Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Eurovision 2007: Croatia And The Eastern League

As for the ongoing resonance of this year's Eurovision result in 'the region': East Ethnia reports that at least two political parties in Serbia are trying to claim some of Šerifović's reflected glory: the Roma Union of Serbia (to which her mother and uncle are affiliated, and for whom she campaigned herself), and the Serbian Radical Party (who claim her grandfather's membership).

Heading slightly north-west, the Croatian view of the bloc-voting controversy is oddly distanced from time to time: talking, like one Jutarnji list columnist, about the eastern alliance' and 'the hurricane from the east' begins to suggest that Croatia doesn't quite belong to it. And then there's Milan Jajčinović in Večernji list:

'Politics also used this year's Eurovision for some messages of its own. Just as in last year's voting by the ex-Yugoslav states - when they mutually handed out points to each other - the European nomenklatura emphasised the signs of normalisation in the states [which had] been warring until yesterday, so does the EU see not only the victory of a good singer in the Serbian song's triumph this year but the victory of a new politics!'

If the bloc situation is one theme of Croatian post-Eurovision coverage, the other is the Beautiful Homeland's failure to qualify for the Eurovision final. T-Portal writes that 'despite the winner's sexual orientation, this year's Eurovision result marks a return to normal after last year's freak show', before turning to the collapse of Croatia's own Eurovision effort:

'Sending an ageing rocker and a buxom blonde who can't sing into the company of transvestives, lesbians, monsters and DJ Bobo, with a song that sounds like a reject from the YURM [rock festival] in 1974, didn't prove to be a winning combination. Last year we could at least hope a good result would come as a reward for Severina's acting abilities.

What was going through the head of [head of entertainment] Aleksandar Kostadinov and the HRT team responsible for Eurovision when they put their money on Dado and Dragonfly isn't clear to us. As it is, we came 30th out of 42 countries, far behind the Serbs, Bosnians, Slovenes and Macedonians. Is there anything worse?

T-Portal's not the only one to ask. Even Kostadinov's deputy Mario Sedmak, a former head of entertainment itself, argued in Jutarnji list's post-semi-final post-mortem that organisers of the national selection in the future should make it clear to songwriters 'what sort of songs do well in Eurovision, and which ones don't. This year's song didn't make an impression and we didn't have any staging.' (Should Kostadinov have to carry the can for non-qualification, Sedmak could well get to put this into practice next year.)

Pop composer Tonči Huljić, who's frequently steered Croatia into the Eurovision top ten, was guarded on that occasion, recommending only that the song selection should be left to 'professionals' rather than the public and/or a HTV jury; last night's Otvoreno talk show (on HTV), however, saw him more critical of Kostadinov. One of the song's performers, Dado Topić, has criticised HTV's organisation of the song (one 27-minute recording session and no promotional video), and Rock and Democracy suggests that he only reluctantly became involved with the performance in the first place.

And what to do about those pesky blocs? Marija Nemčić, head of HTV and Croatia's most important representative at the European Broadcasting Union, has promised that 'we're already beginning to work on a recommendation for a new format which would avoid the problem of neighbouring states' - and which, if it came from Croatia, might at least be sensitive to the problem of defining permanent Easties and Westies. Although, if the EBU ended up enshrining western and eastern leagues which happened to place Croatia on the western side of things, would that necessarily be a disaster from the Croatian state broadcaster's point of view?

Lastly: Radio B92 celebrates its 18th birthday today, but there's less happy cultural news from Zagreb, where the alternative club Močvara may be forced to close after a town hall decision limiting its bar opening hours to midnight.

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At 5:00 pm, December 24, 2009, Blogger bathmate said...

very good posting. i liked it. :-)



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