After confirming their participation for Tel Aviv 2019, further details of Croatia’s returning national selection, Dora, have emerged. This comes as 2017 representative Jacques Houdek announces that he has written a song for the selection.
According to Croatian news site Slobodna Dalmacija, the selection will comprise of 16 acts. The project will be overseen by HRT veteran Uršula Tolj, who was the country’s Eurovision spokesperson back in 2013. Meanwhile, Željen Klašterka has been confirmed as the Head of Delegation for Croatia.
They got new rules, I count ‘em
Dora, despite being used to select the Croatian entry until 2011, marks a shake-up in the Balkan nation’s selection method. Originally, HRT cancelled the show due to decreasing public interest and a string of disappointing results. Between 2016 and 2018, HRT had internally selected their entries.
The most notable change is that HRT have enabled foreign songwriters to take part in the selection for the first time. However, the performer(s) still must be Croatian to be eligible. The selection will be taking part in the town of Opatija over three nights.
Designed to showcase different aspects of the Croatian music scene, old and new, the breakdown of the gala shows is as follows:
- Chansons and Optaija Serenades with the Symphony Orchestra (Night One)
- ‘Dora classics’ (Night two)
- Entries for the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 (Night three)
A familiar face (or two)?
Although foreign songwriters can now take part, they may not need to look too far. Eurovision alum and 2017 finalist Jacques Houdek, who brought Croatia back to the left-hand side of the scoreboard for the first time since 2006 with “My Friend”, has announced his intention to enter. He had previously attempted to represent Croatia at the contest six times. In a recent interview, he said the following:
As a performer, I gave my maximum performance in Kiev so let’s stay there for the moment. I look forward to Dora. I’ve already written a song, and I have an ideal performer. It will be a perfect match for the Eurovision Song Contest, and the whole creative concept will be made by the guy who designed the whole project for “My Friend”.Jacques Houdek talking to Croatian media
Croatia at the Eurovision Song Contest
Croatia have competed in the contest 24 times as an independent nation. Previously, they competed as Yugoslavia alongside Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. As Yugoslavia, seven of the 27 entries were Croatian, including Riva’s “Rock Me”, which won the contest in 1989.
Croatia debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1993, where they were represented by Put with “Don’t Ever Cry”. They finished in 15th place with 31 points. Earlier this year, Croatia was represented by Franka Batelić in Lisbon with “Crazy”, finishing in 17th place in semi-final 1 with 63 points.
Croatia’s best result came in 1999 when Doris Dragovic finished 4th in Jerusalem with “Marija Magdalena”, scoring a total of 118 points. Could we see a similar result when the contest returns to Israel next year?