The Xtra Files 2019: We review North Macedonia’s ‘Proud’ by Tamara Todevska

Welcome to The Xtra Files, our new series which will give you an insight into what the team at ESCXTRA think of your favourite entries into this year’s contest! Today, we review North Macedonia.

Now that all the songs have been released, we are able to review each and every one of them. Our honest and brutal reviews will keep you entertained until the rehearsals start on 5 May! We will also each give a score out of 10 for every entry, and create an ESCXTRA leaderboard of the entries!

The series continues today, with reviews of the North Macedonian entry, ‘Proud’ by Emanuel, Lisa, Luke, Nick, Simon and Tom O. Let’s get started!

The Reviews


I’m glad Tamara is back, and I hope she can “take revenge” for 2008, even though I know it will be hard, especially in that semi-final. She brings us one of the best messages this year, and honestly it gives me goosebumps. This is the kind of song that gets even better when performed live and we all know she will do it flawlessly. I just hope they don’t mess up with an awful staging just like every year. I mean, this don’t even need staging. Just do something simple and classy. That’s what the song asks for. On what comes to Tamara’s vocal performance I have no worries. She has proven us several times the amazing singer she is.


One of Eurovision’s underdogs hoping the new name change will alter their fortunes. I can see why they’ve gone for experience with Tamara and a ballad with a message. Last time North Macedonia gave us a ballad, Kaliopi finished 11th in the semi-final. Also entries like stage themselves, so there’s more chance of them getting it right for a change. However for me it’s just too earnest and stuck in reverse as a simple A-B ballad. It doesn’t help that the title ‘Proud’ reminds me of the Miranda TV show and their obsession with Heather Small’s famous song.


North Macedonia…I’m so proud of you. This is something that I just cannot see doing badly in Tel Aviv. Just…please don’t be your usual self and do some crazy dreadful staging which completely ruins any chance you have. This is classy, empowering, a fantastic effort that many are reacting extremely well to! I’m not a woman and yet even I somehow feel so empowered when I listen!


Go on now! Tell them! Oh my God, North Macedonia are delivering like only North Macedonia can. Ever since her appearance at Skopje Fest 2014, I’ve been hoping for a solo return with a giant ballad. And here we go… it’s there. It’s magic, it’s brilliance, it’s moving. It’s pretty much everything I’ve ever wanted from North Macedonia. Oh and when it comes to their Achilles heel – staging – it’s impossible to stage this badly, unless they’re going with pink and orange lights.


Contrived and dramatic, yet the execution is polished enough and professional enough to raise the song above those barriers. This year has a blessedly mixed range of musical tastes, but the simplicity of the piano and strings arrangement here will make Tamara stand proud.

Tom O

North Macedonia like Bulgaria I have a lot of love for as underdog countries working hard to stand out at the contest. Tamara is a great experienced singer with an elegant song carrying a strong message. With no pre-party performances to judge we’ll all be anticipating this come rehearsal week. Whatever the result a song they can be proud of.


Costa8Nathan P3.5Simon7
Dan7Nathan W9Tim7.5
Dominik6Nick9.5Tom O8
Emanuel9Oliver8.5Tom R7.5

Therefore, the average score for North Macedonia is exactly 7.


North Macedonia ends up at 5th place on our leaderboard with a score of 7.00.

  1. Cyprus – 8.26
  2. Malta – 8.10
  3. Spain – 7.54
  4. Armenia – 7.35
  5. North Macedonia – 7.00
  6. Norway – 6.96
  7. Albania – 6.94
  8. Slovenia – 6.63
  9. Hungary – 6.44
  10. Iceland – 6.39
  11. Ireland – 6.17
  12. Czech Republic – 6.17
  13. Portugal – 5.91
  14. France – 5.74
  15. Finland – 5.50
  16. Austria – 5.39
  17. Denmark – 5.13
  18. San Marino – 5.11
  19. Latvia – 5.06
  20. Lithuania – 4.78
  21. Germany – 4.69
  22. Australia – 4.65
  23. Moldova – 4.50
  24. Montenegro – 3.48
  25. Israel – 3.30

Tomorrow, it will be the turn of Belarus to be reviewed.

Do you agree with our reviews of North Macedonia? What are your thoughts on Proud?

Let us know on social media @ESCXTRA!

Rigmo Kannike

When not busy haunting various online chat rooms as his criminal alter ego, PeterP, Rigmo enjoys long walks on the beach and rooting for the absolute worst national final songs.
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