Serbie 2015

Serbia participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 with the song « Beauty Never Lies« , written by Vladimir Graić and Charlie Mason. The song was performed by Bojana Stamenov. Serbian broadcaster Radio Television of Serbia (RTS) selected Vladimir Graić, the composer of the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 winning song « Molitva« , to compose three candidate songs as potential Serbian entries for the 2015 contest in Vienna, Austria. Graić was also tasked with selecting the performers of these three entries, opting to selected two established Serbian artists, Bojana Stamenov and Aleksa Jelić, and one undiscovered talent, Danica Krstić, to perform the three entries. RTS held the national final Odbrojavanje za Beč where the song « Ceo svet je moj » performed by Bojana Stamenov emerged as the winner after topping both the votes of a jury panel and a public televote. The entry was later translated to English as « Beauty Never Lies » with lyrics written by Charlie Mason—the lyricist of Austria’s Eurovision Song Contest 2014 winning song « Rise Like a Phoenix« .

In the first of the Eurovision semi-finals « Beauty Never Lies » placed ninth out of the 16 participating countries, securing its place among the 27 other songs in the final. In Serbia’s eighth Eurovision appearance on 23 May, « Beauty Never Lies » finished in tenth place, receiving 53 points.

Background

Prior to the 2015 Contest, Serbia had participated in the Eurovision Song Contest seven times since its first entry in 2007.[1] The nation won the competition with its debut entry, « Molitva » performed by Marija Šerifović, in 2007. Between 2007 and 2009, Serbia used the Beovizija competition in order to select their entry. However, after their 2009 entry, « Cipela » performed by Marko Kon and Milaan, failed to qualify Serbia to the final, the broadcaster shifted their selection strategy to selecting specific composers to create songs for artists. In 2010, RTS selected Goran Bregović to compose songs for a national final featuring three artists, while in 2011 Kornelije Kovač, Aleksandra Kovač and Kristina Kovač were tasked with composing one song each. In 2012, the internal selection of Željko Joksimović and the song « Nije ljubav stvar » secured the country’s second highest placing in the contest to this point, placing third. In 2013, RTS returned to an open national final format and organized the Beosong competition. The winning entry, « Ljubav je svuda » performed by Moje 3, failed to qualify Serbia to the final at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest.

On 22 November 2013, RTS announced that it would withdraw from the 2014 contest due to financial difficulties and a lack of available sponsorship for a potential Serbian entry.[2] On 7 April 2014, head of press at RTS, Duška Vučinić, stated that RTS hope to send a representative in 2015 and continue Serbia’s participation in the contest.[3] On 15 September 2014, RTS announced that it had submitted a preliminary application to participate in the 2015 contest conditioned on the broadcaster’s ability to account for any financial issues.[4] On 26 September 2014, RTS fully confirmed Serbia’s return to the contest and announced details regarding their selection procedure for their entry.[5]

Before Eurovision

Odbrojavanje za Beč

Odbrojavanje za Beč (English: Countdown for Vienna) was the national final organised by RTS in order to select the Serbian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2015. The selection featured three songs composed by Vladimir Graić, the composer of Serbia’s winning entry « Molitva » in 2007. Lyrics for the three songs were written by singer-songwriter Leontina Vukomanović, who previously wrote the lyrics for « Lane moje« , Serbia and Montenegro’s entry in 2004 which placed second at the Eurovision Song Contest.[6] Two of the songs were performed by established Serbian artists Bojana Stamenov and Aleksa Jelić,[7] while one was performed by Danica Krstić, a new talent chosen by Graić through a scouting process.[8][9][10]

Candidate scouting

Auditions

The process for selecting the undiscovered artist candidate for the national final included auditions that were held in six Serbian cities – Belgrade, Niš, Novi Sad, Zaječar, Kragujevac, and Užice.[8] Serb citizens who were interested could apply by submitting their personal details and a maximum-one-minute performance clip of a Serbian pop/rock song during the submission period between 29 October 2014 and 10 November 2014.[11] At the closing of the deadline, over 300 submissions were received by Vladimir Graić.[12] Graić screened the submissions and invited potential candidates to an audition. Auditions commenced in Niš on 17 November 2014 and ended in Belgrade on 28 November 2014.[13] The judging panel that assisted Graić during the auditions included singer-songwriter Leontina Vukomanović, composer Aleksandar Kobac and presenter Dragan Ilić.[14] Following the auditions, thirty candidates were selected for further consideration.[14]

Audition city Audition date[13] Audition venue[13]
Niš 17 November 2014 Puppet Theatre Niš
Zaječar 19 November 2014 Zoran Radmilovič Theatre
Kragujevac 21 November 2014 Youth Center – Kragujevac
Užice 24 November 2014 City Cultural Centre
Novi Sad 26 November 2014 SPENS Amphitheatre
Belgrade 28 November 2014 Children’s Cultural Centre
Artist selection

Of the thirty candidates that were selected from the audition round, Vladimir Graić and his judging panel invited ten to compete in a live broadcast special of the RTS1 program Nedeljno popodne on 14 December 2014.[14] Each candidate was required to sing a well-known song together with a live band. Following the performances, Graić and his judging panel decided to select two candidates and determine whether one or both would compete in the national final. Danica Krstić and Goga Stanić were chosen as finalists at the conclusion of the broadcast.[9] Following consultation with RTS, ultimately only Danica Krstić was selected to proceed to the national final.[10]

Draw Artist Song (original artists) Result
1 Milena Milivojević « She Will Be Loved » (Maroon 5) Eliminated
2 Goga Stanić « A i ti me iznevjeri » (Bijelo Dugme) Selected
3 Marija Lazić « Locked Out of Heaven » (Bruno Mars) Eliminated
4 Dragan and Željko Sarić « Lagala nas mala » (Toše Proeski & Tony Cetinski) Eliminated
5 Milica Dejanović « When Love Takes Over » (David Guetta feat. Kelly Rowland) Eliminated
6 Ivana Milojević « Kao da me nema » (Vanna) Eliminated
7 Anastasija Knežević & Varja Topalović « Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) » (Kelly Clarkson) Eliminated
8 Jelena Milošev « Čuvaj moje srce » (Aleksandra Radović) Eliminated
9 Petar Bošković & Nemanja Antonić « Uptown Funk » (Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars) Eliminated
10 Danica Krstić « Bol do ludila » (Marija Šerifović) Selected

Final

The national final consisted of two shows held on 14 and 15 February 2015; both shows aired on RTS1, RTS HD, RTS Satelit as well as online at rts.rs. The final was also webcast on eurovision.tv. The first show, on 14 February 2015, was an introductory show hosted by Dragana Kosjerina where the three competing acts were officially presented to the Serbian audience. The candidates performed well-known Serbian and international hits and also determined the draw of the national final.[15][16] The second show, on 15 February 2015, was hosted by Maja Nikolić and featured the performances of the competing entries culminating with the selection of the Serbian entry via a 50/50 jury and televoting deliberation.[17] « Ceo svet je moj » performed by Bojana Stamenov was selected as the winner.[18]

The jury panel that voted during the final consisted of:

Draw Artist Song English Translation Jury Public Total Place
Televote Points
1 Aleksa Jelić « Vodi me » (Води ме) Take me 2 4,363 1 3 3
2 Danica Krstić « Suze za kraj » (Сузе за крај) Tears for the end 1 8,039 2 3 2
3 Bojana Stamenov « Ceo svet je moj » (Цео свет је мој) The whole world is mine 3 10,547 3 6 1
Detailed Jury Voting
Draw Artist Song N. Božović G. Stankov I. Ilić Total Place Points
1 Aleksa Jelić « Vodi Me » (Води ме) 2 2 1 5 2 2
2 Danica Krstić « Suze za kraj » (Сузе за крај) 1 1 2 4 3 1
3 Bojana Stamenov « Ceo svet je moj » (Цео свет је мој) 3 3 3 9 1 3

Preparation

In early March 2015, RTS announced that an English version of « Ceo svet je moj » titled « Beauty Never Lies » would be produced with lyrics by Charlie Mason, who co-wrote the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 winning entry « Rise Like a Phoenix« .[19] Stamenov stated that she preferred to sing the English version at Eurovision, though no decision had been made in regards to the language.[19] On 9 March, « Beauty Never Lies » was released and shortly afterwards on 11 March, the Serbian delegation and OGAE Serbia issued an invitation for fans to submit videos of themselves singing the English version of the song by 13 March.[20][21] On 16 March, the collage of video clips was released as the preview video for the Serbian entry and featured appearances by former Serbian Eurovision contestants Marija Šerifović, who won the contest in 2007, and Nina Radojčić, who represented Serbia in 2011.[22] « Beauty Never Lies » marked the first time that Serbia sent an entry in a language other than Serbian.[23]

Throughout April 2015, different language versions of the Serbian entry were released for promotional purposes: in Spanish under the title « El mundo bajo mis pies » with lyrics by Takis and Javier Gutiérrez Lozano, [24] in French under the title « Le monde est à moi » with lyrics by Francis Soghomonian[25] and in German under the title « Die ganze welt ist mein » with lyrics by Marko Nikolić.[26] On 15 April, the official music video for « Beauty Never Lies » was released. The video was filmed in early April 2015 at the Dundjerski Castle in Kulpin.[27]

At Eurovision

Bojana Stamenov performing at the Eurovision Village in Vienna

According to Eurovision rules, all nations with the exceptions of the host country and the « Big 5 » (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) are required to qualify from one of two semi-finals in order to compete for the final; the top ten countries from each semi-final progress to the final. In the 2015 contest, Australia also competed directly in the final as an invited guest nation.[28] The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) split up the competing countries into five different pots based on voting patterns from previous contests, with countries with favourable voting histories put into the same pot.[29] On 26 January 2015, a special allocation draw was held which placed each country into one of the two semi-finals, as well as which half of the show they would perform in. Serbia was placed into the first semi-final, to be held on 19 May 2015, and was scheduled to perform in the second half of the show.[30]

Once all the competing songs for the 2015 contest had been released, the running order for the semi-finals was decided by the shows’ producers rather than through another draw, so that similar songs were not placed next to each other. Serbia was set to perform in position 9, following the entry from Macedonia and before the entry from Hungary.[31]

The first semi-final and the final were broadcast in Serbia on RTS 1, RTS HD and RTS SAT with commentary by Duška Vučinić.[32][33] The second semi-final was broadcast on RTS 2 and RTS SAT with commentary by Silvana Grujić.[34] The Serbian spokesperson, who announced the Serbian votes during the final, was Maja Nikolić.[35]

Semi-final

Bojana Stamenov at a dress rehearsal for the first semi-final

Bojana Stamenov took part in technical rehearsals on 12 and 15 May,[36][37] followed by dress rehearsals on 18 and 19 May. This included the jury final where professional juries of each country, responsible for 50 percent of each country’s vote, watched and voted on the competing entries.[38]

The stage show featured Bojana in a silver dress with two female and two male backing vocalists dressed in long white coats and donning white masks. The staging for the song, directed by Gorčin Stojanović, began with white elements and lighting and the backing vocalists walking in the background holding coloured flags. As the song progressed, the stage displayed flashing blue and pink lights while the backing vocalists took their coats and masks off and danced. In regards to the staging, composer Vladimir Graić commented: « In the beginning, she feels heartbroken, but at some point she decided to set herself free. Masks are falling down and she is shining again ».[36][37] The four backing vocalists that joined Bojana on stage were Saška Janković, Sanja Bogosavljević, Oliver Katić and Marko Nikolić.[39]

At the end of the show, Serbia was announced as having finished in the top ten and subsequently qualifying for the grand final.[40] It was later revealed that Serbia placed ninth in the semi-final, receiving a total of 63 points.[41]

Final

Shortly after the first semi-final, a winner’s press conference was held for the ten qualifying countries. As part of this press conference, the qualifying artists took part in a draw to determine which half of the grand final they would subsequently participate in. This draw was done in the order the countries were announced during the semi-final. Serbia was drawn to compete in the first half.[42] Following this draw, the shows’ producers decided upon the running order of the final, as they had done for the semi-finals. Serbia was subsequently placed to perform in position 8, following the entry from Lithuania and before the entry from Norway.[43]

Bojana once again took part in dress rehearsals on 22 and 23 May before the final, including the jury final where the professional juries cast their final votes before the live show.[44] Stamenov performed a repeat of her semi-final performance during the final on 23 May. At the conclusion of the voting, Serbia finished in tenth place with 53 points.[45][46]

Voting

Voting during the three shows consisted of 50 percent public televoting and 50 percent from a jury deliberation. The jury consisted of five music industry professionals who were citizens of the country they represent, with their names published before the contest to ensure transparency. This jury was asked to judge each contestant based on: vocal capacity; the stage performance; the song’s composition and originality; and the overall impression by the act. In addition, no member of a national jury could be related in any way to any of the competing acts in such a way that they cannot vote impartially and independently. The individual rankings of each jury member were released shortly after the grand final.[47]

Following the release of the full split voting by the EBU after the conclusion of the competition, it was revealed that Serbia had placed tenth with the public televote and twenty-fourth with the jury vote in the final. In the public vote, Serbia scored 86 points, while with the jury vote, Serbia scored 12 points.[48] In the first semi-final, Serbia placed seventh with the public televote with 78 points and fourteenth with the jury vote, scoring 43 points.[49]

Below is a breakdown of points awarded to Serbia and awarded by Serbia in the first semi-final and grand final of the contest, and the breakdown of the jury voting and televoting conducted during the two shows:[41][46][50][51]

Points awarded to Serbia

Points awarded by Serbia

Split voting results

The following five members comprised the Serbian jury:[47]

References

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