The sixth episode of our aftermath series about the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 we have a sad story to tell. It is about FYR Macedonia, that failed to qualify for the final again, for the sixth time in a row.
FYR Macedonia remains one of the most unsuccessful countries in the contest, having failed to crack the Top 10 in the eight appearances it has made it to the final. Macedonia’s best result in the contest is Elena Risteska’s 12th-place finish in 2006, already twelve years ago. And Eye Cue’s performance in Lisbon, which also earned them the Barbara Dex-award for worse dressed act in the contest, was not able to turn the tide.
The result of Eye Cue does not stand alone. Macedonia has failed to qualify from the semi-final round in ten of the last eleven contests (2008–18), the exception being Kaliopi, who finished 13th in the 2012 final.
FYR Macedonia, from scapegoat to ugly duckling
As hard as it is to imagine now, there was a time when FYR Macedonia was booed when they qualified for the grand final of Eurovision. Between 2004 and 2007, the country narrowly qualified from their semi on each occasion, and in 2008 and 2009 their tenth place was not good enough due to a new jury system. The conspiracy theory was that FYR Macedonia always got enough points to get a tenth place in a semi final. How bizarre…
These theories are gone and forgotten, as FYR Macedonia approaches the record of The Netherlands, that failed to qualify from a semi final between 2005 and 2012, for eight years in a row. Macedonia is now in a six-year streak, but when we take out the result from Kaliopi in 2012, they have only been in a final once in the last 11 attempts.
Painful statistics that make us show our respect to the fact that FYR Macedonia is still in the competition. Let’s hope 2019 will be the year that things turn around for the Balkan country.