Macedonia are the lonely bridesmaids of the former Yugoslavia. Between 1961 and 1992 the Yugoslav federation was represented at Eurovision by Croats on 11 occasions, by Serbs six times, by Bosnians and Slovenes four times each and by Montenegrins twice. The one Macedonian to win the national selection final was Maja Odžaklievska in 1979 but Yugoslavia opted out of Eurovision that year – as they did each year between 1977 and 1980.
Every successor state of the Yugoslav break-up appears in our countdown yet, once again, Macedonia are the poor relations: this song is the only one of their 16 entries between 1996 and 2015 to feature inside the Top 500. And Macedonia’s contest results are no better: Mojot Svet finished 14th in 2007, just two short of their highest-ever placing the year before.
Singer Karolina Gočeva is from Bitola in southern Macedonia, near the border with Greece and Albania. She first performed at Eurovision in 2002 coming a disappointing 19th with Od Nas Zavisi. Her 2007 entry was much better received, picking up 10 points from neighbours Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Bulgaria – but only 3 from Albania and nothing at all from Greece. Greece have never awarded even a single point to Macedonia in a Eurovision final, which may have something to do with Greece’s long standing objection to the naming of modern Macedonia. As the ancient kingdom of Macedonia encompassed large parts of Greece as well, the Greeks have insisted on the prefix ‘The Former Yugoslav Republic Of’ before every mention of Macedonia, which is why you’ll see “FYR’ in the opening credits of the video below.