Daria Kinzer for Croatia: "Break a Leg"
Croatia’s Dora 2011 finally drew to a close this weekend, after weeks of semifinal heats where 24 singers belted out covers of Croatian and international hits in order to reach the finals, where the top two performers would each get to sing the three candidate songs for Eurovision. A combined jury/audience vote decided which song each singer would present, and then those top two performances were compared against each other to determine the ultimate winner.
The final two singers were the German-born newcomer Daria Kinzer and Dora veteran Jacques Houdek, with the song “Lahor (Breeze)” selected for both, even though the audience overwhelmingly favored ballad “Stotinama godina (Hundreds of Years)” for both Jacques and Daria. After a second vote, Daria was selected as the winner, although Jacques rendition of “Lahor” was nothing to sneeze at, either!
I am a bit disappointed in the final result of Dora 2011. While Daria is a completely capable singer and performer, I almost feel like she’s just another pretty face. During the interview portions of the program, Jacques seemed more personable and animated, and he also has a larger following both in Croatia and the greater Balkan region. Considering that a lovely performance from Feminnem wasn’t enough to get them out of the semifinals last year, Croatia needed something that would set them apart, and I just don’t think “Lahor” is the song to do it. Even if they plan on singing it in English (with the less-than-elegant title of “Break a Leg”, an idiom that might not translate easily for non-English speakers), they will need an absolutely unforgettable stage show to really boost them back into the high results that they enjoyed back in the mid-to-late 1990s.
Update!: It seems that the song will be revamped, including a much-needed name change. What once was “Lahor” and then “Break a Leg”, will now simply be called “Celebrate”.