Monty’s Eurovision Countdown 2024 Part 7 – Croatia

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Brace yourselves, we have our first assumed real contender for the win. A song that gathered so much momentum ahead of the Croatian Dora national selection show.

Rim Tim Tagi Dim takes a nonsense sounding phrase, from a nonsense sounding artist, and creates an impressive work of art. Blending rock, heavy metal and techno – not your typical Eurovision-winning genres – into a tale of folkloric proportions.

Baby Lasagne regales a story of leaving your home village and heading to the city. Thematically it’s a well-trodden exodus. He prepares himself with a series of goodbyes: to mom, to dad, to the cat. The anxiety of the move is there, but there’s one last dance to do before leaving – “so come on y’all, let us prance”.

My immediate question is not where’s he going to but why is he leaving? Mr Lasagne has said there’s an influence of the economic migration journey of Croatians moving abroad. Without making any assumptions as to the artist’s (I believe undeclared) sexual identity, for me there’s also some queer-coding here, in the lyrical casting of the pretty city boys and wondering whether they too will “know our dance”.

The whole thing’s a riot of fun (though I suspect some fan boys of a certain age may be clutching their pearls at being forced to endure such a noisy genre). It’s difficult to believe that initially this was a mere standby entry in the Croatian selection, and we almost didn’t get to enjoy it at all. Once in, by chance of another artist’s withdrawal, it notched up a huge win, receiving almost 10 times as many televoting points as its nearest rival.

There’s an overly easy comparison to call this “the Käärijä effect” after the success of the Finnish rapper last year but I think many people are oversimplifying what that truly means. We’re awash with wacky “let’s go crazy” entries this year by artists who mistake this to be Käärijä’s influence but miss the significance of genuine artistic integrity and charisma and plump solely for the bizarre. Despite their sometimes-whimsical characteristics neither artist nor song here is a “comedy entry”.

10 pointsI like this. It’s fun, self-aware, and stylistically in a field of its own. But I’m struggling to share the vision of those calling it the winner. Despite its momentum going into the domestic competition the artist’s relative lack of experience was exposed in the first performance. Encouragingly this was already improved by the final two days later, and there is plenty of time to hone his craft by May. I’d be very happy with a trip to Croatia, but for me this isn’t our 2024 champion.


Photo: Elizabeta Ruzic/EBU

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