When the running order was released, many said North Macedonia would need to surprise us to stand out.

But when they said that, few would have expected that at North Macedonia’s first rehearsal at Eurovision 2019, the surprise would be similarity in staging to Russia.

However it rapidly became clear that Tamara Todevska‘s stageshow stands on its own.

Her mirrors are purely for reflection. Where they are integral to Sergey’s staging, for North Macedonia the mirrors are window dressing.

Instead the focus of her stageshow is photos flashed up on the screen of women and families, channeling her message of female empowerment. The other focus is her voice.

Tamara sounds outstanding, but this needs more warmth. Like many other performances this is a really dark stage show and that doesn’t tally with an empowerment anthem.

Tamara Todevska — “Proud”: Reviews and Reactions

Coming soon

North Macedonia: First rehearsal at Eurovision 2019

North Macedonia: First press conference 2019

Read all of our Eurovision rehearsal reviews

Photo Credit: EBU

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Talentina Monetta
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Talentina Monetta

I stand by what I said last month that this will be the “surprise” qualifier from SF2

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Tamara is proud to show her back to the audience in all the mirrors. Wait. Isn’t that a huge insult in some countries?! Careful.
I appreciate what is trying to be done here – the lyrics say “go on, break the rules” and that is certainly what is being done. Still a bit much though. Great vocals. 🙂
The only other thing in my notes was: Lighting. (Again.) But maybe I am just going blind.

Richard
Guest
Richard

I love this song, perhaps not so much the staging based on this short clip, but fingers crossed. It is all rather dark

Karl Fradgley
Guest
Karl Fradgley

Im calling this for the top ten in the final on
Saturday

steven
Guest
steven

Tamara is one of the bestbest song!!!Better than Netherland

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

North Macedonia and Russia both went for a musical theater number staged with mirrors, but I would say the strongest asset here is exactly what “Scream” lacks: strong meaning. This staging is not as polished and not nearly as technological as Sergey’s, but I like the fact the mirrors aren’t there to show Tamara, but to reflect the audience. The lighting and the colors are not the best, but the concept is very nice. And her vocals sound very impressive from the short snippet.

Colin
Guest
Colin

I think both songs used mirrors in a way appropriate for them to shine. I would disagree that Scream doesn’t have a strong meaning. It’s a song about loneliness and dealing with echoing pain. It’s actually quite impactful if you are in the right mood. Even if you are not, it has a powerful beat. Now back to Tamara. The staging is poised and elegiac and the empowerment might come from showing the audience behind. Second part of the semi is more competitive as it turns out.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

@Sabrina: My notes were similar, except that we disagree on Russia having a less powerful meaning. But maybe that’s just a matter of having a personal connection to the meanings. Basically I feel the power of “Proud” even though I don’t personally connect with it, whereas I do personally connect to “Scream”, so “Scream” evidently has more impact on me.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Colin and Mask: I guess in the end it’s a matter perception (like Mask pointed), more than taste. As I told you both before, I can’t warm up to what’s behind the Russian spetacle this year. It’s a cool package, I appreciate they’re really going for it and Sergey is entertaining as always, but sadly it doesn’t move me. While “Proud” in the other hand is not as “wow”, but really speaks to me. So we’ll probably never agree on this one. But we can agree that both did what they should in terms of staging. NM is aiming the… Read more »

Luk
Guest
Luk

North Macedonia Top 10 final
Strong voice! !!

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

This is not a breaking-through staging, but still a fair improvement over what they have brought in recent years. Tamara sounded great — I’m actually afraid that she would lost breath at the big moment since she didn’t sing that high before, but she prove me wrong up to this point. I like how they took the advantage of the mirror and turned it theatrical-wise. And the most important part, Aleksandar Noshpal (see North Macedonia 2002 and 2004) evolved and tailored a nice and fitting dress with a great color that looked good on those reflections. I still think that… Read more »

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

The staging is not bad per se, at least looking back at its record over the years. Nonetheless, it needs more colorful lighting. Also, they should have better choose a warmer color for the stage. I get green means faith, but green is a cold color and I agree it need some warmth. This could still qualify though, Tamara is impressive and they have time to tweak the lighting. I still don’t get why every staging is so dark this year.

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

Unlucky running order for NM, being right before Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is far superior visually, it will look expensive, the song is upbeat, Chingiz is gorgeous, awesome outfit. Tamara, good vocals, ok, awful staging, the eyes are drawn to those reflections of her – so many, with her back to the audience, never a good idea, it’s in fact a silly idea, cheap looking dress, the sound is whiney, just like Albania. It can’t qualify on vocals alone.

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

Sometimes you wrote great comments, but this one discrediting other delegation just for the sake of one don’t resonate with me at the moment.

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

I don’t want to offend Tamara or anyone else. I do stand by what I wrote. It’s a silly idea to have that kind of staging especially when the title of the song is “Proud”, the meaning of lyrics included. Show me “your face”, not “your back”. Simple.. And the design/cut of the gown is bad on the bust area. It shouldn’t be difficult to fit the gown to the body. Wrong fabric combination by the looks of it.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

It’s like reading the real AD’s feedback notes. 😀
The “wrong fabric combination” is probably a deliberate attempt to “break the rules”, as the song lyrics suggest. But yes, I agree that showing one’s back to the audience many times is a bit much. Tamara is an excellent singer though, and sells the song well on her own. The team could take the mirrors away completely and the performance would still work as a piece to camera.

ESCJudge
Guest
ESCJudge

Tamara in 2008… good song in Macedonian… good position (19th? last, as I remember), support of Balkans (as they supported each other back then)

Then… song changed into English… Tamara wearing… huh… nothing special… and.. a first loose, non qualification for Former(!) Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

She was the one who cut the lucky line for (F)FYROM
Now… (not mentioning lovely Kaliopi) can she bring it back to the final?

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

To be factual, she actually ‘qualified’ (10th), although back then they have that ‘backup jury’ situation and they choose ‘the country that does the Eurovision best’ to qualify through.

ESCJudge
Guest
ESCJudge

hehe FoxNews style.

She actually did not qualify. Period 🙂

Denis
Guest
Denis

North Macedonia finally has a good staging! This is great. Should qualify!
I think ute even better than Russia.

Ezal
Guest
Ezal

Balkan women are slaying this year with looks, vocals and self-confidence on stage, and yes, finally not fked up staging from North Macedonia! Well done!

kanfn
Guest
kanfn

tamara will marry conan please

Luli
Guest
Luli

Hahhahah

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

it took me a while, it’s the color of the outfits. D’ah.

Bobby
Guest
Bobby

that vocal was EVERYTHING. Probably the best vocal from today’s rehearsals. #TeamTamara #Proud

ESCJudge
Guest
ESCJudge

LED are back to to stage design and many delegations just cover them with items 😀

huh.

Jack
Guest
Jack

That’s the best you know. This isn’t the led contest. Whoever wants, can use them.

ESCJudge
Guest
ESCJudge

Ups.
Mirrors again.

Anyone has that special feeling to get there and somehow smash all those mirrors both for Russia and North Macedonia? 😀

Bobby
Guest
Bobby

Tamara’s mirrors are just reflecting, Sergey’s are LEDs if I noticed well?

ESCJudge
Guest
ESCJudge

I think it’s combined…

As it is Russia…
it is always somethging combined 😛
😉

Idksmth
Guest
Idksmth

YAAAAS, finally the not fked up staging North Macedonia has come to ESC as well. And they still have time to make the lights orange-toned overall my second winner of the day with Malta. It’ll be so hard between choosing Malta, this and Romania to vote for. Hope the result does this justice.

Burger
Guest
Burger

they’ve got a name everyone can agree too, no more FYROM – its this year for North Macedonia to qualify or never

Savvas
Guest
Savvas

That song is such an imitation to “One last breath” from Esc 2015, but it is still a pretty decent song. Hope it was more original though.

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Because it’s a woman singing a power ballad? Please

Savvas
Guest
Savvas

Because the melody in the chorus is the same.

Leafy
Guest
Leafy

Cause Greece also invented piano ballads.
If they added sirtaki and floating gyros maybe but a piano ballad is something you definitely cannot claim.

nej
Guest
nej

How stereotypically racist are you, Leafy?

Savvas
Guest
Savvas

I didn’t say that we -Greeks- invented the genre, but this song is an imitation to One last breath. Just that. At least in my ears. You should really choose your enemies. I already said I like it. But, still it’s a copycat for me.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

It seems that North Macedonia is the New Macedonia, cause that staging sure wasn’t a disaster. Tamara looks great, the staging concept sounds interesting, overall N. Macedonia is in a good position to qualify.

Antonio
Guest
Antonio

This is me and thanks to you I’m #PROUD.
Pure emotion, the best vocal this year and after so many years, great staging. Love you Tamara.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

I think this is a song that actually needs darkness in it’s staging. The music has a sad undertone to it so you shouldn’t make it look to jovial.

Boateng
Guest
Boateng

PERFECT!!!! WIWI DON’T BOYCOT MACEDONIA 😉

nej
Guest
nej

Who?

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

they’ve outsold russia tbh, tamara’s staging looks so much better

Valhalla
Guest
Valhalla

agreed! it looks more authentic

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

I’m worried for Albania, because so many countries are delivering in this semi and it’s going to be difficult for a lot of people to make it trhough

ESCJudge
Guest
ESCJudge

That’s when you spend most of money for the dress.
Albania’s songs have such a potential… and in the end… forefight.
Again.

Still one of my favourites.

Rashad
Guest
Rashad

So similar to the Russian choreography. Weird.

Una
Guest
Una

I agree with you on this one 🙂

Mirko
Guest
Mirko

This was a real masterpiece! The best performance from today’s rehearsals! Top 10 for North Macedonia

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

This is actually stunning and more natural rather than Sergey’s. I am in love with this.

Andreas
Guest
Andreas

It is better overall because it’s a better song compared to Russia. Best of luck to our neighbors from Greece!