Serbia: RTS confirms it will internally select its artist and song for Eurovision 2017

It’s the Balkan broadcaster that has been keeping very quiet about its Eurovision 2017 participation. But now Radio Television of Serbia (RTS) has confirmed that the country’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 will be internally selected.

The artist and the song will be chosen by the editors and the experts of the music department of RTS. The selected entry will be revealed publicly at the beginning of March.

The broadcaster confirmed the news in a press statement issued on Tuesday, saying, “RTS will present the artist and the song that will represent Serbia in the Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev in a special show that will be broadcast in March.”

Yesterday’s allocation draw in Kyiv determined that Serbia would compete in the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, which will be held on 11 May. Serbia is vying to qualify for their third consecutive grand final.

There has not been further comment nor information from the broadcaster about who might perform in Kyiv, or who might write the song. But that hasn’t stopped fans from speculating.

Who will it be?

Earlier this month it was rumoured that singer Danica Krstic was working on a possible Eurovision entry along with composer Vladimir Graic. The rumour arose after Graic’s assistant Mia Pijade posted an Instagram photo with Krstic and Graic in a studio, using #eurovision as one of the hashtags.

However, Pijade subsequently posted another photo on Instagram, explaining that the team was not working on a song for Eurovision, and she removed the #eurovision hashtag from the original one.

Pijade explained: “I need to mention that Vladimir Graic is not only the Eurovision songwriter and producer but also an amazing composer and arranger who does plenty of music for regional Balkan artists and musicians. Thank you for your support and hope you will like new upcoming song by Danica Krstic, but not the #Eurovision one.”

Graic is the best known as the composer of “Molitva”, the song performed by Marija Serifovic that won the Eurovision Song Contest 2007. He also composed the three songs that competed in Serbia’s national final in 2014, one of which – “Suze za kraj” – was performed by Danica Krstic.

Serbia’s past national selections

Serbia has changed the format of their national selection many times since the country’s debut in 2007.

The national selection was first run as a festival in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2013, with various changes from year to year. In the first few editions the winner was determined by both the jury and televote, whilst only televote was used in 2013.

In 2010, 2011 and 2015, RTS internally selected a composer that wrote three songs, and the winner was then determined by televote. In 2012 and 2016, both the artist and song were internally selected by RTS.

Serbia in the Eurovision Song Contest

Given the colourful results this country has achieved over the years, it is hard to say which method of selection works the best.

Serbia made an impressive Eurovision debut in 2007, when they won the trophy in their first attempt as an independent state. That victory was followed by another great result in 2008, when Jelena Tomasevic achieved the 6th place with her song “Oro”.

However, in 2009, Marko Kon failed to take his country and his entry “Cipela” to the Grand Final, despite placing 10th in his semi-final. Fan favourite Moje 3 also didn’t manage to qualify for the final in 2013.

Milan Stankovic (2010), Nina (2011) and Sanja Vucic ZAA (2016) all managed to qualify for the final, but finished out of top ten. Sanja’s 18th place was particularly disappointing, especially following Bojana Stamenov’s top-ten finish in 2015.

Zeljko Joksimovic came the closest to the top, when in 2012 his entry “Nije ljubav stvar” placed third. Joksimovic had previously represented Serbia and Montenegro in 2004 where he finished as the runner-up.

Serbia did not participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 2014.