Tag Archives: serbia

Eurovision 2012 Preview Part 7 – Serbia, Macedonia and Netherlands

We’re at the halfway point in this year’s Eurovision preview blogs, and we’re now on to the countries who will be battling it out in the second semi-final, which will be held a fortnight today on 24 May. As with the first semi-final, there will be eighteen countries competing for ten places, and the line-up for this second semi includes the current bookies’ favourite – however, more on them in a few days’ time. Today’s preview starts with Serbia. Since winning in 2007, the Serbs have had results that have been modest rather than spectacular. This year they’re sending Željko Joksimović singing a song called Nije ljubav stvar, which translates as “Love is Not an Object”. This is clearly the winner’s reprise from the national selection, replete with the ticker-tape and mass finger-clicking.

Feels very much like they’re channelling that vibe of a few years ago, with the large ethnic flute and all. Might do quite well, but probably not as well as it would have done in about 2006.

Next up and just a short hop away are Macedonia. They’ve sent Nancy Dell’Olio-a-like Kaliopi, who performs Crno i Belo, or “Black and White”. There’s a caged bird and a spiral staircase in the video, which practises a level of subtlety not seen since the glory days of Heart. There’s even a screechy bit reminiscent of THAT bit towards the end of Alone.

Rawk. Incidentally, Kaliopi represented Macedonia in 1996 when they had their first tilt at Eurovision, but failed to get through the (unscreened) qualifying competition. Which doesn’t bode well as they attempt to make it to the final for the first time in five years. Mind you, the wait to return to the final of Eurovision has been even longer for the Netherlands, who haven’t managed to qualify for the big night since 2004. In a bid to try and break the dry spell, they’ve decided to send Joan Franka, wearing Native American headdress whilst singing You and Me. Watching this, you may be left wondering if you had an accident, and when you woke up it was 1973. Are you mad, in a coma, or back in time?

Not sure that raiding the Cowboys and Indians section of the fancy dress shop will do them any favours, particularly as the song isn’t terribly strong. I suspect it could be another year in the wilderness for the Dutch. Next time, we’ve got Malta, Belarus and Portugal, three countries who’ve never won Eurovision. Will any of them come close to scoring their first-ever win? Find out soon…

Chris x

Eurovision 2011 Preview: Turkey and Serbia

Right, here we go again with two more of this year’s hopefuls. First up are Turkey. The introduction of televoting to Eurovision in the late 90s had a dramatic effect on Turkey’s fortunes. Having only previously achieved one Top 10 finish since first entering Eurovision in 1975, they came 3rd in 1997, although their strong run really began in 2003 when Sertab squeaked to victory. They’ve been Top 10 for the last four years, and after last year’s effort from maNga was the runner-up, they’ve gone for a rock feel again. This is Yüksek Sadakat with Live It Up, a song that sadly bears no resemblance to the old hit for Mental As Anything. Instead it’s mostly rock-by-numbers, albeit with some slightly incongruous Daft Punk keyboard noises thrown into the mix, and sung by a bloke who looks strikingly like Andre Agassi:

Now on to Serbia. Of all the states of the former Yugoslavia, Serbia was the last to enter the Eurovision fold as a country in its own right, initially as Serbia & Montenegro and then, after those two went their separate ways, on its own since 2007 – the year Serbia swept to victory thanks to Velmalike Marija Šerifović. Unlike the other ex-Yugoslav states, Serbia have yet to enter a song performed in English, and this hasn’t changed this year. Here’s Nina (on this evidence, the Balkan answer to Duffy – not a flippant comparison as she appears to have done a cover of Mercy) with Čaroban. It’s got a 60s feel to it that could tap into the current vogue for female singers with an old-school sensibility – and her backing singers have dresses to die for:

Okay, time for the classic corner. As I mentioned earlier, prior to televoting, Turkey had only secured one Top 10 finish. That was in 1986, and here’s the song. Performed by Klips ve Onlar, this is Halley (as in the comet). Well I say Klips ve Onlar. In actual fact, it appears to be French & Saunders on vocals, Mike Read on guitar (watch him make the most of his solo), Trevor Horn on drums and one of Doctor and the Medics on the keyboard. Now that’s one hell of a band:

And that’s today’s Eurovision preview. Tomorrow it’s the turn of one country that’s had plenty of good fortune in previous years and a once successful Eurovision force that has, of late, struggled to even make an impact in the semi-finals. See you then!

Chris x

Eurovision 2010 Haiku #7: Serbia

A Balkan Bruno
With pyramid of dancers
And ill-advised hair

Eurovision Haiku #22: Serbia

A ginger afro
Atop a science teacher
Who shows us the money