Yesterday afternoon the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals—hiked up Mount Vodno to take in the view over Skopje. Then we gathered round a laptop to review Tijana’s Eurovision 2014 song “To the Sky”. Did her song make us feel like we were flying? Or was it more of a nosedive with a very painful landing? Read on to find out…
To the Sky reviews
Zach: After Esma “graced” us with her presence last year, Macedonia could have sent anything and it would have seemed like a refreshing change. With Tijana and “To The Sky” they have done a complete 180 and have brought their A-game in every aspect of the word. During the first chorus it sounds a tad mellow and slightly dated, but the build up to the second chorus gets your heart beating, and then BAM! Tijana is fully unleashed, letting her rocker glam girl attitude shine through, belting out every note with amazing style and sass. By the end you feel like you were at the best party of your life, and you want even more. My new favorite entry from Macedonia I must say. One final note: the English version flows so much more smoothly than the Macedonian version I’m so glad they’re using it instead.
Padraig: I’m glad to see that someone within the Macedonian delegation has taken the time to read their Eurovision report card and taken the necessary remedial action. Because following the horrors of Kaliopi and Esma, I genuinely feared for my hearing. Thankfully, they’ve chosen Tijanna, who actually sounds quite pleasant and surprisingly shares no vocal tics with screeching harpies. “To the Sky” is not winner material but it’s a competent effort and ought to be enough for them to creep past the mid-point on the final leader board. After last year’s hot mess they should consider this a major victory.
Vebooboo: Tijana asks us where do we go now? I have an answer for you, girl. To the stylist and choreographer, because you need a major boost. I’m talking FYR Macedonian version of “Queer Eye for the Straight Artist”. Visual appeal aside, I actually really like this song. It builds throughout, and it’s pretty damn simple. But my fear is that it will be relegated to the same group as titty-happy Sofi Marinova and our favourite American-turned-Slovenian Hannah…namely back home. Girl, get to that stylist and give yourself a chance!
Bogdan: I am a bit torn about this, because I like Tijana, but I don’t like her song. It may be a nice dance track, but it sounds like all the songs that you would hear on the radio…eight years ago. With Tijana, staging will be key, because she needs to draw attention away from the mediocre song to her radiant persona. She needs to make people dance and she won’t do it just by standing there (with the high heels and ‘do she looks like she’s eight feet tall, by the way). I’m curious as to what she’ll do in Copenhagen, but I am not optimistic. Anyway, a huge improvement over last year for FYR Macedonia.
Katie: Yes! I am so excited to review this song! It’s definitely in my top 3 this year and it was love at first listen for me. Tijana is my dream Eurovision singer: super cool, super classy and super voice. Her stage presence is so great that she can grab any audience’s attention just by standing there. Tijana’s released some great songs in the past, and I knew from the first “oo-oo-oo-oo-oo” that she was about to release another one. Also, she has the hottest shoes! By the chorus, I’m doing the exact same rather strange dance like Tijana and I’m singing along. I reckon it will have us all jumping around in Copenhagen. I love everything about this song and I really hope it gets the placing that it deserves.
Patrick: First of all I have to say this for everyone to hear: I love Tijana. She’s just an amazing person and I wish her all the best in Copenhagen. “To the sky” is a masterpiece. When I first heard the song I was like, “Oh nice”. But now I really love it. You cannot forget her voice: it’s strong and full of energy, and it forces the song deep into your memory and your heart. I never thought that she would be one of my favourites, but now I’m proud that she is. Where do we go now Tijana? – To Copenhagen and maybe to the victory!
Deban: Tijana is an accomplished singer who is saddled with an outdated entry. This wouldn’t be such a problem if it sounded vintage cool. Unfortunately, it’s tired rock. The added difficulty is that I’m yet to see a video of her singing this track LIVE, and this fact is reflected in my scoring. As I keep turning my volume dial lower, ‘To The Sky’ still blares in my ears. Not a good sign.
Angus: It’s really difficult to put in words quite what I like so much about ‘To The Sky’. It’s a bit like Kati Wolf in 2011 in that it’s dark, moody and rocky. There are kookaburras that open the whole shebang and should definitely be represented in the staging in Copenhagen. Perhaps it’s the fact that even though there are two similar entries, having something moody and rocky is a nice reprieve from all the folk songs and ballads. It also helps that Tijana looks amazing and the song is Macedonia’s strongest for years, perhaps even ever.
Billy: Finally: FYROM has chosen a good entry! Unfortunately this has little chance of proceeding to the final. The song is in a low register and likely very difficult to sing, which means that Tijana is going to have work very hard. I like the chorus and the music, but it’s like I’ve heard this a million times before. She also needs to improve her hand movements…
Wiwi: There are many girls at Eurovision, but Tijana is a woman. Her voice exudes a sultry sophistication born of experience and depth. Something in her sound suggests that she has felt pain, and her voice channels the struggle of drag queens, refugees, forlorn lovers, and other displaced people. When I first heard the song in Macedonian I was a bit lukewarm. But the English version brought it to life for me, and the positive message about going loud and living your life wrapped around me and is still holding me tight. As we saw at Eurovision in Concert, Tijana can perform. The song is strong and her personality is stronger. Fellow contestants beware.
All 19 members of our jury rate each song. However, we only have room to share 10 written reviews. Here are the remaining nine scores.
James L: 7/10
Maxim Montana: 7/10
The highest and lowest scores are removed before calculating the final score. We have dropped a low of 2.5 and a high of 10.
The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 6.5/10
You can check out our latest Eurovision 2014 reviews and rankings on the Wiwi Jury page. You can keep up-to-date on the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following the team on Twitter @wiwibloggs and by liking our Facebook page.