This week HRT the national broadcaster of Croatia have announced that the Dora 2021 participants will be revealed on December 15. As well as more changes to the national final, which will take place on February 13.
Next week the submission deadline for Dora 2021 songs will close on December 10. During the five day window until December 15 the submissions will be assessed and narrowed down to 18 songs. This will comprise of 14 songs for the main Dora contest. As well as four reserve songs, should an artist have to withdraw before rehearsals. But if an artist withdraws while rehearsals are in progress, they will not be replaced.
Anyone over the age of 16 and a resident of Croatia can still apply online here. All entries must be the finished composition of the song with the original performer. Making the tough decisions over the next couple of weeks are a select panel of experts. These include – HRT (Croatian Radio and Television), HDS (Croatian Composers’ Association) and HRG (Croatian Music Union).
Will Dora be everything I want?
Not quite. Of course unique times call for some unique changes. With that in mind HRT are already planning ahead for the unknowns of 2021. Much like the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 itself, several variants of the format have been prepared depending on the epidemiology measures at the time. There are no intentions to cancel the show in any circumstance, which gives us plenty to celebrate in these times! Many of HRT’s plans are also thinking towards Rotterdam and the changes the EBU have also applied. Meaning Croatia will be in a good place to test run their vision for Eurovision 2021 early.
It is not easy to work and prepare Dora without actually knowing what the conditions will be at the time of the event. We hope that all of us have a much better year ahead of us.Uršula Tolj (Head of Delegation: Croatia)
So with that in mind Dora 2021 is set to include the following format changes:
- A reduction from 16 songs to 14. With four reserve choices in case of withdrawals.
- Only a maximum of five people on stage during each performance. A reduction from the usual ‘rule of six’ at Eurovision.
- All backing vocals must be pre-recorded. Of course this is also a concession the EBU are making for Eurovision 2021.
- Any European language is allowed, not just Croatian.
By no later than January 20 HRT will reveal the voting format for the national final. Which will take place in Opatija on February 13. Watch the promotional trailer below:
Will Damir Kedžo return?
Unfortunately not. In a recent interview, Damir revealed he would only participate if he believed in the song. Sadly that does not seem to be the case at this time. However he is working on new projects and even released a dance remix of his 2020 entry ‘Divlji vjetre’. Furthermore HRT themselves wanted to honour the venue contract with Opatija which runs for two years. Thus, Damir could only return in 2021 by participating in the national final.
Croatia in the Eurovision Song Contest
Croatia made their Eurovision debut in 1993, when they qualified in third place from the pre-selection, Kvalifikacija za Millstreet. ‘Don’t Ever Cry‘, by Put, eventually finished 15th in the contest with 31 points.
Croatia kept a steady track record in the 1990s and 2000s, finishing in the top 10 six times. Croatia’s best result to date is fourth place, where they finished in 1996 with ‘Sveta ljubav‘ and 1999 with ‘Marija Magdalena‘.
Between 2010 and 2015, Croatia didn’t appear in a Eurovision final – this included a two-year hiatus in 2014 and 2015. Upon their return to the contest in 2016, Nina Kraljic secured Croatia a spot in the final with ‘Lighthouse‘. Nina finished 23rd overall.
Last year, Roko represented Croatia with ‘The Dream‘. Unfortunately the dream was short-lived. Only placing 14th in the Semi-Final. This year Croatia were set to take part with Damir Kedzo’s ‘Divlji vjetre’. However the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic meant that the EBU had to announce the cancellation of Eurovision 2020.
Who do you want to see take part in Dora 2021? Let us know! Stay up to date by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter, @escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! As well as subscribing to our YouTube channel. Where you can watch our reactions to the news in the upcoming months. You can also follow our Spotify for more music from your favourite acts!