All opinions expressed in this article are those of the person quoted and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the other team members or ESC United as a whole.
It’s 4 days to go until Junior Eurovision 2022, and we are counting down the 16 nations who are participating in Yerevan, Armenia on Sunday, December 11, 2022.
Every day we will do an overview of a participating nation in alphabetical order, recapping how they got to Junior Eurovision, a brief history of the nation’s participation, a brief biography of the artist, and finally, our “expert” panel of editors give the entries a score out of 10 and a brief review.
Next up, we look at North Macedonia, and no pressure on the kids, but since the adults pulled out of Eurovision 2023, we hope they do well enough for them to reconsider their position in 2024.
North Macedonia’s history at Junior Eurovision:
North Macedonia have entered every edition of Junior Eurovision with the exception of 2012 and 2014. Their debut entry, “Ti ne me poznavaš” by Marija and Viktorija. It came in 12th the inaugural contest. North Macedonia would place 12th a total of 8 times out of 16 appearances (50%!).
Viktorija Loba actually did quite well after her performance, releasing a string of singles over the years and tried out for the then-FYR Macedonia for Eurovision 2015, coming in 7th at Skopje Fest with “One and Only.” (“Autumn Leaves” by Daniel Kajmakoski won that year.)
North Macedonia’s best finish remains 5th, with Rosica Kulakova & Dimitar Stojmenovski in 2007 with “Ding Ding Dong,” and Bobi Andonov in 2008 with “Prati mi SMS.”
Australian born Andonov has made quite a career for himself ever since, appearing in more talent shows after Junior Eurovision including Australia’s Got Talent. He’s done songwriting work for AfroJack and X Factor Australian winner Cyril Villanueva, before earning a record deal with Hollywood Records for his own work.
Marija Spasovska came in – you guessed it – 12th place in 2018 with “Doma.” Mila Moskov, who has become something of a cult phenomenon, came in 6th in 2019. North Macedonia withdrew from 2020 due to COVID-19.
They returned in 2021 with musical group Dajta Muzika and the eco-activist anthem “Green Forces.” They came in 9th, but it is fair to say that their climate change appeal for reform has made headway politically in the West over the past year.
Before Junior Eurovision 2022:
Auditions were held at broadcaster MRT’s studios in Skopje on June 23, 2022.
Bear with me, but if I interpret MRT’s press releases right, they picked Lara Trpčeska and Irina Dazidovska via an internal panel based on vocal, artistic, and scenic quality.
Once the song was announced, it was revealed that Jovan Trpčeski would also be part of the group representing North Macedonia.
“Životot e pred mene” (“Life is ahead of me”) was primarily written by none other than stalwart Eurovision writer and producer Darko Dimitrov. He co-wrote Marija Spasovska’s “Doma” (Junior Eurovision 2018), but he has 12 credits as either one of or both writer and producer of an entry for Eurovision.
His best performance to date is being writer and producer of Tamara Todevska’s “Proud,” which came in 7th for North Macedonia at Eurovision 2019. His most recent entry was as writer and producer of Vladana’s “Breathe,” a non-qualifier for Montenegro at Eurovision 2021.
Macedonian classical pianist Simon Trpčeski also contributed to the song.
With the background out of the way, here is what we at ESC United think of North Macedonia’s entry for Junior Eurovision 2022.
Providing their thoughts for Junior Eurovision this season: Alice Christine (Washington, D.C.), Boris Meersman (Belgium), Gianluca D’Elia (New York City, New York), James Maude (Los Angeles, California), Roy Postema (The Netherlands), William Carter (Dallas, Texas), and Zephaniah Gabriel (The Philippines).
Alice – 7 – “This song has a great message about not worrying about grown-up things too early, and just being a kid.”
Boris – 7 – “Embodies the Olympic Spirit to a flawless degree. God, NoMac is such a mess, and I mean this in best possible way. ONLY children could conceivably get away with a dorky electro-swing dubstep (featuring the most miserable children observed on film since that other Macedonian gem, “Pletenka”). “Zivotot E Pred Mene” is such a throwback to the EARLY JESC entries (the ones that were actually written by the kids that performed them) with its disarming amateurism, and I’ll happily take it over any of the many tryhard mediocrities bred in a science lab to grab an EZPZ Jesc win.”
Gianluca – 6 – “This is was a cute, catchy entry with so much attitude and personality. I didn’t love the rap verse, but the performers deliver this song so well, I can’t help but smile when I hear it.”
James – 6 – “Jovan’s rap verse is terrible. It clogs up what was a girly fun electro-oompah kids song about being free of adult expectations and celebrating being alive as a child in Europe in the 21st Century. Jovan’s the least welcome guest vocals on a song since Fred Durst on Method of Mayhem’s “Get Naked,” and I resent that North Macedonia made me think of that nu-metal horror show. Take his part out, and we’re left with a fun playful and care free childhood romp that JESC purists would love.”
Roy – 8 – “STAGING POTENTIAL to the max. A fun and catchy chorus, charismatic performers and a more than decent production. I can see this do unexpectedly well. The moments of attitude, the rap feature to break up the song and the budget they put into the videoclip really makes me hyped. Can’t wait to see them perform and perhaps shock the world a bit!”
William – 6.5 – “This song is… weird? I would describe it, I suppose, as a big–band-meets-hip-hop nursery rhyme? Can such a thing exist? The strange melodic choice in the chorus is … off-putting? And yet, I can’t stop listening to it? It’s an earworm, for sure, and it’s unapologetic oddness is charming. God knows how this will work live on stage, but boy am I excited to see Lara, Jovan, and Irina pull it off.”
Zephaniah – 8 – “Upbeat and funky. I didn’t like it the first minute in the succeeding minutes, it grew on me immediately. It’s such a guilty pleasure to me. I love the layered vocals on certain parts and the vocals on the chorus.”
Total: 48.5 points (Average = 6.929)
North Macedonia comes in with an average just shy of 7.0, but it’s the Netherlands holding onto the lead as we are ten down and six to go.
1.) The Netherlands – 58 points (Average = 8.286)
2.) Ireland – 56 points (Average = 8.0)
3.) Italy – 55.5 points (Average = 7.926)
4.) Armenia – 54.5 points (Average = 7.786)
5.) Georgia – 52.5 points (Average = 7.5)
6.) France – 52 points (Average = 7.428)
7.) NORTH MACEDONIA – 48.5 points (Average = 6.929)
8.) Kazakhstan – 45 points (Average = 6.429)
9.) Albania – 42.5 points (Average = 6.071)
10.) Malta – 38.5 points (Average = 5.5)
What do #YOU think of North Macedonia’s entry? Do #YOU think they can make a statement that convinces the adults to remain at Eurovision in 2024 and beyond? Let us know in the comments below, on social media, or in our forum.