Serbia: RTS reveals details of open submission process for internal selection

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Serbian broadcaster RTS has revealed details of their selection process for Eurovision 2018. This time they’re using internal selection with an open submission process. And the selection committee doesn’t want to be unduly influenced — the selection will be anonymous.

The broadcaster is mixing up their selection process again. In 2015 Bojana Stamenov won the national final Odbrojavanje za Bec, while in 2016 and 2017 Sanja Vucic and Tijana Bogicevic were each selected by closed internal selection.

This year, the internal selection process is open to the public. Both Serbian and international songwriters can enter songs, but the singer must be Serbian.

RTS is also going back to basics. Perhaps taking inspiration from both their 2007 winning song in Serbian and Portgual’s winning song in Portuguese, there’s now a national language rule. All lyrics must be in one of the official languages of Serbia. As well as Serbian, this includes Hungarian, Slovak, Romanian, Croatian, Rusyn and Albanian.

The entered songs will be assessed by a selection committee who will initially listen to the songs without knowing the names of the artists. This is similar to the initial jury screening that Melodifestivalen uses, to help ensure that jury members aren’t swayed by big names.

The selection committee will shortlist around ten songs. These will be publicly performed on an RTS show, in part to see how they work as a live performance. However, this will not be a national final and the public will not choose the song for Lisbon.

That instead will be the task of an expert jury of music professionals who will choose which one of the lucky shortlisted songs will be Serbia’s Eurovision entry for 2018.

Entries are open now and will run until 20 October.

Serbia at Eurovision

Serbia has competed at Eurovision ten times, with the best result being its win on debuting in 2007. And while Serbia hasn’t topped the victory of Marija Serifovic’s dramatic “Molitva”, they have reached the top ten three other times.

Most recently, Bojana Stamenov earned a tenth-place finish with her  uplifting dance anthem “Beauty Never Lies” in 2015.

However, in more recent years, Serbia hasn’t placed at well. Sanja Vu?i? ZAA only managed 18th place with “Goodbye (Shelter)” in Stockholm last year. This year Tijana Bogi?evi? narrowly missed out on making the grand final with “In Too Deep”.

What do you think about Serbia’s new selection process? Will it find another winning song for Serbia? Share your thoughts below!

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