Eurovision 2020

#SERBIA – LIVE BLOG of Pesma za Evroviziju 22​ from 21:05 CET

Добро вече Европо и добро јутро Аустралија! Tonight Serbia decide their entrant for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Turin – it’s time for Pesma za Evroviziju 22!

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! I might even shout out to you in the blog!

  • Naiva – Skidam
  • Orkestar Aleksandra Sofronijevića – Anđele Moj
  • Gift – Haos
  • Zejna Murkić – Nema Te
  • Tijana Dapčević – Ljubi, Ljubi Doveka
  • LIFT – Drama
  • Gramophonedzie – Počinjem da Ludim
  • Zorja – Zorja
  • Aca Lukas – Oskar
  • Zoe Kida – Bejbi
  • Sara Jo – Muškarčina
  • Ana Stanić – Ljubav Bez Dodira
  • Biber – Dve Godine I Šes’ Dana
  • Angellina – Origami
  • Chegi & Braća Bluz Band – Devojko Sa Plamenom U Očima
  • Ivona – Znam
  • Marija Mikić – Ljubav Me Inspiriše
  • Konstrakta – In Corpore Sano

Tonight’s show comes to us live from the Serbian capital Belgrade and RTS Studio 8. Dragana Kosjerina and Jovan Radomir are hosting the main show while Kristina Radenković and Stefan Popović will be keeping an eye on things backstage. 18 acts have qualified from 2 semi finals and are still in the running for that ticket to Italy. Tonight’s running order is as follows:

Tonight’s winner for Pesma za Evroviziju 22 will be selected by 50/50 combination vote split between a panel of jurors and the Serbian public. The winner will then fly the Serbian flag in Turin at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022!

If you want to watch along with all the fun yourself, you can watch on YOUTUBE from 21:05 CET / 20:05 GMT. The show is scheduled to finish at 00:35 CET/ 23:35 GMT, but as we know, live TV sometimes doesn’t go quite according to plan! 

You know the drill: Just refresh this page to get the comments, points of view and all that Eurovision Ireland goodness you know and love!

LIVE BLOG STARTS HERE!!

Prerano si! You’re too early! Pesma za Evroviziju doesn’t start for hours yet! Here – if you’re in the mood for something Serbian already, read up on Belgrade with Europe in a Day! 🇷🇸

Just over 20 minutes until show time! 3 and half hours of Serbian musical goodness! Can’t wait, can you?

If you’re watching all of tonight’s finals, remember that Sarah is blogging Denmark, Bogdan is looking at Romania and John will be watching France, and of course Richard is looking at the Melodifestivalen semi final in Sweden – be sure to check out what they say too!

5 minutes till show time – grab your snacks and settle in, this is going to be a long one!

Hmm… the YouTube live stream says it’s waiting for RTS… should be starting soon, hopefully!

Here we go! Hajdemo!

Starting tonight’s show we have a retrospect of some of Italy’s finest Eurovision moments, including Si from 1974… I proposed on the stage where this was performed! True story! ❤

Grande Amore by Il Volo… there was a moment standing in the audience in Vienna I thought they’d done it!

Italian with a Serbian accent… interesting! Occidentalis Karma was another fine entry from Italy… they really have has some amazing entries, haven’t they? No gorilla yet though…

I love how when some people perform, they do so with their whole bodies… and others just count through the steps and grin hahaha

Tonight’s hosts, still singing away to Insieme: 1992 and Nel Blu Di Pinto Di Blu… keep having to remind myself this is Serbia and not Italy!

Allora! XD

I must say, Turin looks like a beautiful city!

The last time Italy hosted Eurovision was 31 years ago… how much Europe has changed during those years… Serbia was still part of Yugoslavia back then!

They just called Eurovision the largest musical stage in the world – I agree! Loving the dress, very night at the opera!

Dobra vece Green Room! (it’s also Blue, but nevermind!)

I’m glad I get this reference, otherwise I’d be so confused right about now… (!!!) Guess this means we’re off with the first song of the night!

Naiva – Skidam

I’m having flash backs to Pal Oskar from Iceland… it’s all very sultry and sexy, bordering on obscene… Naiva seems to be singing to the stage floor rather than connecting to the camera, and when she does it’s very pouty and gurning… musically it’s quite easy going, a bit jazzy and lounge sound. It’s definitely a memorable opening, but I’m not sure this is the best fit for Turin. Let’s see what else Serbia have on offer

I love the fact each act is giving us a little Zoom disco act of a Eurovision song… Bandido seems to be big in the Balkans, I’ve heard a few times at restaurants in Skopje!

Orkestar Aleksandra Sofronijevića – Anđele Moj

Part starogradska muzika, part ballad, part soul… there’s rather a lot going on here musically and it feels like 3 or 4 different songs wedged into one. As a group, they look very cohesive all in grey and they give a confident performance. Bit of a odd ending though, it just sort of stopped… a nice idea, not sure about the execution though…

Lordi on a budget of 3 euros…

Gift – Haos

These guys look like they’re having a great time! Musically and lyrically it’s a touch repetitive, but in a good way: easy to sing along with and when performers look like they’re enjoying themselves, you buy into it too. The styling to my eye is very Maneskin, but it suits the feel of the rock song. Definitely the most Turin-ready performance of the night so far!

Zejna Murkić – Nema Te

In a beautiful peach gown, Zejna has a crystal clear voice and she belts out her lovelorn ballad – the snow falls around her, ice crystallises on the screen behind her as Prince Charming wheels around the stage – on paper, none of this should work, or it should come across as very twee and forced. BUT, it’s done with the right amount of emotion for it to be classy, not tawdy. I really enjoyed that! This is definitely the strongest overall performance (voice, staging, music) so far!

Now we’re having a chat in the Green Room with the first 4 contestants. Grey and pink compliment each other surprisingly well!

You look away from the screen for 2 seconds, come back and the host is dressed as a Native American chieftain and everyone is chanting and wailing… never have the words “Did I miss something?!” seem more apt!

Zejna now singing a selection from The Little Mermaid and Amar Pelos Dois… the mashup we never knew we needed! If you do requests, Poor Unfortunate Souls and Arcade next please!

Back to the songs and up next, a familiar face for Eurovision fans as Tijana Dapčević, who represented North Macedonia in 2014 takes to the stage! Her favourite Eurovision song is the one her sister sang? How’s that for sisterly love ❤

Tijana Dapčević – Ljubi, Ljubi Doveka

I suspected Tijana would be one to watch tonight and instantly her stage experience at Eurovision shines through. Looking amazing in red, her voice commands the stage with her upbeat calypso feel number. I can imagine this being a huge radio hit and I’m really enjoying it! Could Tijana be heading back to Eurovision? We’ve still got a lot of songs to hear, but I strongly think she’ll be in the top contenders! Bravo!

LIFT – Drama

“Is this Zitti e Buoni?” I wonder as the opening chord sounds – have a second later that idea has gone as the band throw themselves full pelt into quite a grungy and angry rock belter. These guys all look great in white together as fire erupts around them and they command the stage well. Not a bad song at all, I just wonder that if this does go to Turin, the comparison to Maneskin will hamper its chances?

Gramophonedzie – Počinjem da Ludim

This is very dark… I don’t mean moody, I mean the lights don’t come up till the first chorus! That’s one way to grab viewers attention, but can also backfire really badly… two scantily clad dancers wheel around stage almost violently as the singer belts out her vocals and it works well as a stage show. The song itself is a bit of a rock pop anthem and it’s a solid effort- but yeah, that stayed in darkness a little too long for my liking. I’d strongly recommend changing that if they get the ticket to Turin!

Adverts time! Buy things you don’t need with money you don’t have! (Possibly?!)

And we’re back in Belgrade – I lived there as a student, many happy memories there… and some not so great ones involving accordions and a trip to Tršić…

Two Eurovision sisters for the price of one! Tamara waits backstage in the Green Room with Tijana

You know you’re getting old when you look at a band and wonder if they’re old enough to go to Eurovision and shouldn’t be trying out for JESC instead…

We have a result from Herning! It’s Reddi and The Show for Denmark!

Back to the songs! And up next we have someone who according to the live chat on YouTube seems to be a big favourite tonight… is Zorja heading to Turin? Let’s take a look and decide!

Zorja – Zorja

Looking like a goddess from Antiquity, Zorja grabs your attention instantly – both with her look and her vocals. The music is both classical and dramatic, the staging is simple and lets the vocals drive the performance… wow! This feels very special! I can see why so many people were raving about this! Serbia could do a lot worse than sending this to Italy for Eurovision, I can picture this doing very well!

Aca Lukas – Oskar

Starting sat at a piano and supported by an all female orchestra, Aca has that confident air of someone who has been working on a stage for years and feels completely at ease there. He’s got a rich and deep voice that suits the mood of the song perfectly and while it’s a kind of ballad we’ve seen at Eurovision before (both from Serbia and other countries), it’s a great example of the genre and the kind of some that will score points at the contest, no problem.

Zoe Kida – Bejbi

Another piano heavy start, Zoe’s vintage styling is slightly at odds with her more modern sounding jazz number. She sells sultry well with a confident performance with a belter of a strong voice. I’d like to see a bit more connectivity with the camera though, that would really make the package complete. Her vocals can’t be denied though, even if the song left me a bit flat. Well done Zoe!

Sara Jo – Muškarčina

I caught this screen grab and thought I better change it – but decided not to! 😛 I remember Sara Jo from previous Serbian national selections and was curious to see what she’d bring this year as I know how talented she is. This song feels a bit like an ASMR video overlaid to some industrial machinery sounds… as performance art, it’s very sexy and daring and works well. As a song that people will decide whether to vote for based on listening to it, I’m not sure it’ll do well in a contest setting. But it’s a stand out moment tonight either way!

Back to the Green Room, which is starting to look a bit more packed than it was earlier tonight!

7 songs left to go – have we seen the winner already, or is it coming up? Let’s find out!

Ana Stanić – Ljubav Bez Dodira

Dressed not unlike Charlotte “Take Me To Your Heaven” Pirelli, Ana’s performance is overlaid by imaged of males dancers that appear likes ghosts (think Lithuania 2018, but sexier!) Ana has a strong voice and it works well with the backing singers, I’m just left feeling as though the graphics and pink trousers are doing most of the heavy lifting here. There are some nice moments with great harmonies, but because the focus is on the images, the camera pulls back too often and we don’t see her face or any connection.

Biber – Dve Godine I Šes’ Dana

Well, thankfully it’s not Justin Bieber! Wearing black, the guitar and her mournful vocals, this almost feels like Serbia’s answer to fado, which is actually really nice! There’s a melancholy to this as the singer laments waiting two years a nearly a week for her lover, and as the song goes on it develops almost a tango feel to it – I’m surprised how much I like this! Sending it to Eurovision could be an interesting move. Thanks Biber, hvala! I enjoyed that a lot!

Angellina – Origami

Surrounded by dancers in tight silver costumes, Angellina looks a little like she’s at some futuristic nightclub – and it suits the music perfectly! This has got a great contemporary beat, feels a bit club and very cutting edge – it’s a real bop! I can see this going down very well in a EuroClub! I reckon everyone in Europe would be dancing away to this in May if it gets to Turin! One of the best dance songs so far tonight!

Back to the Green Room for more Eurovision quizzing na srpskom

After years of social distancing and masks, the Serbian Green Room looks a little busy… but, as I’ve said in the past, the Green Room in Serbia is also always one of the most relaxed looking and looks like the most fun of all the Green Rooms I see in national selections. Some of them look like hostage situations, Serbia always looks like a party!

Time for another ad break before we go to our last 4 songs of the night!

A result should be coming through from Bucharest in the next few minutes – it’s a busy night for Eurovision 2022!

And we’re back!

Chegi & Braća Bluz Band – Devojko Sa Plamenom U Očima

Unsurprisingly a Brothers Blue Band give us a very blues-sounding track! They look great together in their shades and city back drop, while the song itself has enough of a beat to keep your attention and some great brass sections. I’m wracking my brain trying to think if we’ve had blues at Eurovision before and I can’t remember… if I’ve missed someone, let me know! This would make an interesting addition to the Turin playlist, not sure it’ll get that chance though. But a great effort guys, well done!

Ivona – Znam

Waking up in New York in a bed with 4 strangers… don’t worry Ivona, we’ve all done that! Ivona gives a commanding performance with solid vocals, great connectivity and the Eurovision staple, a wind machine! It’s also the first song of the night (and we’re on song 16/18) with any English lyrics! Brava Srbija for keeping things mostly in Serbian! With it’s beat and easy feel, I can imagine this being a big radio hit – could that translate into points on the Eurovision stage?

Romania have a winner – it’s AWS and Llámame!

Marija Mikić – Ljubav Me Inspiriše

The moment this started I wasn’t looking at the screen, but heard haunting pan flutes and was hoping we were in for a ethno-ballad extraordinaire! The music is there, it puts me in mind of several Eurovision songs from the Balkans with traditional instrumentals, which is fantastic! Marija has the voice to perform this with aplomb, I’m not sure the whole wedding dress/jelly fish look was a wish choice though… but aside from that, one of the strongest overall performances of the night – brava Marija!

Can you believe it’s the last song?

Konstrakta – In Corpore Sano

I’d seen people discussing this song on Facebook earlier this week, but deliberately didn’t listen so you’d get my initial reaction tonight… my goodness, there’s a lot going on here… where do I even begin? She mentions Megan Merkle by name, sits there dressed as a nurse frantically washing her hands singing about being healthy while an ominous gang stand around her shrouded in shadows… as performance art, it’s stunning. As a song, it stuns for very different reasons… it’s like a spoken word song, not sure it’ll have the desired effect in Turin – but listen to that audience, they clearly love it!

More chaos/hilarity in the Green Room – it must be really loud in there, the microphones are picking up a lot of background chatter!

I suspect soon we’ll start voting – remember, half of tonight’s scores will come from a jury and the other half from the Serbian public

We’re now being introduced to the members of the Serbian jury: a mixture of composers, musical journalists, music professors and singers, including Neda Ukraden!

And the public voting window is OPEN! Serbia, you have 15 minutes to vote! While Serbia watches a recap, I’ll summarise my thoughts from tonight – brb!

There’s been a real selections of styles on offer tonight from Serbia and they’ve put on quite the show! Both listening to the recap and from watching the show through the night, standout moments are definitely the performances from Tijana Dapčević , Zorja, Sara Jo, Angellina and Marija Mikić. I strongly suspect Serbia’s next Eurovision entry will be one of these singers.

Zejna gave a very strong performance too, but I wonder if her early slot in the running order will work against her. I personally liked Biber, but I’m not sure how many others out there will “get it”. Ivona had a great performance too and I wonder if her few lines in English might be seen as a useful thing for Turin. As for Konstrakta… that could surprise us all (for a multitude of reasons!!)

A Top 8 out of 18… that’s not bad for me, I remember one year at Dora I could only narrow down a Top 12… out of 14 songs!!

The more I think about it, the more I’m drifting towards it being either Angellina, Marija Mikić or Zorja… just overan hour till we find out!

3… 2… 1… GOTOVO! Serbia, you’ve had your say! But what did you decide?

Quite glad I caught the clock at 00:00, was almost convinced I wouldn’t get it!

Haven’t seen so many people in one place on TV for quite some time!

A result should be coming in from France very shortly too – come on Serbia, tell us who you’ve picked too!

While the votes are being counted up, we’re having a look at Italy’s previous hosting of Eurovision in 1965 and 1990 as well as some of Sanremo’s more memorable performances – Sanremo was, of course, the inspiration for the contest we know and love today, the Eurovision Song Contest!

Another medley of Italian songs including Fericita and Lascia Mi Cantare from a host of familiar faces, including the highest placing Eurovision contestants from two neighbouring countries! Knez (Montenegro 2015 ) and Hari Mata Hari (Bosnia & Herzegovina 2006) – both beautiful entries and this mashup shows just how amazing they are as singers!

I think I’ve also spotted Nevena Božović (Serbia 2019) too!

Gloria is a fantastic song, even if I grew up with Laura Brannigan’s cover! ❤

*takes a break to check if France have a result yet… should be soon!) – Nope, not yet!

Now we do! France are sending Alvan & Ahez to Turin with Fulenn!

4 national finals tonight, and just Serbia left to declare… result should be incoming within the next half hour!

Was just about to say “How much longer is this going to go on?” but then they started singing Insieme: 1992… I love this song and I think it’s message of unity in Europe is more important now than ever ❤

Actually, I don’t think that is Hari Mata Hari… I got confused, it’s Sergej Ćetković!! Oops…

And time for another ad break. And hopefully when we come back, some results?

We’re back! That’s a big clipboard, is there a result on it?

A brief look back at some of Eurovision’s more quirky wardrobe choices and outlandish reveals! Who doesn’t love a good reveal at Eurovision?

Accordions… *flashbacks*

“Soon we’ll know who is going to sing for Serbia in Turin!” – good!

Here we go!

The first juror is giving their points and has awarded 12 points to Konstrakta… I’m speechless…

Juror #2 Slobodan gives his 12 points to Sara Jo

Juror #3 Una awards her top marks to Konstrakta too…

Vladimir is Juror #4 is giving his 12 to Konstrakta… well, can honestly say I didn’t see this coming!

Neda Ukraden is Juror #5 and her top marks go to Zorja – surprised she hasn’t got more 12s to be honest!

The full jury results – Zorja is in 3rd, Sara Jo in 2nd and Konstrakta is currently 1st. But it’s close at the top!

Here are the Televote Results:

1 point to Gift

2 points to Zoe Kida

3 points go to Angellina

4 points to Marija Mikić

5 points for Chegi & Braća Bluz Band

6 points go to Lift

7 points go to Aca Lukas

8 points are awarded to Zorja… I expected higher!

10 points went to Sara Jo

And the Serbian public’s 12 points go to Konstrakta – Konstrakta wins!

Well, I can honestly say I didn’t see that coming! But, she won both the jury and the televote, so it was decisive! Thank you Serbia, we’ll see you in Turin!

Thanks for reading along tonight, I hope you’ve enjoyed the show and my thoughts on this blog! Take care, thank you Europe and goodnight!

Author: James Scanlan
Source: RTS

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