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🇭🇷 Xtra Insider 2020: We Review Croatia!

Welcome to Xtra Insider, our new series which will give you an insight into how well each country was statistically likely to do this year, as well as what the team at ESCXTRA think of your favourite entries into (what would have been) this year’s contest! Today we are finishing our feature with one last review and analysis featuring Croatia!

Yes, this year’s contest has been cancelled…but that doesn’t mean we can’t love the songs! In this series, we’ll review each and every entry that would have taken part in this year’s Eurovision. On top of this, we’re introducing a new analysis section in which we take a look into each country’s history and how likely they would have been to do well this year. Our honest and brutal reviews and analysis will keep you entertained throughout what would’ve been the Eurovision season! We will also each give points using the usual Eurovision points system (12, 10, then 8 down to 1), and create an ESCXTRA leaderboard of the entries!

Finally, we’ll be giving analysis and reviews of the Croatian entry, Divlji Vjetre by Damir Kedžo, from Isaac, Nathan P, Riccardo, Sean, Tim and Tom R. Let’s get started!

Crotia’s history at Eurovision

Croatia first entered the Eurovision Song Contest in 1993 when it sent the pop group Put with the song “Don’t Ever Cry”. It finished in a respectable 15th place and in the years that followed, despite no Eurovision victory, the Balkan nation had some strong results. In recent years, however, the country hasn’t had the greatest luck with votes. Not since 2001 has Croatia had a top ten finish and also a fair few non-qualifying years. That said, there are two big Croatian entries that are fan favourites: “Moja štikla” by Severina and “Marija Magdalena” by Doris Dragović.

This year’s entry

“Divlji Vjetre” is a Balkan ballad but with a more understated tonality. The song is sung fully in Croatian. Damir Kedžo is used to the stage and television and this showed when he won the national final Dora 2020. It wasn’t a surprise that Damir won the ticket to Rotterdam as he is a popular artist in his home country, with his last three songs having gone to number one.

How well does this kind of song tend to do in the contest?

The Balkan ballad is a staple of Eurovision and has been for many many years. The genre can split people’s opinions depending on the music that you’re used to hearing and what part of the world you hail from. The results for the Balkan ballad in the Eurovision Song Contest have been mixed. Most notable is the 2007 winning song from Serbia, Molitva sung by Marija Šerifović. Ultimately, if the song plays to its dramatic elements and is staged well, a Balkan ballad can do very well at Eurovision.

The Reviews

Isaac

It feels as if this would be yet another year where Croatia would fade into the background, by sending a mostly unremarkable song that doesn’t quite have the power to transition into a classic Big Balkan Ballad. It does have the ability to grow on you so maybe in a year, it’ll sound better, but it lacks the ability to wow, and I don’t think that would have translated well outside of the Balkans.

Nathan P

A traditional Balkan Ballad TM here. it’s fine for what it is, but I keep forgetting it’s in the contest. There are a slew of ballads that are better and more modern than this. I’d like Croatia to send a risk now and again because I keep forgetting they even compete at the contest sometimes as their entries don’t grab me at all. Maybe next year.

Riccardo

Beautiful piece, especially the ending (wow!) feels like the perfect soundtrack for the ending of a movie. But as I listen to it I am left pondering – is Eurovision the best place to promote this song? Not sure, although what would Eurovision be without a Balkan balland?

Sean

This is okay. Not much to note except that I think that Damir is one of the best male vocalists this year and also the end of the chorus does that thing where they diminish the third by a half step and I’m such a sucker for that.

Tim

Please note that my score is based on my first listen. As I’ve previously stated, I did not get the appeal to the song in the beginning. As I had a few more listen to it, I was able to appreciate the music further, and appreciated the track for what it was. I hope that Damir returns next year and gets his time to shine, he so deserves it.

Tom R

I really want to love this song. But sadly, it’s just a bit bland. There isn’t anything ‘wild’ about the “Wild Wind”. The revamp gives it a bit more oomph and the last 30 seconds is a very capturing part of the song. I just wish there was this energy throughout the song and not just at the end because then I am sure, I would prefer the song much more. Hoping for more next year!

Scores

Costa7Nick6Tim4
Dominik8Riccardo7Tom O3
Isaac2Rigmo2Tom R3
Lisa2Rodrigo2Vincent3
Luke3Sami6Wiv5
Matt3Sean5
Nathan P1Simon3

Therefore, Croatia scores 75 points in total!

Leaderboard

Croatia ends up 38th place with a score of 75 points, which isn’t all that noteworthy. What IS noteworthy is the fact that our leaderboard is now fully complete as we have ranked and scored all of the 41 entries!!!

  1. Sweden – 164
  2. Bulgaria – 163
  3. Iceland – 162
  4. Azerbaijan – 160
  5. Russia – 156
  6. Malta – 154
  7. Switzerland – 151
  8. Israel – 148
  9. Lithuania – 142
  10. Germany – 142
  11. Serbia – 139
  12. Denmark – 136
  13. Ireland – 136
  14. Ukraine – 135
  15. Norway – 134
  16. Greece – 132
  17. Italy – 129
  18. Romania – 121
  19. Latvia – 120
  20. Armenia – 120
  21. United Kingdom – 120
  22. Australia – 117
  23. Netherlands – 113
  24. Austria – 111
  25. Belgium – 109
  26. North Macedonia – 107
  27. Czech Republic – 104
  28. Spain – 100
  29. Cyprus – 97
  30. San Marino – 97
  31. Albania – 97
  32. Finland – 95
  33. Estonia – 93
  34. Portugal – 82
  35. Moldova – 82
  36. Belarus – 81
  37. Poland – 76
  38. Croatia – 75
  39. Georgia – 72
  40. France – 70
  41. Slovenia – 53

Next, it will be the turn of..nobody to be reviewed? Looks like we have run out of entries, so all that’s left to do is invite you all back next year as we all take another listen to the Croatian entry below!

Do you agree with our reviews of Croatia? What are your thoughts on Divlji Vjetre?

Let us know in the comments below and on social media @ESCXTRA

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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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