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🇭🇷 Slideback Sunday: When Croatia weren’t ours anymore

Croatia faces the Turkey-Belgium-Russia battle!

As many countries in Europe being lifting lockdown, we are continuing our weekly slidebacks to look back at a memorable song in Eurovision history! Today, we’re off to Croatia and looking at their 2003 entry. Claudia Beni was sent to Riga to fly the Croatian flag with the song “Više nisam tvoja”!

I’m not yours anymore!

With Croatia, at the time, being on a run of five top 11 results in a row, they were determined to select another strong entry. It fell to the national final, Dora, to select Croatia’s 11th entry for the contest and many names, now famous to the Eurovision world, took part. Among the participants were pop-opera superstar Jacques Houdek, Nebo’s Nina Badrić and also Maja Blagdan who had already finished 4th at Eurovision in 1996.

After two semi-finals and a 12-song final, 16-year old Claudia Beni was selected as the winner with “Više nisam tvoja”. In the years before the semi-final, Croatia competed against 25 other countries in what was the biggest Eurovision song contest to date at the time. Performing eighth in the contest, Claudia performed her pop number straight after Portugal’s dreamy ballad and before the Cypriot entry, “Feeling Alive”.

The result wasn’t quite up to Croatia’s standards from the previous half a decade with the song finishing in 15th place on the leaderboard with its highest score being 8 points from neighbours Slovenia. 12 points from Croatia went to eventual third placed Russia, with the country completely snubbing Belgium’s Urban Trad – which could have cost them the victory!

Personally, it’s one of the best songs from 2003. It should have got a much higher placing and was massively undermarked from its fellow European competitors. 2003 was reshown as part of #EurovisionAgain a few weeks ago and Croatia did get a slight bit of justice – rising to 10th in the new revote! Of course, it’s by far not the best ever Eurovision entry but Claudia and her backing singers give the song “welly” as I would say and it’s not one I ever skip past on my Eurovision playlist.

What do the team think?

Tim

I am going to be honest. I did not know this song existed until I watched it via Eurovision Again. Look, I will be honest, the vocals and the harmonies between Claudia and the backing singers could do some work. But I will admit, I was able to look over it when I was watching the performance and I really enjoyed it, and I was bopping along to it.

Luke

This song is one that I always dismiss, but then after I hear it again my immediate reaction is “Oh it’s this one!” The verses for me are completely forgettable but that chorus is probably one of the most catchy ones of 2003. It’s just a shame that, besides the verses being below average, the performance was so lacklustre…I don’t feel any emotion from Claudia as she performs and the overall feeling is just lacking energy. This is at least much much better than their more recent entries though! It’s just a shame that such a great chorus was let down, 15th is a disappointing result but considering the performance…it’s pretty understandable.

Wivian

I’m not entirely sure why, but I really like this song! It’s so much fun singing along to it, and no matter how cheezy the choreography is; I also love “dancing” to it. Claudia Beni is super cute, and she performs this entry really well. Though Croatia isn’t one of my very favorite countries at Eurovision, they have had quite a few songs that I like. My favorite, by miles, is their 2000 entry, “Kad zaspu anđeli”. This isn’t just my favorite Croatian entry, it’s one of my favorite Eurovision entries ever.

Sami

This song has a great power and attitude. While it indeed sounds like it came from early 2000s, I still enjoy listening to it today. The chorus is extremely, even annoyingly catchy and somehow this sounds very Croatian as well. I don’t support their decision to include some English lyrics, though.

What’s your opinion on Croatia’s entry they flew off to Riga? Do you agree with the team?

Let us know! Comment below or join in the conversation on social media @ESCXTRA.

Tom Ryan

After joining the team in 2018, I've been lucky enough to cover four Eurovision seasons and I'm excited to see what 2023 has in store for us! I'm a music enthusiast, but also enjoy learning - so you'll likely find me in a classroom or listening to the best new music!

Comments on 🇭🇷 Slideback Sunday: When Croatia weren’t ours anymore

  • James Brett

    This song from Croatia was very much ‘of its time’. Its a huge nod to the Britney Spears/ Back street boys sound of the decade. That said it was a grower on me and now I really love it. The cd version is obviously better but then many artists suffered with poor live vocals and being a bit shouty in the 2003 contest.

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