Bojana Stamenov has been chosen to represent Serbia at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest with “Ceo svet je moj”:
Serbia returns to the Song Contest after a year away. Their 2013 entry “Ljubav je svuda,” was a hot, hot mess that didn’t qualify for the Final. Perhaps Serbia needed time away to reconsider its choices in life. We certainly needed time to be reminded how much we miss them when they are away.
National broadcaster RTS returned to familiar waters for its selection process. They used a format that has served them well in the past, presenting three songs co-written by one composer. This year, that composer was Vladimir Graić, who co-wrote Serbia’s Eurovision-winning entry “Molitva.” You may also recall that he teamed up with Hari Mata Hari (who represented Bosnia in 2006) to pen Slovenia’s 2012 entry “Verjamem.”
It’s as though Serbia saw Graić peddling his wares to nearby Slavic countries (“Verjamem” bore an uncomfortable resemblance to “Molitva”) and collectively let out an emphatic “Aw HELL no.”
To Serbia’s, and Graić’s, credit, the three songs that were up for consideration at the national final were all different from each other and none of them sounded like “Molitva”/”Verjamem.” (Well, 2 of 3 didn’t).
Rather, with “Ceo svet je moj,” we get something more like “Love is Blind” or “Crisalide.” One half Balkan power ballad, the other half Hera Björk disco anthem. It’s two, two, two songs in one!
Bojana is an R&B and jazz singer who finished fourth on the 2012 edition of Serbia’s version of [Your Country’s Name Here] Got Talent. She’s pretty bad-ass, especially when she has to bring “Ceo svet je moj” home at the end. That change in tempo and Bojana’s growl that accentuates it is guaranteed to get a rise out of the crowd in Vienna and the fans at home.
The staging of the song at their national final was a mess — a shoddy re-hash of Eurovision costuming gimmicks from the last 5 years — but we assume the Serbian delegation is working on that. In fact, a lot about “Ceo svet je moj” is up in the air right now, including which language it will be performed in. Bojana told the Serbian newspaper Novosti that she is recording an English version of the song called “Beauty Never Lies” with lyrics by Charlie Mason, who co-wrote “Rise Like a Phoenix.” You figure if they are bringing in one of Eurovision’s reigning champion songwriters, they are seriously considering performing in English.
However it comes together, we are expecting a confident performance from Bojana and a song that unexpectedly catches the crowd’s attention at the halfway point. In a national final season that has been a bit of a slog so far, we’re thrilled to have an honest-to-goodness fun entry.