We’re into what could be termed my own personal grand final – yes, it’s the top 25 (as there will be 25 entries in the grand final this year, not six) and it’s the second entry in my rankings from a former Yugoslav country. North Macedonia scored a stunning success in 2019, winning the jury vote only to non-qualify in 2021. Will Andrea circle them back to a qualification this year?
North Macedonia followed the example of the Czech Republic with their selection this year – an online national selection that included both an international jury vote and a public vote. The vote was tied and the rules stated the winning song was decided based on jury votes over public vote. I think just as well all told, given “Superman” won the public vote by a huge margin – novelty entries can be all well and good, but I think we’re better off having Andrea’s Circles at the contest.
Andrea cites Lauryn Hill and Hayley Williams as influences and she is a cowriter of her own entry. Circles is a decent pop song, though the studio version doesn’t exactly fill with excitement. It’s the live performance though that has boosted this up my rankings – Andrea (who seems a lovely sweet person) really sells this in her vocal performance, and she really emotes well when singing the lyrics. It’s enough to elevate this up to my mid-table ranking.
It’s difficult to predict for sure how this will do. It seems more likely that this will get a little lost in its semi-final, and I think it might struggle to pull in a big public vote. Yet this could be a song that juries decide that they like and that might be enough to give it a chance – though probably going through as the tenth qualifier if it does. It’s a worthy performance though so Andrea would be well deserving of a grand final slot.
North Macedonia in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 1998
Appearances (excluding this year): 21
Best result: 7th in 2019
Last year’s result: 15th in semi-final (did not qualify)