After Georgia kept on going last week, this week we are using a technicality to celebrate Tamara Todevska and her song ‘Proud’ which made North Macedonia a frontrunner last year.
The country had previously participated in the song contest as F.Y.R. Macedonia since 1998, and its best place had been in twelfth place. The year 2019 was meant to be a debut of sorts – and what a debut it was.
Tamara Todevska and ‘Proud’ did indeed do her country proud, qualifying in the semifinal and surprising everyone with winning the jury vote at the final and taking seventh place.
‘Proud’ in the 2019 final
On the stage, Tamara Todevska doesn’t need an exciting backdrop. Directed by Mari Forsman Ryberger and Tine Matulessy, the staging focuses on her, zeroing our attention in on the singer and the beautiful voice.
She puts us in a trance for three minutes, lifts our spirits, and inspires us to do better and be better. And for those three minutes we can’t do anything but focus on her.
The vocals are amazing, so it comes as a pleasant and well-deserved jury vote win.
There are certain songs that don’t necessarily stand out when the studio version is released. While they are still beautiful in their own right, it is the singer’s energy, magnetism and sheer breadth of talent on the stage that truly brings out their beauty and stops us in our tracks.
What does our team think?
It is no secret that I love a good ballad. However, many Eurovision ballads fall short of being able to evoke the emotion that gives you goosebumps every time you listen. Proud, although the lyrics are fairly simple, gets me every time. The added layers of North Macedonia’s rebrand, Tamara’s past Eurovision robbery and the doubts cast over the ability of the delegation to stage their entries make this even more of a ‘moment’. Everything fell into place for this to be a magical moment in Tel Aviv. Even though we all knew Tamara was a spectacular vocalist, no one expected her to win the jury vote, which was one of my favourite Eurovision moments of recent contests. Best of all, she was spared the embarrassment of the awful new reveal system (sorry Jon).
When I first heard the song, I thought it was a beautiful ballad and started visualizing how it would look like on stage. I loved the violin part and the simple, yet effective chorus and of course Tamara’s vocals.
It’s one of those songs that you remember how it goes already after first hearing, which is a good sign.
I knew that this would go directly to the final and would do fairly well, but never in my wildest mind did I think that the juries would place it at first 1st place.
I was shocked.
I had predicted a place around 9-10th.
In the live evening Tamara gave a strong vocal performance which payed off at the end.
This opinion comes from someone who is normally not a ballad fan. Proud grabbed my attention during the first seconds thanks to the beautiful instrumental work. Tamara’s voice has that pleasant sound I just adore listening too. Then of course the message behind it made the song even stronger, however I didn’t feel quite comfortable seeing it doing so well in the jury voting. I never had winning vibes at all. In a weaker year I would have placed a song like this higher up in my ranking, but in 2019 too many songs stole my heart more.
Well where do I even begin… at this point North Macedonia were at a turning point and have not qualified for the Grand Final for quite some time now. When Tamara was announced as their representative, I felt that the Macedonian delegation were taking seriously for once. From that moment I knew that they were working hard. I mean even to just qualify was a win. But they did better, Tamara put in a lot of effort and pour her heart out in her performance, little did she know that she would bring their best result in the competition ever.
The point is, never stop believing and working hard. Tamara did just that and she did it well.
Proud is one of those entries that immediately catch my attention, but it wasn’t until I actually focused on the lyrics that it took over my heart. Listening to this only having just become a dad to a baby girl it almost felt like a parenting guide. “All the rules are made for you to lose” and “shine your light, go and break the rules” get me emotional every time. And that was even before Tamara sang it in Tlv. She managed to bring an additional layer of emotion which makes it an unforgettable entry. The juries got this one very right.
What’s your opinion on ‘Proud’? Do you agree with the team? 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!