My review :
CROATIA 2020 - Damir Kedžo - Divlji vjetre: "It's there"
Sadly, Croatians have disappeared from my radar the last couples of years, I didn't think much of "Crazy" and "The Dream" one way or the other, and I'm disappointed it was the case this year as well.
My commentary will be short because the truth is I don't have much to say about "Divlji vjetre". Yes Damir brought the Balkan ballad spirit to Rotterdam, yes it's sung fully in Croatian and I am here for that... But composition-wise, I just don't think it is remarkable. Don't get me wrong, I don't say it's bad, it's just not giving me a flavour I can get behind in the contest. Out of the Eurovision bubble, I guess it would have been an acceptable song for the national market, but maybe we could use a bit more personality when it comes to the competition. Neither the melody nor the arrangements really catch my attention, we've had better efforts of that genre in the past imo.
I seize this opportunity to give a shout out to Vanja Radovanović's "Inje" that no one except me liked, that flopped big time and yet was well-written imho.
The Croatian entry sits in the depths of my ranking simply because it doesn't kindle anything in me. Damir seemed invested in his performance, which is good, but even the live performance didn't help me to change my mind: it is there.
Prediction-wise, I was pessimistic about their chances of qualification tbh. Even with all the cheese, "The Dream" looked less chanceless to me. To speak plainly, I think it would have sunk without a trace in the semi.
I take it Damir will not be internally selected and Dora will continue? It's sad for him. Croatians need a song that inspires stronger and clearer feelings imo, I'm glad they're with us and keep trying, but I believe they can do better than what they've sent lately. Guys learn something from your Slovenian neighbours! You need to think outside-the-box a bit. I mean, look at your own recent successes: despite the criticism one could direct at Houdek in 2017, his song was "out there" (who thought of a self-duet before?) and it did well in the end. Of course, I don't mean you should send Houdek again, one of his minions or a piece of cheese to succeed
but thinking past the "conventional" concept-wise for a small nation isn't a bad idea imo.
Fingers crossed for a good lineup next year in Dora. It would be nice to see Croatia with a competitive package again.