Macedonia participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 with the song « Autumn Leaves« , written by Joacim Persson. The song was performed by Daniel Kajmakoski. In November 2014, Macedonian broadcaster Macedonian Radio Television (MRT) organised the Skopje Festival 2014 in order to select the Macedonian entry for the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, Austria. Daniel Kajmakoski and the song « Lisja esenski » emerged as the winner. The song competed in Macedonia’s national final in Macedonian with lyrics by Aleksandar Mitevski and Kajmakoski himself. At the Eurovision Song Contest, however, Kajmakoski opted to perform the song in English under the title « Autumn Leaves ». In the first of the Eurovision semi-finals, Macedonia failed to qualify to the final, placing fifteenth out of the 16 participating countries with 28 points.
Prior to the 2015 Contest, Macedonia had participated in the Eurovision Song Contest fourteen times since its first entry in 1998. Its best placing in the contest was twelfth, which it achieved in 2006 with the song « Ninanajna » performed by Elena Risteska. Following a string of non-qualifications from the semi-finals between 2008 and 2011, MRT opted to change their entry selection strategy from using the Skopje Fest national final to an internal selection. In 2012, the internal selection of Kaliopi (performing the song « Crno i belo« ) resulted in Macedonia qualifying to the final and placing 13th. However, the subsequent internal selections of Esma Redžepova and Vlatko Lozanoski in 2013 and Tijana Dapčević in 2014 both failed to take Macedonia to the final.
In June 2014, MRT held a survey on their website asking for advice regarding Macedonia’s future participation in the Eurovision Song Contest. The three votable options provided were: continuing with internal selections, returning to the national final format of selecting the entry, or withdrawing from the contest. Despite the option for withdrawal attracting the majority of the vote, MRT announced on 15 July 2014 that Macedonia would compete at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 and that the winner of the Skopje Festival 2014 would represent the country.
Skopje Festival 2014
The Skopje Festival 2014 was a song contest organized by MRT that served as Macedonia’s national final to select their entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2015. The competition was held on 12 November 2014 at the Metropolis Arena in Skopje, hosted by Vasil Zafircev. All twenty competing songs in the festival were performed live with the MRT orchestra, which was conducted by Ljupčo Mirkovski. At the conclusion of the voting, the combination of votes from an international jury and the votes from public televoting selected Daniel Kajmakoski and the song « Lisja esenski » as the winner.
A submission period for interested artists and composers to submit their entries was opened on 26 May 2014 and closed on 31 July 2014. MRT received over 180 submissions at the close of the deadline. In addition to the received submissions, MRT also invited well-known composers to directly submit songs for the competition. The twenty competing songs were announced on 26 September 2014 during the MRT TV program Stisni Plej.
Among the competing artists were two previous Eurovision Song Contest entrants: Tamara Todevska previously represented Macedonia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 and Vlatko Ilievski previously represented Macedonia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2011. Viktorija Loba represented Macedonia at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2003 as part of the duo Marija & Viktorija. Among the competing composers were Vladimir Dojčinovski who co-composed the Macedonian entry in 2011, Grigor Koprov who composed the Macedonian entries in 1998 and 2007 as well as the Montenegrin entry in 2008, Vlado Janevski who represented Macedonia in 1998 and also co-wrote the 2000 Macedonian entry, Jovan Jovanov who composed the 2004 Macedonian entry and co-composed the 2009 and 2011 Macedonian entries, Lazar Cvetkoski who co-composed the 2013 and 2014 Macedonian entries and Magdalena Cvetkoska who wrote the lyrics for the 2013 Macedonian entry.
The winner was chosen through a 50/50 combination of public televoting and the votes of an international jury. MRT invited broadcasters from seven countries to form juries with five members each in order to determine the results of the jury vote. Monetary prizes were also awarded to the songs that placed in the top three; first place received €20,000, second place received €10,000 and third place received €5,000. In addition to the performances of the competing entries, the show also featured guest performances by former Macedonian contest entrants Karolina Gočeva (2002, 2007) and Kaliopi (2012).
|1||Lena Zatkoska||« Alo »||Hello||Risto Samardžiev||0||14|
|2||Tanja Carovska||« Ako mi se vratiš »||If you return to me||Tanja Carovska||5||10|
|3||Daniel Kajmakoski||« Lisja esenski«||Autumn leaves||Joacim Persson, Aleksandar Mitevski, Daniel Kajmakoski||22||1|
|4||Vera Janković||« Se plašam »||I’m scared||Darko Tasev, Vesna Malinova||0||14|
|5||Risto Samardžiev & Vlatko Ilievski||« Sever-Jug »||North-South||Vladimir Dojčinovski, Risto Samardžiev||0||14|
|6||Evgenija Čančalova||« Da ne te sakam »||If I don’t love you||Grigor Koprov, Jelena Bulinac||18||3|
|7||Aleksandra Mihova||« Srce čuva spomeni »||Heart keeps memories||Andrijana Janevska, Veronika Stojanovska||0||14|
|8||Lidija Kočovska & Marijan Stojanovski||« Sonce niz oblaci »||Sunshine through the clouds||Trajče Stavreski, Maja Pavlovska||0||14|
|9||Joce Panov||« Ni Lj od ljubovta »||Neither « L » from love||Saša Dragić, Vlado Janevski||5||11|
|10||Goran Naumovski & Sanja Kerkez||« Mig bez tebe »||A moment without you||Andrijana Janevska||0||14|
|11||Aleksandar Tarabunov & Toni Mihajlovski||« Marija »||Maria||Robert Bilbilov, Toni Mihajlovski||8||5|
|12||Aleksandra Janeva||« Vo tvojot svet »||In your world||Vančo Dimitrov, Ana Pandevska||6||9|
|13||Miyatta||« Zaljuben »||In love||Tanja Carovska||2||12|
|14||Tamara Todevska||« Brod što tone »||Sinking ship||Robert Bilbilov||20||2|
|15||Sanja Gjoševska||« Sakam da letam »||I want to fly||Duke Bojadžiev||6||8|
|16||Nade Talevska||« Znam »||I know||Aleksandar Masevski, Biljana Pašarikovska||7||6|
|17||Viktorija Loba||« Edna edinstvena »||One and only||Jovan Jovanov, Elvir Mekić||7||7|
|18||Verica Pandilovska||« Samo za tebe »||Just for you||Salvatore Monetti, Jasmina Kantardžieva||0||14|
|19||Nina Janeva||« Bluz za… »||Blues for…||Davor Jordanovski, Toni Mihajlovski||2||13|
|20||Dimitar Andonovski||« Se što ti vetiv »||Everything I promised||Lazar Cvetkoski, Magdalena Cvetkoska||8||4|
|Members of the Jury|
|Austria – ORF||
|Azerbaijan – İctimai||
|Bulgaria – BNT|
|Romania – TVR|
|Turkey – TRT||
|Netherlands – TROS||
|Croatia – HRT||
On 16 March 2015, the official Eurovision version of the Macedonian entry was premiered by the Macedonian broadcaster with the release of the official music video. At the Skopje Festival 2014, Kajmakovski performed the song in the Macedonian language, however, it was announced that at Eurovision he would perform « Lisja esenski » in English as « Autumn Leaves ». The track was originally written in English by Swedish songwriter Joacim Persson. Kajmakovski worked with Macedonian producer Robert Bilbilov to create the final English version of the song.
According to Eurovision rules, all nations with the exceptions of the host country and the « Big 5 » (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) are required to qualify from one of two semi-finals in order to compete for the final; the top ten countries from each semi-final progress to the final. In the 2015 contest, Australia also competed directly in the final as an invited guest nation. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) split up the competing countries into five different pots based on voting patterns from previous contests, with countries with favourable voting histories put into the same pot. On 26 January 2015, a special allocation draw was held which placed each country into one of the two semi-finals, as well as which half of the show they would perform in. Macedonia was placed into the first semi-final, to be held on 19 May 2015, and was scheduled to perform in the first half of the show.
Once all the competing songs for the 2015 contest had been released, the running order for the semi-finals was decided by the shows’ producers rather than through another draw, so that similar songs were not placed next to each other. Macedonia was set to perform in position 8, following the entry from Estonia and before the entry from Serbia.
All three shows were televised on MRT 1 and MRT Sat as well as broadcast via radio on Radio Skopje with commentary by Karolina Petkovska. MRT also broadcast the three shows on MRT 2 and MRT 2 Sat with commentary in the Albanian language. The Macedonian spokesperson, who announced the Macedonian votes during the final, was Marko Mark.
Kajmakoski took part in technical rehearsals on 11 and 15 May, followed by dress rehearsals on 18 and 19 May. This included the jury final where professional juries of each country, responsible for 50 percent of each country’s vote, watched and voted on the competing entries.
The stage show featured Kajmakoski dressed in a trench coat and performing choreographed movements with his backing vocalists. The stage lighting transitioned between dark blue and warm colours such as gold and red. The background LED screens displayed medieval ruins, flowing autumn leaves and a sky that transitions from grey to yellow as the song progresses. On stage, Kajmakoski was joined by three backing vocalists, former members of the American R&B group Blackstreet (MERJ): Mark Middleton, Eric Williams and Jeremy Hanna.
At the end of the show, Macedonia failed to qualify to the final and was not announced among the top ten nations. It was later revealed that Macedonia had placed fifteenth, receiving a total of 28 points.
Voting during the three shows consisted of 50 percent public televoting and 50 percent from a jury deliberation. The jury consisted of five music industry professionals who were citizens of the country they represent, with their names published before the contest to ensure transparency. This jury was asked to judge each contestant based on: vocal capacity; the stage performance; the song’s composition and originality; and the overall impression by the act. In addition, no member of a national jury could be related in any way to any of the competing acts in such a way that they cannot vote impartially and independently. The individual rankings of each jury member were released shortly after the grand final.
Following the release of the full split voting by the EBU after the conclusion of the competition, it was revealed that Macedonia had placed sixteenth (last) with the public televote and fifteenth with the jury vote in the first semi-final. In the public vote, Macedonia scored 22 points, while with the jury vote, Macedonia scored 42 points. In addition, the EBU announced that it had disqualified the Macedonian jury results in the final due to irregularities. The exclusion of the votes was decided upon in consultation with the contest’s independent voting observer, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and based upon the decision of the Executive Supervisor and the Chairman of the Reference Group. Macedonia’s votes in the final were produced solely by the public televote.
Below is a breakdown of points awarded to Macedonia and awarded by Macedonia in the first semi-final and grand final of the contest, and the breakdown of the jury voting and televoting conducted during the two shows:
Points awarded to Macedonia
|12 points||10 points||8 points||7 points||6 points|
|5 points||4 points||3 points||2 points||1 point|
Points awarded by Macedonia
Split voting results
The following five members comprised the Macedonian jury:
- Antonio Dimitrievski – Chairperson – music producer
- Ana Kostova Kostadinovska – music teacher, backing vocal
- Aleksandar Belov – singer
- Sara Projkovska Nikolovska – professional musician
- Andrijana Jovanovska – lyric writer, music journalist
|Split voting results from Macedonia (Semi-final 1)|
|Draw||Country||A. Dimitrievski||A. K. Kostadinovska||A. Belov||S. P. Nikolovska||A. Jovanovska||Average Jury Rank||Televote Rank||Combined Rank||Scoreboard (Points)|
|Split voting results from Macedonia (Final)|
|Draw||Country||Televote Rank||Scoreboard (Points)|
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(Note: Entries scored out are when Macedonia did not compete)