FYR Macedonia is a true record holder in the Eurovision Song Contest: Ever since the introduction of the Semi-Final system in 2004, the country has always qualified for the Final of the Eurovision Song Contest from the Semi-Final - something which no other country managed. Of course, the winner of the national final called Skopje Fest on Saturday will try to keep this record. The show, which will take place in the Metropolis Arena in Skopje, will not only include the performances of the participating acts, but also a tribute to Toše Proeski, the country's biggest pop star who tragically died in a car crash last year. He represented FYR Macedonia in the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest, finishing 14th in the Final.
Familiar faces in the line-up
Initially, 21 acts should have taken part in the Skopje Fest, with fifteen being selected out of submissions in an open competition and six more that were entered by invited composers. However, after public pressure, MKRTV decided to withdraw the six commissioned songs, reducing the competition to fifteen acts. Among these will be many familiar faces: Lambe Alabakovski already participated in the two preceding national finals, reaching the third place both times. Tamara Todevska came second in the 2007 national final. This time, she teams up with two other national stars, Vrčak and Adrian Gaxha. Saša Gigov-Giš and Risto Samardžiev have also reached top placings already in previous national finals.
This is the line-up of the competing singers on Saturday:
The Skopje Fest will be broadcast both on the terrestrial channel MTV 1 and via satellite on MTV Sat, starting at 20:30 CET. FYR Macedonia will compete in the Second Semi-Final of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest on the 22nd of May.