Dora used to be Croatia’s selection method from the country’s debut in 1993 to 2011. From 2011 onwards, Croatia’s songs (and/or artists) have been selected internally. Now calls are rising among representatives in Croatian Composers Society and also with the former Head of Delegation Ksenija Urličić to bring Croatia’s classic national final back.
Legendary national final
Back in the late 90s and early 00s, Dora was among the most anticipated national finals among the Eurovision-fandom. It was a show, which used to produce stars and many songs are still hits in the whole of former Yugoslavia. It was also in the 90s, when Croatia’s results skyrocketed, with three top 5 finishes and a top 10 and it was evident that Croatia (under the leadership of the former HoD Ksenija Urličić) was aiming for its first win. Unfortunately, it did not happen, but Dora still remained popular – until the mid-00s, after Severina’s failure to reach top 10, when the interest dropped, which was telling also by Croatia’s drop in results in the years that followed. After a 2011 selection, which was made into a talent show and where a song, which (according to many) was robbed of a spot in Eurovision – “Stotinama godina” by the 2017 entrant Jacques Houdek, Dora was no more. Now it seems, there is a demand for the selection to come back on HRT’s schedule.
Calls for a comeback
Dora was cancelled after having failed to produce good results in the last 10 years, was the answer from HRT. Now Siniša Škarica, the editor and producer of the record label Croatia Records calls for HRT to bring Dora back. He says, that the internal selections of the previous years had passed the public by and that one should again organise a selection to find the best song. He also names UK’s approach from the 90s, where artist was picked and then the song as one of the options. He suggests that by seeing a wide selection of artists and songs, that the interest of Croatian public into Eurovision would increase.
Former Head of Delegation, the above mentioned Urličić agrees with Škarica’s points, saying that during the years of Dora, Croatia’s results were better than they are now and even though she loved Jacques’ performance in Kyiv, she says that Dora was a way for public to be involved, to cheer for their idols and was also a chance for younger songwriters to come up with their songs. She also claims she could have never gotten the responsibility to choose the Croatian act for ESC internally herself. To which, I have got a reply from one of Croatian ESC fans, that Dora under the lead of Urličić was essentially an internal selection just disguised as a NF. So, the reactions to Urličić’s claims are surely bound to be mixed.
Silence from HRT and rumours of familiar names’ returning
The Croatia’s Composers Society is, according to the article welcoming any chance to democratise the selection of Croatia’s entry. HRT, however, is still silent about the selection method for Lisbon, even if there are rumours of a comeback of 1998 entrant Danijela Martinović together with her partner and the composer of her Eurovision entry, Petar Grašo. Many fans are also calling for New Zealand’s pop sensation Lorde (who has Croatian roots and has now got an honour Croatian citizenship) to represent the country in Portugal.
More to follow.
Do you think Croatia should return to having a national final for Eurovision? Did you like internally selected choices from the recent years? Do you have a favourite song from Dora’s history? Have your say in the comments below or follow us on social media on @ESCXTRA.
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