This year, Croatia adopted the Unser Star format for its Dora 2011 selection show. It was an epically long process to get to the final: I’m pretty sure the show started right after last year’s show ended and 10,000 singers were pared down to two. I may be exaggerating.
Anyway, Daria Kinzer and Jacques Houdek each performed the same three songs, and the jury (including the suddenly ever-present Severina) and the public voted on which of the six performances they liked best. In the end, Kinzer and Houdek went head-to-head in a super final with the same song, “Lahor.”
This was strange to me, because both Jen and I thought another song, “Stotinama godina,” was stronger. But no matter. The two faced off and in the end Kinzer was selected to go to the big show. This was not strange to me, because while both were good singers, Kinzer definitely had more charisma than Houdek (who looked like a cuddlier Kevin Smith).
After she was announced as the winner, Kinzer debuted the English-language version of “Lahor,” now called “Break a Leg”:
It’s a more Swedish pop-sounding number than we’re used to from Croatia. The staging was odd, with back-up singers popping out from beneath a turntable stand that didn’t seem to have anything to do with the song. I suspect the Croatian organizers will re-imagine that for the big stage. It’s decent enough effort, if a tad generic, so I wonder if it’s not going to get lost in the shuffle of what’s turning out to be a surprisingly competitive first Semi-Final.
UPDATED: Croatia has revamped “Break a Leg,” giving it the better-yet-more-generic title “Celebrate”:
It’s a much better lyric, but I stand by what I said earlier.