As one of the last countries, Croatia has revealed its entry for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. There has been an internal selection by the Croatian broadcaster HRT. The choice felt to Nina Kraljić and the song “Lighthouse”. After a pause of two years Croatia is back at the ESC, the pause was due to financial reasons. Unbelievable but true, the Croatian entry is already handled as one of the big favourites this year. Nina Kraljić is one of the most successful singers in Croatia these days.
Nina Kraljić was born in Lipovljani (south east of Zagreb), Croatia in 1992. Since her childhood she was involved with music in different music projects and in the synchronisation of animated movies. Her first TV appearance was in 2009 when she entered the Croatian version of Got Talent. In The Voice 2015 she took home the victory of this prestigious event. Her debut single “Zaljuljali smo svijet” has been watched over 600.000 times in the internet. In 2016 she was nominated for three Croatian music awards (Best New Act, Best Song Arrangement, Best Female Vocals Performance). Obviously, Nina was the best choice to send to Stockholm.
The song “Lighthouse” was produced by Thorsten Brötzmann in Germany. It’s a beautiful song about light guiding the way through dark oceans. The video-clip is only showing the Croatian coastline with different weather formats and a lot of flashes, but not showing the singer at all. The striking chorus is overwhelming accompanied by some ethnic Croatian elements. “Lighthouse” is a very catchy and contemporary song which is a strong candidate for the Grand Final in Stockholm.
Top 10: 6
Chance for Top 10 placing: 27 %
This year Croatia will have its 22nd entry in the ESC. 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 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 Eurovision Song Contest has not only increased the number or participating countries, 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). Croatia has qualified five times for the Grand Final, but no Top10 place could be achieved, from 2010 until 2013 no Grand Final has been reached anymore. Croatia has officially paused for the last two years due to financial reasons.