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It’s Time to Open Up to Eurovision 2020 (Part II: North Macedonia, Slovenia, Sweden, and Azerbaijan)

Eurovision 2020 Part II

Welcome to another round of Eurovision 2020! If you are new to this series, I talk about the Eurovision each year from March to May. I feature each country’s song and make my predictions for the winner. Check out Part I where I feature the songs from Australia, Belarus, Ireland, and Lithuania.

Enjoy the second part of the series! Listen to the songs below and let me know what you think of them in the comments!

What is Eurovision?

(Here is a brief summary of I wrote in Part I. If you want a more detailed description of the competition, check the first post out.)

Eurovision is a singing contest that features different performers from countries in Europe and Australia. The competition started by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) in 1956 as a way to bring light entertainment to war-torn Europe. The idea was a mixture of experimenting with live television — technology that was in the infant stage at the time — and Sanremo Music Festival in Italy. This was a huge feat at the time as each country’s broadcaster didn’t initially think EBU could air a live broadcast of the music competition all over Europe at the same time.

The great thing about Eurovision is that you don’t need to be in Europe to watch it! You can watch the whole competition on Youtube. Or, if you live in the US, you will be able to watch the whole thing on Netflix!

Eurovision 2020: Open Up

Eurovision 2020 will take place in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Each year’s venue is decided on the previous year’s winner. So, in this case, Duncan Laurence won 2019 Eurovision, so the Netherlands can host the contest (and also have a guaranteed spot in the finals). The competition will be held from May 12 to May 16.

Good luck to the competitors! Who are you are rooting for this year’s contest?

North Macedonia: “You” by Vasil

Vasil Garvanliev, or simply Vasil, is a singer from North Macedonia who is making his second appearance in the singing competition. He provided the backing vocal last year for Tamara Todevska’s “Proud”. If you want to know more about Vasil, check out his interview with WiwiBloggs.

I am on the fence with this song. When I first listened to it, I was like “This isn’t going to make it to the finals. I don’t feel any connection nor a spark”. But, once I relistened it, my opinion of the song changed. Sure, the instrumentation and the beat is pretty simple. Many could perceive them to be boring. Yet, Vasil’s sweet vocals bring life to the song. They have so much flavor in them that makes go “Oh, this is so musically delicious”. It is hard to describe my feelings towards Vasil’s vocals in words, so this gif will help me:

Vasil gets a yes from me to proceed to the finals.

Slovenia: “Voda” by Ana Soklič

Ana Soklič made her musical debut in 2004 with the single “If You”. She is probably the most seasoned singer compared to other singers in the competition.

“Voda” (Water) is the second non-English song in this year’s Eurovision. It is such a beautiful song. Although the song is set at a slower tempo, it really fits well with the melodies and the instrumentation. The slower tempo also sets up a really moving chorus section with Soklič belting out “Voda” with such emotions. It is such a moving section!

Because of the beauty of the song and Soklič’s impressive vocals during the chorus section, I think “Voda” will make it to the finals.

Here are the lyrics translated in English:

Let’s keep marching
Into a new time
Let’s get out of here
Far away
Let’s not rest
It will be a long night

You can hear the ticking of my mind
This restlessness
All that noise
Let them say what they want
As a nomad, you know well
That the longest path is the one that leads from words to action

Throughout the storm, I lay in you until the end
Water is pouring down
But it can’t reach the two of us
But it can’t reach the two of us

Let’s change
The bearing
Away from the lights
There is a broken chair
Standing there
Waiting for someone
Waiting for a child

Throughout the storm, I lay in you until the end
Water is pouring down
But it can’t reach the two of us
But it can’t reach the two of us

Sweden: “Move” by The Mamas

When you listen to The Mamas, you probably feel like you heard them before. You have! The group was backing vocals for Sweden’s entry for last year: John Lundvik’s “Too Late For Love”. They are back this year as Sweden’s representative sans one member (They were a four-member group last year. But, one member decided that she wasn’t coming back in December.)

I love “Move” so much! I love the member’s big voices, their energy, their joy, and their infectious musical personality. The song is inspirational with its lyrics about being there for each (either in a romantic or friendly way) in any way. The beat of the song is so addictive as it just makes you want to get out of your chair and bounce along. The infectious energy and the group’s talented vocals will make “Move” a power song in the finals.

Azerbaijan: “Cleopatra” by Efendi

Samira Efendi or Efendi has been on various singing competitions since the late 2000s. She was even on The Voice of Azerbaijan from 2015 to 2016, placing third.

According to, “”Cleopatra” features an ethnic sound with 3 traditional Azerbaijani instruments; an oud (a traditional guitar-like string instrument), a balaban (a wind instrument) and a tar (a string instrument)”. [1] With these traditional instruments mixed with the modern pop beat, it is clear that “Cleopatra” is such a good listen. This is one of those songs that will make it to final because it is so well-produced with Efendi’s talented vocals and the infectious beat.

Efendi explained the meaning behind “Cleopatra” :

“Cleopatra is a song about trusting your gut instinct, standing up for yourself and being a “queen” – even when things get tough and especially if someone betrays or hurts you. It is truly a song about freedom, a celebration of all cultures and all sexualities and it’s a song that is meant to inspire people to be who they are and to be proud of themselves – just as Cleopatra was. She was a queen who went through love, heartbreak, and betrayal, but she stood up for herself and is now remembered as an icon of strength and femininity.”

So what do you think, which song is your favorite? Comment below!

And, since I have a lot of travel bloggers and readers from the world who visit this blog, what are your favorite memories or sites in North Macedonia, Slovenia, Sweden, and Azerbaijan? Let me know in the comments below.

Since this is an ongoing series, I am going to share my prediction scorecard at the end of each post. It is a way for me to keep track of my predictions and see if they came true in May.

Semi-Finals: First Round

CountryMy Prediction
North MacedoniaYes
Azerbaijan Yes

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