Macedonia, Jana Burceska, 1

Zdravo Makedonija! The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has arrived in Skopje on the final leg of our Wiwi Jury tour of 2017. After taking a stroll around the Old Bazaar, we gathered to discuss FYR Macedonia’s entry for Eurovision 2017, Jana Burceska with “Dance Alone”. Is Macedonia’s attempt at Scandinavian pop our favourite, or would we rather leave them dancing alone?

Jana Burceska – “Dance Alone”

About Jana Burceska

Jana came to fame in FYR Macedonia in 2010, when she appeared on the first season of Macedonian Idol. There, she placed fifth, and ended up as the highest-placing female singer. Jana also participated multiple times at the Skopje Fest competition. Jana’s back catalogue includes a number of different styles of song, from big band to rock to folk. As she told us in London, the release of “Dance Alone” marks a new direction for her as she transforms music from a mere hobby into a career.

“Dance alone” reviews

William: Sometimes you have to look back to move forward, and Jana Burceska does that beautifully in “Dance Alone”. Musically this updates 80s electro for today with precision production that melds on-trend with nostalgic. But this isn’t just a pop piece. The lyrics — inspirational without being overly sweet — remind us that our greatest advocate lies within. You don’t need outside approval to make the most of today or tomorrow. “All I need to keep moving is the sound of my heart beat,” she sings. “I will dance alone, wherever I am the rhythm follows.” Among the most moving dance pieces I’ve ever heard. Bravo!

Score: 9/10

Antranig: “Dance Alone” is an amazing effort by FYR Macedonia — the most underrated Eurovision country may finally change its fortunes. Lyrically, this is amazing — from a country that sang about doughnuts just a year ago. The big concern I have is that it is more radio-friendly than it is stage-friendly — I can’t picture how it would look on the Eurovision stage. If FYR Macedonia can nail the staging, they have a gem on their hands.

Score: 8/10

Bernardo: I really like FYR Macedonia’s entry this year. From the pop banger quality to the 2017 incredibly developed production — it all seems perfect. But for some reason I struggle to connect with the song, probably because it falls in the generic category for me. In a sea of songs with strong lyrics and meaning, the only quality “Dance Alone” has is being uptempo and having a vocalist with an interesting voice. It’s 50/50 for me.

Score: 5/10

Chris: How has FYR Macedonia pulled this one off? From perennial no-hopers to delivering, arguably, the best pop song in the entire contest. There’s traces of Xenomania influence here which should definitely appeal to televoters. Jana has clearly thought out her stylistic choices throughout and it’s fair to expect something impressive in Kyiv too. The country has never finished in the top ten: that’s surely about to change.

Score: 9/10

Deban: This would’ve made a fabulous Girls Aloud comeback record. “Dance Alone” is the sassiest slice of lipstick pop. It may have originated in the East, but it sits firmly in the West. With the right staging, FYR Macedonia will get its best Eurovision result with this entry. “Dance Alone” may be generic, but it is also slick, totally on trend, and irresistibly danceable.

Score: 7.5/10

Sami: After many years struggling at the semifinals, FYR Macedonia is finally ready to reach the final. And this year that is not even enough — I feel like they are in it to win it. “Dance Alone” is not just a typical pop song, it’s much more. It’s touching and has lots of emotion, something that most dance songs don’t have. I don’t know if this is a song to dance to at Euroclub though. It makes me want to turn off the lights and dance alone around my room.

Score: 9/10

Kristin: FYR Macedonia is clearly in it to win it this year. “Dance Alone” is one flawless production, and Jana’s presence is felt all the way through. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want to dance alone to this. This requires a crowd of party people! No doubt that this will be a floor filler in Kyiv, and a certain qualifier as well. FYR Macedonia have brought their A game and are making sure that Europe knows it.

Score: 8/10

Robyn: “Dance Alone” is a ridiculously amazing pop song, but there’s one big unknown. We don’t really know what Jana sounds like live, in full effect. YouTube offers six-year-old clips from Macedonian Idol, but there’s no evidence that she actually sounds like a cross between Nina Persson of The Cardigans and Charlie XCX. Until she hits the rehearsal stage in Kyiv and shows us what she’s got, I remain very cautious.

Score: 6.5/10

In our Wiwi Jury, we have 38 jurors but only room for eight reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:

Anastas: 10/10

Andy: 6/10

Angus: 7.5/10

Anthony: 8/10

Antony: 8/10

Bogdan: 7.5/10

Dayana: 8/10

Edd: 8.5/10

Erdi: 7.5/10

Forrest: 6.5/10

George:  6/10

Jacob: 8/10

Jason: 9/10

Josh: 8/10

Jordi: 8/10

Jovana: 10/10

Luis: 8/10

Marek: 9.5/10

Matt: 9/10

Mikhail: 7.5/10

Natalie: 8/10

Padraig: 10/10

Patrick: 9/10

Renske: 7/10

Rezo: 3/10

Sinan: 8.5/10

Stanislav: 7/10

Steinunn: 6.5/10

Tobias: 6/10

Zakaria: 6/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 3 and a high of 10.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.79/10

What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!

See our current Eurovision 2017 reviews and rankings

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Digital Style
Guest
Digital Style

On first listen, I was shook. Now that I’ve heard it no short of 100 times, it doesn’t speak to me as much. It sounds like a track Madonna scrapped and I can’t make out if that’s a good thing. It’s synthy and kitschy and a danceable song that I’m sure will be loved by fans, provided her live vocals are not catastrophic which they unforunately were at previous events.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Now we all just wait the final moment – Belgium! The main question is: Will it surpass Italy? My guess, based on polls, OGAE and You Tube, is: no, it will not.

Highest predicted score: 8.67
Lowest predicted score: 8.04
Likely predicted score: 8.33

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Not bad – it’s exactly the highest predicted score! 😀

Pablo
Guest
Pablo

If the rumors are true that this is song was a Plan B because Serbia snatched “In Too Deep” from them, then what a way to get back. This is set to really turn FYROM’s luck around, this offering is nigh flawless. It has a rich story behind it, big pulsating beats to enjoy, great lyrics and the originality behind it amazes me. I am not sure if we had synthpop to this level before (risky genre as it goes hand to hand with overproduction). I am hoping VERY strongly she is good love or has enough of a delivery… Read more »

royroyroy
Guest
royroyroy

One of the best EDM entries in Eurovision milestone. 10/10

Gulp
Guest
Gulp

It is my number 3, after Italy and Moldova and just before Switzerland and Azerbaijan. The video is awesome and I hope Jana rocks the stage in Kiev, I’m confident she can do that! I think it could be the “next Poli Genova 2016” and enter in top 5! Go FYROM!

Lukewarm
Guest
Lukewarm

If live didn’t disappoint, this would have been number one. 01 Italy | 02 Norway | *03 FYR Macedonia* | 04 United Kingdom | 05 Austria 06 Albania | 07 | 08 Bulgaria | 09 Switzerland | 10 France 11 Serbia | 12 Sweden | *13 Lithuania* | 14 Denmark | 15 Moldova 16 Poland | 17 Portugal | 18 Latvia | 19 Cyprus | 20 Iceland 21 Azerbaijan | 22 Australia | 23 Greece | 24 Czechia | 25 Armenia 26 Netherlands | 27 Belarus | 28 Ireland | 29 Finland | 30 Hungary 31 Ukraine | *32 Estonia*… Read more »

Aline VR
Guest
Aline VR

Haters gonna hate, I’m sure Blanche will SLAY!

Justin K.
Guest
Justin K.

Bless Chris and Deban for mentioning Xenomania/Girls Aloud–this really would have been right up their alley, albeit maybe with a bit kookier arrangement. This is at the top of my list, and I still can’t believe Macedonia is even in the Top 5 for me—not even Crno i Belo was in my Top 5 for 2012, although it’s one of my most listened tracks today. My main concern is it seems the ending two lines “I’ll be dancing on my own//wishing you could hold me close” are not going to be performed (due probably to both time restraints and difficulties… Read more »

Ron
Guest
Ron

Definitely one of the best entries this year! I really hope this finishes top 5 this year.

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

I picture a very innoventive staging in Kyiv, and I hope they will use the old lady dancing next to Jana thing. I love the way this song ends, revealing that behind this AMAZING feel-good dance track there is a meaning. If they make that part and the chorus work on stage, they are defenitly in the final. This is by far the best song we ever saw coming from Macedonia, and I hope that they will finish on the left-hand side of the scoreboard.

10/10

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

The last time I remember liking a song from F.Y.R.O.Macedonia was a decade ago (2004,5,6). Then, I lost interest! Thank God, this year they send “Dance alone”! I am not a huge fan of the song! I didn’t say “Aesome! It’s amazing!” the first time I heard it, but I do like it! It’s the most modern and contemporary track ever! They seem to have figured out what they should do in order to have a decent entry after many years. I’m a little concerned about Jana’s vocals! I hope she’ll deliever live! They usually stuggle, but this time I… Read more »

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

This song has been constructed using three piano chord sequences. Sequence 1 (for the Intros and Verses): C-sharp min+4, E [2nd inv.]+2, A7, F-sharp min2. Sequence 2 (for the Choruses, Extensions and Coda): A, C-sharp min, E, A. Sequence 3: (for the Bridge): C-sharp min+4, E [2nd inv.]+2, F-sharp min2. The overall structure is: Intro, Verse 1, Chorus, Intro, Verse 2, Chorus, Extension (half), Bridge, Chorus, Extension, Coda). The music itself contains added blues notes in the Verses, which Jana herself “jazzes up” a little at times to provide the impression that she’s having a really good time. The Choruses… Read more »

coryn
Guest
coryn

A beautiful post. I only don’t understand why are people preoccupied with her live and studio. Her live will be fine. She can sing and her voice is very specific and fits perfectly the song. People are giving her lower points just because they assume her live ESC performance won’t be good. Well, you don’t know that, she might be awesome, and there is no reason not to be. At the end, the singing of many performers at all of those parties was not the best one, even Bulgaria, Sweden, Blanche all had not so good performances, but yet Yana… Read more »

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Thank you Coryn. 🙂
I saw and heard Jana sing in London – I was there in person. She can sing well enough, but she had a distinct lack of self-confidence that night; that is quite worrying. I hope she does well at the ESC, because the song is a potential winner; it needs her to do well. 🙂

Lolo
Guest
Lolo

Live will disappoint you 😉

Racal
Guest
Racal

I think Belgium will place 2nd with the Wiwi jury, somewhere between Italy and France.

@Wiwibloggs: What do I win if I’m right? 😀

Aria
Guest
Aria

You win a trip for two to

Your OWN House 😛

Racal
Guest
Racal

Definitely inviting William Lee Adams to this one! 😉

Aria
Guest
Aria

He he…..now that’d be a prize worth playing for 🙂

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Outstanding, from beginning to end. The question is, will they edit something out of the middle of the song and keep the end part, which tells exactly why she dances alone? What is there to say about the video? Outstanding interpretation of the song. In the song, she dances alone because she misses her boyfriend who is busy elsewhere. In the video, it is perhaps 50 years later, and the woman in the video plays her VR headset reminiscing over the past, which she recorded, because the man in the video, who was presumably her boyfriend and became her husband,… Read more »

Maniac
Guest
Maniac

I said it before , this will FLOP so hard , cool music video tho

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

I agree with the need for an intimate setting. Like Whigfield in front of her dressing table.

Ariana
Guest
Ariana

It just feels like a rip off of Swedish artist Robyn’s song “Dancing On My Own” to me.

Peanut Butter Jelly
Guest
Peanut Butter Jelly

I miss reading padraig 🙁

Zebb
Guest
Zebb

Production is just excellent. Most contemporary from all pop-pieces at this edition. With this good video I wouldn’t be surprised to see this somewhere at dance music tv-channel. Lyrics are also good. But what is not nice for me – this chorus, it kills the song, not in a way like with swedish song, but just because lacks good hook in general and I just don’t find it appealing in personal way. Might qualify, it’s a borderline at betting odds but I would prefer this to swiss one.
My 14th. | 15. Latvia | 16. UK

Eve
Guest
Eve

Here’s a example how to perfectly create retro vibe in modern song without being dated, WOW, good job!!! I’m feeling Madonna’s ”Get into the groove” vibes, this is good, this is catchy, this is both happy and sad at the same time and video is great. But, here we go to second thing which reduce my score- performance.. I want to erase from my memory that ”performance” in London, please don’t evoke that! 🙂 No concern about staging, this song actually provides awesome and numerous possibilities for staging. Come on Jana, you have perfect base, just improve your performance and… Read more »

Mony
Guest
Mony

The studio version is great, the song itself is amazing. But since autotune is not allowed I’m afraid it’ll sound totally different, if not…a little weird (as we have seen in Amsterdam and London). That’s why I believe Macedonia once again won’t qualify to the final…

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

This is just SO good!
How did this song come from FYROM? Seriously. Live performance might be a bit of a worry (Daniel Kajmakoski again?) but great base to build upon. Should get a good result.

HubertZnajomski
Guest

Definitely my favourite this year

esconly
Guest
esconly

Ok guys….lets be honest! She will flop at semi-final…
Her lives are really really bad!
In studio version its a top-5 entry. With these lives she just does not deserve the final
It will depends on her live vocals and ofc on the staging

Ay Jo
Guest
Ay Jo

It seems there is a playback for her in London`s party. I hope she does well in lives. This song is also 50/50 for me. But I like her style.

Racal
Guest
Racal

Macedonia is definitely in my top 5 this year: #3 to be precise. This is a great vintage pop number, I absolutely love it. I’m not sure she can pull it off live, but who cares, I’ll just listen to the studio version! 😉 It should be an easy qualification for Macedonia.

Historically, Macedonia is one of the worst performers in the contest: their best score is placing 12th and that was 11 years ago! I think they should get their best placing with this song. It’s nice to see an underperforming country sending a quality entry, good job Macedonia!

L'oiseau
Guest
L'oiseau

Wow, guys, that is a high score! Well, I actually agree. I am already seeing myself on my way to the beach this Summer listening to that tune and be all happy-happy. Jana interpret the best of early 80’s pop to perfection and she is a cool singer. The song is really tuned in what is happening right now in alternative pop-music and I like that, a lot. Is it genuine, though?… What is really Macedonian? (Just asking…) Anyway, I think that is a real cool song in Eurovision or beyond. And here is where the “problem” starts. Will it… Read more »

MarioMario
Guest
MarioMario

I’m afraid she’ll pull off a Cann Linn this year.

coryn
Guest
coryn

How come there is no jury video for this one?

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

A dance song that manages to be sad and nostalgic. I love it, it’s in my top 3, and Saint Jana Burceska of Skopje is an amazing person. Macedonia deserves to see the light of the top 10 finally. Also, best music video of the year!

Joe
Guest
Joe

Does someone else has Croatia 2016 feelings?

Joe
Guest
Joe

have*

vova
Guest
vova

This song is for 45 y/o women who think they can be like 25 y/o women, and no one will notice.
No future for this song.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

It’s my best friend’s favorite, and she’s 20. No chance to save your taste I guess.

Evan
Guest
Evan

Two girls best friends at 20, yo!!
That so rare.

Joe
Guest
Joe

The sound is very current, remembers some Nicola Roberts vibes. It’s much more popular among young people, older ones will probably prefer Verona.
I said it seems like Croatia 2016 because it was one of the best songs and finished much lower than predricted because of the staging.

Marco
Guest
Marco

This song will flop so hard in semi, when we heard 100 % live .

bxsrbv
Guest
bxsrbv

I don’t blame Jana for London playback. Guess it happen for her the same way like for Lindita in Amsterdam, but Jana was too shy to say anything about it, like Lindita did.

Catriona Colville
Guest
Catriona Colville

Sure, you keep believing that.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

I was in London. Jana told us that she was “so tired” and couldn’t really sing very well, that’s why playback was used. However, her microphone was still on and I could hear her boice singing – she’s okay, not outstanding. I got the feeling that she lacks self-confidence in her voice; what she needs is better coaching. 🙂

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Typo: boice = voice*

bxsrbv
Guest
bxsrbv

Antranig said something nice about Jana, attacking Kaliopi.
Don’t attack Kaliopi.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Kaliopi slays

bxsrbv
Guest
bxsrbv

Yes, Kaliopi is The Real Queen.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Yes! The best Macedonian song since I follow ESC and probably it’s best score ever! Deservingly so! The song is fresh, moving and graceful. It is a rare example of an uptempo song so much going for nostalgia and emotion. The video clip is just perfect! Jana performs the song bit ditzy and quirky which may come off as drunken karaoke. Still, she posseses a charisma which may indeed get Macedonians their best result ever! 9/10 – Top 10 contender! Ps. Just to get it off the table, I *honestly* from the bottom of my heart DON’T CARE how do… Read more »

Yup
Guest
Yup

You don’t care but still taking the part of FYROM. A country that had constitution territorial claims over Greece. So difficult to just use an FYR, right?

Colin
Guest
Colin

Oh, well… here we go. 🙁 I didn’t say I don’t use one option, I only pointed out that people shouldn’t go into this exact same debate every time this name appears. I really don’t care if others use the name FYROM. And as for why I opt on using Macedonia: 1. It’s shorter and easier to pronounce. Sure, as written FYROM is shorter, but when you say it, instead of one word, you must say five. And only one of them actually pin-points the country. 2. I am from Croatia and here, we all call it ”Makedonija” since childhood.… Read more »

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Well if people can’t agree on the name of the country, people will just call it something else.

Kircho
Guest
Kircho

LYR Macedonia 2017 = San Marino 2013… high expectations and ranking from both of them . Yana will hardly qualify even she sings well and top 5 in the final ??? Higher that Bulgaria and Sweden ??? Please be realistic

Colin
Guest
Colin

They are not saying Jana *will* end-up higher than Bulgaria or Sweden, they are saying she *should*. See the difference? San Marino also *should have* been in the finals of 2013.

Leo Valdez
Guest
Leo Valdez

Why they keep Belgium their last review?
Are there going to be higher scores than Italy?

Americanvision
Guest
Americanvision

She is rubbish live

Arc
Guest
Arc

I wouldn’t call her rubbish, she sounds good enough live. She just lacks presence. I feel like she may be vocally ready for Eurovision, but she still has some maturing to do as a performer.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Even if she is (which she isn’t) it wouldn’t matter, since these reviews were done in March, prior to pre-parties.

Joe
Guest
Joe

She’s not rubbish just lacks experience and confidence. Making “my math”, I predicted she’ll be 5th (3rd with the jury and 6th with the public).

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Suspense I guess. Their reviews are based on the studio version and they were written in March, so you won’t read about Blanche’s non-existent performing skills there.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

That’s a good song for the radio but not for a live festival.

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

Amazing effort from FYROM this year, probably the biggest surprise. In the studio version. Her pre-party performances were frustratingly underwhelming.
While at first we all thought this was a dead certain qualifier, I’m not so sure anymore. Her live vocals need to improve and the staging has to be great. How the hell do you stage this song, though?

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

the same person who staged Loreen’s performence Will stage Jana’s song:)

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

OMG F.Y.R Macedonia surprised me this year so much. This is fun and catchy. but has a deep message behind it. I’m also worried about her live performence and staging, but juding on product right now I have to give it a 9,5 out of 10, please Macedonia must qualify, it’s about time.

anonymous91
Guest
anonymous91

of course that it will qualify, don’t worry too much

i think Switzerland has thrown away some votes now that Miruna said she’s happy about representing her country, while she’s romanian lol

some romanians were angry about that, so yeah here come more chances for Jana as we speak

#3 isn’t a death slot for Jana i think, you only have death slot if you got a weak song to begin with

anonymous91
Guest
anonymous91

music video i would score that a 9.0/10

revamped version which will be used at Kiev 5.5/10

i don’t like the revamp at all, why did they do a revamp when the song was great in the first place, a real shame

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest
(J)ESC Fanatic

This is a good pop song, but I’m still not sure whether Macedonia will qualify or not. They have a bad habit of doing awful staging and ruining their decent songs. I hope history won’t be repeating itself this year.

7/10

Joe
Guest
Joe

7.5/10

Leo M
Guest
Leo M

This is in my top 10 and should get Macedonia back to the final because it’s a feel good dance song with a catchy chorus. Her live performances have not been great but I hope she improves for Eurovision because the song deserves a place in the final.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

Hey, don’t mean to be one of those people, but how can you drop a 5 when someone scored this a 3?

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Just a typo. The lowest score – a three – has been dropped. I’ve corrected the sentence, the score remains the same. Thank you for pointing this out! 😀

Americanvision
Guest
Americanvision

Based on the music video, the score is about right.

But based on live performances so far, it’s 1 point too high. It’s a 6.5.

The rehearsals will tell the story on whether it will qualify or not.