Next up, it’s the country formerly known as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, but now officially and internationally recognised as North Macedonia. For the last two years, North Macedonia has been the highest placed of the former Yugoslav countries in my previews countdown and they have secured that distinction once again, though they are not the highest placed Balkan country, that is still to come!
Tamara Todevska was internally selected as North Macedonia’s entry, and she is no stranger to the Eurovision stage. In 2008, she narrowly missed out in a place in the grand final, performing as part of a trio: Tamara, Vrčak and Adrian with the song “Let Me Love You“. She was back again in 2014 as backing singer to her elder sister Tijana with her entry “To the Sky” but that too failed to make the grand final. So could it be third time lucky?
“Proud” is strings-based, acoustic ballad, all around the theme of female empowerment, and indeed, they amended the song’s release date to coincide with International Women’s Day. Both the lyrics and Tamara’s (studio) vocals are heartfelt and both draw upon and draw out a lot of emotion. In addition to being about female empowerment, it is also about her two daughters – so you can see where that emotion comes from.
While this does have the accolade of top ranked former Yugoslav countries, this ranking is a bit lower than for the two previous North Macedonian entries but that’s not to say I don’t like this – I do, with a very respectable mid-table ranking from me.
One also has to hope it will escape the fate of those two high ranked previous North Macedonian entries which I am afraid flopped at the contest itself, crashing out in the semi-finals, mostly due to a combination of poor staging and underwhelming vocals. I have a feeling both Tamara’s live vocal will be strong, and that it will have better, simpler, classier and better thought through staging. With those, there is an outside chance it may qualify for the grand final (which would be North Macedonia’s first qualification since 2012).
Official music video:
My preview video:
North Macedonia in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 1998
Appearances (excluding this year): 19
Best result: 12th in 2006
Last year’s result: 18th in semi-final (did not qualify)