Croatia: The Aleksandar Kostadinov interview

by Michalis Vranis 105 views

Mr Aleksandar Konstandinov, Head of the Croatian delegation and chairman of the EBU Entertainment Bureau spoke to editor Ivan Horvat about Croatia's chances in the Eurovision Song Contest, Dora and more.

First of all, allow me to send you greetings on behalf of Croatian and other Eurovision fans all around the Europe. For 18 years you have been involved in Croatian preselections, and in 2002 you became Head of Delegation. In your opinion, has Croatia had any influence on the competition? Do you think Croatia still has much to offer Europe – perhaps even your well-known hospitality, once Eurovision arrives in Zagreb?

Croatia is a small country where all people love to sing; here even the non-professionals believe they can “conquer the world” with their performance. And that’s great, same as the fact we have taken part in the Contest every time since 1993. HRT (Croatian broadcaster) is ready to organise the event, we have great sport halls – all we are missing for now is a song that will become a hit in 42 different countries and get about 10 million votes via televoting.

Many fans still remember greatest Croatian successes in the Contest; they refer to it as “Croatian Golden Nineties”. These days you have presented visual changes for the upcoming Dora – the reactions were great – so many expect a good result in Oslo. What do you think is the reason Croatia did not do well in last couple of years? Is it politics, change in music tastes, or something else? Many fans claim Dora itself often has many excellent songs, but it is never the best one thatwins. Do you agree with this statement?

In the Dora final there are 16 songs – 8 of them qualify directly (since they are composed by 8 most popular Croatian compositors). Then it’s televoting – jury: 50-50! And there is always someone who is unhappy with the choice; I can’t remember the situation when everybody was happy. In 1994, Tony Cetinski ended in 16th place. That doesn’t mean he is not a good singer or that a jury had to pick someone else. Also, many things in the competition have changed, now more than 40 countries participate.

Opatija, the beautiful town on the Croatian coastline, is a place were Dora is usually held. Lately there are rumours that Dora will be moved to some other city; the one being mentioned most often is Split…

It all depends on how interested people are for the project, and I can tell you – they are! Decision will be brought by board of directors. We enjoy doing our job wherever we are able to do it.

You have become the chairman of the EBU’s new formed section called Entertainment Bureau. Could you please tell our readers something more about the section and its goals?

EBU Entertainment Bureau is EBU’s executive department for entertainment. The organisation consists of 125 members from 75 countries. It is similar as OGAE groups – all countries have the group, and every group has its executive department. It is a demanding job, so a person needs to be effective, a good and wise diplomat.

Mr. Kostadinov, thank you very much for this conversation. Would you like to send a message to our readers?

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