The Scoop

North Macedonia: Tamara releases International Sign Language version of “Proud”

"Tell them, this is me, and thanks to you, I'm proud"

Back on the 8th of March, International Women’s Day, Tamara Todevska revealed “Proud”. The entry, North Macedonia’s first since their name change, is a celebration of womanhood. In order to keep her message as accessible as possible, she has released an International Sign Language version of the song! Yesterday, the singer had her triumphant first rehearsal. This caused her to rise significantly in the betting odds.

In the official music video, Tamara appears alongside a number of different women, ranging in body types and ages. While most of the featured women and girls are lip syncing along to the track, one is following with sign language. Expanding upon this, Tamara has released a video of the song that is fully in International Sign Language, so that fans of the contest who are hard-of-hearing can also receive the message. In the description for the video, uploaded on Tamara’s YouTube channel, she writes the following:

A huge thanks to the amazing girls from the State School Center for Education and Rehabilitation “Partenie Zografski” in Skopje for creating this beautiful sign language version of “Proud”. I am so proud of all of you!

Tamara’s message alongside the video

You can watch the video below:

Who is Tamara Todevska?

Born in Skopje, Tamara was raised in a musical family; her father is a music professor and her mother is an opera singer. Her sister is Tijana Dapčević, who participated in Eurovision 2014 with the song “To the Sky”, for which Tamara featured as a backing vocalist. Outside of Eurovision, she has released a number of singles and two albums: Sino (2005) and Eden Den (2015). 

Being considered somewhat of a Eurovision veteran, Tamara has been known to the Eurovision fans as Tose Proevski’s and Tijana’s backing vocalist in 2004 and 2014, respectively. However, her first Eurovision experience was with her 2008 entry “Let Me Love You” featuring Vrcak and Adrian Gadzha. They just narrowly missed out on the final; despite finishing 10th overall in their semi-final, the juries selected Charlotte Perrelli’s “Hero” to progress to the final instead. This year, she is returning for her first solo attempt and is hoping to make her country proud! 

North Macedonia at the Eurovision Song Contest

North Macedonia, formerly participating as the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (F.Y.R. Macedonia), has participated in the contest 18 times. After an unsuccessful attempt in 1996, they officially debuted at the 1998 contest with Vlado Janevski’s “Ne zori, zoro”. 

North Macedonia is one of the most unlucky countries in the contest. After 18 appearances, they are yet to crack the top 10. To date, their best result was Elena Risteska’s 12th-place finish in 2006 with “Ninanajna”. Their most recent Grand Final appearance was with Kaliopi’s “Crno i belo” in 2012, which finished 13th. North Macedonia has failed to qualify from the semi-final round in ten of the last eleven contests (2008–18). Note, they finished in 10th place in the semi final rounds in both 2008 and 2009, and only didn’t progress due to the jury save rule that was in place at the time. 

Last year, they were represented by Eye with the song “Lost & Found”. Despite being popular with fans prior to the contest, the song did not qualify for the Grand Final in Lisbon. This year, Tamara will be the first to represent ‘North Macedonia’, will she help the name change to open a new chapter for the country? Time will tell. She will perform 17th in the second semi-final on May 16.

What do you think of this idea from the North Macedonian team? Will Tamara be the first artist to bring North Macedonia to the Grand Final following the name change? Let us know! Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter@escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! We’ll also be posting plenty of content on our YouTube in the run up to Tel Aviv!

Costa Christou

Ever since I saw Helena Paparizou's triumph at Eurovision in 2005 (at the tender age of 6), I have been crazy about Eurovision. From the regional native language bops and shrieky female-led balladry to the sophisticated avant garde pop songs and chart-friendly EDM, I love everything about this cultural phenomenon. I'm currently working as a Delivery Manager in a software development team.

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