Live: Macedonia decides through Skopje Fest

From the Metropolis Arena in Skopje, Skopje Fest will be held te decide who will represent FYR Macedonia in Vienna. The first preselection of many national finals to come, as we will officially start the 2015 Eurovision-season. Broadcaster MRT will give us a specacular show with famous Eurovision guests and, off course, the 20 hopefuls for next year’s contest.

Tonight’s show begins at 20:15 CET. You can watch the stream on the official website of broadcaster MRT here and follow along with us as well! You will find the most recent update in this post on top!

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23:40 – A lot of televoting points now, many, many, going to Danijel Kajmakoski, who narrowly wins the ticket to Vienna over Tamara Todevska. The expected winner in the end, as he won X-Factor Adria in Serbia earlier this year. You can rewatch the winning performance of Daniel Kajmakoski here:

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23:38 – Once again, Tamara Todevska gets the highest score, this time from The Netherlands. Croatia gives her ten points, Danijel Kajmakoski get’s the most points and keeps Todevska in sight.

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23:36 – The French jury also gives Tamara Todevska their 12 points, followed with another 8 by Turkey. The 2008-entrant is doing great so far…

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23:33 – The international jury is being introduced. The most points from Austria go to Tamara Todevska. Azerbaijan gives Evgenija Cancalova heir 12 points, giving her the current lead. After the Bulgarian votes, Todevska is back in the lead.

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23:29 – Another commercial break. At this pace, the Maltese final next week will end before the Macedonian one does.

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23:07 – Five minutes left to vote for the people in FYR Macedonia. Zafircev is once again explaining the rules, and we get another recap of the 20 songs. Afterwards, Kaliopi will perform a couple of songs, including Crno i Belo, and then… I hardly dare to say it but… will we get the results?

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22:58 – We guess not, because the host Vasil Zafircev is returning on stage, giving Karolina an award. Results were scheduled to come around 23:00 CET, but it seems we will get a lot of delay before we know which song will be the first known ESC 2015 song.

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22:50 – Karolina Goceva is on stage, performing ‘Od nas zavisi’, her Eurosong from 2002! Followed up by some other songs as well, but will we hear her 2007-song Mojot Svet?

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22:40 – Tonight’s show has been a throw-back to the early 90’s, when the orchestra was still in charge at Eurovision. Nice idea, given the fact that it is the 60th anniversary of the contest. But will most of these songs not be able to convince without the orchestra in May next year? Anyway, we get a recap of all songs, the viewers can cast their votes for the next 25 minutes and the professional jury will have their saying as well.

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Song 20 – Dimitar Andonovski – Se shto ti vetiv
22:30 – Lazar Cvetkoski who co-composed the song Pred Da Se Razdeni for Esma & Lozano in 2013 and Tijana’s song To The Sky in 2014, has composed Se Shto Ti Vetiv for Dimitar Andonovski this year. And chances are, Cvetkoski can go as the composer of the FYROM entry to Eurovision once again. It’s one of the more interesting composition in this year’s edition of Skopje Fest. A dancing girl is trapped in a huge cage, Dimitar takes in her place as the song develops. Very strong vocals, a solid contender tonight.

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Song 19 – Nina Janeva – Bluz za…
22:27 – The Chiara-award of tonight goes to Nina Janeva, the biggest singer in the pack. Fully dressed in black and showing some tattoos, she looks like someone you don’t want to argue with. Nina has some soul- ánd rock-influences in her song, which is slowly working to a climax. She is showing a solid and strong voice in ‘Bluz za..’, let’s see where this song will end up.

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Song 18 – Verica Pandilovska – Samo za tebe
22:22 – Verica already took part in Skopje Fest in 1995 and several times in MakFest. She might think that time has stood still since then, because this song is really old-fashioned, even for tonight’s standards. Vocals are good, this is the case for most participants tonight, which is a good thing. Since there is no orchestra in Vienna, the only hook this song has, will be gone away by then.

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Song 17 – Viktorija Loba – Edna edinstvena
22:19 – Finally a real uptempo song. We see and hear some latin influences in the song of Russian born Viktorija Loba, who took part at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2003. ‘Edna edinstvena’ provides us with something different on this evening, but this is a risky choice for Eurovision. In its genre, chances are big there will be a better song in this style next year in Vienna.

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Song 16 – Nade Talevska – Znam
22:16 – Nade is singing her song next to a sign language interpreter, which is not very original anymore. On the other hand, she is doing great, one of the best vocal performances of this evening, and the interpreter gets carried away by a male dancer after a while. Composition is not special enough to bring Macedonia a big success.

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Song 15 – Sanja Gjosevska – Sakam da letam
22:05 – Sanja already had a couple of hits in Macedonia, in her own language and in English. As this is one of the most modern songs in the contest, a revamped (without he orchestra, not suiting the song) and translated version in Vienna would make sense. First, however, she must make the cut tonight. Sanja Gjosevska is looking good and performing well together with her dancers. This entry has potential, but a lot of work still needs to be done.

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Song 14 – Tamara Todevska – Brod sto tone
22:01 – Another former Eurovision participant on stage. But Tamara’s song ‘Brod sto tone’ can not be compared to her 2008 rap-entry ‘Let me love you’. Great vocals, nice camera-work already and a good build-up in the song. Todevska, last year backing-singer for her sister Tijana, is showing us that she can actually sing. Does the public and jury in Macedonia grant her a chance to redeem her Eurovision 2008-debacle? Because this time, she could actually have a chance to reach the final.

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Song 13 – Miyatta – Zaljuben
21:56 – Miyatta is showing her “stikla” and her strong and powerful voice in the song ‘Zaljuben’. Together will two other female dancers, they perform a Moulin Rouge-act. Nothing wrong with that, per se, but given the age of Miyatta, it’s making the act a bit ridiculous. Still, one of the better songs and performances so far.

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Song 12 – Aleksandra Janeva – Vo tvojot svet
21:52 – Aleksandra is already famous in Macedonia, because she took part in MakFest, the largest festival in FYR Macedonia, in 2013. ‘Vo tvojot svet’ is a ballad in the style of Darja Svajger, with a huge saxophone solo in the middle. Vocals are excellent, could this have a chance tonight to win Skopje Fest or will the international jury vote it down?

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Song 11 – Aleksandar Tarabunov & Toni Mihajlovski – Marija
21:47 – After the host tried to perform 1990’s Spanish song ‘Bandido’, Aleksandar Tarabunov is up. He took part in Bulgarian Idol, but since that country is not in the contest, it seems, he has teamed up with the popular Macedonian actor Toni Mihajlovski. A poetic start to the song about ‘Marija’. There is a puppet master above Aleksandar, pulling on the strings of two female dancers, giving the song something to remember it by.

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Song 10 – Goran Naumovski & Sanja Kerkez – Mig bez tebe
21:36 – Opera at Eurovision? Sometimes it is a big hit on the Eurovision stage. Goran is starting the song with three female backing singers, putting their hands on his shoulders. Opera singer Sanja Kerkez joins him after a minute or two, giving the song the hook it needs. When shortened and revamped for Eurovision, this could actually work and surprise a lot f people. It would surely stand out from the other songs. Not something the average Eurovision-fan would enjoy, I guess, but very good in its genre.

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Song 9 – Joce Panov – Ni Lj od ljubovta
21:31 – Together with FYR Macedonia’s first Eurovision participant Vlado Janevski (1998), Joce Panov has thought about the staging of his song. His song starts with some shots of a guitar player, accompanying him on stage. The sound has a classic Balkan-sound, you can hear when you travel through these countries in busses and taxi’s. A popular genre, and Panov is selling his song convincing.

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Song 8 – Lidija Kocovska & Marjan Stojanovski – Sonce niz oblaci
21:27 – Lidija Kocovska is a Skopje Fest veteran from the 90’s, and her duet with Marjan Stojanovski also seems to be written in that decade. It sounds like a Disney-duet for The Prince of Egypt. Not ment to be harsh or mean, because these songs tend to be very commercial and suitable. Bot singers gave an excellent vocal performance, which is also very important in the Eurovision Song Contest.

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Song 7 – Aleksandra Mihova – Srce cuva spomeni
21:23 – Just like song #1, this song might be suitable for the retro-fans tuning in for the anniversary edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. For a song like this, you would expect more, as the French say it, grandeur. Aleksandra is performing all by herself, and she is doing fine, but this song needs a big revue staging to give it its proper effect.

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Song 6 – Evgenija Cancalova – Da ne te sakam
21:19 Evgenija is singing after a short commercial break and a performance of Nocturne (Norway ’95) by the host Vasil Zafircev. The song ‘Da ne te sakam’, has been written by Grigor Koprov, who also penned down the songs for FYR Macedonia in 1998 and 2007. And once again, he created a song suitable for the Eurovision Song Contest. A unique, small but at times bombastic song, being delivered perfect by Cancalova. The dancing couple in the background gives is a bit outdated, which might wrongly give the whole song that feeling.

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Song 5 – Risto Samardziev & Vlatko Ilievski – Sever-Jug
21:07 – The first act of the evening! Two girls are mimicking the lines Vlatko is singing. We recognize his voice, style and sound from Rusinka during Eurovision 2011. He failed to qualify back then, and if this song would be good enough for a place in the final in 2014 is doubtful. Still a good performance though, if you like the genre.

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Song 4 – Vera Jankovic – Se plašam
21:04 – Just like in 2002, Vera Jankovic is on the stage of Skopje Fest again. Off course, she has gotten older, but also more experienced. A sincere, heartfelt song that is being delivered well, despite some flat notes at start. She is singing we shouldn’t be affraid…

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Song 3 – Daniel Kajmakoski – Esenski lisja
20:59 – Daniel knows how to sing, perform and work the camera, since he won the X-Factor in Serbia. His popularity gives him a big advantage tonight. The song has a typical pop/ballad build-up, it is a decent song. Any other performer wouldn’t have been able to sell it like this. When he starts dancing near the end, Daniel got a good reaction from the crowd in Skopje.

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Song 2 – Tanja Tzarovska – Ako mi se vratiš
20:54Tanja is best known for her duet with the American singer Josh Groban, but she is on her own tonight with this Balkan-ballad. We haven’t heard a classic ballad like this from Macedonia in a long time, so it might be an option. The song might fail to keep people interested the whole time, but this current version is also longer than the permitted three minutes.

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Song 1 – Lena Zatkoska – Alo
20:51 – Australia’s Lena (what’s in a name?) took part in many smaller music festivals and the Serbian version of X-Factor. Currently a resident in Macedonia, she wants to represent her country with this song ‘Alo’. A happy song, she is singing with the help of a male and female dancer. It sounds like an old Yugoslavian entry from the 70’s, suitable if Macedonia wants to go retro for the 60th ESC. The camerashots would need a lot for work to give the song the right feeling.

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20:41 – It looks like MRT will start with the performances of the songs after these commercials. It is becoming a slow build-up this way. Because it’s Eurovision’s 60th anniversary we hear an old ballroom version of Volare, sang by host Vasil Zafircev, being accompanied by the Macedonian orchestra and some pyro’s.

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20:25 – After a short(?) ten minute delay, Skopje Fest 2014 has started. The host was still doing her hair when she appeared on screen, but you can’t win them all, can you? Tijana Dapcevic, who failed to qualify for the final last year, is being interviewed backstage, just like many other artists.

We hope they will start with the songs soon, because tonight around 23:00 we will find out who will represent FYR Macedonia next year. X-Factor Adria winner Daniel Kajmakoski is the big favorite, but we are also eager to see former Eurovision particpants Vlatko Ilievski and Tamara Todevska later tonight!

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20:10 – Hopes are high in the former Yugoslavian country, as they failed to reach the final in 2013 and 2014. The last finalist, Kaliopi in 2012, is one of the guests tonight. The winner of Skopje Fest will be chosen by a join decision (50/50) of an (international) expert jury and televoting.

This is the final line-up of Skopje Fest 2014, one of these acts will be the entry for FYR Macedonia in Vienna next year:

  1. Lena ZatkoskaAlo (music: Risto Samardzjev/lyrics: Risto Samardzjev)
  2. Tanja CarovskaAko Mi Se Vratis (music: Tanja Carovska/lyrics: Tanja Carovska)
  3. Danijel KajmakovskiEsenski Lisja (music: Joacim Persson/lyrics: Aleksandar Mitevski, Daniel Kajmakovski)
  4. Vera JankovikSe Plasham (music: Darko Tasev/lyrics: Vesna Malinova)
  5. Risto Samardziev & Vlatko IlievskiSever-Jug (music: Vladimir Dojcinovski/lyrics: Risto Samardzjev)
  6. Evgenija CancalovaDa Ne Te Sakam (music: Grigor Koprov/lyrics: Jelena Bulinac)
  7. Aleksandra MihovaSrce Cuva Spomeni (music: Andrijana Janevska/lyrics: Veronika Stojanovska)
  8. Lidija Kocovska & Marjan StojanovskiSonce Niz Oblaci (music: Trajche Stavreski/lyrics: Maja Pavlovska)
  9. Joce PanovNi Lj Od Ljubovta (music: Sasha Dragić/lyrics: Vlado Janevski)
  10. Goran Naumovski & Sanja KerkezMig Bez Tebe (music: Andrijana Janevska/lyrics: Andrijana Janevska)
  11. Aleksandar Tarabunov & Toni MihajlovskiMarija (music: Robert Bilbilov/lyrics: Toni Mihajlovski)
  12. Aleksandra JanevaVo Tvojot Svet (music: Vancho Dimitrov/lyrics: Ana Pandevska)
  13. MiyattaZaljuben (music: Tanja Carovska/lyrics: Tanja Carovska)
  14. Tamara TodevskaBrod Sto Tone (Music: Robert Bilbilov/lyrics: Robert Bilbilov)
  15. Sanja GjosevskaSakam Da Letam (music: Duke Bojadziev/lyrics: Duke Bojadziev)
  16. Nade TalevskaZnam (music: Aleksandar Masevski/lyrics: Biljana Pasarikovska)
  17. Viktorija LobaEdna Edinstvena (music: Jovan Jovanov/lyrics: Elvir Mekic)
  18. Verica PandilovskaSamo Za Tebe (music: Salvatore Monetti/lyrics: Jasmina Kantardzieva)
  19. Nina JanevaBluz Za… (music: Davor Jordanovski/lyrics: Toni Mihajlovski)
  20. Dimitar AndonovskiSe Shto Ti Vetiv (music: Lazar Cvetkoski/lyrics: Magdalena Cvetkoska)