8 May – In my heart there’s harmony when you’re close to me

With the 2023 contest getting ever closer, some will examine whether we can get a first-time winner. Could there be one, or could another country achieve its eighth (or seventh) win.

One country yet to win is Croatia. Yes, we know Riva were Croatian, but they didn’t compete for Croatia at the time. Anyway, not so long ago they were tipped for a win in their own right, and today’s birthday boy Ivan Mikulić could have done it in 2004. He had to battle through the first ever semi-final in the contest city, and did so too. Obviously, he didn’t win (as we went to Kyiv in 2005), but he kept his country’s honour by finishing in the top half. As we know, a finishing position doesn’t always reflect how good a singer is, and in this column’s humble opinion, there were definitely fewer than 11 singers better than him.

Ivan is 55 today.

Sretan rođendan, Ivane!

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