Dobra večer Evropa i dobro jutro Australija! This is Belgrade calling! Tonight we’ll find out who Serbia will be sending to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon!
Sit back and relax, and let Eurovision Ireland’s own James Scanlan entertain and inform you. As always, feel free to tell me what you think and give your opinions about tonight’s Final and who your favourites are!
Tonight’s show comes to us courtesy of Serbian broadcaster RTS live from the Sava Centre in Belgrade. The winner will be selected by both the Serbian public and a jury, whose votes will each count as 50% of the result.
You know the drill: Just refresh this page to get the comments and points of view!
Singing for our delectation tonight we have:
- Sevdah Bejbi – Hajde Da Igramo Sada
- Rambo Amadeus & Beti Đorđević – Nema Te
- Maja Nikolić – Zemlja čuda
- Srđan & Emil – Bar Da Znam
- Ivan Kurtić – Ni Sunca Ni Meseca
- Sanja Ilić & Balkanika – Nova Deca
- Koktel Balkan – Zato
- Boris Režak – Vila
- Lana & Aldo – Jača Od Svih
- Dušan Svilar – Pod Krošnjom Bagrema
- Igor Lazarević – Beži Od Mene
- Saška Janks – Pesma Za Tebe
- Lord – Samo Nek Se Okreće
- Danijel Pavlović – Ruža Sudbine
- BASS – Umoran
- Osmi Vazduh i Drugari – Probudi Se
- Biber & DJ Niko Bravo – Jutros (Svatovi)
LIVE BLOG STARTS HERE!!
Dobra vecer Evropo! Ovde je James iz Eurovizije Irske, i ove noci mi smo u Sribiji za Beoviziju 2018.! (Real blog to follow in English soon, so keep checking back! 😛 )
Good evening from Belgrade! They’re opening the show tonight with a choir singing Serbia’s winning Eurovision song, Molitva. Having both men and woman singing alternating parts of the song is just… wow… Molitva is an already powerful song, but this is amazing!
I have goosebumps! ❤
Our hosts for this evening… though there are another 2 people hovering just out of shot… are they doing a Portugal and we’re having 4 hosts?
Reliving Portugal’s encore performance of Amar Pelos Dois… *sigh*
Apparently there are 4 of them!
Sevdah Bejbi – Hajde Da Igramo Sada
Joined on stage by 4 cardboard cut outs of himself, Sevdah kicks off tonight’s selection of songs. For a song called “Come let’s dance now”, I’d expect something with a bit more of a beat and faster tempo. It’s a bit easy listening music gone wrong… hmm… well, we’re only one song in!
Rambo Amadeus & Beti Đorđević – Nema Te
Our one returning ESC artist of the night us up now, sitting far off to one side almost off the stage… Beti is the only one doing any singing so far… oops, spoke to soon, there he goes! This reminds me of a smoky jazz ballad – if Amar Pelos Dois proved there is a market for ‘older’ sounding songs, then this could maybe be one to watch!
I couldn’t get a picture of Rambo and Beti together, and due to a couple of technical issues I didn’t get a picture fullstop. I’m not playing favourites, just to be clear!
Picture from the recap so everyone gets a picture! 😀
Maja Nikolić – Zemlja čuda
Maja welcomes us to her own Wonderland before kicking off a performance that has a little of everything… Maja sporting a frill much like the Queen of Hearts, shirtless dancers bound around the stage… on paper, it shouldn’t work but it’s actually quite lively with a good beat and very danceable. I didn’t want to like it, but I do!
Srđan & Emil – Bar Da Znam
More technical problems… sorry folks, missed their entire performance. Will try and get something from the recaps later
Thoughts from Recap: They’re shouting and it doesn’t grab me. Not that bothered I missed it now…
Ivan Kurtić – Ni Sunca Ni Meseca
We’ve all heard of an Argentine tango, but apparently a Serbian tango is just as sizzlingly and sensual! Ivan has quite a strong voice, while his back up dancers and accordion players are all easy on the eyes (hey, it helps!) and add a little something to the performance. I wasn’t a fan from the studio version, but I’ve found a renewed appreciation for this song!
After a brief break, we’re back for song #6, and according to our readers, the one to beat tonight! (and judging by the audience’s reaction, they agree!)
Sanja Ilić & Balkanika – Nova Deca
Hmmm… I can see why people are loving this song… it’s a blend of that good old traditional Balkan wailing and melancholy (which I love, for the record!) and a more modern beat underneath. Honestly? I don’t ‘get’ the hype with this one. But vocally it is quite solid. And judging by the reaction in the hall, I’m missing something!
Ok, touch wood the technical problems seem to have subsided… so we might get to watch the rest of the show! Hurrah!
Koktel Balkan – Zato
Some songs suit a CD, but not live and vice-versa. This sounds 1000 times better in an arena than it did when I heard it as a studio cut a few weeks back. OK, the staging is a little dull with them just standing there singing, but they sing well (possibly the best so far tonight!) so that’s something!
Boris Režak – Vila
Before tonight I’d never wondered what a Charleston danced along to twanging Balkan fiddles would look like… now I need not wonder any more! This is mad – and I LOVE it! Boris looks like he’s having a fantastic time and I can’t help but smile too – and the arena is going wild too!
Now a singing family are trying to sell us an oven… aren’t European adverts fun? 😀
And we’re back in Belgrade! Na Zelenskoj sobi, or in the Green Room!
What’s more important to you Boris? Music, theatre or love – apparently it’s theatre!
Of all the Green Rooms I’ve seen over the last couple of weeks, this seems like the most fun – people are talking and relaxing, not all sat there terrified like in some I’ve seen!
And we’re back to the songs – does anyone else think this instrumental they use to introduce the songs sounds like On My Own from Les Miserables?
Lana & Aldo – Jača Od Svih
What the… well, to be fair part of Eurovision is grabbing the audience’s attention with how you look… but Jedward hair and a metal cage? Really? Musically it’s a bit plain, but she does have the voice to drive the performance. But I feel like too much of it’s relying on the look.
Dušan Svilar – Pod Krošnjom Bagrema
To look at, this is kind of like Bosnia’s Lejla in reverse – in that they’re wearing black. Dušan sings well, the song feels more like a Latin ballad than a Balkan one… that could score points with the host nation in May! I like the song as an idea – but something is missing in the delivery I fear…
Igor Lazarević – Beži Od Mene
Now that I liked! Starting off at a piano (a bit like Molly in 2015), Igor then gets up, dons his guitar and joins his rock band on a separate stage. It’s a typical falling out of love song (the title means “get off me”) and it switches well between pop rock and more sentimental. It’s a good song, but my concern is it won’t have enough impact for a Eurovision stage – especially as Altice is HUUUGGE!!
Saška Janks – Pesma Za Tebe
Saška has a song for you, and it’s a good one! Strong vocals, minimal staging, nice instrumentals… wow! I think this could do very well! This for me is so far the strongest Eurovision performance I’ve seen tonight in Belgrade!
Lord – Samo Nek Se Okreće
This song is trying to weld a lot of different styles together and the end result is a bit of an assault on the senses. Throwing in a kolo folk dance at the end was a nice touch, but also kind of unnecessary. I liked his energy though, and that of his backing dancers.
Danijel Pavlović – Ruža Sudbine
Now how did this little gem escape my attention! Danijel delivers this ballad with aplomb, his voice is stunning! The whole fairytale look with the costumes and dancing girl works brilliantly. OK, it’s not as dark as Molitva or Lane Moje… but my goodness it’s good… Serbia… you might want to take note of this one!
Last 3 songs! We’re almost there!
BASS – Umoran
Now this is intriguing… an older gentleman starts out almost like a monologue, before he is joined by a baritone singer and a cello player. It’s interesting in a sort of unsettling way… as a spoken word performance, it’s quite gripping. As a song bound for Eurovision, it’ll hit the floor faster than… something that hits floors fast and hard!
Osmi Vazduh i Drugari – Probudi Se
Following a song called ‘Tired’ with a song called ‘Wake Up’ – someone at RTS is having a good chuckle right now! Well, it’s definitely a lot more colourful and lively than the last performance, and again strays into the performance art area. I like the whole social commentary with the girl going around slapping thumbs up (likes) on everyone, but the fact they look like 1990s adults trying to be down with the kids is a little off putting…
Biber & DJ Niko Bravo – Jutros (Svatovi)
We’ve seen a few songs tonight that try to blend more than one style, and we’re ending with another one. I love the instrumentals – the electronic voices with it, not so much. It’s a bit of a mish-mash, which is a shame. Was hoping for a stronger finish….
And we’re back – the hosts are explaining how the Serbian public can vote for their favourites tonight. These points will be combined with a jury too.
Speaking of which, we’re being introduced to them now!
Recap time! So while Serbia decides, I’m also going to think about who I think is going to do well tonight – be right back!
PS: I’VE UPDATED THE BLOG WITH THE BITS I MISSED DUE TO TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES EARLIER TONIGHT!
OK, so after quite a bit of deliberation, think tonight’s winner will most likely be Sanja Ilić & Balkanika based purely on internet chatter, (I’m still not in the least bit convinced!) but if it were down just to me I’d send Danijel Pavlović. I expect Saška Janks and Maja Nikolić to do really well too based on audience reactions. Possibly Boris Režak and Ivan Kurtić too but I’m not sure of they will… guess we’ll have to wait and see!
The voting lines are CLOSED! Serbia… have you made good choices? 😉
While the votes are counted, we get to listen to the beautiful Jelena Tomašević singing the hypnotically powerful Oro from 2008 – Serbia has sent some amazing Eurovision entries!
I spoke too soon… here is Cipela from 2009…. Serbia’s first time missing out on a Eurovision final!
Another golden Eurovision entry from the Balkans at Beovizija, but this time from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Regina singing Bistra Voda ❤
That was beautiful!
Time for some more adverts now… then I think we get our results! Keep checking back, you won’t want to miss that!
No results yet, but we do have Milan Stanković singing Ovo Je Balkan… and he’s not blond anymore!!!
Another former Eurovision act for Serbia now! It’s Moje 3 with Ljubav Je Svuda! I can’t help but wonder if they’d dressed like this and not how they did in Malmoe, they might have qualified!
Mind you, I guess when you started entering Eurovision in 2007 and took a break in 2014, it’s easy to have ALL your former Eurovision singers come back to be interval acts for Beovizija… no Željko Joksimović though… odd…
But we do have Sergej Ćetković who sang for Montenegro in 2014 and got them to their first final! Strange he didn’t sing at Montevizija at the weekend, but as he lives in Belgrade maybe it makes more sense he is here!
The show was due to finish in 10 minutes… do we get some results now?
Nope, it’s time for Bojana Stamenov! Now this girl really can sing saw her in concert in Vienna at the Eurovision village and she is PHENOMENAL!!
So theoretically we’ve got Sanja and Tijana to go, then we know who it is going to Lisbon, yes?
Oh, you cheeky RTS! You’ve thrown in Knez from Montengro too! Beautiful song, easily one of my favourites! ❤
Interesting costume choice…
As anticipated, Sanja Vučić ZAA with her 2016 entry Goodbye (Shelter)
Useless bit of information, both Sanja and I studied at the same faculty of the the University of Belgrade!
Well, we had Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro, so to complete the set we have Croatia’s Jacque Houdek with ‘My Friend’ – everyone’s favourite duet performed by one person!
And Serbia’s reigning Eurovision queen, Tijana Bogićević with In Too Deep! Was surprised this didn’t qualify, one of my favourites in Kyiv! Who will she pass her Eurovision crown on to this year?
More adverts… oh, they do like to toy with us! 😀
And we’re back! With votes this time!
Pesma Za Tebe, 10 points, Nova Deca gets first 12
Nova Deca and Pesma Za Tebe are leapfrogging over each other… this is going to be close!
Nova Deca win the jury vote with 53, Pesma Za Tebe 2nd with 52, Ni Sunca Ni Meseca 3rd with 38
Now for the public votes…
and it’s Sanja Ilić & Balkanika! Nova Deca is going to Eurovision! See you in Lisbon!
Now that was close! Thank you all for reading along tonight! See you soon!
Author: James Scanlan
Image Source: RTS