Vlatko Ilievski – "Rusinka" for (FYR) Macedonia!
(Disclaimer: I tend to refer to the nation referred to in this post as “Macedonia”, and not “FYROM”. I don’t mean to cause any offense, nor am I trying to make any sort of political statement. The two nations where I have lived, the United States and Chile, both maintain the general policy of calling this nation either “Macedonia” or the “Republic of Macedonia”. I hope that you, my readers, will not turn the comments section of this article into a flame war…we’re all civil and intelligent people here! Thanks! -Samantha)
Ok, now that I got that out of the way, I can get to the real meat of this article…sadly, of which there is little. After the Slovene National Final wrapped up on Sunday, I switched over to Macedonia’s Skopjefest. My hopes were high, considering that Macedonia was the nation that brought the world the incomparable Toše Proeski, as well as stars like Karolina Gočeva and Elena Risteska, all ESC alumni. Well, after a seemingly endless selection, lasting a full four hours, including an interval act that would rival watching paint dry in terms of excitement, a winner was finally selected: Vlatko Ilievski with “Rusinka (Russian Girl)”.
I’m not sure if it was the poor sound quality, the headache I was fighting off while watching Skopjefest for four hours, or the actual song itself, but I’m not incredibly impressed by “Rusinka”. Vlatko is an enthusiastic performer, and supposedly quite popular in Macedonia, but his voice just isn’t quite on the same level as some of his competitors this year. Furthermore, he’s singing about his love for a Russian girl, yet he won’t be able to count on Russia’s support in the semifinals, as they’ll be performing and voting on different nights. Maybe with a significant amount of revamping, this might be redeemed, but in its current state, this one might be doomed to languish in the semifinals, with only Belarus to keep it from the bottom of the pack.
(You see, my dear readers? I can give negative reviews!)