The Balkan of country Macedonia (or FYR Macedonia) has sent some quality, commercial songs to Eurovision and Junior Eurovision in more recent years; however, their results in these years are telling a different story. Out of 18 attempts in the past 20 years, Macedonia have never made the Top Ten, with their best result being 12th position in 2006. More disappointing however is that the landlocked nation has failed to make the Grand Final at Eurovision in their past 6 attempts, with their last appearance in a final being when Kaliopi took the nation to the left hand side of the scoreboard, with 'Crno I Belo' finishing in 13th place.
In 2016, Martija took to the Junior Eurovision stage in Malta with the song 'Love Will Lead Our Way', as one of the pre-show favourites based on a number of fan polls. After a confident vocal, and in a year where the results were decided wholly by juries, Martija finished a lowly 12th out of 17 entries.
May 2017, and expectations for the Macedonian Eurovision entry 'Dance Alone' by Jana Burceska were high. Jana had worked the pre-party circuit well, and Macedonia had their hopes set on her retro sounding dance/pop tune which was a commercial and radio friendly song, changing their fortunes at the contest. However, much to the surprise of many fans, Jana failed to qualify for the Grand Final in Kyiv, finishing only 15th in her semi.
Fast forward to this year, and Eurovision in Lisbon, and Eye Cue dared try something different - a song featuring a mix of genres, but again a commercial and radio friendly track. However once again failing to break through the semis, and ultimately finishing second from last.
But where is it all going wrong for Macedonia?
Many Eurofans will be quick to give you their opinions on where Macedonia have been going wrong, however we believe it breaks down into these three:
Whilst there were high hopes for Jana Burceska in Kyiv, many felt instantly let down by the staging of the song. True to the song, Jana did Dance Alone, however there appeared to be something missing from the get go. The staging wasn't risky in any way, and at times appeared messy.
Similarly with Eye Cue in Lisbon, it was no secret that a song featuring so many different elements would be difficult to stage, however there was hope that the Macedonian's would pull it off. The end result however was messy choreography, that ultimately detracted from the vocals and the song. When we spoke to Eye Cue at the Eurovision Concert in Amsterdam, we questioned how they were going to stage such a difficult song (interview below)
We think Macedonia should take a leaf out of Moldova's book, bring in a new creative team that can smartly choreograph their entries to ensure they are memorable, tight and appealing.
Whilst Jana was looking hot on stage in Kyiv, her outfit did not lend to her solo performance of the song, when it came to Eye Cue this year, the Barbara Dex award loomed. They tried to work in a 'dress reveal' part way through the song, masked by Marija's futuristic 'dress-coat' - and it just didn't work. The cover up didn't fully mask the dress, leaving there to be no element of surprise when her pink mini-dress was revealed. Her outfit unfortunately was as messy as some of the choreography. From the very first rehearsal, all talk was about the dress...
A new passion?
Meri Popova, current head of delegation has publicly indicated previously that Macedonia is content to participate and be a part of the huge Eurovision spectacle, however we can't help but feel they need to be 'in it to win it'. We have seen other countries make changes to their teams following a bad result or non-qualification, and looked at new formats of selecting entries in hope to bring in the results. We can't help but feel the Macedonian team needs to find a new motivation for their participation. We would love to see the country break the Top Ten after 20 years of participation.
But what do we know? We would love to know what YOU think! Don't forget to let us know by commenting on our videos, or letting us know on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @eurovoxx