According to tvpaket.com.mk, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will reveal its Eurovision 2014 contestant this evening. That’s right: It’s only June 20, but sources claim the name will drop tonight.
The news comes just one day after San Marino confirmed that Valentina Monetta will represent her country for a third straight year. The speed with which San Marino made the announcement makes sense. Valentina has twice achieved San Marino’s best-ever finish, and clearly they think she has the momentum to make to through to the final next year. She knows the team. They are in close contact. Hence the ability to announce her participation nearly a year in advance.
Why Macedonia would announce its artist so quickly is slightly more complicated. We’re just guessing here, but we suspect the various scandals that surrounded Esma & Lozano have compelled the broadcaster to give them a second chance. Having just worked with those artists would make it rather easy for them to sort out the deal for 2014.
Choosing Esma & Lozano again could stem from two factors. First, as you’ll remember Esma & Lozano initially planned to sing the stirring “Imperija”, which people inside Macedonia took issue with, but which foreigners largely loved. Sadly the state broadcaster kowtowed to pressure, and the duo had to sing a slightly more lackluster number at ESC.
Second, a Serbian tabloid made far-fetched claims that Esma was homophobic in the days following the contest. The Queen of Gypsy Music subsequently denied those accusations and called the article a “complete fabrication”. Perhaps the state broadcaster wants to help Miss Redzepova distance herself from those accusations even more by returning her to Eurovision (and thereby to all of its gay fans).
What do you think? Will we actually learn Macedonia’s contestant this evening? And if so why? And most importantly: who do you think it will be? Will it be Esma & Lozano again? Or just Lozano?
William Cahill contributed this report from Ireland. Follow the team from wiwibloggs.com on Twitter @wiwibloggs.