Croatia narrows down its choice of performers for Düsseldorf

Croatia continued its brand new method for selecting a performer for Düsseldorf tonight, with the third elimination show.  Five performers would be announced at the end of this show, with the sixth lucky performer announced next week.

Croatia’s new approach to finding a Eurovision act continued tonight, with the final 12 qualifiers competing for six coveted places in the next round.  We were again in HRT’s studios in Zagreb.  Six from each of the last two weeks again performed covers, with the public choosing who would proceed.  We already knew 11 of the qualifiers; the 12th, Daria Zindar, was announced tonight.

This week our expert jury consisted of three very illustrious names from the world of Eurovision.  Maja Blagdan is one of Croatia’s most successful artists in Eurovision, finishing 4th in Oslo in 1996.  Hari Varešanovic represented Bosnia & Herzegovina in 2006 under the guise of Hari Mata Hari, and finished 3rd. Finally, Tereza Kesovija performed for Monaco in 1966 and Yugoslavia in 1972. 

The performers and their songs tonight were:

Mirko Švenda-ZigaI’m still standing.  Mirko won last week’s heat, and was back this week with a song in English. His English accent was a little questionable, but it was a good opener.

Doris TeurTako lako. Rock chick, accompanied by a suited guitarist was the vibe of this song.  And it went down well, althoguh she appeared a little nervous.

Saša LozarStars. A Simply Red classic, but not necessarily suited to his voice.  But he could easily have passed for an Anglophone.

Dora BencMjesec. Starting on a swing, the smoky-voiced Dora sold this soul-style song very well.  And she was confident in her performance.

Sabrina HebiriMercy. Sabrina started her song in a gold picture frame.  dressed in a short black dress, she nailed the performance, and gave the crowd probably its first guaranteed qualifier for week four.

Miro TomicNitko kao ti. Fancying himself as Michael Bublé, this lounge-music song was right for him.  He had a reasonable stage presence and it went down very well with the crowd.

Jacques HoudekRight here waiting.  Jacques won the first Dora heat with Molitva (not the Eurovision winner). This standard by Richard Marx was made for him.  He’d mastered a decent accent, he hit all the right notes and the key change, and had remarkable stage presence.  Jacques should be a cert for next week.

Katica MarinovicVatra i led.  Dressed in a grey suit, this was a safe choice for Katica.  But for a place in the last six, would this work?

Tina VukovCry cry. Striking Tina started her song in the studio’s ‘green room’.  She seemed a little nervous, but the crowd were behind her.

Jelena VanjekValerie. In her pink dress with a big black bow and two-tone hair, Jelena was here to enjoy herself, and you could tell by the way she performed this Amy Winehouse number.

Ana EškinjaAlejandro. No meat dress, but a black split skirt and oversized eyelashes.  While she obviously liked the song, it didn’t really seem to suit her style.

Daria Kinzer  – Ugasi me.  As she’d not had so much time to prepare, Daria was at an immediate disadvantage.  But she gave this bluesy song her best shot.  And it seemed to work.

After the songs had been performed we had a brief recap, and then ten minutes left to vote.  And, of course, with several Eurovision veterans in the studio, it would be wrong to ignore them.  So first most-recent participant Hari performed Leyla, and it sounded as good now as it did then.  Next, flame-haired Maja Blagdan gave us a breathy rendition of her 1996 classic Sveta ljubav.

We then saw the envelope containing the next names.  The five lucky qualifiers for next week’s show are below.  The sixth performer would be announced at the top of the week four show.

Katica Marinovic

Ana Eškinja

Jacques Houdek

Daria Kinzer

Mirko Švenda-Ziga

Source: Eurovisionary, HRT
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