Eurovision 2023 top 37 countdown: #27 CROATIA – Let 3 – Mama ŠČ!

Bring on the tractors! After two years in a row where Croatia finished an agonising 11th place in the semi-finals, in 2023, they are bringing something completely different and seemingly bonkers to the contest. Let 3, no strangers to controversy in their long careers, are the Croatian entry this year, having easily won the Croatian national final. Can they bring Croatia back to the grand final for the first time since 2017?

Let 3 will certainly bring some colour and maybe controversy to the contest this year. They have been around since the late 1980s, and their form of alternative shock rock has at times caused upset among conservatives and the Catholic Church who have been their target in their music, as well as supporting LGBT and women’s rights. “Mama ŠČ!” is ostensibly an anti-war song, but it really is aimed at a couple of dictators in particular (you can guess who!). The aforementioned tractor is of course a reference to the Lukashenko’s gift to Putin for his 70th birthday…

It can be hard to judge a song that is such an obvious parody (though it is not a joke entry by any means). At first, many eurofans were aghast at this winning the national final and it was in many people’s last places. Yet, as the weeks have gone on, appreciation for this entry seems to have risen, and I have been one of those who have enjoyed this more than I first did when it first became the entry. In particular, the last minute or so is what I enjoy the most – more uptempo, vigorous and excoriating and mocking of the warmonger dictators. You do have to get through a trickier beginning though…

Consensus on Croatia’s qualifying chances has swung from assuming it wouldn’t qualify, to being sure it would definitely qualify and now it’s more back to ‘could go either way’. How this comes across will be important – will viewers see this as a clever/funny parody or will it come across as embarrassing and awkward? Again, at present, could be either way – I don’t think we are going to know until we see what Let 3 bring to the Liverpool stage (and what antics they get up to!)

Croatia in the Eurovision Song Contest

First entered: 1993

Appearances (excluding this year): 27

Best result: 4th in 1996 and 1999

Last year’s result: 11th in semi-final (did not qualify)

Flag of Croatia

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