Spotlight on…Bosnia & Herzegovina (and Turkey!)

A little while ago, we learnt that the upcoming ESC would be a battle between 39 countries, though I think I can speak for us all when I say we were hoping to break the record of 43 set in Belgrade and Düsseldorf. We would have, if it wasn’t for Bosnia & Herzegovina, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Turkey all RSVP-ing with a big fat ‘NO’.

To me, there are two countries in that rolecall that do not fit. Is Poland one? Nope. I was half expecting them to return, but wasn’t shocked when they didn’t. Portugal? Not really, with the run of “luck” they’ve had of late. And Slovakia? Well, we’re all well acquainted with the game of hokey-pokey they like to play with Eurovision every year.

No, it’s Bosnia & Herzegovina and Turkey who flabbergasted this fan when they declared, within hours of each other, that they would not be gracing Sweden with their presence. It was one blow after another that fateful evening, and I’ve been a little depressed ever since. But instead of continuing to mourn the losses in 2013, I thought I’d celebrate the time of both nations in the contest – both for my benefit and for any of you who are already missing one, the other, or both. Read on (if you want, no pressure) and cross your fingers that a miracle will see at least one of them onstage in May.  

 

  hbbosniaandherzegovina

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: THE STATS

Debut

1993

Entries

18

Wins

0

Silver medals

0

Bronze medals

1 – 2006

Best result

3rd – 2006

Top 10 finishes

6/18

Top 10 success rate

33%

Top 5 finishes

1/18

Top 5 success rate

5%  

Wooden spoons (last places!)

0/18

Semi final qualifications

7/7

Qualification success rate

100%

  

 

MY PICKS

My favourite entry

Lejla by Hari Mata Hari (2006)/ Bistra Voda by Regina (2009). I couldn’t choose between them if my life depended on it, so it’s a good thing it doesn’t (as far as I know). Sure, they were #3 and #4 respectively on my all-time ESC 50 countdown, but little did you know that meant I love them equally. Both give me goosebumps no matter how often I listen to them – it’s the magic of Lejla and the drama of Bistra Voda, I think. Plus, both were performed faultlessly. Bistra Voda in particular should have placed higher.

My least favourite entry

Ne Brini by Mija Martina (2003). I just find this so unoriginal, which is out of character for most Bosnian entries. The fact that there was no Bosnian-ness about it also does nothing for me. As the Dutch commentator said that year, it’s pretty much Tom Jones’ Sex Bomb, but I doubt anyone would throw underpants onto the stage for Mija. 

More of the memorable

Sva Bol Svijeta by Fazla (1993) – a poignant reminder of war-torn Bosnia, composed by the one and only Dino Merlin.

Putnici by Dino & Beatrice (1999) – Mr. Merlin’s second ESC effort, with French singer Beatrice.

In The Disco by Deen (2004) – camp catchiness (with hip thrusts) that squeezed into the top 10.

Pokušaj by Laka (2008) – both originality and madness levels were high in this one, and that’s why we loved it.

Love In Rewind by Dino Merlin (2011) – looking back, my favourite song of the year, and yet more magic from the aptly stage-named Merlin.

Their best stage show

Lejla. A good stage show doesn’t always consist of mile-a-minute choreography and pyrotechnics so forceful that the first three rows of spectators get their eyebrows burnt off. Sometimes, clever lighting, subtle movements and the perfect backdrop to set the scene (as well as spiffy white outfits) are all you need to get the ‘wow’ factor.

Their best costume/s

Marija Sestic (2007)/ Regina. I have professed my love for Marija’s dress before, but it’s worth declaring again. And Regina’s elaborate militaristic getups couldn’t have been more suitable.

 mnrbh 

Their best vocalist/s: Hari Mata Hari. As I said, faultless. No other adjectives are necessary.

 

I don’t know about you, but just getting all nostalgic over B & H has got me missing them even more, from a contest that hasn’t even been held yet. If anybody out there has the power to get them to Eurovision this year, speak now or forever feel my wrath (seriously, I’m going to come back from the dead and haunt you). Sarajevo 2014 has such a nice ring to it, it would be heartbreaking to go into Malmö knowing there’s no chance of it being bandied around for the next twelve months.

Before I actually break down and start sobbing into my keyboard, let’s move on to the other shock withdrawer – a country that has had mixed fortunes over the years and that it is pointless writing clues about because you’re well aware from my title and intro which one it is. 

 

hbturkey 

TURKEY: THE STATS

Debut

1975

Entries

34

Wins

1 – 2003  

Silver medals

1 – 2010

Bronze medals

1 – 1997

Best result

1st – 2003

Top 10 finishes

10/34

Top 10 success rate

29%

Top 5 finishes

6/34

Top 5 success rate

18%

Wooden spoons (last places!)

3/34 – 1975, 1983, 1987

Semi final qualifications

6/7

Qualification success rate

86%

 

MY PICKS

My favourite entry

Everyway That I Can by Sertab Erener (2003)/ Deli by Mor ve Ötesi (2008). I’m yet to come across someone who doesn’t love Sertab’s winning song. It’s the perfect fusion of ethnic and pop and never seems to date. And Deli is probably my favourite Eurovision rock song. I’m not really a rock music fan, but somehow this is right up my street.

My least favourite entry

Superstar by Sibel Tüzün (2006). I don’t detest it, but it’s such a strange song, and I’m not quite sure how it managed to qualify. The high-pitched shrieks in the chorus are not kind on one’s eardrums. Bana Bana by Pan (1989) is also not dreadful, but annoying.

More of the memorable

Sarkim Sevgi Üstüne by Seyyal Tanner & Lokomotif (1987) – manic, and Turkey’s second nul-pointer in five years.

Dinle by Sebnem Paker & Grup Etnic (1997) – a fan favourite that probably should have beaten Ireland.

For Real by Athena (2004) – this is one of my most-loved songs from Turkey, and one of the best host entries of all time (not even Kanye West could change my mind about that). Three minutes of epic ska fun.

Düm Tek Tek by Hadise (2009) – ethno-pop is one of this country’s various fortes. Hadise’s vocals weren’t the best, but her song was a cracker.

We Could Be The Same by MaNga (2010) – this was my top song of Oslo at the time, and gave Turkey their best result since Sertab’s win.

Their best stage show

Love Me Back by Can Bonomo (2012). You can never dish out enough praise for costumes that become props, and then go back to being costumes. And then become props again! The nautical theme wasn’t too understated or OTT, and the choreography was entertaining. Can’s charisma rounded things off nicely.

Their best costume/s

Kenan Dogulu (2007). The credit goes to him for the striking red coat and Colonel Sanders bow tie, and to his backup dancers for their big hair and gold hardware. Even though the actual credit should go to the wardrobe and hair people.

 ESC_20~1

Their best vocalist/s

Sedat Yüce (2001). A dramatic ballad like Sevgiliye Son needs a decent vocalist to carry it off, and luckily, Sedat fit the bill.

 

Yep, it’s going to be a strange year if Turkey are 110% out. The most irritating thing about their sudden withdrawal was that, up until that point, there was a flesh-and-blood artist in talks with the powers that be to represent them in Malmö. I have to wonder when exactly it was decided that they were going to give the show a miss. Hopefully before that artist had phoned his ailing grandmother to tell her the wonderful news, news that cured her Alzheimers, arthritis and terminal pneumonia.

 

What have been your Eurovision highlights from B & H and/or Turkey?

 

About Jaz

I'm Jaz, I'm 26, and I'm 110% Eurovision-OBSESSED. The contest is one big party, and I like to keep it going 365 days a year - that's why I write about anything and everything ESC on my blog. Come join the fun, and I promise you'll never have a nul-point experience! www.eurovisionbyjaz.com/

Posted on January 6, 2013, in Country profiles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. It’s no secret that I’m thoroughly disappointed about Bosnia & Herzegovina. Their 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2006 entries (those are the ones I’ve gotten around to listening to) are all in my top 10 of their years, with 2012 and 2011 (and probably 2006) in the top five. I sense something else is driving their withdrawal, because they got all those other offers. Maybe we’ll get a surprise announcement (and even semi-finals!)

    In a stark contrast to B&H, I never really liked a lot of Turkish entries. The only ones I’ve liked are 2004, 2008, 2010 and 2012, but even those aren’t really highly ranked. Their more responsible for boring shaky stuff that I can’t stand, with the prime example being 2009, which is in my 42nd place. However, I’m more annoyed at TRT’s complete lies! Honestly, I think that if Azerbaijan hadn’t won in 2011, they would’ve withdrawn right then and there. However, they didn’t to support their “brothers” and now just look completely stupid because they really didn’t have anything to worry about this year and are complaining about a problem that only hurt them marginally this year. Ugh! It’s frustrating. 😦

    However, I really miss Slovakia and hope they come back soon. Same with Poland and Portugal. Honestly, I just want everyone to come back. Is that unrealistic? (Yes it is.) 🙂

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    • I can’t believe Turkey was your least favourite of 09!! How can you resist the dum tek tek?? Although I do think Hadise is a dodgy vocalist.

      Unrealistic, maybe, but a Eurovision fan can dream…

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      • It just grates on me like crazy. That and I also punish overrated entries in my rankings (she should NOT have finished fourth, especially with that performance). I know I shouldn’t, but I do it anyway.

        Especially the designers! Seriously, like ALL of the fan designs have Luxembourg, Morocco, Liechtenstein etc. It’s crazy and wonderful all at the same time. 🙂

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        • Yeah, I would agree that 4th was more than Turkey deserved that year. I think ‘Deli’ was a better song and performance, and that didn’t do so well.

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  2. Hi Jaz!
    I feel exactly the same way concerning Bosnia. I just want the contest to be held in Sarajevo because they deserve it! And I fnd their excuse really weird because they debuted during the war and the situation back then was WAY WORSE than the situation in Bosnia right now (yes, it sound slike I’m stating the obvious, but seriously, it’s a lame excuse…although not as lame as Turkey’s)
    I guess I don’t need to say again that Bosnia is my favorite eurovision country ever (and one of my favorite countries ever in general) and that I’ll miss them soooo much this year. My favorite Bosnian entry is Bistra Voda, which is my favorite eurovision entry ever, and I also love both of Dino Merlin’s entries, Haria Mata Hari’s and Rijeka bez imena too much. My least favorite entry is Deen’s and then the 2010 thing. I kind of like their 2003, not their best entry (far from that) but I prefer it to their 2004 one. I just can’t stand Deen’s song, it’s so awful xD (but it’s better than sweetie baby if you are wondering :P).
    I probably don’t like as many Turkish entries…doesn’t mean I don’t like Turkey in esc. Love their 2012, 2003, 2008, 2010, 2005 (yes, I admit it shamelessly :P) and 2002, but my absolutely favorite is their 1997 one.
    I don’t like Süper star either. And I’m not a big fan of Düm tek tek. The music is good, but it’s just more of the same..but it wasn’t that bad. Oh and I used to really dislike the 2004 one, but it’s growing.

    Like Nick I want everyone to come back..and that even includes Czech Republic xD and Andorra!! I really want them back 😥

    Like

    • I hope Željko doesn’t read this and find out that you like Bistra Voda more than Lane Moje. It could happen because he is constantly tweeting about how much he loves this blog #inmydreams

      The 2010 ‘thing’ pretty much sums that up. One of their weakest by far. It was in a similar vein to Macedonia’s but I thought Macedonia’s was a lot better.

      Yeah, In The Disco isn’t great. But it’s so camp and OTT and generally ridiculous I have to like it. Not as much as Sweetie Baby, the best song ever written XD

      Haha, I was watching Tereza Kerndlova’s performance today and even though it was so bad, I still miss the Czech Republic too! But B & H will hurt the most.

      Like

  3. I’m gonna miss both countries.. it’s just not that REAL Eurovision without them. And what’s with Germany? Who should they give their 12 & 10 points now? :\

    For me as a serbian girl from bosnia it’s even harder because their is no chance for Esc 2014 in Sarajevo.
    But enough crying.

    I love Düm Tek Tek! (: it makes me happy everytime I listen to it.
    And of course Lejla is amazing. (ZJ & Hari are great together. =D)
    Dino is also one of my favourite singers. Love in Rewind was my favourite in 2010. (:

    Like

    • It is truly sad =( I keep forgetting, and then I’ll be listening to music and a Bosnian or Turkish entry will come on and I get all upset again…sigh. They better come back next year. I really hope there is a Sarajevo ESC one day.

      Well at least someone likes Düm Tek Tek!! I do too, but I was surprised at the amount that didn’t.

      Love in Rewind was definitely one of the best songs of Year Oslo.

      Like

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