Hey there! I haven’t seen you since, like, last year. #badjoke #stilltrue #yeswearestillusinghashtagsprofuselyin2014.

That’s right – we are officially in two-zero-one-four, the year of Copenhagen, Valletta (mebbe) and Sochi (the Olympic Games are the Eurovision Song Contests of the sporting world). I’ve only just managed to bring myself to acknowledge that, because to me time is disappearing faster than Jedward’s hairspray stockpile and I can’t believe 2013 is no more already.

The end of last year was a total blur, what with Christmas and NYE and the subsequent food/drink comas, and as such I haven’t blogged since before the day of much turkey and pudding. I didn’t get to wish you guys a Merry Christmas, or a Happy New Year, or ask what you thought of my resolutions which include extending my cooking prowess to something more elaborate than scrambled eggs, and learning an entire Eminem song off by heart. So on behalf of all the slackers out there, I hope you had a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and that you don’t think the Eminem thing is a joke because it isn’t.

My first post of 2014 is a little unusual, if only because it’s going out on the wrong day. Basically, I had a Time-Warp Tuesday in me that needed to come out, and the fact that today is Friday wasn’t going to stop me. You see, I’ve spent a lot of the festive break losing myself in the ESCs of recent history, which I hadn’t done in a while and felt it was overdue. So far I’ve relived the extravaganzas from Stockholm, Tallinn, Riga and Istanbul, and been reminded of the absolute gems (such as Dime, one of Spain’s best-ever entries IMO) and horrifying disasters (Switzerland’s Celebrate never gets better) they brought us. As a result, you can expect a decent amount of Time-Warp Tuesdays over the next few months (some of which may even come out on a Tuesday) to focus on songs from these contests.

That brings me to the subject of today’s TWT. But was it a gem or a disaster in my eyes? Read on to find out…if you haven’t already figured it out from the title of this post.


Where: Tallinn, Estonia

When: 2002

Who: Karolina Gočeva

What: Od Nas Zavisi

Let’s be honest – there were a lot of lame entries on show when Estonia hosted its first Eurovision. Lithuania? Lame. Austria? Catchy but lame. Belgium? Lame, and a little WTF. There were also a lot of inexplicable results. Latvia’s win I still don’t understand (the words ‘it should have been Malta!’ come to mind). Romania’s dull and depressing ballad making the top 10 mystifies me. And don’t get me STARTED on Denmark coming last (the pain…).

FYR Macedonia was also the victim of injustice in ’02, so much so that I have to go on about it for more than one sentence. The statuesque Karolina would go on to get revenge of some sort in 2007 when she qualified from her semi, and finished high enough to automatically qualify her country for the 2008 final (only for the two-nights-of-semis thing to be introduced and relegate FYROM back to a week night). But back in the Tallinn days, it was her first shot at the trophy, and she had a damn good stab at winning it.

Od Nas Zavisi (It Depends On Us) is a dramatic, ethnic ballad that has become one of my favourite entries in the history of forever. The studio version is amazing, and Karolina is a great live vocalist, so room for error only lay in the staging on the night. Did she/her delegation mess up in that respect? Umm, no. The staging was dynamic without being distracting, and included a costume reveal that, whilst not as unique as Marie N’s, took place at the perfect moment – it was almost like it was part of the song. Speaking of costuming – I don’t know what the Macedonian word for ‘perfection’ is, but those gowns were it. With her high braid and dark lip, Karolina was ahead of her time, trend-wise…especially when compared to the likes of Bosnia & Herzegovina and Spain, whose leading ladies were dressed more appropriately for a funeral than a glitzy televised song contest.

I know costume is only one aspect of a winning package, but can we all agree that if Marie N had just stood on the stage in a pastel pantsuit and sung I Wanna, it would have been Ira Losco on top of the scoreboard? With that in mind, and FYROM’s flawless delivery of an epic song, I can’t fathom how Karolina ended the night in 19th place, with 25 measly points. Finishing above her: the bollocks from Belgium, the repetitive earworm from Austria, and Israel, which I’ve just never ‘gotten’. The Romanian jury gave her douze, but only four other countries saw fit to give her anything.

Maybe it doesn’t matter what the result of your favourite song is – no puny amount of points is going to stop you enjoying it, right? But I can’t help feeling perplexed on Karolina’s, and Macedonia’s, behalf, as to why this bombed. Was it a case of wrong place, wrong time? After all, she returned with what I think was a weaker song, and did a whole lot better. Did performing right after the host country screw her over? Or am I just a lonely fan of Od Nas, and you all want me to shut up about it?


What do you blame for Karolina’s unfortunate result? Which other entries of 2002 got a raw deal?


7 Responses to “TIME-WARP TUESDAY (ON A FRIDAY!) | Underrated Od Nas”

  1. jamessayeresc

    Firstly, she was NOT singing flat at all. Hadise was flat. With Karolina, there was one shaky line towards the end of the first verse where she veered away from the intended note or two, but apart from that, her vocal performance was admirable. Yep, not the best we’ve ever heard, but not flat in the slightest.

    For me, I totally agree with you Jaz, the song was epic and deserved to place soooo much higher than it eventually did. It was my #3 from 2002, absolutely loved it. With regards to the dress change, I was convinced there was going to be a second one. The way she kept grabbing that red fluffy skirt bit was just like “any moment now i’m gonna rip this one off too, and be in some sort of Esther-Hart-esque gold catsuit underneath” .. but nope, opportunity missed :’) The dress was rather vile anyways, sorry Madame Gocheva.


    • Jaz

      I appreciate agreement and disagreement, but I have to say I LOVE YOU FOR AGREEING!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t love you for reminding me of Hadise’s vocal, such as it was. She sounded like she’d just run a marathon and it was an extreme effort to get any note out.

      Oh god, if there’s one thing I like better than a costume reveal, it’s a DOUBLE costume reveal. Shame Karolina didn’t go in for that. I don’t get everybody’s distaste for either of the dresses. I mean, Daria Kinzer’s revealed outfits, they were hideous. It’s like slaving away in the kitchen for hours and then lifting up the closh in front of your dinner party guests to reveal a burnt lump of tofu. Why bother??


      • jamessayeresc

        YEY AGREEMENT!!!! Apologies about Hadise, although yours is a very apt analogy for the state of her vocals tbh 😛

        Exactly, if she’d gone for the double, there’s no way in hell she could have still ended 19th. Think we’ve solved the mystery right there! The trouble with the dress for me was the red bit – the first gown was fine cos it was fairly obvious she was going to be shedding it at some points; but the floofy red bit on the second one was just such an odd shape, made her look like some kind of awkward geisha who could hardly move in it. There was just too much fabric there – she proved in 2007 she has the legs to pull off something more fitted and flattering so why didn’t she go for that?

        Agree re. Daria Kinzer though – those three costumes were rather awful. Very lump. Such burn. Much tofu. Wow.


  2. Caroline

    I ADORE this song and I am forever depressed that it’s result lead to relegation, but I am not puzzled as to why. For me it was a MASSIVE grower, it took ages for me to ‘get it’ and I think it is very anonymous on stage. Personally I hate costume reveals and the gown she reveal is horrifyingly ugly imo:P


    • Jaz

      I love costume reveals AND the gown!! One person’s trash is another’s treasure, as they say. Though I will admit, a costume reveal is hard to make classy and unique.

      It’s hard for me to step back and imagine the song as a grower, but I can see how it wouldn’t be instant for everybody.

      At least we are united in our depression over its failure 🙂


  3. Eric Graf

    I usually make a point to not say things like this to people like you who are passionate about a particular song/performance, because we like what we like. I was dead disappointed when “Ik ben verliefd” didn’t qualify (despite the horrendous staging), and thus have no room to talk. But since you asked, repeatedly …

    Her delivery is not anywhere near flawless. She’s singing flat. VERY flat. Consistently flat.

    I also find the song repetitive and not that interesting, and the costume change a bit “costume-change-goes-here-y”. The golden breastplate + foofy skirt look silly. The staging is otherwise pretty good, and she’s a lovely lady (and probably even lovelier when the 4×3 video isn’t stretched to widescreen).

    But I think it was the out-of-tune performance that really did it.


    • Jaz

      I did ask, repeatedly, because I genuinely wanted a reason!! I will admit that I view this performance through rose-coloured glasses, but I do have to disagree with you on the vocals. Perhaps she was flat at times (my ear is rusty) but I wouldn’t hold that solely responsible for the result. There were a number of weak vocal performances that year, including from Russia, Cyprus, the UK at times (Jessica veered off the course of the tune on a few occasions as I hear her) and, I would say, Latvia. But let’s face it, Latvia was all about the show. My point being, all of those acts beat Karolina, and I don’t think she was anywhere near bad enough vocally for that to be the reason. But that’s just me 😛

      I can understand your other criticisms though. Those are the things I don’t see, but that plenty of other people would have on the night. I mean, I love the body armour/puffy skirt combo, but apparently I’m alone in that (remind me not to wear a copy to my next social function).



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