For another time the Croatian broadcaster HRT made an internal selection to determine the Eurovision entry for Lisbon. This year it’s the young singer Franka Batelić, who is going to defend the Croatian colours in the 63rd Eurovision Song Contest. As an independent country Croatia it’s the 24th participation. Not to forget the 27 contributions when it was still Yugoslavia.
Franka Batelić was born in Rijeka in 1992. As a young girl she followed her first ESC watching Tony Cetinski’s entry “Nek Ti Bude Ljubav Sva” and was delighted. That’s what she also wanted to do. So she started singing in various choirs, attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Her first TV appearance was in 2007 in the “Showtime” show. In 2009 she participated in the Croatian national final DORA and came 7th with "Pjesma za kraj".
After that she paused with her music career and had a comeback in the year 2017 with a new look and a different music style "S tobom". It was obvious that she has become more mature and found her own style.
Now she has been directly nominated to represent her home country at the ESC. A dream comes true for Franka. The composer Branimir Mihaljević, who has also composed “Lako Je Sve” for Feminem in 2010 has originally planned another song for Franka. By coincidence Franka heard that melody and was delighted to sing this song “Crazy” at Eurovision. The song is about a first young love, everything is crazy, crazy in love...roses and horses in the rain...make it forever…Cross the fingers for Franka that she will reach the Grand Final in Lisbon.
Finals: 18 (6 since 2004)
Top 10: 6
Chances for Top 10 placing: 25%
Chances for Final: 54%
This year Croatia will have its 24th entry in the Eurovision Song Contest. As a former part of Yugoslavia, Croatia immediately participated in the 1993 Eurovision Song Contest with the debut entry “Don’t Ever Cry” sung by Put and made a good 15th place. In that year Croatia had to enter an international pre-contest, which was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Only Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Slovenia could qualify on that special occasion for the ESC in Millstreet, Ireland.
The former Yugoslavia has joined the ESC in 1961, there were 27 contributions and one victory “Rock me” by Riva in 1989. In the following year the ESC has taken place in the now Croatian capital of Zagreb which was hosted by Oliver Mlakar and Helga Vlahović. A truly memorable contest with very nice intro, postcards and interval act.
With all the new countries in the ESC since 1993 not only the number of the participating countries has increased, also the variety of music has grown. The ESC gives a lot of artists a great opportunity to step on an international platform. It has often been criticised that the ex-Yugoslav countries vote for each other in a preferred way. It should not be forgotten that all these countries have singers which are popular all over the Balkan so it’s more than natural that such a singer gets votes from the whole region.
The most successful Croatian entries were: “Sveta Ljubav” by Maja Blagdan in 1996 (4th), “Neka Mi Ne Svane” by Danijela in 1998 (5th) and “Marija Magdalena” by Doris Dragovic in 1999 (4th). Since 2004 Croatia has qualified seven times for the Grand Final, but no Top10 place could be achieved anymore. Croatia has officially paused from 2014 - 2015 due to financial reasons. Last year in Kiev Jacques Houdek could make it into the Grand Final with “My Friend” and reached a 13th place.
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About me: My first Eurovision Song Contest I watched behind the walls of the former GDR in 1987. This was even possible at that time! Since then I am following the ESC every year on TV. In 2004 I had the chance to watch it live in Istanbul. Due to the fact that Jens and Bernd have collected many interviews, photos, etc. the idea came up to show all this contest to the public. We founded the website eurovisionlive.com and we have been one of the first to offer the medium internet for the Eurovision Song Contest.