Serbia returns to Eurovision; a wise choice?
BELGRADE, SERBIA – Yesterday, Serbian national broadcaster, RTS, stated that Eurovision 2015 is in the agenda, but still there is a slim possibility to pull out in last moment, again due to money issues.
This news has spread through the net like a thunderbolt and fans do hope that eventually we all will see next Serbian representative do on stage in Vienna.
First I would go a bit back in the past, in 2007, to be exact. That year Serbia participated in the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time as an independent country, after participating as part of Yugoslavia and Serbia & Montenegro. Marija Serifovic went to Finland with specially formed backing vocal group Beauty Queens. At the beginning of performance in the semifinal Marija was being heavily booed, but she answered to that by bowing to the crowd.
Eventually, Marija did not just won the Saturday’s final, she has also done it in the semifinal. One of the most important thing for the contest is that a Greek journalist thanked Marija on winner’s press conference for turning Eurovision back to a SONG contest. Streets in all cities in Serbia were full of people celebrating the victory and almost 20000 people welcomed Marija and her team in front of Belgrade city hall with three million people watching it on TV. This meant that the contest will be held in Belgrade next year, and yes it did.
It was a historical contest as we had 43 participating countries, what is still the record, and for the first time, because of the large amount of participating countries, two semifinals were held, also the official trophy introduced and the tenth qualifying country picked by jury.
Those who were there are still claiming that it was and still is one of the best organized contests. That year Jelena Tomasevic represent Serbia with Oro, song penned by Zeljko Joksimovic, finishing sixth in the end. But the important thing for Serbia here was that a lot of people came. That year they all met with Serbian culture, national cuisine, history out of which Serbia certainly benefited as people finally saw Serbia and Serbian people how they are, and not how they represented in the foreign media.
Surprise, surprise, Russia won that year with Dima Bilan’s Believe, what meant that the contest is moving to Moscow.
In 2009 the last edition of Beovizija was held and it won by Marko Kon and his song Cipela. Marko admitted that he has applied just for fun and that he really didn’t expect that he will win. But in the end he went to Moscow, where he ended up 10th in second semifinal, but the jury chose Croatian song over Serbia and that meant that Serbian team has to come back home.
Due to big costs of organizing a national final in a special venue, RTS decided to move it to a TV studio, a called Goran Bregovic to pen three songs for various performers.
Just to make a comparison, stage for Beovizija in 2009. costed around 60000 euros, and for that money whole national final organized in 2010.
In the end Emina Jahovic, Milan Stankovic and Oliver Katic were the ones singing the songs. Milan topped the night with a victory 45% of the votes. He maybe didn’t win the contest in Oslo, but he did manage to be remembered for two things – his unique hair style and for wining the Barbara Dex award.
At least the fans heard a new sound from Serbia – trumpet. I believe after 2010, a eurofan didn’t know about Goocha trumpet fest that is being held over 50 years in a small town in western Serbia. So this is another thing that Serbia has benefited from Eurovision.
Kovac family chosen by RTS to pen the three songs for national final in 2011. Kornelije chose a Beatles tribute band, Kristina chose a med student Nina and Aleksandra thought that it would be the best if she sang her song. Nina won this edition of national final and she represented Serbia with Caroban, finishing 14th in the final.
After three years of average results, RTS wanted Serbia to come back to the top and called one of the biggest Eurovision brands of new age – Zeljko Joksimovic.
He went to Baku with Nije ljubav stvar and finished third. Serbian fans were once again happy and this also proved that Balkan ballads will always do well at the contest.
Beovizija was rewamped to Beosong in 2013, but it was also held in one of the RTS’s studios. The oikotimes.com team was there of course and made interviews with the five finalists – Moje 3, Dusan Svilar, Saska Jankovic, Sky’s and Marija Mihajlovic. Everyone knew even before the national final was held that Sara, Mirna and Nevena will win and be the next Serbian representatives, as they’ve just participated in a big talent show. But no one expected that they will be dressed as clowns on Eurovision stage, and they should have looked like an angel, a devil and a confused girl.
This outburst unfortunately made Serbian entry look like a joke, even though the girls sang that the Love is all around us. When they came back to Belgrade, the group was disbanded and girls countinued their ways with solo careers.
A shock came at the end 2013. RTS announced that they won’t participate at next years contest, thus fans across the Europe will not see Serbian performance in Copenhagen. It was stated that the decision was made due to financial reasons, but it is not a secret that people at RTS were not satisfied with results from Malmoe.
So as Serbia sat down for a year, Montenegro and FYR Macedonia sent Sergej Cetkovic and Tijana Dapcevic, who both live in Belgrade and are much more popular in Serbia, than in their home countries, so in the end Serbia had two representatives this year without even participating.
As it was mentioned in the beging, yesterday it was announced that the chances to see Serbian representative in Austria are big. If Serbia eventually go there, it will be almost as on homeground as Serbia has hugu diasporra, not just in Vienna, but all across the Austria.
Everybody in Serbia has some relatives or friends living there so it is expected that a lot of people will travel to them next year just to support next Serbian representative.
But who will it be? RTS stated that the way how a potential representative will be chosen will be determined later, but few months ago Duska Vucinic stated that it will be most likely again via Beosong.
Serbia is full of talented artists and it would be a shame if it goes down to an internal selection. In my personal opinion, I would like see Aleksandra Brkovic or Milan Stankovic at least to apply for the call if there will be one. As Milan does not need any introduction here is Aleksandra singing one of Marija Serifovic song.
Aleksandra is maybe very young, but she certainly has one of the most powerful voices in Serbia. Last time Serbia skipped a contest for a year, it ended up with a victory, do you think it will happen again?