#CROATIA – LIVE BLOG of Dora 2022 from 20:10 CET!

Dobra večer Europo i dobro jutro Australija! Tonight’s the night Croatia will decide their entrant for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Turin – it’s time for Dora 2022!

Sit back and relax, and let Eurovision Ireland’s own James Scanlan entertain and inform you. As always, feel free to tell me what you think and give your opinions about tonight’s Final and who your favourites are! I might even shout out to you in the blog!

Tonight’s show comes to us live from the Marino Cvetković Sports Hall in beautiful coastal Opatija. Duško Ćurlić, Elizabeta Brodić and Franka Batelić, who represented Croatia herself in Lisbon in 2018 will our hosts and overseeing the 14 entrants all hoping for that ticket to Italy. Tonight’s running order is as follows:

  1. Mila Elegović – Ljubav
  2. Mia Negovetić – Forgive Me (Oprosti)
  3. Marko Bošnjak – Moli Za Nas
  4. Jessa – My Next Mistake
  5. Zdenka Kovačiček – Stay On The Bright Side
  6. Tina Vukov – Hideout
  7. Roko Vušković – Malo Kasnije
  8. Bernarda – Here For Love
  9. Eric Vidović – I Found You
  10. ToMa – In The Darkness
  11. Elis Lovrić – No War
  12. Ella Orešković – If You Walk Away
  13. Tia – Voli Me Do Neba
  14. Mia Dimšić – Guilty Pleasure

The winner of Dora 2022 will be selected by 50/50 between regional juries and the Croatian public. In the event of a tie, the televote winner and choice of the public will take precedence. Each jury will be made up of 3 people representing one of the following regions of Croatia:

  • Zagreb
  • Čakovec and Varaždin
  • Rijeka
  • Pula
  • Osijek
  • Zadar
  • Knin and Šibenik
  • Split
  • Dubrovnik
  • Vukovar

If you want to watch along with all the fun yourself, you can watch HERE or on YOUTUBE from 20:10 CET / 19:10 GMT. The show is scheduled to finish at 22:05 CET/ 21:05 GMT, but as we know, live TV sometimes doesn’t go quite according to plan! 

You know the drill: Just refresh this page to get the comments, points of view and all that Eurovision Ireland goodness you know and love!


I admire your dedication – but you’re far too early for Dora 2022! Here, if you want something to do, memorise how to say The Sound of Beauty in 50 languages – including in Croatian!

Not long to go till show time! Tko će pjevati za Hrvatsku u Torinu za Euroviziju 2022.? Hajdemo!

If you want to watch via HRT’s website, scroll to the bottom of the page, tick the box and click “nastavi” – you’re agreeing to their terms and conditions etc… and you’ll then be able to watch all their content to your heart’s content 🇭🇷 🇭🇷 🇭🇷

Oh cool! They’ve still got the videos for Dora 2019, 2020 and 2021 too! If you’re at a loose end tomorrow you can binge-watch Dora and have your fill of Croatian music!

I forgot how much I love watching foreign adverts! Croatian adverts in particularly seem to last no more than 20 seconds each and they speak like their lives depend on it!

If you’re seeing this message “Sadržaj nije dostupan zbog ograničenih autorskih prava!” on your HRT feed don’t worry – HRT only want their lottery numbers broadcast in Croatia… rude… don’t go too far though, Dora is just moments away!

Here we go! Hopefully now I’ll be able to take screen grabs as I couldn’t before! Hmm… nope.. I’ll keep trying…

Last year’s winner of Dora Albina opens the show tonight in a rather eye-catching yellow body suit – she has the unfortunate distinction of being the first contestant in Eurovision history to finish in the Top 10 of both the jury and televote, only to have her overall score rank her 11th… can someone this year get Croatia back into the final for the first time since 2017?

Our hosts for the night, Duško, Elizabeta and Franka welcome us to Opatija for Dora 2022. Franka looks very different with her hair pulled back! Didn’t recognise her at first!

Anyone else getting 2019 vibe from those triangles on the backdrop?

Take a deep breath and relax – we’re about to get started!

Meeting the contests in the flag parade… except everyone is representing Croatia – or at least hoping to!!

We’ve met everyone, and now gone to a break… I’m getting flashbacks to Sanremo…

Wow, that was a short break! We’re starting with the songs now, with Mila Elegović from Zagreb kicking things off in Opatija with her song “Ljubav”

Mila Elegović – Ljubav

Sitting on a stool all in black, Mila’s song has a bit of a country feel to it thanks to the guitar chords. On the one hand, it feels quite intimate, like she is performing in a small bar somewhere. But the moment the camera pans back, she looks lost on that stage… and I’m guessing the one in Turin will be MUCH bigger. Musically it’s very soft, Mila’s voice is warm and it’s a nice example of a love ballad performed well. It’s not at all bad, I liked the sound, but staging for Turin will need a lot of work if it wants to stand out!

Mia Negovetić – Forgive Me (Oprosti)

Oooh the first bilingual song of the night! The song is quite an emotional ballad, and Mia looks the part in her black ballgown. Musically it’s powerful and her voice is gorgeous… so why do I feel like there’s disconnect between Mia and her words? She’s begging her lover to try again and for forgiveness… but looks like she’s waiting for the tram… it’s a shame, because vocally she’s stunning and I really want to love this song. If I listen to it, it’s incredible, the kind of thing that would go down well at Eurovision. But when I look at her, it’s hard to shake the feeling she’s bored and doesn’t believe her words… a real shame, because she’s got the talent all there!

We’re not hanging about tonight! Maybe we will be done by 21:00 GMT!

Marko Bošnjak – Moli Za Nas

Marko is giving us a very dark and moody ballad, clouds of smoke whirl on the screen behind him. His voice in undeniable as he asks his listeners all to pray for us. I’d like to see a little more connection to the camera, especially as everything else is there… the voice, the music, the stage presence… staging wise this is also the strongest concept we’ve seen tonight so far. Not a bad offering at all. Just as an interesting aside, Bošnjak means “Bosniak” in Croatian… wouldn’t it be lovely to have Bosnia back at Eurovision too?

Jessa – My Next Mistake

Jessa is looking all kinds of 80’s-tastic with her neon coloured jumpsuit, each colour of which corresponds with a different backing dancer – that’s quite a nice idea, and visually works very well! She’s also connecting very well with the camera, which is a great (she’s perhaps the first performer tonight to do so well and consistently!) Musically, it’s a little repetitive and perhaps nothing new… but oooh… aaah… is a good hook and I’m humming along despite my best efforts.

Zdenka Kovačiček – Stay On The Bright Side

Oh dear… I love Zdenka’s voice, it’s rich and she’s got the stage presence and confidence of a pro. But goodness me my dear, what are you wearing?! That blue PVC rain mack, that massive salmon scarf… it makes her look shapeless and really detracts from what is actually quite a sweet and upbeat song. It’s got a feel of the jazz era in there and as I said, Zdenka’s vocals are beautiful (I’d buy her album tomorrow) – but staging and styling were abysmal. Sorry Zdenka, I feel terrible for saying that, especially as you clearly have the voice!! Maybe get a different stylist next time.

Tina Vukov – Hideout

From an outfit that missed the mark completely, Tina’s flowing gown with a tight bodice does nothing but compliment her figure. Add to that her strong vocals, haunting piano and the interplay of light and shadows all add up to a rather special moment. I was a little disappointed that the song just seemed to sort of end without a key change or ramping up the drama, but still, brava Tina. A very good effort!

Roko Vušković – Malo Kasnije

Oooh now… the moment this started, Roko’s voice has you hooked. The drums draw you in, the music builds as does his voice. There’s a real emotion in Roko’s vocals and his backing dancer looks lovelorn as he tells her “a little later”. Usually I’d say pyro isn’t always a necessary touch for a performance, but for this song it worked well. One of tonight’s best so far! Could Roko be heading off to Turin?

Bernarda – Here For Love

Bernarda’s voice immediately puts me in mind of Lady Gaga – which can only be a good thing! Here For Love starts very majestically with a real Gospel ring to it, but then it changes gear rather suddenly to sounding very contemporary as very modern backing dancers clad in silver wheel around her. Bernarda’s enthusiasm occasionally veers into shouting, but when she focuses she’s got a hell of a voice – and it’s got the biggest reaction of the night so far from the other contestants! I think it needs a bit of work if it’s going to Turin, but I can see a Eurovision audience responding well to this.

Eric Vidović – I Found You

Eric is going full retro with a big old TV behind him, bright colours and quite a 1970s sounds – nothing wrong with any of this. Considering he’s clearly a young man, it’s perhaps a bit unusual that his song sounds like it stepped out of an era that ended at least 40 years before he was born… if not more! Eric’s vocals are solid, he looks a little unsure in some of his movements (perhaps nerves?) but there’s a confidence growing there. If this was entering Eurovision 1977, I think we’d have a winner. As it’s trying to go to Eurovision 2022, I’m not sure of its chances. But then again, people do love retro! Good effort Eric, well done!

ToMa – In The Darkness

That synthesiser sounds more sinister than anything… never mind Zagreb calling, this is the mothership calling! ToMa performs well, and the staging lends itself to the moody feel of the song. Considering it is a song about heartbreak though, ToMa looks like he’s having a great time… maybe save the smiling for later? Vocally though it’s beautiful, so well done for that. Bit of a mixed bag this one, not sure if I really enjoyed it or not…

Elis Lovrić – No War

I remember Elis from a previous Dora and how I absolutely LOVED her song “All I Really Want” so I had high hopes when I saw her name again. Bathed in red light and opening with the words “I see blood” that she rasps out with her smoky voice is striking bordering on frightening. There’s a real power to Elis when she performs, she draws you in and doesn’t let up. I’m not sure this song will go down well at Eurovision, but I loved watching her perform – bravissima, Elis!

Only 3 songs left? Time really does fly when you’re watching Dora!

Ella Orešković – If You Walk Away

Something about Ella’s stance and movements at the beginning of this performance put me in mind of Franka’s performance of “Crazy” in Lisbon. This strikes me as a very radio friendly song, but I feel like it’s lacking a bit of oompff from Ella. The light show around her is nice, she looks the part… but vocally she feels like she’s walking through it, not living it. What I will say though is I liked the little flourish at the end with the flames as her dancers all collapsed around her!

Tia – Voli Me Do Neba

Tia wants to be loved to heaven and I’m loving the way she’s working the camera. She looks right into it and performs, which will put her in good stead on the Eurovision stage. Her costume puts me in mind of Kateryna from Go_A and her green shawl, albeit it a much more muted colour. Musically the song feels a bit safe, but Tia sells it convincingly especially considering she’s on that stage by herself. I’m impressed by her performance skill though, so well done!

Last song of the night coming up next!

Mia Dimšić – Guilty Pleasure

Sat up on a box strumming her guitar, Mia’s voice is perfect for a rather country feeling song. It sounds pleasant, plenty of easy to sing along with lyrics, which always helps… I like this! The dancer adds a little to what could be otherwise quite a static performance, although when Mia strides across the stage she exudes confidence. I enjoyed that, what a way to end the show!

While our hosts explain to the public how to cast their votes, I’m going to summarise my thoughts about tonight and see if I can predict a winner for tonight – brb!

I look forward to Dora every year and once again they’ve put on a great show with quite a range of songs and styles (even if a few have a bit of a country twang to them!). Usually I can pinpoint who I think will do well, but tonight it’s feeling harder…

Listening to the recap, stand out songs definitely include Forgive Me (Oprosti), Moli Za Nas and Malo Kasnije. Here For Love lost a bit of power in the recap, even though I suspect it’ll still do well. I even see a a road to victory for My Next Mistake, though I wonder if it may be a bit too similar to Tick Tock for Croatia to want to try that sound again so soon… in short, I really don’t know where this will go! I’m fairly confident once the votes start coming in, I’ll be like “Oh year, I see it now…” – not helpful in this moment, I know! Who do you think will win?

Albina provides some interval act singing

You’ve got just over two minutes remaining to vote! Remember though, the Croatian public’s votes are only half the story!

Tri, dva, jedan, GOTOVO! Croatia, your Eurovision 2022 fate is sealed 😉

I thought we might be back to some votes, but according to the bar under the video we’ve still got 40 minutes… so here’s some more dancing and songs!

Franka giving us a rendition of Sveta Ljubav, then into Albina’s take on Neka Mi Ne Svane – arguably two of Croatia’s most well loved Eurovision songs! Anyone want to bet Marija Magdalena is up soon?

Knew it hahahahaha Marrrriijjjjaaaaa Maaaaaaagggdddaaallllleeeeeennnnaaaaa aaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!

Albina in blue and Franka in red works really well together! Do you reckon they’ll do Jacque Houdek’s My Friend next? 😛

All of the songs in that performance came in the Top 10 for Croatia… can one of tonight’s performers return Croatia to those dizzying heights on the scoreboard? We should find out soon!

Our hosts are busy explaining that all the televotes will be added up into percentages of the total vote, then divided by the number of available points.

Here we go!

Our first regional jury is Rijeka, who have given their 12 for Here For Love

Pula up next, who give their 12 to I Found You

Osijek give their 12 points to Guilty Pleasure

(These points are going everywhere!!)

Nothing to Malo Kasnije yet… that surprises me!

Čakovec and Varaždin give 12 to Guilty Pleasure

Split give Moli Za Nas 12 points

Guilty Pleasure leading on 50, No War on 25, Forgive Me (Oprosti) on 34

Vukovar award their 12 to Moli Za Nas

Knin and Šibenik’s 12 points go to Forgive Me (Oprosti)

Zadar up next, who give 12 points to Forgive Me (Oprosti)

Dubrovnik give 12 to I Found You

Who will Zagreb give their top marks to? Let’s see…

In The Darkness gets 12 from Zagreb

So with all the jury votes in, Guilty Pleasure is leading on 91, Forgive Me (Oprosti)is second on 81 and Moli Za Nas is in third on 71 points… Malo Kasnija, who I picked as a potential winner is 13th… yikes…

Will the Croatian public have a different idea? Let’s find out!

The televote is as follows:

Ljubav gets 12 points, putting on 15

Malo Kasnije get 9, up to 17

9 to My Next Mistake, also on 17

If You Walk Away get 17, up to 28

Voli Me Do Neba get 11 up to24

Stay On The Bright Side gets 20, Hideout 23… it’s going too quick to add it all up!

In The Darkness gets 25

I Found You 43

No War 30

Here For Love gets 47

Moli Za Nas gets 108

Forgive Me (Oprosti) gets 60, and Guilty Pleasure gets top marks with 166 – she’s won! Guilty Pleasure is going to Turin!

Well! That was a lot of fun, didn’t imagine Croatia would go for Guilty Pleasure, but it’s a sweet song and I like it!

Thank you for reading along tonight, hope you enjoyed the show! Mia, we will see you in Turin!

Thank you Croatia, thank you Europe and good night!

Author: James Scanlan
Source: HRT1

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