Montenegro: Vanja Radovanovic wins Montevizija 2018 with “Inje”


Prior to tonight we’d only heard 20-second snippets of the five acts competing in Montenegro’s rebooted national final Montevizija. Tonight we heard all the songs in full. And when all the dust had settled — and after the audience had enjoyed an interval featuring Slavko Kalezic and Knez — Vanja Radovanovic emerged victorious with his song  “Inje” (Mist).

Vanja, the only male competitor in the field, has a lovely voice — deep, smooth, resonant and imbued with emotion.

That’s all well and good. But his song, a traditional Balkan ballad, comes off as somewhat interchangeable with so many other ballads we’ve heard from the region in recent years. The melody, while beautiful, grows rather tiresome rather quickly. The instrumentation is enchanting — cello, violin and piano. But at times they are so sparse and soft the song feels empty…as if it has all stopped but he is carrying on.

No matter, Vanja’s voice and simplicity won over the home crowd.

Vanja faced stiff competition from four female singers:  Lorena Jankovic, Nina Petkovic, Katarina Bogicevic and Ivana Popovic Martinovic.

After the initial round of performances, Vanja advanced to a superfinal with Lorena and Katarina. Lorena came third and Katarina second.

The selection of a Balkan ballad fits with Montenegro’s most successful trips to Eurovision.

Montenegro has qualified for the Eurovision grand final twice, both times with Balkan ballads. In 2014, Sergej Cetkovic placed 19th with “Moj svijet”, while the following year Knez placed 13th with “Adio”.

Montevizija voting results

The day after the show, RTCG revealed the official voting results. They received a total of 10,006 SMS votes.

During the first round of voting, Lorena actually came out on top with 40% of the vote, while eventual winner Vanja only earned 18% and third place.

  1. Lorena Jankovic – “Dusu Mi Daj” – 40%
  2. Katarina Bogicevic – “Neseljena” – 19%
  3. Vanja Radovanovic – “Inje” – 18%
  4. Ivana Popovic Martinovic – “Poljupci” – 12%
  5. Nina Petkovic – “Disem” – 11%

But the superfinal flipped the script, with Vanja narrowly pipping Katarina by just 3% of the vote.

  1. Vanja Radovanovic – “Inje” — 37%
  2. Katarina Bogicevic – “Nezeljena” – 34%
  3. Lorena Jankovic – “Dusu Mi Daj” – 29%

What do you think of the winner? Did the best act win? Could he take Montenegro back to the final? Let us know down below.