It’s the time of year when the Post-Eurovision depression is in full swing, but there’s no better cure than to reminisce! Together with ESCDaily Editor, Dennis Van Eersel, we will be discussing each of this year’s competing nations – from their results to how we think they could improve in the future!
Predictions, Personal Scores and Results
Results: 11th place, Semi-Final
Did Croatia live up to expectations?
D: Yes and no. The bookmakers predicted Croatia as a qualifier this year and they weren’t, so you would say that Albina didn’t perform as was expected. However, this is a very unique case. She was a qualifier for both the jury and televote, but still didn’t make it through in the overall score. Odds are we won’t be seeing such an unlucky non-qualifier anytime soon.
A: Prior to the contest, I never felt that Croatia was a sure qualifier. Despite the popularity of the song within the fan community, the song never clicked for me personally, and I knew it would depend on the live performance. During rehearsals, there was a small potential that Croatia would make it, but again, I never felt confident. It certainly was interesting that Croatia qualified in both jury and televote, but yet still failed to qualify overall, but speaking as a whole, I think Croatia lived up to my expectations.
How do you personally feel about the song for Croatia at Eurovision 2021?
D: I liked the song, it reminded me of the style of music that Kylie Minogue scored international hits with in the early 00’s. However, the live vocals were not good and especially the big notes were not good enough. And in the end, it’s that live performance that matters most to me.
A: I wasn’t impressed with this song from the first listen, and while a number of songs grew on me during the Eurovision season, Croatia was not one of them. There was potential in this song to be a real pop banger, but the bigger notes just didn’t do it for me.
Could Croatia have done anything different?
D: The styling of the song and stage was a bit off. It also looked very similar to the Israeli stage plan (which Croatia did not know beforehand, I have to give them that) which increased the feeling of the battle between the female solo uptempo artists in semi 1 even more. Most of all, what could have been done differently were the vocals. In my opinion, that was the main problem with Croatia this year. I don’t know how much work and effort and vocal coaching was used to help Albina, but clearly it wasn’t enough.
A: I’m less offended by the staging and styling of the entry, but do agree that it was unfortunate that the first semi-final featured a lot of female-led pop songs, as well as performances with similar staging. It’s easy in hindsight to say that the staging should have been different in order to stand out, but the nations can’t predict what other nations will do on stage. For me, I personally don’t think the song was strong enough, nor the live vocals.
What can Croatia do to ensure success in future years?
D: Croatia has lost their Eurovision mojo for a while now, after being successful in the late 90’s and early 00’s. The few times they had ‘success’ again in recent years, they did so with internal selections. There are enough A-listed singers in Croatia, but the broadcaster needs to persuade them to go to Eurovision. The format of Dora can always deliver a good scoring entry of course, but lately it just hasn’t.
A: I definitely agree. Some of their recent efforts have been decent, but in the context of Eurovision, just haven’t made a big enough impact. I feel like when the singers are strong, the songs lack impact, but when they stumble on a good song, the vocals don’t match. An internal selection may help find a strong combination of both, but I have a feeling they will continue with Dora.
Which was better, the live-on-tape performance or the actual performance?
D: The vocals were a tiny bit better in the live-on-tape performance, which is why it is one of the few performances where I pick the back-up recording over the actual performance in Rotterdam. Of course, there is more energy in that performance, with the audience being there. And the sound is a bit different due to the acoustics in the venue. However, I feel these vocals could have made a difference in the ranking just a tiny bit. And for Croatia, that tiny bit could have been essential.
A: I think Croatia delivered one of the better back-up tapes, and although vocally it did sound slightly better in the back-up tape, I probably still prefer the styling of the live performance. The live Eurovision performance felt a bit more refined in the visual aspect, which of course makes sense given the extra time to prepare. Either way, I think Croatia would have yielded a similar, if not the same result.