It’s the Balkan nation that won Eurovision on its debut in 2007. Now Serbia‘s broadcaster RTS has confirmed the return of Beovizija, the national final that selected Marija Serifovic with “Molitva” for Eurovision 2007. The Beovizija format was last used in 2009.

The news was confirmed by RTS’s entertainment editor Olivera Kovacevic. Speaking to Blic news, she confirmed that entries are now open for the national final.

From the submitted entries, a shortlist of 12 finalists will be selected by a panel of music editors from RTS. The finalists will then perform at the grand final of Beovizija some time in February 2018. The winning entry will be chosen by a combined jury vote and televote.

Kovacevic also spoke of the importance of openness in the contest, and the need to select a jury with integrity. The jury won’t be selected until February, meaning there’ll be less opportunity for shadowy figures to make “protections and connections” with jury members. She said, “We will try to get competent people in the jury and let their credibility answer for their vote.”

Beovizija and Serbia at Eurovision

Beovizija was founded in 2003. From 2007 to 2009 it was the national final Serbia used in its first three years competing as a newly independent nation.

The first winner of Beovizija was Marija Serifovic with her highly emotional ballad “Molitva”. It was a clear favourite with both the jury and televoters in the national final. Viewers in Europe felt the same — the song went on to win Eurovision 2007.

In 2008, the winner of Beovizija was another clear favourite, Jelena Tomasevic with “Oro”. The song — written by two-time Serbian entrant and that year’s host Zeljko Joksimovic — also did well. It placed sixth and received a rapturous response from the home crowd.

The following year, there was a difference in opinion between the jury and televoters. Viewers preferred Fame Academy rock band OT Bend with “Blagoslov za kraj”, while the jury favoured Marko Kon & Milaan with “Cipela”. The accordion-rich “Cipela” won the national final by two points and went to Moscow. While it placed tenth in its semi-final, it missed out on making the grand final, due to the jury picking the act from neighbouring Croatia as its wildcard.

From 2010, Serbia used a variety of other national final formats and internal selection to pick their Eurovision acts. In the past two years Serbia has sent internally selected English-language pop songs, a stark contrast to the strong Balkan flavour of the Beovizija winners.

With Portugal’s success at Eurovision 2017, this could be a sign that Serbia is again willing to embrace its own popular music styles and language.

What do you think? Should Serbia return to its earlier style of entry? Can Beovizija produce another Eurovision winner? Sound off below!

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SebastienXavier
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SebastienXavier

#WeWantBalkanMusic

AngieP
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AngieP

Don’t make me start with Serbia! It’s one of my favourite countries in Eurovision!
Their 2007 and 2008 entries were just great!

I love they’re back with a NF because we’ll have the opportunity to listen to many songs. Nevertheless, this process seems to work for them.

Looking forward!

Azaad
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Azaad

If you’re a Muslim @GodisGreat, know that our Lord Allah wants us to make ourselves better people before we attack others. Don’t belittle others, it’s against our faith and what the prophets taught us. Coming from a Muslim.

Denis
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Denis

Am I the only one fed up with Balkan ballads? I want to hear different sides of Balkan countries, not the same old artists singing the same songs with ethnic instruments thrown in. There is not much difference between them, really…
And I say this as someone who has been brought up on Balkan ballads and listened to them my whole life. There is so much besides ballads

thespb01
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thespb01

Same, I thought I was the only one. I’d like to see a mix of the traditional and modern in this new Beovizija, rather than the same-old Serbo-Croatian ballads that plagued the former Yugoslavia throughout the 2000s.

UK
Guest
UK

that does make sense and I agree with you, I mean in 2007 and 2008 the songs were just of such high quality, and had such ethnic sounds that hopefully Serbia can recreate that, however its just because those years were so good for Serbia, its probably why people miss those ballads because, it represented part of what made Serbia such a good contender in the contest

UK 2018
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UK 2018

I definitely expect great things if Serbia go back to the national final which got them their first victory, they just should stick to Serbian, and definitely use Marija, Jelena, and Zelijko in any way to help pick their act next year, if their not going to represent Serbia again. but any way good luck Serbia, and hopefully their act is amazing next year. I definitely will be rooting for you

Jo
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Jo

Kinda sad that someone talented like Tijana was left with that Melfest rejected song. Now it seems Serbia learned their lesson, at least for now.

Keter
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Keter

In my (admittedly novice) opinion, I think that a lot of Tijana’s problems were caused by her staging and really terrible live backup singers. I mean, she still placed eleventh in her semi… I think that with some better staging she could have made it to the final.

Jo
Guest
Jo

She performed too early, otherwise she would’ve qualified.

Esc 2018
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Esc 2018

if Serbia, sends more songs from 2007, 2008, 2012 proper Balkan ballads, which I love so much, and hopefully 20 songs from beoviziya, then they definitely will get my vote next year
Greetings from the UK

Johnny_Smash
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Johnny_Smash

Yes!! This! I miss so much a proper Balkan Ballad! Marija, Jelena and Zeljko made Serbia my favorite ESC country. Please Serbia, send a good Balkan Ballad! 🙂

???
Guest
???

hopefully Serbia goes back to singing in Serbian, and go back to their songs from 2007 and 2008, good luck Serbia, and hopefully recreate their win from 2007

Esc fan
Guest
Esc fan

Little correction: 10 songs will compete in Beovizija

God Is Great
Guest
God Is Great

This Marija has a sacred name, but she is a sinner. In my country she would have been treated in a different manner, but the grace of God made the holiness of Middle East to come to Europe. Now the decency and modesty will be part of European women’s life because God is so great.

Alexander the Great
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Alexander the Great

Huh?

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

Keep your religion for yourself, not everyone believes that nonsense.

Ronda
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Ronda

And who ARE YOU to judge someone or decide who is sinner and who is not?? Please, sit back to your chair and educate yourself a little before writing such nonsense on a website about music. She is a great artist and a very good person, that’s enough to know about her. Peace

Keter
Guest
Keter

…really NOT SMART to leave a homophobic comment on a website like this.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Take your stone age religion and go back to desert, where you belong. Tbh I’m about 99.99% certain you’re a troll, but it still applies.

West
Guest
West

Go back to your cave, troll!

And to normal people: ignore him – it’s not worth it to get angry over such rubbish.