Croatia: Local media claims HRT will return to national final Dora for 2018

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It’s the long-running national final that Croatia used to select its Eurovision act from 1993 to 2011. Now Croatian media is claiming that broadcaster HRT will return to the Dora national final to select its act for Eurovision 2018.

Croatian newspaper Jutarnji list has claimed that HRT will “definitely” revive Dora for 2018. The paper claims the national final will be held in either late February or early March 2018, and will involve one semi-final and a grand final.

The big unknown is where the national final will be held. Traditionally the home of Dora is the Crystal Ballroom at the Hotel Kvarner in the seaside resort town of Opatija. While not all previous Dora shows have been hosted in Opatija, the location has an iconic association with Dora, much like the Ariston Theatre for Sanremo.

However, hosting the contest in Opatija would be “five times more expensive” than hosting in the capital city, Zagreb. Jutarnji‘s source said, “Everyone would like to respect tradition and have Dora return to Opatija, but we have to be aware that it costs a lot.”

The cheaper option would be to host Dora at HRT’s Studio Anton Marti. This large television studio was also the home of The Voice of Croatia.

Jutarnji says that details of Dora 2018 will be confirmed by “mid-January at the latest”. It is expected that at this time, HRT will make a call for interested songwriters to submit entries.

If Dora is revived, Croatia will join Cyprus, France, Montenegro, San Marino and Serbia in moving from internal selection to a new national final to select their act for Eurovision 2018.

Dora and the Eurovision Song Contest

Dora was launched in 1993 to select Croatia’s first Eurovision entry as an independent nation. The national final was used consistently from 1993 to 2011.

Croatia’s best Eurovision results came from the Dora years. In 1996, Maja Blagdan placed fourth with “Sveta ljubav”, then in 1999 Doris Dragovic also placed fourth with “Marija Magdalena”.

Daria Kinzer was the last Dora winner to go to Eurovision. Her song “Celebrate” placed only 15th in the Düsseldorf semi-final.

In 2012 and 2013, HRT internally selected their acts for Eurovision. However, neither Nina Badric nor Klapa s Mora qualified for the grand final.

Croatia took a two-year break from Eurovision and returned in 2016. Their acts for Stockholm and Kyiv were both internally selected. Nina Kraljic made it to the grand final and placed 23rd, while Jacques Houdek took home an impressive 13th place — Croatia’s best Eurovision result in more than a decade.

The success of Houdek may have fuelled the return of Dora. He had previously competed at Dora six times, including placing second in 2011. His Eurovision success perhaps demonstrated that there was plenty of talent in the Dora system.

What do you think? Should HRT revive Dora? Or should they stick with internal selection? Share your thoughts below!

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