(FYR) Macedonia has decided: Kaliopi returns! (Sort of…)
It sometimes feels like the embers of Dusseldorf 2011 haven’t even burned out yet, but it’s already been a busy weekend for Baku 2012’s plans! In the past few days, we’ve heard about plans from Belgium, Serbia, and Slovakia (assuming that My.RO signs the contract they’re rumored to be working on with RSTV…it’s still a bit up in the air over in Bratislava, as per usual). Yesterday, however, we got word that (FYR) Macedonia has made their selection for Azerbaijan: veteran performer Kaliopi.
The 44-year-old Kaliopi has been performing since the age of ten, and has recorded nine studio albums over the past two and a half decades. This isn’t her first foray into the world of Eurovision: in 1996, she was selected to represent Macedonia in what was expected to be the nation’s debut at the ESC. However, due to the then-rapidly increasing popularity of the contest, there were 30 nations clamoring for one of only 23 spots in the Final. A non-televised pre-final occurred, and seven entries were cut before the public even had the chance to see them. Unfortunately for Kaliopi, “Samo Ti (Only You)” was one of the unlucky ones, and Macedonia didn’t fully enter the contest until 1998. Here’s a look at what could have been:
Kaliopi continued to flirt with the idea of Eurovision participation, and in 2009 she nearly made it to the stage in Moscow with her collaboration with Naum Petreski, “Rum Dum Dum“. However, the song eventually took second place in that year’s SkopjeFest, falling behind Next Time’s “Nešto što kje ostane“.
For the first time since 2004, Macedonian broadcaster MKRTV has decided their candidate internally, and they will hold a small National Final early next year, as opposed to the SkopjeFest system we’ve seen over the past few years. The last time the network picked their candidate internally, they chose Toše Proeski, arguably one of the biggest stars to ever come out of Macedonia. The nation has never placed in the Top Ten at Eurovision, and they haven’t made it out of the Semifinals since 2007. Could Kaliopi break the streak?