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Danijela - "Neka me ne svane"

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Song number 1 rarely wins, but Danijela made a well deserved fifth place.

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When asked, senior honcho Louis nominated this song to be analysed for our Video Video column. When Eurovision was broadcast in 1998, I was a long way away from and EBU broadcaster at the time, and having screwed up the timer on my VCR, missed the whole shebang. Even more insulting, since I knew nobody who took ESC seriously, it was a year that has always kind of fallen out of my head because no one else had a spare VHS copy of the damn contest. So I thank Louis here at for making me aware of this little gem for analysis. Only Croatia's 6th entry, it started off ESC 1998 and was a very good beginning to the contest that year.

Here's the result of the 12points jury: did Danijela's performance make us go croa-zy? (OK, bad joke I admit but the best we could do at this hour)

Song/Lyrics - 10/12
A really pleasant surprise. Yet more proof that you can sing in your native language if it is a well written song and still get points from a majority of people who don't understand the deeper meaning. Don't you think the song sounds a bit like a football anthem?  It's very easy to remember almost immediately. And the lyrics - "May I disappear, may I cease to exist / May I not wake up without you"... some good drama thrown in as well.

Performance - 12/12
Excellent. I am not sure if throwing off the black cape revealing an hourglass figure in a white dress was meant to show her being free from her last lover, but the audience in Birmingham ate it up. What is really nice about Danijela is that she is confident enough to do almost nothing but stand still and generally be bewitching.

Choreography (including Arm-ography and Hair-ography) - 10/12
We have to start reviewing songs with a lot more dancing because everything we've been focussing on the past few blog entries has been all about excellent arm-ography.  This is a special kind - taken from the Sarah Brightman Arm-ography School. The method, just kind of wave your arms around randomly. It works for Sarah, why not here?

Key Change Effectiveness - 10/12
My favourite kind - in the middle of a long note, almost unnoticed. Well done, Danijela!

Camp Factor - 8/12
The usual Eurovision camp has been replaced by a somewhat serious presentation, but really good move with throwing off the cape, emerging like a swan on a beautiful lake. Maybe that's the wrong analogy - swans are pretty nasty birds. Let's try... "emerging like a white tulip on the morning mist". Better?  

TOTAL: 50/60.  One of those rare songs to break 50 points in our rating system, thanks to it's excellent key change. Shame Danijela didn't follow up with another future entry, but this one is appreciated enough.

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