I can get how Azerbaijan placed 5th in 2010. ITV invested a lot into Safura’s performance and promotion, the country’s best friend Turkey was there to vote, and overall the act had a decent song and singer. (Also this was only the first year of collaborating with Swedish composers, so no one was complaining about that yet).
Though it was the highest placing ballad of the year, I still think there was something missing from the song, or at least the story the song portrays. Safura’s character accuses her SO for leaving for 3 weeks, zero communication, and possibly having an affair (or at least that’s what we’re supposed to assume). But for the entire act, it’s 3 minutes of one-sided angry rant, and the only person who could respond (the dancer) doesn’t have a voice.
After a few listens wondering if there was a version involving the second character to speak, the answer came up 3 time zones away in Serbia: Željko Joksimović’s promotion/Balkan ballad remix. The SO finally had a voice (despite just going uhhhhhh the entire time they were given the chance to speak)
Unfortunately it took the couple 5 years to actually decide to work things out, after they found out that living in uncertainty forever wasn’t a good idea. But thanks to Czech Republic, I think it’s likely to be a happy ending.
Prompt: A song that gives you chills
I’m tempted to just write EVERY BALKAN BALLAD AROUND, but that’s not going to work. So I’m just going to mention how much I loved the Montenegrin entry this year.
Hi everyone! We have life outside the magical world too!
Prior to the performance I was worried that the song wasn’t going to qualify because of the bookies’ bet values and how Knez’s performance in Amsterdam and London looked kind of empty. The voice was there, the spirit of the song was there, but something seemed missing, as if a Željko Joksimović composition not performed by the composer himself was going to tear the performance down a notch.
And then then came his performance at Eurovision. Before the performance started I was wondering whether to take a bathroom break, and the answer was no. As the song described a person not wanting to give up memories of their loved one, I loved how the screen started out like a dark version of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s 2006 performance of “Lejla”, and how backing singers were all standing in the water like ghosts, gradually gaining strength to dance and showing how the memory was still there and solid. I just sat there frozen, wondering what else Knez and Co. had to magnify the feeling. And both the memory of the lost loved one and the feeling of the song turned out as solid and strong as a corporeal Patronus.
Though what would the Patronus look like?
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The world found out back before Skopje Fest that the artist Knez was representing Montenegro. And then he disappeared from the blogosphere, only to show up a few times to report on a birthday cake to announce that Balkan ballad wizard Željko Joksimović was going to compose his entry. Suddenly he re-appeared to present his entry, “Adio.” And if I hadn’t watched the video, I would have guessed that it was Željko himself instead of Knez.
Given the composer, I don’t think anyone’s surprised that it’s another Balkan ballad. And yes, Knez can sing them. (That’s actually where I first found him: singing “Lejla” on the Serbian version of “Your Face Sounds Familiar.”
This entry’s tune sounds a little more upbeat and optimistic, somewhat like last year’s Montenegrin entry. It’s got the same ethnic instruments, but it’s less stringy and has more drums. As a result it reminds me of some of Željko Joksimović’s non-ESC songs: I don’t want to say turbo-folk-y, but more folk-pop-ish than his entries from previous years.
Anyways, congrats to being the only ex-Yugo participant not singing in English. Here’s your cake.
It’s actually his birthday cake that he posted on Twitter… aesj.