They’re one of the smallest nations in Eurovision and are known for their quirky entries. But Montenegro won’t be represented in Kyiv by the popular singer Milena Vucic. She has publicly withdrawn from contention, saying says she’s unhappy with the broadcaster’s selection process.
Back in July, Milena Vucic announced her desire to represent Montenegro at Eurovision 2017. It was reported that the Montenegro broadcaster RTCG was open to her suggestion and were prepared to discuss it with her in future.
Last month, changing from their usual process of closed internal selection, the broadcaster opened public submissions for their entry for Kyiv. The submission period runs for one month, closing on 17 November. It’s this short time period that is behind Milena’s withdrawal.
In a post on her Facebook page, she explained that one month was not long enough to prepare a song for Eurovision. She notes that she had a song ready to enter earlier in the year, but she does not explain why she was unable to enter this in the national selection.
Milena also wrote that she likes to control what she sings and who she works with — something she obviously feels might not be under her control if she were to go to Eurovision.
Many of you have asked me a question about Eurovision……
In my opinion, it is amateurish to give performers just one month to prepare their song for Eurovision, pushing to make the November deadline. My suggested entry was made half a year ago. Furthermore, I carefully choose who I will collaborate with and what song I will sing. I do not want restrictions in this regard. I will not be part of such an approach to business. Therefore I’m giving up on the idea.
Milena Vucic started her career as a member of the group Negre but went solo in 2006. That year she won the prestigious music festival Suncane Skale with her song “Da l’ ona zna” in two categories — song of the summer and new star. The song went on to become a huge hit in Montenegro, cementing her position as one of the country’s rising stars. Since then she has released a string of successful pop songs and would have been ideally positioned to reach a broader audience with a Eurovision appearance.
In recent years, broadcaster RTCG has internally selected their Eurovision act without any public involvement. This year, however, they have opened up their selection process and are accepting public submissions for Kyiv.
They’re keeping it simple. The regular Eurovision rules apply, and the broadcaster is also looking for citizens of Montenegro or foreigners who have been resident in the country for at least two years.
Montenegro’s most Eurovision recent act was the X Factor boy band Highway. Their edgy rock song “The Real Thing” placed 13th in the first semi-final in Stockholm. While Montenegro only managed to pick up televote points from neighbouring Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, they had better luck with juries. Jury members in San Marino, Malta and Azerbaijan were especially impressed by Highway’s stoner rock sound.
What do you think? Should RTCG have internally selected Milena? Or are they better off using a public submission? Share your thoughts below!