ESC 2017 Review: FYR Macedonia – Dancing Alone Together

FYR Macedonia comes out of the gate very strong with a dance pop hit that’s backed up by cool vocals and an awesome music video.

These are my own PERSONAL rankings of what I think of 2017’s Eurovision songs but I’m also going to make some bold predictions about the eventual fate of the song. These will probably be very wrong for a variety of reasons including I have no idea what almost half the artists sound like live or what type of staging and song changes could be made. There’s plenty of songs that have been let down by their staging (2016 Spain for example) so in the end they’re just guesses in the dark.

Country: FYR Macedonia
Artist: Jana Burčeska
Song Title: Dance Alone
My Ranking: 3rd (out of 43)
Semi Final: 2nd Semi Final
Final placement prediction: 11 of 26

FYR Macedonia (which from now I will refer to as simply Macedonia – sorry Greeks), has never really been on my radar. They joined up with Eurovision in 1998 and have only qualified half of the time. They’ve never broken through to the top 10 and most years I kind of forget that they even enter. My favorite Macedonian song comes from Kallopi (who Macedonia has sent three times to represent them) and is “Crno i belo” and other than that I can honestly barely remember some of the other ones. The failure to qualify for four years in a row is a real bummer but I have high hopes for an easily qualification this year.

Macedonia picked fresh faced Jana Burčeska, 23, to be the singer for their country this year. Her only notable achievement is being on Macedonian Idol, where she only placed fifth which doesn’t seem like a stunning accomplishment. She was internally selected by the broadcast station in Macedonia and her song “Dance Alone” is a Swedish produced song instead of by someone from Macedonia.

The song itself is the height of Swedish production. If this were a radio hit contest this would shoot straight up to #1 for me. I love the song so much it went right on my regular playlist of *gasp* non-Eurovision songs. This feels like a song that would come in a club after everyone was two drinks in and people would flood the floor screaming the lyrics and dancing like crazy. It’s just got a nice cool vibe that has enough power to make you break out and dance.

I was really worried about how this would sound live since it sounded like there was a lot tweaking to her voice and possibly auto tune but actually Jana sounds fairly similar to the strange affected singing voice in the studio version. I think this will be successfully similar to the studio version and it’ll be up to the point of what they do with the stage. This isn’t a ballad so it’s possible that they will need Jana to be dancing and moving all around the stage while singing and we could see something similar to Cyrpus 2012 where she just runs herself down and the song can’t retain it’s power or something.

The two problems I could see this entry running in to are that people may find her voice annoying. She has a affectation on her vocals that is a bit nasal and some people may find grating. The second problem is going to be that this song doesn’t have the right energy on the Eurovision stage. It’s not exactly a typical Eurovision song and I don’t know how Jana or the audience might react to it and it’s the type of song that could easily be too hyper on stage to connect with viewers who aren’t actually in the room.

The lyrics are surprisingly solid on this song and the video is absolutely top notch with a story line that drives home that we have to take moments as they come or they will pass us by and leave us with a lot of regrets. While this isn’t the typical fanfare song, I think it’ll connect with some people lyrically and it offers something refreshing and new. With Russia dropping out it puts Macedonia in the dreaded “death spot” of third but I am hoping she can break out and go wild anyway.

Either way I’m gonna dance alone.

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