Spotlight on…Serbia

This upcoming weekend is a busy one, and there may be some hard decisions for you guys wanting to watch as many finals as possible. But those are first world problems, people, so quit your complainin’.

If you’re someone who has always wanted to see a singer make the transition from Junior Eurovision to adult, might I suggest the final in which that may actually happen – Serbia’s Beosong. Opening the 15-strong semi final on Saturday night will be a trio made up of, among two others (duh) Nevena Božović, who represented her country at JESC 2007 and ended up in 3rd place.

Even if you don’t give a failed backup dancer’s two left feet about JESC alumni, you should be interested in watching Beosong, because let’s face it: Serbia have never sent a bad song to Eurovision.* Sure, their history only extends back to 2007, giving them less opportunities to have royally screwed up…but plenty of other relative newcomers to the contest have proven themselves inconsistent (or consistently rubbish) when Serbia has not. In light of that, and the fact that entry number seven is on its way, let’s take a look at that short but sweet history while you’re deciding whether or not to take my advice and watch Beosong. Or just watch it of your own volition.


* This is my opinion, of course. But if you disagree, YOU ARE WRONG, WRONG, DAMMIT!




Debut 2007 – 1st with Molitva by Marija Šerifović

Entries 6

Wins 1 – 2007

Silver medals 0

Bronze medals 1 – 2012

Best result 1st – 2007

Top 10 finishes 3/6

Top 10 success rate 50%

Top 5 finishes 2/6

Top 5 success rate 33%  

Wooden spoons (last places!) 0

Semi final qualifications 4/5

Qualification success rate 80%



My favourite entry Ovo Je Balkan by Milan Stanković (2010)/ Nije Ljubav Stvar by Željko Joksimović (2012).

It still makes me weep a little that Milan didn’t make the top 10, by that much (which wasn’t actually that much, I suppose, but enough to mourn the loss). OJB was and still is everything I look for in a Eurovision song – it’s ethnic, catchy, fun, and allows you to dance on your kitchen table without looking completely stupid. Not to mention the performance, which opened my eyes to a whole new world of bubble-wrap wear.

It doesn’t get much better than that, which is why I have to tie it, not better it, with Željko’s latest piece of genius for Serbia. This song was basically all I love about his compositions stuffed into three minutes, albeit stuffed in a very elegant way. Epic, atmospheric Balkan ballads are my weakness, and nobody does them like ZJ (except maybe Regina).


I can’t pick between their songs, but I can tell you who has the better haircut.

 My least favourite entry As you may have gathered from the intro, those words do not compute with me where Serbia is concerned. I can’t pick one. I have loved everything they’ve ever sent, and if we were factoring in Serbia and Montenegro’s entries as well, that would not change. If we were factoring in just Montenegro…well, let’s just say two heads republics were better than one. But Serbia has the magic touch. Čaroban.

More of the memorable

Molitva by Marija Šerifović (2007) – winning Eurovision on your first go as an independent nation? Now that’s something to impress your friends with at dinner parties. Marija’s victory was unexpected and proved that English isn’t always the best bet for success. Ya hear that, Iceland?

Oro by Jelena Tomašević (2008) – knock, knock, who’s there? Why, it’s Željko again! He worked his magic for the third time on home turf, also finding time to co-host the show. Jelena did him justice, and gave the dry ice machine industry a real boost.

Cipela by Marko Kon & Milaan (2009) – this came so close to qualifying it isn’t funny (honestly, this not making the final was the most upsetting event of 2009) but I have consoled myself by playing it to death over the years.

Their best stage show Čaroban. If you’ve got a retro-sounding song, you may as well run with it. The Serbian delegation went all out in Düsseldorf, matching their costumes, choreography and slightly nauseating backdrop to their Sixties-inspired number. That was what I call entertaining.

Their best costume/s Marija Šerifović and the Beauty Queens. Is red, white and black not THE greatest colour combo on the planet? These ladies made me want to hire a suit for my school ball that year. I reckon if they’d worn double denim or something, they wouldn’t have won anything, unless it was the Barbara Dex award.

I dig the 'feminine groomsman' look.

I dig the ‘feminine groomsman’ look.


Their best vocalist/s Marija Šerifović. It really all came together for her, didn’t it? Her voice was great, but it was the emotion that made it greater. You’d never guess she’d sung it too many times to count during rehearsals and whatnot; it was like she was feeling every lyric for the first time. *Insert mock-vomiting here*.



So, will you be watching Beosong this weekend? Which Serbian entry has been your favourite so far?


16 Responses to “Spotlight on…Serbia”

  1. Balkanheart

    I’m so sorry that Serbia is that bad this year Moje 3 are just.. cheap. Dusan was waaaaay better.
    There were many good entries this year. But then crazy serbian people choose Moje 3.
    Eh jebiga.
    No Beograd 2014.. *sigh*


    • Jaz

      Don’t be sorry, I quite like it…but then I haven’t watched/listened to Dusan yet.

      But I’d say you were right. No 2014 contest in Serbia.


  2. nprovenghi271

    Ah Serbia. The epitome of modern class in ESC. 🙂

    Honestly, I really like all of their entries since 2007, but I agree with you on 2010 being my favorite. After, that, I have 2008, 2007, 2012, 2011, and 2009. I hope that they pull something beautiful out in order to save this mundane year.


    • Jaz

      Mundane?? I must have low standards. Having said that, if any country can pull out something magic, it’ll be Serbia. It COULD have been Bosnia & Herzegovina, but…ya know. =”(


      • nprovenghi271

        It seems to be getting better each day. Hungary picked a lovely song, but, of course, it was offset by the boring Estonian song and the awful Armenian song. Robin’s qualification from Andra Chansen was also a highlight.

        Actually, I’m just beginning to listen to the Serbian songs now. The one on now is already better than most of the songs selected already!

        I know. 😦 Portugal, Slovakia, and Turkey could be relied upon to provide something great (at least for me). I’m not sure. I just fell in LOVE with 2012 and its songs. It’ll really be a hard year to top for me. 🙂


        • Jaz

          YES!! Someone else likes Hungary!! I was all set up to think it sucked going by what the A Dal watchers had said, but I really like it. It has a similar charm to ‘Coming Home’ I think. And I just love Hungarian as a musical language, for some reason. Same with Estonian…but yeah, that song is just meh personified. I listened to Grete’s runner up and instantly regretted it because THAT was the bomb. Why, Estonia, why??

          Armenia = not as bad as ‘Boom Boom’, but still mediocre. And Gor is very shouty.

          Thoughts on Serbia?? I for one can’t contain my excitement at a JESC artist finally making it to Eurovision!! The song is quite good, not amazing. I love their outfits too, and the concept that goes with them.

          TBH I’m not missing Portugal or Slovakia, just Turkey and B & H at this point. I need a dramatic Balkan ballad, stat.


      • nprovenghi271

        I don’t get why people hate it. Maybe the percentage of the population OD’ing on schlager drugs is just the most vocal…

        Actually, I re-listened to Birgit’s song and totally fell in love with it. Now, it’s my third place behind Malta and Switzerland (in that order). Awkward…

        I can’t stand the Armenian song. It’s in second to last place, with only Latvia keeping it from the bottom of the barrel.

        Well, I’m excited that Serbia finally sent a pop song and that a JESC artist will be going to ESC. However, the song is a bit dated (like mid-2000s) and the devil costume just seems… odd, for lack of a better word. It’s 21st place on my list with exactly 50 points.

        You don’t miss them? 😦 JK, everyone has different tastes. Just out of curiosity, which song is at the top of your list and which is at the bottom? Mine are Switzerland (top) and Latvia (bottom), as I mentioned before.


        • Jaz

          Okay, you are like the fifth person to say you fell in love with Birgit on the second listen. It didn’t work for me! I’m still mourning the loss of Grete.

          I do agree that Serbia is slightly dated somehow. But I just can’t not like it. I like the concept too, but maybe they could tone down the costumes (that one in particular) and use the lighting/backdrop to enhance it…I don’t know.

          I don’t miss them yet. I just never got that ‘into’ their entries, not counting Slovakia 2010. I always wanted Portugal to do well.

          Tops and bottoms…hmm. I would say Germany and Ukraine are equal first, although I love Macedonia, Norway and Hungary (and Austria is strangely growing on me). My least favourite is Cyprus atm because it is just so incredibly boring. And I am not feeling the new Belarusian song, which was apparently publicised FIVE YEARS AGO by another artist. I actually hope it gets disqualified for that.


      • nprovenghi271

        Aww. Don’t worry. Everyone has different tastes. I tried so hard to like Rona and Albania last year, but I just couldn’t get into it.

        Maybe I’ll come around. I mean, most of the pop in the contest is dated, even Cascada, who sound more late-00s than early-10s.

        I must be the only person who can’t stand Slovakia 2010. I far prefer their 2009 entry, which, in my opinion, was absolutely breathtaking. Everyone roots for Portugal just because they were the underdog. It was fun. 😦

        Malta, I feel, might really pose a threat to Heilsarmee (or whatever their name will be) on my list. It’s growing on me more every day. The only songs I LOVE are Slovenia, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Malta, and Switzerland.

        I hope that Alyona’s song gets disqualified just for being totally vapid. That issue about the previous singer just adds insult to injury. They’ll probably be in my bottom three, along with Armenia and Latvia. What a weird year this is shaping up to be.


        • Jaz

          Actually, I really liked Slovakia 2009 as well. Not at the time, but afterwards. And I did like them in 2011. But the only impressive thing last year was his abs IMHO.

          At the moment, Heilsarmee is known as all of the members’ names in a list. It’s not exactly catchy, so let’s hope they find a suitable alternative by May.

          Yes, yes, yes re: Belarus. Except for the bottom three thing (it’s a little bit higher for me). The whole situation just makes me angry.



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