Wiwibloggs continues our series looking at the countries currently competing in the Eurovision Song Contest and why we love them — for all the right (and sometimes wrong) reasons. Today we will be looking at the beautiful coastal country of Croatia.

Croatia’s first appearance at the Eurovision Song Contest was in 1993. They have since provided us with interesting and memorable moments and many songs which feature the extensive culture of Croatia. So let’s take a look at 10 reasons why we love Croatia at the Eurovision Song Contest!

1. They have sent many seasoned singers with huge voices

Croatia is not short of having seasoned singers with astounding voices represent the country. Goran Karan, Jacques Houdek and Nina Badrić are on the list, however, there is one singer that tops them all. Doris Dragović represented Croatia in 1999 with the song “Marija Magdalena” and delivered strong, perfect vocals. Looking like a goddess on stage in a crisp white dress, she achieved one of Croatia’s best result at Eurovision with fourth place.

2. They sent one singer doing a duet with himself

In 2017, Jacques Houdek’s song “My Friend” was one of the most divisive songs that year. In many ways, it is a song of twos: two languages (English and Italian), two styles (torch song and operatic ballad) and two halves (a dreamy and atmospheric first half which leads to a forceful second half). And he sung it all by himself! The song qualified for the grand final and was a top ten favourite among the televoters.

3. They even sent a rapping senior

The year was 2008 and the band Kraljevi Ulice represented the country with the beautiful tango-esque song “Romanca”. The song would have been average for most of the viewers, but they had a little trick up their sleeve! 75 Cents was the stage name of the late Ladislav Demeterffy, then 75-years-old. He featured in the song doing a few shouty raps in a grumpy grandpa style, reminding listeners that nothing changes in the world of music. While he brought humour to the performance, there is no doubt his presence added a lot of spirit to the song.

4. The many costume reveals over the years

Dress reveals are one of the tricks countries like to use at Eurovision and Croatia sure is one of them! From a crowd-pleasing striptease with Doris Dragović in 1999 to a huge kimono being pulled apart with Nina Kraljić in 2016, there was one year that was even more creative. That was in 2011 with the performance, “Celebrate” sung by Daria Kinzer. Her dress was changed with the use of magic by a creepy DJ magician – not once, but twice!

5. The one and only Severina!

In 2006, the country decided to send one singer who is regarded as the queen of the Balkans and the only bona fide Croatian celebrity: Severina. She performed a song in what was then her signature style — pop with folk/ethnic influences. She performed “Moja Štikla”, serving a singalong style, with backing vocalists wearing traditional outfits, accompanied by a traditional instrument, the gusle.

6. They bring cultural heritage to the stage

There have been many songs by Croatia that feature traditional sounds and instruments but in 2013, they brought something special. Klapa s Mora was a music ensemble which performed klapa, a style of singing from the region of Dalmatia that has been inscribed into the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list. Whilst the song failed to qualify for the grand final, the singers showed vocal composure and harmony and raised awareness for one aspect of Croatia’s cultural heritage.

7. The varying genres that represented the country

There have been a number of genres that Croatia has showcased to represent their country. While most of the songs are pop in nature, with many ballads included, in 2011 there was eurodance, in 2003 R&B, in 2007 rock, in 2017 opera and in 2018 some jazz. We also cannot forget to mention the many songs over the years with traditional Croatian influences.

8. They often like to sing their language

Croatians are proud of their culture and often show this through the power of their language. Since the language rule was scrapped in 1999, Croatia has still sent a majority of songs in either Croatian or Croatian with English.

9. Their bold fashion choices

In 2016, Croatia was remembered for their bold fashion choice with Nina Kraljić. She wore a huge dress which resembled a Japanese kimono. It featured a tree design (inspired by a tattoo on Nina’s back) and militaristic flourishes at the collar. Halfway through her performance, the backing singers ripped it off to reveal a rather interesting dress with feathers, silver sequins and metal that shimmered with her movements. There was a lot going on. It left many fans confused — so much so that it won the Barbara Dex Award for that year.

10. They have even sent girl groups

In 1997, they sent the girl group E.N.I. with the upbeat song “Probudi Me”. More recently, one cannot go past in 2010 when the girl group Feminem represented Croatia. They slowed down the pace from when they represented Bosnia and Herzergovina in 2005 and delivered “Lako je Sve”, a ballad full of substance and drama. Whilst the song was a favourite before the contest, it unfortunately did not qualify.

Bonus fact!

Croatia has actually won the Eurovision Song Contest… kind of. Back in 1989, the contest was won by Yugoslavia with the band Riva who sang “Rock Me”. The band came from Croatia, one of the republics that formerly made up the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. So you could say that Croatia has won Eurovision!

What do you think? What are your favourite things about Croatia at Eurovision? Share the love in the comments section below!

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La Signora
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La Signora

Doris Dragovic in Jerusalem is my winner

Nash
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Nash

I mean, you can’t really state that Croatia won Eurovision in 1989 cause band was from Croatia. It was Yugoslavia, the whole country was engaged in the process of selecting that entry as well as and voting later in Eurovision. And yes, ESC was hosted in Zagreb the following year with orchestra from Belgrade and television directors from RTS and HRT, again it was in Yugoslavia. It’s much more complicated than what you wrote.

Denis
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Denis

Well. since the group was Croatian and the contest was held in Zagreb the year after it is often by Croatians and others seen as Croatian win. It is really more complicated. It’s all got to do with Balkan feelings..

Hrvatska
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Hrvatska

Love love love Croatia next year 2019 in israel better My opinion Kedzo a represent Croatia in israel

Jo.
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Jo.

They have some high quality songs in their portfolio. Croatia could definitely win the contest if they had better broadcasters.

Loin dici
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Loin dici

If there’s one for Georgia, this list should include the fact that they have sent four singers named Sophia/Sopho into the contest.

Joe
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Joe

Solid country, solid jams. Best is Nostalgija from ‘95.