Eurovision 2016 – FYR Macedonia: ‘Dona’ (Kaliopi)

Since their debut in 1996, FYR Macedonia have been responsible for a litany of songs which probably make sense in their country, but don’t always connect well with the rest of Europe. There are so few I remember, and of them I don’t especially care very much. Apart from Od nas zavisi in 2002 (19th). Things really are that dire.

This year’s participant – Kaliopi – has appeared before at Eurovision in 2012 with a song that bears repeat listens, if only to marvel at her considerable performance technique. Her song ‘Crno I Belo‘ secured a place in the Final for FYR Macedonia, the country’s only Final appearance since 2007.

So they’ll be hoping Kaliopi is the lucky charm this year, securing the country a place in the final and nudging it higher than its best placing to date, 12th.

Kaliopi’s song – ‘Dona‘ – is a slow burner. Stick with it through the portentous breathy verse, gloss over the repetition of ‘Dona’ at the beginning of the chorus (which Google helpfully translates as ‘Dona’) and power through to the bridge. They’re not making any effort to mask that its based on Pachelbel’s Canon, but the combined effect when the Kaliopi returns for another stab at the verse is unexpectedly pleasing.

I am in no doubt: this will bomb.

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