ESC 2010 Reviews: Croatia
Croatia, like Bosnia & Herzegovina, entered the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time as an independent nation back in 1993. Just like “Sva Bol Svieta”, Croatia’s entry “Don’t Ever Cry” quietly alluded to the then-ongoing conflict in the Balkans. Out of the three debuting countries in Millstreet that night, Croatia scored the highest, beating out Bosnia & Herzegovina and neighbor Slovenia. Since that night, Croatia has generally scored fairly well, although their only victory came back in 1989, when the Croatian broadcaster bore the flag for a then-unified Yugoslavia and Riva’s “Rock Me” took the crown to Zagreb.
Two of my favorite Croatian entries were from back-to-back years. In 1998, Danijela Martinović opened the show with the wistful, almost lullabye-esque “Neka Mi Ne Svane” (“May Dawn Never Rise”), and finished in fifth place in the first ESC to feature audience voting alongside a jury ballot. The next year, Doris Dragović came in 4th place in Jerusalem with the more uptempo “Marija Magdalena“. (Incidentally, these two songs are my personal nominees for “Best Mid-Song Costume Change“, next to the United Kingdom in 1981, Latvia in 2002, and Georgia in 2008. Just saying!)
However, it looks like this year’s entry might be joining Danijela and Doris as my favorite entry from Zagreb ever! As per usual, Croatian broadcaster HRT held their traditional national selection “Dora”, and the winner, chosen via a public and jury vote, was Feminnem with “Lako Je Sve” (“Everything is Easy”). Now, as I mentioned in the Bosnia & Herzegovina article, Feminnem are no strangers to the ESC. Their song “Call Me” won 14th place in 2005, and they’re ready to better their score with this powerful and beautiful ballad, which dips back and forth between sweet and heartbreaking.
Feminnem: Lako je sve – The official video from Eurofest Croatia on Vimeo.
My prediction for the ladies from Feminnem? Well, they’ll be performing in the difficult Second Semifinal, but if they pass, then they’ll have the benefit of a beautiful song, performers who are no strangers to the Eurovision Stage, and the fact that they’re a member of the often-advantageous Balkan voting bloc. If they make the finals, and they put together a good staged performance, you can expect a Top Ten, if not a Top Five position. It’s definitely one of my favorites this year.