Croatia eliminates another singer for Düsseldorf

Dora continued apace tonight, as Croatia narrowed the field to three singers, all vying for the honour of representing Croatia in the first semi-final in Düsseldorf on 10 May.  One unfortunate would be going home tonight.  Would it be a qualifier, or tonight’s wild card?

Week five of Dora would see the high quality field of performers reduced by one tonight.  As you may remember, three singers were selected last week.  The fourth would be a wild card, announced at the start of the show.  All four would be singing two songs – one each in Croatian and English.  Daria Kinzer, Mirko Švenda-Žiga and Jacques Houdek were our known qualifiers, and they were joined tonight by Katica Marinovic.  Two more would be announced tonight, and one of next week’s performers would be held back to the start of that show.

Leona Paraminski and Aleksandar Kostadinov were again our hosts, assisted by Monika Lelas in the ‘green room’.  The show was opened by Severina performing Moja štikla dressed in black leather, fishnet tights and knee-length black boots.  A striking way to open.

In previous weeks, we’d had an expert jury made up of famous names in the Balkan music industry.  Tonight we were joined by Danijela Martinovic (1995, 1998), Kraljevi Ulice lead singer Miran Hadživeljkovic (2008) and opera star Ivanka Boljkovac.  They would be giving their expert opinions on the performances.  In between the songs, we saw a little of what goes on behind the scenes (choreography practice, gym work, you get the idea).

Anyway, tonight’s performances were:

Katica Marinovic – Tamo gdje je sve po mom This was a jaunty song, originally a hit for Jinx. Katica performed it very well, accompanied by a mask.  She was, however, a tad out of tune in places.  But she had only been revealed as the fourth performer a short time earlier. 

Daria Kinzer If I could turn back time. Blonde Daria was next on, singing the Diane Warren (UK 2009) penned hit originally for Cher.  This was a confident performance and very demure when compared to Cher’s video aboard an American warship.  She was rising to the challenge of making the final three.

Mirko Švenda-Žiga  Svi tvoji poljupci. Audience favourite Mirko was next on, with a Balkan song originally a hit for Boa. The black leather jacket and jeans look seemed to suit both him and this rock-inspired song.  This was a credible performance and the crowd were on their feet, especially during the guitar riff in the song.

Jacques HoudekKiss. Our other remaining guy Jacques showed off his moves with the Prince song.  Funky was the vibe from this, and his two svelte backing singers blended well with his assured vocal performance.  He even managed the trademark Prince falsetto.  A blue jacket over a white T-shirt completed the look.  Of the two guys, the jury appeared to think Jacques had the better performance.

Before we heard each contender’s second song, Eurovision veteran Danijela treated us to her 1998 classic Neka mi na svane.  She still sounds as good as everThere was no costume change this time, and she performed in a floor-length black dress.

Katica Marinovic – I’m so excited.  The Pointer Sisters were the inspiration behind Katica’s second song and she demonstrated her command of the English language.  Dressed as if ready for a night on the town, she had the audience dancing in the aisles. 

Daria Kinzer – Kao rijeka. Daria slowed things down now with a classy ballad that was originally a hit for Vanna (2001).  This was another very assured performance, so much so that if Croatia wants to send a ballad to Düsseldorf, she could be the one.

Mirko Švenda-Žiga –  Help!  Mirko swapped the rock look for a Beatles suit to sing this cover.  He was even strumming a guitar.  This was not such a confident performance.  He appeared to be reading the lyric, and there’s something lacking about his English accent.

Jacques HoudekNek’ ti bude ljubav sva. Finally, Jacques treated us to our only Eurovision cover of the night.  Toni Cetinski performed this heartfelt ballad back in 1994, and Jacques’ version was a very credible cover.  Some might say slightly better.  He was in a pick T-shirt and black jacket.

While the phone lines were thrown open for 10 minutes, we first saw a recap of the eight songs.  Then Severina returned and sang Gade for us in a long red dress (split to the thigh), but looking not unlike a 1940s Hollywood starlet.  Before the results, Danijela took to the stage again with the Adriatic-sounding song Živim na živim.  She was popular with the audience.

With the votes in, who would be just that little bit nearer to Düsseldorf?  Our announced guaranteed final two/three were:  

Mirko Švenda-Žiga

Jacques Houdek

Daria Kinzer and Katica Marinovic would have to wait until next week for the third and final place.

Source: Eurovisionary, HRT
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