Wiwibloggs is launching a new series looking at all the countries currently competing in the Eurovision Song Contest and why we love them — for all the right (and sometimes wrong) reasons. Today we’re stopping off at Skopje and delving into the back-catalogue of FYR Macedonia‘s entries.

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has been participating in the Eurovision Song Contest since the mid-’90s. In that time, they have provided us with some of the most unforgettable stage shows in modern Eurovision history, and more recently some of the catchiest riffs we’ve ever heard. Whilst their last qualification was way back in Baku 2012, we can’t help but love what they serve every year. Here’s 10 reasons we love FYR Macedonia!

1. They’re moving with the times

FYR Macedonia made a turning point in Eurovision 2017 by bringing “Dance Alone” by Jana Burčeska; a much more radio-friendly ’80s-tinged banger that took most by surprise. Suddenly Macedonian flags were in many a Twitter name, which was then repeated in 2018 with the introduction of Eye Cue. The song quality has really been there the last two years and with the way they’re going, qualification is inevitable in near-future editions.

2. They bring super empowering women

Strong women are a key feature of Macedonian entries on a regular basis, with three-time entrant Kaliopi being the perfect example. We see so many different empowering ladies of different ages and style and for that, we adore you FYR Macedonia!

3. Interesting costume choices

They aren’t scared of a big and bold stage costume and taking a risk. Whilst this sometimes pays off, they have managed to bag the Barbara Dex Award twice. Most recently, they decided a backwards-hot-pink-suit-jacket-dress with an uncomfortable looking silver jumper on underneath was the best choice for Lisbon. On the contrary, Daniel Kajmakoski looked handsome as it gets in 2015 with his autumn-inspired look to match his song.

4. They’re there every year no matter what

Possibly the biggest reason to love Macedonia is that they Never. Give. Up. They haven’t qualified in the last six editions, yet they come back year after year with a great effort. Since their first participation in 1996, they have only missed four contests, and haven’t missed any since the semi-final era started in 2004.

5. They create a unique and special moment

We were graced with the only Eurovision proposal ever in 2017, when Jana Burčeska’s then-boyfriend Alexander popped the question just before the results announcement. She had already given us Postcard Goals by announcing her pregnancy through the 50-second clip before her performance. Later in the year, she gave birth to a baby girl called Dona; this is of course the title of Kaliopi’s 2016 entry to Eurovision.

6. They are cool with going traditional

In 2013 we were introduced to Esma Redžepova when her duet with Lozano “Pred da se razdeni” was brought to the Malmo stage. Their use of Macedonian being mixed with Romani was a glorious ethnic showcase, costumes and all. Esma sadly passed away in 2016, but the Romani-music legend is fondly remembered by Eurovision fans continent-wide.

7. They reach out to heavyweights for help

Daniel Kajmakoski performing “Autumn Leaves” with backing vocals from Blackstreet in 2015.

They made the bold choice to include Blackstreet into the choreography and backing vocals for the performance of “Autumn Leaves” in 2015, by Daniel Kajmakoski. The Grammy-winning hip hop act are a huge name in ’90s American music so to reach out to them was huge, even if the song didn’t end up qualifying to the final.

8. Keeping it in the family

Macedonia’s 2008 entrant Tamara narrowly missed out on the final, but will have been nervously watching in 2014, as her sister Tijana was representing the country on stage in Copenhagen. Tijana’s song “To The Sky” took a different turn to her sibling’s entry, by providing a modern dance-pop banger. We just love the tunes coming out of this family.

9. Keeping the Macedonian language alive in Eurovision

FYR Macedonia aren’t shy to sing in their own language at Eurovision, and their biggest success to date is “Crno I Belo” (Black and White) from 2012, sung entirely in Macedonian. Whilst their last two entries have been in English, it doesn’t feel like their native language is ever too far away, as entries from this country can be very varied and unexpected.

10. No. Way. Back.

THAT arm movement that we were all doing at Euro parties this year. You know what I’m talking about… “Have you ever thought about it? We went too far no there’s *no…way…back*” Thank you, Marija of Eye Cue — we are eternally grateful!

Bonus…

Whilst it’s easy to say “FYR Macedonia won’t win Eurovision”, let us just remember that if Portugal could win in 2017 on its 49th attempt, then who knows what Skopje will bring to take it home, especially if they continue on the path they’re on at the moment.

What else do you love about FYR Macedonia? Which of their Eurovision entries takes you To The Sky? Comment below and let us know what you think!

 

Follow all of our FYR Macedonia Eurovision 2018 news

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Polegend Godgarina
Guest

You forgot: because they make Greeks PRESSED and witnessing their meltdown is always fun.

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

FYR Macedonia has been one of Eurovision most “ballsy” countries. And I do not mean it in a bad way, right now their last entries have been very decent and have gained accolades among the community. “Dona”, “Dance Alone” and “Lost and Found” didn’t seem to make mistakes on paper but when it came down to the night, the final products have been underwhelming. Specially with the original catchy guilty pleasure that is “Lost and Found”. As for now, Macedonia should keep trying as long as they can (financial problems). Because hope must never be lost in Eurovision, just look… Read more »

Tommy
Guest
Tommy

Pseudomacedonia needs some polishing…

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

So I guess San Marino’s next. Or Iceland.
And about Macedonia winning… I’m a bit worried if they could afford hosting a contest, but I have nothing against. Top 10 finish would be great as well.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

* or Switzerland.

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

Seems like we’ve started with the balkan nations.

About FYROM:
What I love about them most is what you said “They never give up”! They failed to qualify since 2012, but that didn’t make them quit. Especially, with their entries in 2017 and 2018 they showed willingness to succeed and they are in the right direction. Keep up the good work neighbours!

About the Bonus fact, that FYROM won’t win Eurovision, it’s not likely for me at least. But, honestly, if Portugal won, then everything can happen. Why not FYROM?

Nikko
Guest
Nikko

They officially renamed the country to “Northern Macedonia”

Biljana
Guest
Biljana

Excuse me. It’s not official. Nothing is official yet!! Wrong statement!! Get your facts right, please

marcus (Day One)
Guest
marcus (Day One)

The problem with FYR Macedonia is either a lackluster song or lackluster staging. Dance alone and lost and found are great songs (eye Cue had my 2nd favorite song in 2018) but the staging was weak. 2017 staging wasn’t that bad but looked empty and her vocals were good despite everyone seeming to think otherwise. 2018 have both weak staging and vocals. The backing vocalist didn’t sound right for the song and it sounded shouty at some points. As for that outfit it just seemed like the staging was done at the last minute. Cyprus was a great example of… Read more »

Darth Thulhu
Guest
Darth Thulhu

The only staging they’ve had that I’ve truly liked was Crno i Belo in 2012 and Nesto Sto Ke Ostane in 2009, and a LOT of those were the fact that the hosts in those years were lavishly spending on the staging tech as a point of national pride for their hosting debuts. The 2009 staging, in particular, was much more a testament to the Russian bankrolling than it was to Macedonian creativity.

Dave
Guest
Dave

There’s always something wrong with this country’s entries. They either can’t find a good singer or a good song and when they do find a good song, they stage it in the worst possible way.

Oliver
Guest
Oliver

No mention of Macedonia’s best entry Elena Risteska? Why?

A random russian guy
Guest
A random russian guy

Still listening to her Ninanajna somtimes

KuhKatz
Guest
KuhKatz

I really dont know whats wrong witj Macedonia. The big problem is that the mixture of Singer, Song and Staging wasn‘t great at all the last 11 years (except 2012), especially since 2013. 2013 – Lozano is a really great singer, would rank him high in a rating of best singers at ESC, but even if Esma was a good person, she destroyed Pred da se razdeni. 2014 – Tijana is also a great singer with a great stage presence, unfortunately To the sky was way too weak. 2015 – I like Daniel, good singer but oh my…. the staging,… Read more »

allexo
Guest
allexo

Remember at the start of the Eurovision season, when we all thought Macedonia were never going to be in the contest ever again, but Macedonia ended up going to Lisbon.
Ah, Worrying Times

MyName
Guest
MyName

Macedonia is underrated in ESC. I find 2002, 04, 06, 08, 09, 10, 12, 17 and 18 all great songs. Esp. their rock entries from 2009 and 10

Maya G
Guest
Maya G

Great country, awesome songs, but they really have to up their game where it comes to staging.

Africavision
Guest
Africavision

Macedonia is the country I root for the most at Eurovision and Junior Eurovision. I just feel they are so unjustifiably underrated always! Their last three Eurovision entries were all in my top 20 (‘dona’ and ‘dance alone’ were in my top 10). Likewise, their last three Junior Eurovision entries were all in my top 4 (‘pletenka’ was actually my #1 of 2015). I’m such a sucker for underdog stories, and I am just waiting for the day that Macedonia wins the ESC or JESC. Lord knows I will cry like a biatch!

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

I loved Pletenka to. Yes it was old fashioned but so what, many are. Last place was 🙁

Africavision
Guest
Africavision

Hi there. I completely agree with you. Likewise, Serbia 2016 and Cyprus 2017 did not deserve last place. In fact, Cyprus was also my #1 favorite song of 2017… Why do my favorites always come last??? *crying face*

Ana
Guest
Ana

Samo Ti, Crno i Belo, Dona… Macedonia = Kaliopi the Queen! ?

Conor K
Guest
Conor K

Macedonia is in my top 10 every year they participated from 1998- 2016. Didn’t like their past 2 entries, but have great respect for the quality nonetheless 🙂
My top 5 from them:
1. 2011
2. 2009
3. 2010
4. 1998
5. 2015

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

The 2017 and 2018 music videos are fantastic. However, the 2017 and 2018 live stage performances were… lacking. 2012 is still their best result, I believe. If that live magic can be found again, they could win. All the right ingredients are there – it’s just about transferring the videos to the stage.
P.S. I just watched a video of Menil Velioski. Interesting. 🙂

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

I love them in ESC and JESC recently, heck Dancing Through Life and Lost and Found are still in My playlist. They just need to have BETTER STAGING.

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

I love how the series starts out with two countries that will probably withdraw from ESC due to poor results. But i do love the positives these articles bring up! Also side note, I showed my sister, who isnt into ESC, FYR. Macedonia’s performance an all she could say was that she looked like a Raw piece of meat! ??

Eastman
Guest
Eastman

They need to harness the power of Queen Kalliopi and get back in the grand final!

JackTheBoy
Guest
JackTheBoy

They always mess it up when it comes to staging their entries.

Eee Pee
Guest
Eee Pee

The last two years when I heard their songs I was sure they would qualify. Then it’s like nooooo why did you mess up the staging? They get it right soon. Skopje 2020?

Gab
Guest
Gab

Especially with Dance Alone, this song could really qualify.