Karolina talks to UMD about winning Eurovision 2007

SKOPJE, MACEDONIA—After an unsuccessful bid to win the 2002 Eurovision Contest, landing her in 19th place, Karolina Goceva is going at it again, this time more confident than ever.  Karolina won the Macedonian Eurosong competition with the song “Mojot Svet,” beating out 20 competitors by a wide margin.  The song was written by Grigor Koprov and composed by Ognen Nedelkovski.  The competition took place at the Universal Hall in Skopje on February 24, 2007.  Karolina is the first singer to represent Macedonia twice at Eurovision.  She will compete with singers from around Europe in the semi-final in Helsinki, Finland on May 10, 2007.

The Eurovision Song Contest is an annual competition between active member-countries of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).  Each participating country submits a song to be performed on live television.Viewers, who cannot vote for the song from their own country, vote via telephone to determine the winner of the competition.  Each country participates through one of their national EBU-member television stations, who are responsible for selecting a singer and a song to represent the country in the international competition.

UMD:Karolina, please accept our congratulations on your victory. How are the preparations and the promotion for your song coming along before you head to Finland? Which countries have you visited so far?

Karolina: Thank you!  The preparations are going well and we are quite busy as we have very little time until Eurovision.  I think we are making good progress to finish everything on time and as best as we can.  With regard to the promotion of the song, I’ve already been to Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro and Albania.

UMD: Have you ever thought of visiting the Macedonian community in Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, and Germany to promote your song and motivate these Macedonians and the Macedonians residing in the neighboring Balkan countries to vote for you on May 10 and 12?

Karolina: Of course I have thought of that and I would really like to be able to visit our communities throughout Europe.  However, we really don’t have time for that because this year’s Skopje Festival (when the song that will represent the country is selected) was held much later than usual, leaving us with no time to plan longer and more distant visits.  Thus, we opted for trips to the closer, neighboring countries.

The moral support from our Diaspora, as well as their votes, is very important to me.  We will do our best to stay in touch by email and telephone and to encourage our people throughout Europe to support me by voting for Macedonia and my song on May 10th, and God willing, again on May 12th in the final round.  On my side of the bargain, I promise to organize a tour this autumn anywhere throughout Europe where Macedonians live, and in this way try to repay my debt to them.

UMD: The choreography can, but it doesn’t have to be the presiding factor for victory at this festival.  How much time and energy do you invest in your choreography and on-stage performance?

Karolina: At a big event like Eurovision all of the segments of the performance are important: the choreography, the style, and the wardrobe.  We are working on all of them, making sure not to miss any aspect of the performance.  We are having daily choreography practices at Macedonian Opera and Ballet building, vocal practices with the supporting singers in the M2 studio of MTV, and the stylists are working hard, as well.

UMD: Last time you wore a special dress and you dedicated a big portion of your preparation time on your looks.  Compared with your last performance, when you presented your new song Mojot Svet in Skopje, and also during your visits to a few Balkan cities, your attire was much simpler, but in a good modern style.  How do you plan to look and dress at your new performance?

Кarolina: Let it be a surprise – I do hope it will be a pleasant one.

UMD: As a singer that has performed at this festival before, what have you learned to use to your advantage at this year’s competition?  Do you have a different approach towards the stage performance, the pre-festival promotion, and the musical arrangement of the song?

Кarolina: The fact that I’ve performed at this festival before has surely made things easier for me, but it is also helpful that I’m a familiar face among the Eurovision fans.  That is my advantage, as well as my new song, which in my opinion is of better quality and is easier for anyone to listen to and sing than my last song in Tallinn, Estonia.  We are trying to use our experience from 2002 in the best possible way.

UMD: In these last days of preparation, do you plan to change (and to what extent) the melody of your song Mojot Svet?  In what language will you be performing?

Karolina: The only changes we are making are in production.  We are doing a live recording with all the instruments and we’ve also worked on mastering. However, we believe the song is great as it is and that we don’t need to change much, if at all.  I will be performing in Macedonian.

 UMD: Have you heard the other songs that will be performed in Helsinki?  Which one would you consider as competition for your song?

Кarolina: Although I’ve heard most of the songs, I’d rather not bother about which song could be serious competition to mine.  What I try to do and spend my time on is concentrate on my work in order to perform better and represent our country Macedonia in Helsinki in the best possible way.

UMD: Besides your two songs, what is your favorite song that has ever been performed at this festival?

Кarolina: ABBA’s Waterloo and Sertab Erener’s song.

UMD: How do you intend to celebrate your victory?

Кarolina: Wildly.

UMD: Good Luck Karolina on May 10th and the 12th !

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