Spotlight on…FYR Macedonia
FYR Macedonia (as I continue to call it because I don’t know what will happen if I don’t) is one of those countries that I feel gets a raw deal at Eurovision*. Not all the time, but on a few occasions, I think they’ve been robbed of either a place in the final, or a better result in the final – think Karolina 1.0 and Gjoko Taneski (who totally should have qualified instead of Vukašin Brajić). Still, you couldn’t call them a country with a knack for the ESC, a la Azerbaijan and Ukraine. If you personally couldn’t call them anything because you’ve got zero recollection of their contest history, or if you just want a take a walk down Macedonian memory lane, then here’s a look at their past hits and misses, in numerical and opinion form.
* They’re also a country I desperately want back in Junior Eurovision, but I’ll leave my moanings about that for another time.
FYR MACEDONIA: THE STATS
Debut 1998 – Ne Zori, Zoro by Vlado Janevski, finishing 19th
Silver medals 0
Bronze medals 0
Best result 12th – 2006
Top 10 finishes 0/13
Top 10 success rate 0%
Top 5 finishes 0/13
Top 5 success rate 0%
Wooden spoons (last places!) 0/13
Semi final qualifications 5/10
Qualification success rate 50%
My favourite entry
Od Nas Zavisi by Karolina (2002). Why? I can pretty much sum it up in three words: dramatic Balkan ballad. Karolina’s first Eurovision experience came with a song that is (almost) right up there with the Lane Mojes, Lejlas and Bistra Vodas of the world, in my opinion, and it’s a shame it didn’t score a little better. You can’t tell me it didn’t deserve to beat Belgium, at the very least (though I will allow you to tell me off for reminding you of the piece of junk they sent in ‘02). Especially with that costume reveal, which taught us that two gowns are better than one. Love it.
My least favourite entry
Neshto Shto Ke Ostane by Next Time (2009). The emphasis here is definitely on ‘least favourite’, because I don’t hate this, or even dislike it. It just happens to bring up the rear from my perspective of everything FYROM has sent over the last fifteen years. It’s nice enough, catchy enough, and the twins are attractive enough to stare at for three minutes without getting bored. Still, their hair and their song was and is dated, rather than retro. Learn the difference, boys…and everybody else.
More of the memorable
100% Te Ljubam by XXL (2000) – A guilty pleasure of mine, this is memorable mainly for being one of the worst-sung entries of all time (not even Kanye West would interrupt me to disagree). It is infectious, though. Note that I could also be talking about the Israeli entry right now.
Life by Toše Proeski (2004) – I was never the biggest fan of this song, but I think the costumes and presentation were striking. It’s always bittersweet to watch Toše in action, knowing he’s no longer with us.
Ninanajna by Elena Risteska (2006) – This is trashy in the best way possible, and if it wasn’t for my Balkan ballad weakness, it would be sitting pretty as my favourite Macedonian entry to date. Who can resist a song which name-drops Beyoncé AND Shakira?
Crno I Belo by Kaliopi (2012) – Europe’s friendliest female was understated yet badass in Baku, and it worked in her country’s favour, securing them not only a qualification, but one of their best results in years.
Pred Da Se Razdeni by Esma & Lozano (2013) – In studio, I can get down with this. Live, it was a shambles. It was like neither Esma nor Lozano were aware that the other was there (apart from when they hugged it out towards the end) and were just going about their business, singing their own, very different songs. Oh dear.
Their best stage show
Mojot Svet by Karolina (2007). It wasn’t OTT, but the dramatic lighting and simple choreography was effective. I can’t help wondering if Karolina and the ballet girl had a catfight over the ballet guy the second they got backstage, ‘cause I’m not sure where his loyalties were at.
Their best costume/s
Toše Proeski/Elena Risteska. Ah, the two extremes. Toše went ethnic, white, and demure, whilst Elena went sexy and blingy and matched the material on her denim hotpants to that of her sleeveless, mostly frontless bustier. As a heterosexual woman, I was most drawn to her shoes. They didn’t match anything, but I WANT. Both these varieties of outfits were perfectly suited (so to speak) to the songs.
Their best vocalist/s
Kaliopi. Low and husky one minute, freaking out dogs everywhere with a piercing-but-completely-in-tune shriek the next, this woman has pipes, and well-functioning ones at that. I’m glad she finally got the chance to show them off at Eurovision, having been knocked back all those years ago and then time and time again in FYROM national finals.
So, now you’ve had a refresher course on Macedonian history (whether you needed/wanted it or not) let me know what you think. Has this country been wronged time and time again at the ESC, or do they need to try harder? What have been your highlights and lowlights since they first appeared onstage?
8 Responses to “Spotlight on…FYR Macedonia”
If only they sent “Imperija”, that would of been my favourite Makedonski song at Eurovizija ever!
Boy, did they make a big mistake by trashing that!! It would have been high in my rankings too.
Hi Jaz 😀 I have (random) good news: I found the name of the guy in the box from Azerbaijan. His name is Alexander Kuzmenko and he’s Russian. Sorry if you knew this already, but I learned it today and I immediately thought I had to tell you.
On Macedonia (the former Yugoslav republic of),I agree with you on that they aren’t exactly my favorite country in ESC but I absolutely adored them in JESC and miss them so much. I do feel they need to try harder sometimes (like this year) but last year they sent an amazing song and they were underrated, so they are a bit unlucky as well.I suggest they send Lambe Alabakoski next year 😛
My favorite entry is without a doubt Toše Proeski’s. I just love Toše so much. I also love both of Karolina’s entries, Crno I Belo,Ninanajna (it’s really catchy), the Macedonian version of their 2008 entry xD And I actually like Nešto što kje ostane, it grew on me after a while. My least favorite entry is their 2005 one. I like the opening to the song and the instrumentals, but the rest is just so silly. But I don’t hate it, I just think it’s funny in a weird way.
Oh yay!! I hadn’t got around to finding out his name, so thanks for that. Although now I’ve seen it, I may just continue to refer to him as ‘the man in the box/box boy’ etc. Easier to type.
FYROM were pretty awesome in JESC. 2005, 2007 and 2008 (Australia represented, WOOHOO!!!) would be my highlights, not that we’re talking about that. I want them back so bad, not just to make up the numbers for this year.
I think Kaliopi did really well by Macedonian standards…better than I thought she would. I want to be BFFs with her so much it’s pathetic.
I agree about ‘Make My Day’, but I still love it! The lyrics are definitely silly. And the costumes were..umm. Let’s just say they could have thought those through a little more. The studio version is more enjoyable than the live performance.
I’d guessed about you and Toše. The whole thing with him is so awful. I don’t know why, but I feel like he’s the kind of artist who may have come back to Eurovision if he’d gotten the chance. I’m not sure if he ever tried to…you can probably tell me.
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Yes!! They have been criminally underrated so so many times, and often they’ve been one of my favourites in any given year. Agree with your highlights, glad I’m not the only one who would actually admit to leeching some form of enjoyment from “100% Te Ljubam” 😛 … and is it just me who really liked “Make My Day” aswell?
No. No it’s not just you. I didn’t get around to mentioning it, but that’s another good one as far as I’m concerned, despite the lyrics and waaaaaaayyy too-short dresses of the backing “dancers”.
‘I’m not the man to beeeeeee, your cuddly toy, I am the boy who will break up with you to be freee eee eee eeee…’ Classic stuff right there. If those are the correct lyrics.
I think that’s what he was attempting to say, yeah. I went for years convinced he was saying “I don’t demand a beeeeee, or a cuddly toy” or something along those lines. Bet it would have sounded a thousand times better in Macedonian