MKRTV, the state broadcaster of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, has confirmed that 44-year old Kaliopi Bukle will carry their flag at Eurovision 2012.
The broadcaster chose to select this year’s entry internally. And thank goodness. Last year the Macedonian public voted for Vlatko Ilievski, who placed 16th during the semi-finals—the country’s worst-ever finish.
Kaliopi hopes to avoid a similar fate. “Thank you very much the invitation,” she said at a press conference this morning. “Of course I accept, I am honored, the responsibility is huge.” And it’s a responsibility she has failed at before. In 1996 she won the Macedonian pre-selection—the country’s first contest following the separation of Yugoslavia. But she failed to advance past the “qualifying” round which was then in place at Eurovision. Here’s “Samo Ti,” the song that let her down.
Since then she’s gone on to become one of Macedonia’s biggest pop acts and has had huge success across the Balkans. Below you can hear her performing “Najmila” (“Dearest”), one of her biggest hits.
What do y’all think? Can Kaliopi help F.Y.R. Macedonia get past the semi-finals for the first time since 2007?