MACEDONIAN ROCKERS @ EUROVISION
Macedonia will present a youthful, energetic image at this year's Eurovision song contest. Representing the country will be Next Time, a rock band led by Martin and Stefan Filipovski.
The twin brothers beat out the famous pop singer Kaliopi in the Macedonian contest, which ran from February 19th through 21st.
Kaliopi's duet with folk song legend Naum Petreski was not enough to give her the lead, and it was the young rockers and their song "Something That Will Stay" that prevailed -- by one point. Following the rules of the event, Kaliopi and Petreski's entry will be featured at the Sunny Scale festival, held each June in Montenegro.
The winning song is the work of composers Jovan Jovanov and Damjan Lazarov, with lyrics by Elvir Mekic. This will not be Jovanov's first entry at Eurovision; the late Balkan pop idol Tose Proeski performed his song "Life" at the 2004 event.
"We are feeling phenomenal," Stefan Filipovski said after hearing the results. "We want to thank everyone who voted for us because it isn't possible to write songs or to win the contest without the audience."
"In this contest we appeared ready, and in such a way we will go to Russia. We will do everything we can not to disappoint this nation and this country," his twin, Martin, said.
Over the years, Macedonia has sent many of its most famous singers to Eurovision, including Vlado Janevski, Karolina Goceva and Proeski. None, however, has been able to bring home the top prize.
Last year's Macedonian contestants, the trio of Tamara Todevska, Rade Vrcakovski and Adrian Gadza, failed to reach the finals.
This year, the selection process occurred during the Skopje Music Festival. Although otherwise successful, the Macedonian contest was marred by the death of a 24-year-old audience member. Ivana Mitreska, who was attending the show with her friends, suffered a fatal heart attack. The group was there to support contestant Emilija Gigovska.