Review: Macedonia- Kaliopi ‘Dona’

Kaliopi Macedonia Eurovision 2016Macedonia have selected experienced vocalist Kaliopi as their 2016 Eurovision entry. She will sing ‘Dona’ in Stockholm with the hopes of advancing from Semi Final 2. We assess her chances in our review.

Kaliopi has many years experience under her belt with an impressive number of albums and singles released in her native Macedonia. In addition to this she has performed at Eurovision before, coming in 13th place back in 2012 with her song ‘Crno i Belo’.

Her song for 2016, ‘Dona’, starts out as a dull ballad, however when we get to the chorus with the repetition of the song’s title, it begins to pack a punch.

Kaliopi’s voice is husky and gravelly and one can’t help but draw comparisons to another Eurovision Song Contest alumnus- the UK’s Bonnie Tyler. The similarities between the two ladies don’t stop there. When we translate some of Kaliopi’s lyrics into English- ‘Vo Mene Verrvaj’ it becomes ‘Believe in Me’ which was of course the title of Bonnie’s song at Eurovision.

So what is the song all about? When I first heard it, I thought- yes! Finally! A Eurovision song about kebabs! Just kidding, in fact when you analyse the song’s lyrics there is an overt religious message to it. It seems to be about God’s love and how your faith can save you from any number of obstacles in your life. Yeesh!

Despite this message, I actually quite like the song- especially the chorus. But what are Kaliopi’s chances of succeeding at Eurovision 2016? According to bookies they’re not great. They have her as a rank outsider at 250/1 just slightly ahead of four or five other nations. Based on that, it is unlikely she will make it out of her semi final, let alone beat her previous attempt of 13th.

Kaliopi has a few things working against her- firstly the song is not performed in English which if we look at previous winners, we have to go back as far as Serbia in 2007 to get a non English speaking winner. 

Secondly- ‘women of a certain age’ tend not to get the best results at Eurovision. If we even look back to last year, we see that The Netherlands’ Trijntje Oosterhuis failed to qualify from her semi final and Lisa Angell from France, although automatically competing in the Final as part of the ‘Big Five’ nations, only managed 25th out of 27th songs.

And finally this year has quite a few other female balladeers competing at Eurovision which could see her get lost in the mix. Especially considering that her ballad is by no means the best. 

Is Kaliopi your favourite song from Group B of the Eurovision World Cup? If so vote for her song ‘Dona’ in our poll below.

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