Deban: Zeljko sets the mood with “Nije Ljubav Stvar,” and by doing so, he inadvertently elevates the overall level of taste present in the second semi final. The instruments feature heavily as part of the spotlight. His voice translates as an added instrument. Complimentary, yet audibly stronger. The slightest movement is choreographed to the finest detail. His backing band glide slowly, and then re-assemble towards the end on an and LED cloud backdrop. Very simple, yet, so effective. Already, I’m on cloud 9 and this is only the first rehearsal!
Wiwi: Zeljko remains a front-runner in our poll “Who Will Win Eurovision 2012?“—and his first rehearsal seriously justifies that placement. His act harks back to the days of Eurovision’s live orchestra when music was the centerpiece, a time when sequins and large breasts were merely after-thoughts. We’ve written extensively about Serbia’s love affair with the wooden flute at Eurovision, so I was thrilled to see the Jesus look-a-like given prime billing with his wooden recorder. The instrumentalists that fade in and out of our attention, along with their long instrumental passages and a stunning LED light display, help this performance build gradually and cleanly. Once Zeljko slips into his traditional Serbian costume, this is gonna be even fiercer.