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  • Writer's pictureSamuel Lee

Croatia: Aussievision's Dora 2023 rankings

Last week Croatian Eurovision broadcaster, Hrvatska Radiotelevizija (HRT), released the 18 songs that will be competing in Dora 2023 on February 11.

The entries can be found in a playlist on the Official HRT Dora Youtube page.

Meanwhile members of the Aussievision team have been busy listening to and ranking the Croatian songs. Each of the twelve contributors awarded points to their ten favourite songs in the same manner as in Eurovision (1st - 12 points, 2nd - 10 points, 3rd - 8 points, then all the way down to 10th - 1 point).

As Martin Österdahl would say, we have a valid result, so let's see how the team has ranked the entries of Dora 2023 in reverse order.

The Results:

18. Maja Grgić - 'I Still Live' (6 points)

17. Yogi - 'Love At First Sight' (9 points)

16. Boris Štok - 'Grijeh' (14 points)

15. Patricia Gasparini - 'I Will Wait' (17 points)

14. Eni Jurišić - 'Kreni Dalje' (18 points)

13. Martha May - 'Distance' (19 points)

12. Top of the Pops ft. Mario 5reković - 'Putovanje' (24 points)

Highs: 10 points from Mark

"Dated, daggy cruise ship music with little scope for interesting staging. What is there to say other than... I absolutely adore it. The sheer chutzpah of that saccharine spoken word interlude is *chefs kiss*. All aboard the Good Ship Putovanje!" - Mark

11. Tajana Belina - 'Dom' (26 points)

And now the Top 10 ...

10. The Splitters - 'Lost and Found' (27 points)

Highs: 10 points from Craig, 7 points from John Christian, 6 points from Colleen

Lows: 0 points from Guy, Mark, Emma, Hayley and Samuel

"I went on a journey with 'Lost and Found' - at the start of the song, I was not into it at all, but then by the end I was happily singing along to the chorus and whacking it up the top of my ranking! This has elements of Oasis, Radiohead, etc, but manages to have an amateur charm all of its own at the same time. I'm not sure how it will do at the national final, but it's definitely going straight onto my playlist!" - Craig

9. Hana Mašić - 'Nesreća' (38 points)

Highs: 8 points from Emma, 7 points from Samuel

Lows: 0 points from John Christian, Colleen, Kyriakos, Fleur and Craig

"A haunting, heart-breaking Balkan ballad that would make Eurovision legend Željko Joksimović proud. Translation of the song into English reveals almost macabre lyrics that tell an intriguing love story, but one that I think is too dark to win Dora. A beautiful tune overall though, and there is room for spectacular staging." - Samuel

8. Krešo I Kisele Kiše - 'Kme Kme' (43 points)

Highs: 12 points from Colleen, 10 points from Hayley

Lows: 0 points from Emma, Justin, Stef, Guy, Kyriakos and Samuel

"I was pleasantly surprised with a good amount of the Croatian selection this year, but 'Kme Kme' is my standout. I, for one, think we need more punk leaning music in Eurovision. Not just because it's a genre that I love, but also because it hasn't been heavily utilised at the contest." - Colleen

"Who would ever that thought a SKA song would be at a Croatian National Final. It drew me in on first listen and really sticks. Hey hey hey hey hey hey hey!" - Hayley

7. Meri Andraković - 'Bye Bye Blonde' (46 points)

Highs: 12 points from Samuel, 8 points from Stef

Lows: 0 points from Mark, Justin, John Christian and Guy

"Move over Marilyn Monroe, Taylor Swift and Margot Robbie … here comes Meri Andrakovic! This is a brilliant anti-blonde bop! It would only be fitting that the country of beachside music festivals send a dance anthem to Eurovision, and I believe this best fits the billing. The title also reminds me of one of my all-time Eurovision guilty pleasures – 'Bye Bye Baby' by CatCat representing Finland in 1994 – which is an added bonus." - Samuel

6. LET 3 - 'Mama Šč!' (50 points)

Highs: 12 points from Mark, 10 points from Colleen, 8 points from Craig

Lows: 0 points from Kyriakos, Fleur, Guy, Justin and Hayley

"Landing somewhere between a working class folk anthem and pop punk symphony, this one gets points for authenticity, fun and ingenuity. An infectious hook and a healthy dose of absurdism makes 'Mama Sc!' a frontrunner. If chosen for the big dance, Let 3 are sure to rake in the Zdob și Zdub vote, and bring some Manizha fans along for the ride too. If it gets through, I may be so bold as to predict Croatia are going to the left hand side of the grand final table." - Mark

"I don't know exactly what the song is about, but it sounds like there's a tractor involved, which is a vibe. Also, the repeated use of "ŠČ!" and "TRAKTOR" in the song is memorable and keeps me entertained." - Colleen

5. Đana - 'Free Fallin' (56 points)

Highs: 10 points from Emma and Samuel, 8 points from Guy

Lows: 0 points from Mark, Stef and Colleen

"In a very eclectic mix of songs, Dana's 'Free Fallin' stands out as a well produced high quality radio friendly dance track that would no doubt have a reasonable chance of making the final. Would I vote for it? Probably not, but it's a pleasant listen and of a much higher standard than many of its competitors." - Emma

"Another great up-tempo tune from Croatia, that you could imagine partying to on the coast of the Adriatic. It does bear a striking resemblance to Aussie Zoe Badwi’s 'Freefallin' which was a big hit in 2010, though Dana does have a significantly lower vocal timbre." - Samuel

4. Barbara Munjas - 'Putem Snova' (60 points)

Highs: 12 points from Guy, 10 points from Stef, 8 points from Justin

Lows: 0 points from Hayley, John Christian and Emma

"I love the eccentricity of this song and the hooks had me at first listen. It's got quite a lot going on, so it will need a really tight performance to ensure it hangs together in the live performance. I can't wait to see it!" - Guy

"This song is funky and fresh, with a great driving bass beat. Barbara also seems to be a great performer!" - Stef

"Barbara’s song, paired with the freshly chosen Gustaph’s (from Belgium), would make Eurovision-themed LGBT nights rather fun!" - Justin

3. Damir Kedžo - 'Angels and Demons' (61 points)

Highs: 12 points from John Christian, 10 points from Kyriakos, 8 points from Samuel

Lows: 0 points from Colleen and Justin, 1 point from Hayley

"It's high time for him to go into the Eurovision stage. Eurovision 2020 wasn't cancelled, no matter how you slice it. He deserves a place in Liverpool." - John Christian

"Another great sounding pop song. I love the chorus and the change in beat. It is a catchy song out of this years bunch of Dora songs." - Kyriakos

"Good to see Damir back with another strong and more contemporary tune, though not as unique as his previous effort in 2020. I do wish this song showcased more of his vocal range though and was sung in Croatian. Let’s see if his fellow Croats decide to give him a second chance." - Samuel

2. Detour - 'Master Blaster' (64 points)

Highs: 12 points from Justin, 10 points from Fleur and Guy, 8 points from Colleen

Lows: 0 points from Emma, Mark and Samuel

"Musically, this is probably the most interesting song I’ve heard this season. I wonder how the rest of the public would receive it (and how it’d be live), but I like how the structure is standard yet slightly deviant, musically interesting yet simple enough to follow along, and seems to fit in a box but not quite." - Justin

"The lead singer is giving me Shirley Manson vibes. I have no idea what this song is about but I like the sound. There's some brass instruments and electronica, not sure what else is going on. It sure stands out in a sea of ballads and mid-low tempo pop." - Fleur

"While this song might not be the most complex in it's production, it has a really fun vibe and has a lot of potential to pop in the live performance. It feels like a traditional folk song that's undergone a retro remix. It creates an image of a larger than life front woman with a big band behind her... so I'm hoping that's what we see with the staging." - Guy

1. Harmonija Disonance - 'Nevera (Lei,Lei)' (118 points)

Highs: 12 points from Craig, Hayley, Emma, Stef, Fleur and Kyriakos

Lows: 5 points from Samuel, 6 points from Guy, 7 points from Colleen

"This is by far the most coherent and memorable package in this national final. The traditional vocal sounds blend well with more contemporary beats, and the dance-y elements should get the crowd going on the night. The main unknown here for me is staging, which could either be very static or very dynamic (without much space in between). This is the one, Croatia - choose wisely!" - Craig

"Am I in the Scottish Highlands? Game of Thrones? It's like Bulgaria 2013 and GO-A had a baby in Medieval times! I like it and I am not sure why, it just grabs my attention and really stands out from the rest of the somewhat beige crowd." - Hayley

"'Nevera (Lei,Lei)' is by far the strongest song in this year's DORA. The combination of traditional Croatian folk singing and instrumentation combined with a thumping drum beat hooks you in and keeps you engaged for the entire three minutes. There's never a dull moment and so much staging potential here - I really hope Croatia decide to send this to Eurovision." - Emma

"This song is everything that I love. A minor key, a great driving beat, and an ethnic sound. I absolutely love this, I honestly get chills at the beginning of the song. Then when the beat picks up it honestly becomes absolute perfection. C'mon Croatia, you have to choose this!!!" - Stef

"To me this sounds like a pastiche of Buranovskiye Babushki's 'Party for Everybody' and Chakras' 'La-ley-la' mixed with some EDM. Obviously, we really need to see this at Eurovision. Come on Croatia, please send this."- Fleur

"I love this song, the chorus is punchy, though it does cheekily sound very familiar it has a slight hint of Boney M's 'Rasputin'. I am looking forward to watching this live." - Kyriakos

So a Loreen-style landslide win for Harmonija Disonance amongst the Aussievision team. Is 'Nevera (Lei, Lei)' indeed the best choice to end Croatia's six year non-qualification streak? Who do you think should win Dora 2023? Let us know on our socials.

Dora 2023 will be broadcast live from the Marino Cvetković Sports Hall on February 11 at 20:05 CET (morning of February 12 in Australia). If you are watching from outside of Croatia you can do so on the HRT live TV website.

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