Croatia’s Five Most Iconic Entries for Statehood Day
Today June 25 is ‘Statehood Day’ in Croatia which celebrates their declaration of independence from Yugoslavia which occurred in 1991.
The newly formed Croatia made it’s debut in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1993 but they are definitely no stranger to the Contest. They previously participated as part of Yugoslavia, where the Croatian band Riva took out the Eurovision crown in 1989 with their classic catchy song “Rock Me”. And the following year Yugoslavia hosted the competition in Zagreb, which is now the capital of Croatia.
Since their independence, Croatia has managed the highest position at 4th place, twice. The last time in 1999 with Doris Dragovic’s entry ‘Marija Magdalene’. They have achieved six top 10 results in seven years between 1995 to 2001. Since 2001 Croatia has unfortunately failed to reach the top 10, but that hasn’t stopped them presenting some very iconic Eurovision entries.
Known for their dramatic ballads and many dress reveals, today we look at our top five most iconic entries from Croatia.
5. E.N.I. - Probudi Me (17th place - 1997)
Guess who? An iconic girl band with bright colourful outfits, in an energetic performance, singing about not wanting rolls, coffee, sugar or cream but love?. If you guessed the Spice Girls you were close, its E.N.I.! Croatia had their very own version of the Spice Girls especially created for the Eurovision Song Contest 1997. But in a year where Alla Pugacheva sung ‘Primadonna’ for Russia and the UK won the competition with Katrina and the Waves song ‘Love Shine a Light’, who’s performance preceded Croatia’s, E.N.I. managed a 17th place.
In contrast to other Croatian Eurovision acts E.N.I. maintained a presence in the Croatian music scene for years later.
4. Danijela - Neka mi ne svane (5th place - 1998)
This “Balkan ballad” debuts Croatia’s first dress reveal in the Contest. Danijela sings in Croatian about ceasing to exist, because she has lost her lover, while cloaked in black. In the climatic point of the song she removes her black cloak to reveal a stunning white evening dress, to the applause of the audience. It is a very iconic tactic which they have used half a dozen times through out their Eurovision history to some success.
In 2018 a Croatian Eurovision fan group voted Danijela’s ‘Neka mi ne svane’ as their best entry.
3. Maja Blagdan - Sveta ljubav (4th place - 1996)
You want dramatic dancing and even more dramatic note changes? Then it would have to be Maja Blagdan’s entry with ‘Sveta ljubav’.In the 2014 Eurovision show in a segment called “Eurovision Book of Records” they award her with the highest note ever achieved in the Eurovision Song Contest history, a B flat 5!
Her high efforts were well received as the song achieved Croatia’s highest best result at 4th place at the time.
2. Jacques Houdek - My Friend (13th place - 2017)
There’s a miracle my friend and it is Jacques Houdek. One of the most iconically passionate entries Croatia has delivered is the song ‘My Friend’ where Jacques Houdek performs in two personas of himself. He sings in Italian with his chest register and in English with his head voice and falsetto registers. It is Croatia’s first entry with Italian lyrics and 10th entry in English, out of their 25 entires which are traditional sung in Croatian.
In the Grand Final he finished up in the 13th position. He managed to get Croatia back into the top 15 after a decade of low scoring results and acts failing to qualify into the finals.
1. Serverina - Moja Štikla (12th place - 2006)
‘Oyda da, oyda dai, oyda dai dai…’ Now you won’t forget this one! This has to be Croatia’s most memorable uplifting entry that will get you to jump up and join in, though you may end up with very sore legs. With a turbo-folk style beat, Serverina, who looks like the real life version of the dancer emoji, energetically dances with her traditionally clad back up dancers and singers. They get into line dancing, and what could be described as resembling the Hopak, while she rips off her skirt, singing about her high heel.
The song became controversial in Croatia inspiring many parody videos online over the years. The most popular being the very satirical and crude “U govno je stala moja štikla (Turbo folk štikla)” by Stevo Sinik. The animation makes fun of the song for its turbo-folk style which supposedly doesn’t have any connection to Croatian culture.
And there we have it, our most iconic Croatian Eurovision entries. We hope you enjoyed our countdown. Who would you put in your top five? Doviđenja!"