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
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!
I’m still learning the #choreography. It’s always #cleverfun with @eyecueofficial #eurovisionmoments #eurovisionmemories #wiwibloggs #eurovision2018 #eurovision #allaboard #israelcalling #israelgram #eurovision #eurovisionstar #eurovisionsongcontest #israelcalling2018 #eyecue #fyrmacedonia #formeryugoslavia #macedonia??
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!