Earlier this year Damir Kedžo had his Eurovision dream end when the song contest was cancelled. But now the Croatian star won’t be taking another shot in 2021. He has confirmed that he will not be entering Croatia’s national final Dora 2021. He says that this time, he just doesn’t have the right song for Eurovision.
Damir explained his Eurovision decision in an interview with IN magazine. He said that it had simply come down to not having a song that was right for Eurovision.
“The only reason I signed up for Dora  was because I heard a song that I believed in 100 per cent and that I thought would be a great representative of Croatia at the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s crazy to expect that from me again and I didn’t think about signing up. I don’t have a song that I believe in that way and to see it on that stage, so there’s nothing from me on that issue.”
Damir Kedžo’s Eurovision journey
Damir previously won Dora 2020 with “Divlji vjetre” and was set to represent Croatia at Eurovision 2020.
After the show’s cancellation, broadcaster HRT confirmed that they would not internally select Damir nor guarantee him a place in Dora 2021. However, they did emphasise that he was still very welcome to enter the national final again.
Back then, Damir appeared upset by the broadcaster’s decision, however with time he appears to have developed a more philosophical attitude.
And while he might not have the right song for Dora 2021, he still has plenty of new music projects. His new single ”Sjeti se” is released on Monday, complete with a video that promises to “show Kedžo in a new light”.
He also has an English-language single, and says “I’m especially looking forward to a duet with a singer from the region that I really appreciate and a song that I really believe in.”
Eurovision 2020 acts not returning for 2021
Damir joins a number of other Eurovision 2020 acts who won’t be returning for another shot in 2021.
Denmark’s Ben & Tan, Norway’s Ulrikke, Portugal’s Elisa and Finland’s Aksel Kankaanranta have all confirmed they won’t be entering the 2021 edition of their country’s national final. France’s Tom Leeb, Cyprus’ Sandro and Germany’s Ben Dolic also won’t be returning to Rotterdam for various reasons. Belgium’s 2020 act Hooverphonic does have the return ticket for 2021, but they’ll be taking a different vocalist — singer Luka Cruysberghs has been replaced with Geike Arnaert.
However, 20 acts from 2020 will be back for 2021. A number of other acts from 2020 may also return if they manage to pull off a consecutive national final win or if their broadcaster internally selects them.
Dora 2021 is due to take place on 13 February 2021 in the Croatian seaside resort town of Opatija. Applications for the show close on 10 December.
Please, someone start writing a song for 2022 with Damir in mind.
I hope he will come back in the future with a similar, powerful Balkan ballad. He had the best male voice out of 2020’s cancelled contest, and Divlje vjetre could’ve been my 3d favourite Croatian Eurovision song ever, after Lighthouse and Romanca.
I feel sorry for him as an artist the same way I feel for all artists that won’t represent their country again in 2021!
However, it’s still faszinating to me how Croatia’s 2020 entry remains the only one of this year’s course that I cannot remember at all after listening ^^ So, personally I’m very excited for Dora 2021. Edit: Can we get another “Tower Of Babylon” please? 🙂
There’s something so wholesome about this guy, I wish him all the best
Sorry to hear it, but I hope Croatia pick a good song. It’s about time they rediscover their ‘90s-era badassery!
So we know for sure we’ll be getting new artists for Albania, Belarus, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, and Portugal. In case anyone thinks there isn’t still plenty up in the air!
You can also add Sweden to that list!
I thought The Mamas were participating in MelFest 2021? They might be chosen again
Svary Ljubav, Marija Magdelena and Neka mi Svene are all among my all time favorites. For me, Croatia is the most precious ex-Yu country in the eurovision.
It WAS, maybe, but for a current country Serbia’s probably been the most consistent. Bosnia was also strong at their peak but they aren’t around anymore.
Damir’s sad decision, I hope he will come back in the future, I also read that more people express their willingness to participate in the ESC, e.g. Filip Rudan, from the Croatian voice, if Croatia is counting on the final, Ursula must do everything in her power and HRT has made an effort and I hope a good artist with a good song will want to go to Rotterdam
Heavily rumored is also Filip Rudan (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RU0NAWDoo9s) he may have a great song. So I think Croatia might go to the finals this year (even tho the semi is already super tough)
He was actually asked if he would apply and his answer was: “We’ll see on 10th of December” which is the deadline for applications. So he basically confirmed.
Yeah, I also think he “confirmed” by that statement – so excited, but seriously we need those kind of energy from the countries of the 2nd semi haha, like we need countries like Poland, Serbia and Estonia to up their game from last year – we know they can do it. anyways early predictions for semi 1: I think Ukraine and Israel are in trouble, I’m not 100% sure Israel got he right songs for Eden, and if it’s a bop I’m afraid it won’t stand out o much as last year since Cyprus might be sending one too.. And… Read more »
Ukraine and Israel in trouble ? Why ?
again predictions – there were rumors that KAN isn’t happy with the songs that were send to them and also if Cyprus sends a bop entry it may overshadow the Israeli act .. and Ukraine, well I have a feeling they won’t qualify.. again just predictions..
As an Israeli, I really hope the rumors about KAN are false (especially pointing how amazing were the songs in “Hashir Haba 2020”), about Ukraine it’s based on GO_As song (I personally think that “Solovey” would’ve qualified) and I also think that Slovenia has great chances to qualify, Ana is a really strong vocalist and it just was the flop song she had to sing this year, if she gets a way better song for 2021 so I really think that Slovenia will qualify.
I dont worry about Ukraine’s qualification Go_A is their better artist ever sent from this country (radio-friendly, mothertongue, modern and ethnic). So if Mika Newton, Anir Lorak, Mariya Yaremchuk, MELOVIN, Gaitana, Tina Karol or Svetlana Loboda did it with their american songs, this semi will just be a formality for Ukraine as always. Ukraine always won in their national language so… And when I see how generous countries with Ukraine in this semi like Macedonia, Israel, Romania, Italy, Russia, Germany, Belarus, Lithuania and Slovenia. Im feel confortable for Slovenia, “Voda” was my favorite song for the first semi-final, so yes… Read more »
Too bad for Damir because he is sweet and humble, and he truly wanted to represent Croatia. But neither semi is too tough if you have the right song and singer. I am always concerned that our public will be unable to make the right choice based on the attrocities we managed to select in the past. Fingers crossed.
The link you put for Filip Rudan leads to a cover. Does he have his own songs? I thought Roko’s and even (here I’m trying to fight my bias) Nina’s cases have proven that sending talent-show winners without a strong vision about their artistic path, to Eurovision, isn’t exactly the best idea for Croatia.
I’m glad he isn’t forcing his participation but I kinda thought some authors in Croatia and even in Europe would want to work with him on a song for 2021.
At least we’ll get Nina Kraljic back. I hope she has a great song for Dora and after she wins, she’ll get her redemption at Eurovision. Ugly, distracting dress and illness killed her potential last time.
I wonder if Nina competing scared off Damir.
You’re right, ‘Lighthouse’ was a really nice song in its studio version, but once in Stockholm everything seemed to not work. At least Nina made it to the final, and hopefully this year she’ll have an equally good or an even better song. But if this is not the case, then I’d prefer someone else to go to Rotterdam.
PS: Lighthouse is my favourite song of Croatia in the ’10s
Of course, the song should always be the priority
I think the song was ok but her vocal performance was bad. I was glad to see Croatia qualifying after a few years of bad luck but I would place list near the bottom in my ranking due to her singing bad. I guess she was ill but that doesn’t change anything.
I’ve heard Nina’s snippets on Instargam and personally found them totally magnificent (but Lighthouse is my all-time favourite Eurovision song so no wonder). Factual info: the song is VERY ethnic and atmospheric, and somehow reminded me of Snijeg (my 2d favourite song from Nina’s discography), but it has way more power in vocals and orchestration, its main instrument seem to be drums that enter already from the intro, it has really a LOT of backing vocals (ethnic singing) made by Nina herself as well. I guess we have a perfect case of someone profiting of the new Eurovision rule for… Read more »
God, how could I forgot the most important detail: in the snippets there could be heard only Croatian lyrics, and my intuition says the whole song most likely is fully in Croatian, but remains to see.