ll be back tomorrow with Romania and Estonia’s entries. See you then!

Chris x

Eurovision Haiku #13: FYR Macedonia

Eighties hair metal
Performed by a twelve-year-old
With dodgy highlights