An honest day's work for Kaliopi, who did what she was expected to do: she sang, she shone and she took her country back to the grand final for the first time in years.
Kaliopi - Crno i belo (FYR Macedonia 2012)
Almost all of Former Yugoslavia used the same recipe this year - instead of organising a national final that most names would refuse to be a part of anyway, they internally selected a star to do the job for them. Not a bad idea at all.
But then there are stars and then there are stars. Not everyone who is a star in their own backyard will convince the entire continent of their own greatness. Many big names have failed in the international lime light.
But Kaliopi is the kind of star that is universally understandable. There is her elegance, her intriguing voice and, above all, that sublime presence that just fills the stage and demands your attention.
Regardless if you like her song or not, you just know that this is somebody you'd love to know better.
Frankly, Kaliopi's song is good but not excellent. It could surely have benefitted from a less dated sound and arrangement. But Kaliopi herself just rises above any objections of the kind, nails her scream, delivers her last chorus and keeps the audience fascinated up until the very end of her performance.
Now I just hope she will come back to the ESC in a few years with a sharper entry. Then things would really start to get interesting...
My grade: 4/5