Balkans? Yes there are still some left in the contest, after Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Croatia stayed away this year. I don’t blame them after last year’s disaster. But let’s hope FYR Macedonia can show how it’s done this year.
I love that flag! Anyway, FYR Macedonia have yet to really make a big impact in the contest since their 1996 debut. After a string of poor results in the 90s, the semi-final era hasn’t been much kinder. Only 50% of their entries have managed to qualify – though I would note that two entries came 10th in semis were swapped in favour of a jury’s choice song, so in essence they don’t have a bad qualification record.
Further to that, no matter how narrowly they qualify, they seem to finish mid-table in the final. Firmly mid-table too, they haven’t cracked the top 10 yet, but could this be the year?
“To the sky” is one of the most commercial entries to Western audiences I’ve seen from FYR Macedonia, and it would seem a little generic if it wasn’t for Tijana’s distinctive vocals. There’s a wonderful roughness to her tone – it’s a lazy comparison but imagine Pink singing a Taio Cruz hit.
I gather than Tijana is a famous name in the region, and while the Balkan neighbours aren’t really around to support her, it’s a strong enough song to cross over to the rest of Europe. She has a great performance slot, especially in the easier semi-final 2. I think Romania are the only direct competitors performing after her, so I hope this makes it straight through! Good luck Tijana!
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