Monday, May 22, 2006

Moja Štikla: Let The Hindsight Begin

Severina's štikla may have come to a disappointing halt on Saturday, but now anyone who had an opinion on the song first time around gets to make sense of its thirteenth place.

There'll likely be more of this in mid-week once the showbusiness supplements come out, but for now the commentaries and excuses mainly centre around the prominence of ever more extreme spectacle at Eurovision - to the extent, claims Merita Arslani in Jutarnji list, that the Finnish winners Lordi were in 'complete opposition and mismatch to Eurovision'.

The music critic Zlatko Gall, meanwhile, feels that Štikla was ultimately too specific to its own region to capture the pan-European audience:

'Perhaps Štikla and Severina are an ideal product for us and our neighbours, but not for something else. If Štikla is a reflection of Croats' taste, then hard rock is Scandinavian heritage. [...] Europe can swallow something like Štikla once or twice, but not forever. However high Severina's Štikla was, it isn't the standard of Europe..'

Gall is typically no fan of Severina, but Severina's team seemed to have anticipated these reservations themselves when they introduced a dance routine into her choreography for Eurovision, as if admitting that simply relying on national costume from Lika and Dalmatinska zagora - as provocative as it was in the context of Dora - wouldn't itself have the same impact on Eurovision viewers as a whole. (Not least because Albania's Luiz Ejlli had attempted much the same thing in the Eurovision semi-final: for ganga and rera, read four-part southern Albanian Lab iso-polyphony.)

Štikla's domestic connotations, then, failed to be transferred into what Dragan Jurak, also in Jutarnji list, sums up as 'the deconstructive trend of the 51st Eurovision', which has begun to ironise the showbusiness kitsch of the event - be it 'the classic Abba kitsch of Eurovision, standard Irish Johnny Logan kitsch, unexpected sevdalinka kitsch a la Seid Memić Vajta, and the usual variants of dance kitsch, Cher kitsch, urban hip hop kitsch, reggae kitsch or ethno boy band kitsch'.

Indeed, Severina herself was apparently a target of the Icelandic comedian Silvía Night - who opened her song Congratulations by sliding down a giant pink štikla.

And judging by the result, it seems one did have to be an ex-Yugoslav - or Monégasque - to understand that Moja štikla was about more than taking off your skirt while shouting 'Afrika, paprika'.

For my part, it took a conversation with a taxi driver on the subject of 'that woman from Poland or somewhere' to realise that what Severina, Novković, Bregović, Kostadinov, Dora voters, Dora viewers and the Gazette itself all think of as ganga, rera, linđo and so on and so forth could just as easily have been interpreted as 'singing out of tune'...

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