Beovizija 2018: The Wiwi Jury reveals their favourites in Serbia


On Tuesday night, Serbia will select their singer for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 using their national selection Beovizija. It’s the first time the format has been used since 2009. This means that it’s time for the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — to get to work!

We are going to do things a little differently with the Beovizija jury. The songs were only released two weeks ago and there are 17 songs competing. Unfortunately, that didn’t give us enough time to listen to and review all 17 songs like we would normally.

However, nine of our jury members have listened to all of the studio versions of the songs. They will rank their top five songs and give a review of their absolute favourite — just like with Albania, Spain, Italy and Denmark earlier this season. This year, our jury members come from Australia, Croatia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Spain and Iceland. So, which songs at Beovizija would we like to see represent Serbia at Eurovision 2018? Find out below.


1. Maja Nikolic – “Zemlja cuda”

Zemlja Cuda is a positively boisterous and eccentric song that should provide a truly fun and unique performance on the night of Beovizija – it will stand out! This song falls under the category of turbo-folk, which is a genre that has not been heard as of yet at Eurovision. Her bold voice matches quite well with this song and this genre as a whole. As well as a song that has an addictive beat flowing together with Balkan instruments, this would best represent Serbia if chosen.

2. Danijel Pavlovic – “Ruza sudbine”
3. Igor Lazarevic – “Bezi od mene”
4. Dusan Svilar – “Pod krosnjom bagrema”
5. Boris Rezak – “Vila”


1. Maja Nikolic – “Zemlja cuda”

Maja Nikolic stands out as the clear highlight of Beovizija. “Zemlja cuda” is a perfect marriage between traditional Balkan sounds and modern electropop. It takes very traditional sounds and makes them sound modern. My only concern is how they will stage the pop drop. That will make or break the song as it could either fall apart on stage or become a Balkan masterpiece. “Zemlja cuda” could get Serbia back to the grand final and could push for the left side of the leaderboard as long as the staging is right.

2. Sanja Ilic & Balkanika – “Nova deca”
3. Biber & DJ Niko Bravo – “Svatovi”
4. Lord – “Samo nek se okrece”
5. Boris Rezak – “Vila”


1.  Lord – “Samo nek se okrece”

Whilst it may not be the catchiest melody, the production is absolutely brimming with personality and is infectiously fun. The elements of folk and electro-swing make for a very interesting sound and it’s impossible not to tap your feet along. With a clever visual performance and a subtle revamp for more peaks and pits, I think this is the one song that would get Serbia into the grand final.

2. Boris Režak – “Vila”
3. Danijel Pavlovic – “Ruža sudbine”
4. Saska Janks – “Pesma za tebe”
5. Maja Nikolic – “Zemlja cuda”


1. Sanja Ilic & Balkanika – “Nova deca”

This is my number one by quite some way. “Nova deca” is decidedly Balkan, yet the drum beat and mystery of the song produces something that appeals to all. The electronic sounds added towards the end help keep it slightly more palatable for western ears, but eastern European countries may vote for this on mass if everything works out. However, note the word ‘if’. Staging could make or break this. The song as a whole is mainly one big crescendo, with a notable one-minute vocal introduction. If people aren’t gripped from the very first note then many may have already tuned out before it has a chance to get going.

2. Biber & DJ Niko Bravo – “Svatovi”
3. Maja Nikolic – “Zemlja cuda”
4. Igor Lazarevic – “Bezi od mene”
5. Danijel Pavlovic – “Ruza sudbine”


1.- Maja Nikolic – “Zemlja cuda”

Serbia’s selection this year is painfully weak. None of these entries make an impact, so in case of doubt, go for turbo folk. Maja brings a ridiculously fun entry, which lends itself so well for Moldova-like crazy staging. It may not be the best song and something tells me she won’t be able to sing live, but in a field of languid ballads, weird folk combinations and ‘not-so-good’ Balkan ballad attempts, this one has to take the trophy.

2. Lord – “Samo nek se okrece”
3. Rambo Amadeus & Beti Dordevic – “Nema te”
4. SevdahBABY – “Hajde da igramo sada”
5. Boris Rezak – “Vila”


1. Sanja Ilic & Balkanika – “Nova deca”

In a gruelling selection that is this year’s Beovizija, “Nova Deca” is a clear stand out to me. Captivating and epic, this is a throwback to the good old Balkan Eurovision entries of late noughties, yet it still sounds fresh and unique to my ears. The band can certainly deliver it with passion and chemistry – as evident by their concert recordings on Youtube. After a string of mixed results with English language songs, Serbia slowly harks back to their good old safe zone, and Sanja Ilic and Balkanika might make them proud this time.

2. Biber & DJ Niko Bravo – “Svatovi”
3. Saska Janks – “Pesma za tebe”
4. Igor Lazarevic – “Bezi od mene”
5. Danijel Pavlovic – “Ruža sudbine”


1. Biber & DJ Niko Bravo – “Svatovi”

There are a few songs that could easily serve as Serbia’s song for Lisbon, but this is the only song I’ve happily wanted to listen to multiple times. “Svatovi” combines electronic sounds with traditional Balkan instrumentation. And it manages to feel like a necessary combination, not a mash-up for the take of national-final box ticking. It’s a year that’s looking likely to be full of slow and serious songs, it will be nice to have somethng with a bit of life in it.

2. Rambo Amadeus & Beti Dordevic – “Nema te”
3. Maja Nikolic – “Zemlja cuda”
4. SevdahBABY – “Hajde da igramo sada”
5. Sanja Ilic & Balkanika – “Nova deca”


1. Maja Nikolic – “Zemlja cuda”

I don’t know why I love this – but goshdarnit I do. Maybe it’s the memories of Moldova’s “Hey Mamma”. Maybe it’s Maja’s circus ringleader-inspired attire – which opens up staging opportunities to knock Lisbon out. But the truth is – my ears to Balkan turbo folk is like bees to honey. It’s definitely not the best example of the turbo folk genre, but it’s gooey and sweet pop nonetheless. Here’s hoping Maja the ringleader heralds a wave of entries from the genre to the Eurovision contest. It needs it.

2. Lord – “Samo nek se okrece”
3. Danijel Pavlovic – “Ruža sudbine”
4. Sanja Ilic & Balkanika – “Nova deca”
5. SevdahBABY – “Hajde da igramo sada”


1. Maja Nikolic – “Zemlja cuda”

The way pop and traditional Balkan sounds are mixed together keep me captivated. It has the elements of turbo-folk, not quite full on Goran Bregovic but like they made a lite version of it to suit Eurovision. This song keeps the Serbian characteristics but at the same time has the international feel to interest European audience that are maybe not that used to the Balkan sound. This might not be a full-on Balkan festival, but it satisfies my Balkan craving I get every year.

2. Rambo Amadeus & Beti Dordevic – “Nema te”
3. Sanja Ilic & Balkanika – “Nova deca”
4. Boris Rezak – “Vila”
5. Lord – “Samo nek se okrece”

Which juror’s opinion do you most agree with? Who do you think should win Beovizija and represent Serbia at Eurovision this year? Let us know in the comment section down below!

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