After only qualifying once in the past 7 years and realizing after 3 internal selections that choosing their country’s most famous pop stars doesn’t always mean getting into the final, MRT went back to selecting their Eurovision entrant through the national selection Skopje Fest. After a little bit of scandal (which has to occur every year otherwise tabloids will probably ignore the contest), the winner turned out to be Daniel Kajmakoski, the winner of the 1st season of X-Factor Adria.
I was pretty happy that I already knew who Daniel Kajmakoski was (or at least that he existed in ESC circles) before the national selection, since his X-Factor coach was none other than Balkan superstar Željko Joksimović, and the two posted a song on Youtube shortly after Kajmakoski’s victory:
Due to the collaboration between the two artists, and that the title Lisja Esenski (“Autumn Leaves”) reminded me of the mixtape in The Perks of Being a Wallflower containing a lot of ballads, my first assumption was that the winning song was going to be another Balkan ballad. However, after a few seconds that was not the case. Instead, the song sounded more like a Swedish ballad that one might hear at Melodifestivalen. (After looking up the composers, I also learned that Joacim Persson is Swedish, so…yeah…) Besides getting surprised by the song structure, the only other thing I noticed was his golden shoes (*cough*Diggiloo-Diggiley*cough*). That’s probably the last of the Swedish influence until the song possibly gets revamped before the song deadline.
I really enjoyed the song from my first listen, since the song reminded me of something warm and fuzzy even though I couldn’t understand any lyrics besides a few words picked up from other ex-Yugo entries. All I could guess was that it was some sort of a love song (which the translation showed it was)…no wonder it felt like he picked up a piece of his soul written in his own language and was handing it to the audience.
Now let’s see how he does it in Vienna. And $5 says he lives closer to the Wiener Stadthalle (5-10 minute walk from where he lives) than the Austrian entrant…