Nevena Božović is heading to Tel Aviv in May to represent Serbia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 having just won the Beovzija competiton which was held in Belgrade.
Serbia have drawn the first half of the first semi final and will therefore perform on Tuesday May 14 2019.
The hosts for the final were the same four people who hosted a semi final between them. They are Dragana Kosjerina, Ivan Mihailović, Nebojša Milovanović and Ana Babić.
Dragana was born in Belgrade and started her career at 17 as a model before becoming a popular sports commentator in Serbia, which she did right up to 2015. Dragana is engaged to a dentist back home.
Ivan was born in 1989 and is best known as a film and television actor, in the series Military Army. Ivan won the Serbian version of Dancing With The Stars.
Nebojša was born in 1974 and was most famous for starring in The Merchant Of Venice.
Finally Ana is a well known presenter on Serbian television.
The ladies were dressed in gold and silver tonight, with the two men in smart suits. It must also be pointed out that the annoying lady, Kristina Radenković from the Green Room from 2008 when Serbia hosted the contest was still here and was equally annoying tonight. Gee whizz.
The show began with a look back at when Abba won the Eurovision Song Contest for Sweden 1974, which only confirmed there has never been a better entry in all those years. The Serbian hosts and team then performed the song, all sequins and long boots. A sequence then followed of some of the Eurovision mishaps throughout the years.
No surprise tonight that the interval act was the Eurovision king of Serbia, Željko Joksimović who started with the song Lane Moje, which placed 2nd for Serbia and Montenegro in 2004. There then followed a flashback video of Željko’s time at Eurovision 2012 which unfortunately highlighted that all the ex-Yugoslav countries were responsible for all the 12 points he received. This led into a performance of the third placer for Serbia that year, Nije ljubav stvar. A video then highlighted the other songs that Željko wrote for Eurovision, including Oro and Adio and reminded us that he co-hosted the 2008 contest. He was the one who didn’t do all the screaming if you can remember that far back.
Željko also went on to perform some of his other Serbian favourites including Ludak Kao Ja.
The songs were introduced in batches of three at a time.
Saška Janks – Da li čuješ moj glas
Pink haired Saška opened the show all in the dark tonight. Her hair was matched by the pink lights on stage. Two dancers pranced around her while she wore a white smock and silver boots. The song has a plain simple verse leading into a strong chorus. Strings break up the song in the middle allowing for one more verse and two rousing choruses to end. She was a backing vocalist at the 2010, 2011 and 2015 contests.
Majdan – Budim te
This four piece band have a very plodding rock ballad to sing. The lead singer had his guitar while two of his band mates also played guitars and the last one was on drums. Some strings added to the song, obviously from a backing track, but there is no reason to believe this will get to Tel Aviv.
Sofija Perić – Aritmija
The first song of the evening with a bit of rhythm as per the title. Sofija was hanging around with two male dancers, there to show what type of song this is. She was dressed in a short-ish silver dress and the song gets going when the chorus kicked in. Not bad but not an obvious winner either, but quite enjoyable to listen to.
Dženan Lončarević – Nema suza
Dženan looked a lot older on stage than in his preview video. A piano player began the song and the sad woman from the semi final was hovering beside him. She left for the other side of the stage where she started her knitting. This is Serbian drama at its finest, topped of when the dancers come on and go crazy with the wool. Apart from the drama on stage, the song is a real power ballad, which only Serbia can do this well. The old lady was crying at the end. Let’s hope it wasn’t because she didn’t like the song.
Wonder Strings & Ivana Vladović – Moja bol
Immediately the strings add a touch of class to this song. Three violinists and a cellist join Ivana centre stage while the drummer is demoted to the back. This is the type of song you used to look forward to the preview video from back in the Yugoslavian days. This song has a killer chorus and with the searing strings and powerful singing, must surely be in with a good chance of winning tonight.
Jana Šušteršić – Viktorija
Jana rounded of the first half of the competition still staring into the full-sized mirror. Losing the multi coloured cloak which she obviously borrowed from Joseph, Jana has accentuated her lace dress with a few coloured ribbons. This is the third big Balkan power ballad in a row, and boy does it soar – right over the clouds and possibly on its way to Tel Aviv. Jana finishes at the piano with a kind of music box backing accompanying her. Another treasure.
Lord – Radnički sin
Something maybe not so much what you’d expect from Serbia , other than the language. Actually this is something similar but a little more groovy than the air stewards from Slovenia a few years back. The trumpets blast away in the background, while Lord and his cast of characters including a sailor and a pirate dance along behind him. It went down well with the audience.
Nevena Božović – Kruna
Our ex-Moje3 singer is looking all the better being away from the group. This is a slow mournful yet classy ballad which Nevena sings all in black. A few English lines are thrown in, and the old Balkan favourite words “Neka Me” are in there too, so there is something familiar. Nevena does her best and actually succeeds in competition with a screeching guitar. Another one to watch closely.
Ana Popović – Lutaš
The jollier sound of Lord has now been well forgotten as we are now well and truly back in passionate mournful ballad land again. This is a stern little number, though very listenable with a particularly strong backing group keeping up with Ana who is singing the life out of the song. As per the mood of the song Ana is all in black. Why are Serbian songs so easy to listen to?
Ivan Kurtić – Bela
Plucking strings start this song with Ivan again looking as if he’s related to the Godfather. An artist is behind him drawing all sorts of things, like ducks and people and whatever. This is a very eastern sounding song, more like an entry you’d expect from Turkey. Again very well sung though the song does come to a bit of an abrupt end.
Nataša & Una – Samo bez straha
Our duo start out in silhouette here a beating drum banging away. This is more of a shout than some of the more melodic songs that have come before, but it stands out for that reason. Then as you get comfortable a rapping sequence starts. The duo sing with a lot of passion and may stand a chance for being entirely different in tonight’s competition.
Aleksandra Sekulić – Tugo
So to the final song and its back to slow Balkan ballad again. Still wearing the endless red boots she wore in the semi final, this is another strong well constructed song, which is as good as any of the others that have been on tonight. Maybe not a stand out amongst all the other tunes on display here tonight, but if it was chosen to go to Israel, it would stand out amongst some of the entries other countries are sending. A nice way to end the competition.
The winner was decided 50/50 professional Serbian jury and the public votes. Members of the jury were Miroslav Miša Aleksić, musician, a member of Riblja čorba “, singer Bojana Stamenov, who was Serbia’s representative in the Eurosong 2015, songwriter Dejan Ivanović, pop singer Goca Tržan. President of the jury was Aleksandar Milić Mili, composer and producer.
|Wonder Strings & Ivana Vladović||5||8||13||5|
|Nataša & Una||12||2||14||4|
Serbia At The Eurovision Song Contest
Yugoslavia first entered the Eurovision Song Contest in 1961. Ljiljana Petrović was from what is now Serbia and came 8th with the song Neke davne zvezde. Lola Novaković followed in 1962 with Ne pali svetlo u sumrak doing very well finishing 4th. The Korni group represented Yugoslavia in 1974, the year Abba won with Waterloo, coming 12th with Moja generacija.
It wasn’t until 1982 that an act from Serbia represented Yugoslavia again, when the female trio Aska sang Halo Halo. Baby Doll and Extra Nena in 1991 and 1992, the last two Yugoslavian entries can also claim to come from Serbia.
In 2004 and 2005 Serbia and Montenegro entered Eurovision with Željko Joksimović and No Name, both entries doing well finishing in 3rd and 7th place with Lane Moje and Zauvijek Moja.
It wasn’t until 2007 that the name Serbia was displayed alone on the Eurovision score board and it was right at the top as Serbia won with their first ever entry Molitva by Marija Šerifović.