Wiwibloggs is launching a new series looking at all the countries currently competing in the Eurovision Song Contest and why we love them — for all the right (and sometimes wrong) reasons. We’re kicking things off today with Montenegro.

The small Balkan nation has been represented at Eurovision since 1961, first as part of Yugoslavia, then as Serbia and Montenegro, and finally as an independent nation from 2007. They might not have the strongest track record at Eurovision, but they have delivered some of the most memorable performances. We look at ten reasons why we love Montenegro at Eurovision.

1. They brought back Montevizija

It’s understandable that one of the smallest countries in Europe would use internal selection to pick their act for Eurovision. But Eurofans love a national final and were delighted when RTCG brought back Montevizija in 2018. It may only have had five competing acts, but it was still a treat to watch.

2. They can deliver a rockin’ guitar solo

Normally Albania is the go-to country for ’80s-style rock guitar. But it turns out that their northern neighbour can also deliver the goods. In Montenegro’s debut in 2007, while Stevan Faddy urged the audience to “‘Ajde, kroči”, his band delivered some serious guitar work.

3. They were behind one of the most iconic songs in the Yugoslavia era

In 1983, Yugoslavia sent the dreamy Croatian-Montenegrin singer Danijel with the super cute Montenegrin song “Džuli” (Julie). It was a favourite to win the contest and ended up placing fourth — one of Yugoslavia’s best results. Juuuuuuulie!

4. Whatever it was that was going on with “Euroneuro”

In 2012, “Euroneuro” offered indirect social commentary on the state of the European Union, the financial crisis and ecological issues. But did Rambo Amadeus also sneak in some commentary on Montenegro at Eurovision, when he sang “I got no ambition for high position in competition”?

5. Two words: Slavko Kalezić

In 2017, Slavko took a break from his day job as an actor and graced us with not just his smouldering good looks but also his metre-long braid. With “Space”, he took us to his intergalactic garden of sensual delights and delivered some of the most memorable hairography ever.

6. They embrace their national language

While some countries always send songs in English, Montenegro isn’t afraid to mix things up. Six of the country’s ten entries — including their two qualifiers — have been in Montenegrin, spanning rock, rap, and of course Balkan ballads.

7. One of their songs includes a delicious fish recipe

Who See and Nina Žižić‘s “Igranka” might be best known as an amazing drum ‘n’ bass song performed by two astronauts and a space diva. But hidden within the lyrics is a recipe for a delicious fish dish. The astronauts rap, “Grill garlic, parsley and fish, give me all so I can overeat”. It’s a simple but classic combination of flavours, perfect to highlight freshly caught Montenegrin seafood.

By the way, “Igranka” not qualifying (despite placing fourth with the televote) is the biggest robbery ever and we are still upset about it.

8. They sent an X Factor boy band

Except it wasn’t your typical X Factor boy band. Highway delivered the full-on stoner rock of “The Real Thing” in 2016. The band brought loads of rock attitude as they lurked in the darkness on the Stockholm stage.

9. They can get serious with a good Balkan ballad

Montenegro has a reputation for their unusual entries, but they can also deliver an emotional Balkan ballad. Their two grand final qualifications have been with Balkan ballads, including Knez‘s powerful “Adio”, which placed 13th in 2015.

10. Once they even sent a female singer

For some reason, Montenegro favours male performers, but the one time they sent a female lead, they did quite well. In 2009, Andrea Demirović delivered the sassy bop “Just Get Out of My Life”. It narrowly missed out on qualifying, placing 11th in its semi.

Bonus fact! They opened their semi-final three times in a row

In 2008, 2009 and 2012, Montenegro was the first act to perform in their semi-final (they didn’t compete in 2010 and 2011). This run of bad luck ended in 2013 when the randomly-decided running order was switched to a more sympathetic producer-decided draw and Montenegro started qualifying.

Read more Montenegro Eurovision news here

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Christian
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Christian

Igranka was for me one of their worst songs. I enjoy Adio and Džuli the most. Džuli was even a big hit in my country!

MusicIstheKey
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MusicIstheKey

Monteegro sometimes has musically “risky” songs. I like that

Loin dici
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Loin dici

Igranka.

Let’s figure out how much dislikes we get.

AngieP
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AngieP

Great idea wiwiteam! I love this kind of stuff! Quick story: In 2015 Knez represented the small nation with “Adio”. It’s still my favourite Montenegrin entry ever! I remember how I loved it and most people said it’s all the same again, we’ve heard it a thousand times, it’s nothing new, etc. But if a song is good it doesn’t get lost. And that’s what happened with “Adio”. When the majority was watching Montenegro out of the final, I jumped out of my chair when they were announced. And 13th place is a respectable place if we talk about Montenegro.… Read more »

MyName
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MyName

Two good reasons to love Montenegro: The Real Thing and Igranka

Ana
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Ana

Number 9 is for me. I love their ballads. But I’m also a fan of Dzuli! 😀

Alex
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Alex

“Montenegro has a reputation for their unusual entries, but they can also deliver an emotional Balkan ballad. Their two grand final qualifications have been with Balkan ballads, including Knez‘s powerful “Adio”, which placed 13th in 2016.”

2015*

Maya G
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Maya G

What the juries did to Who See in 2013 makes a excellent case against letting the juries vote.
The public voted for Montenegro in great numbers, a modern, relevant contemporary song with a great performance that obviously appeals to a wide audience while representing local culture.
The juries destroyed it and gave the ticket to the final to some lukewarm song that failed to impress the public.

Polegend Godgarina
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Garlic and delicious don’t belong in the same sentence

Roma
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Roma

so true

Loin dici
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Loin dici

You can chop some garlic in an egg batter, fry it, and get yourself a delicious fried egg.

See? A sentence!

Dami Im Cosita
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Dami Im Cosita

They really know how to start the party back in 2009

Marcelo
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Marcelo

Your name…

JEFFERSON
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JEFFERSON

Montenegro 2013 sucked! 2009,2014,2015 and 2016 were decent and excellent songs.

Henry
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Henry

They should just keep being another Georgia and wait till they find another Igranka. These poorer countries definitely struggle to get good songs and stagings.

danja
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danja

KNEZ IS ICONIC! we love a balkan king:))))

Marcelo
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Marcelo

First of all, congratulations on the new series. I think is a great idea and that showing some love is great, specially for Montenegro, which is one of Eurovision’s less popular countries among the community. And I agree with all of your reasons, except one. Freaking Slavko! Let me put it this simple, he was the rock bottom of all of Montenegro’s entries. Yeah, he was different and original but unlike “Toy” or Verka Serduchka, there was almost nothing decent or really attracting about that entry. “Toy” had Netta’s charisma and overall character, it was a decent, original and catchy… Read more »

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

I read your comment, Marcelo. It wasn’t that long. 🙂
Slavko is amazing live, bringing so much energy and charisma to his performances. Not musically perfect, but certainly a star.
Personally, my favourite Montenegro song is “Moj Svijet” (2014).

Marcelo
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Marcelo

Maybe in other performances, but that’s not what I saw in Kyiv (via YouTube, lol). Again, nothing against the guy and he’s probably well talented

Marcelo
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Marcelo

And charismatic and all. But again, I still find Montenegro 2017 to be one heck of a trainwreck.

P.S:. I lost my two likes, lol.

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

Indeed, I was referring to what I saw of him live in London. 🙂 Sadly, I wasn’t at Kyiv.

MyName
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MyName

I didn’t like Slavko as a performer, but I loved his 70s funk styled song.

Weißbrot
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Weißbrot

Yep, the -6 likes seem totally NOT suspicious at all lol.

Ugnius
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Ugnius

I think they are doing it just for fun, not on purpose 😀

Tosh
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Tosh

Montenegro is a footnote in Eurovision. And for good reasons!

JackTheBoy
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JackTheBoy

From Montenegro I like their 2015, 2013, 2014 and 2009 entries. The last three entries of them were horrendous tbh… Hopefully they’ll be back on track next year.

Marcelo
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Marcelo

Bringing Montevizija back was definitely a step in the right decision. And “Inje” was definitely a breath of fresh air, specially after the trainwreck that was “Space”.

Hopefully this string of bad placements won’t make them withdraw from the contest (apparently RTCG is currently debating on participating next year in Israel). It will be definitely sad if they left, specially just one year after bringing back Montevizija.

Davve
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Davve

Yeah what is up with these countries and mid tempo 80s rock songs. It is dull and honestly really bad.

Eastman
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Eastman

Knez was a revelation. Adio remains one of my favorite songs.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Aye! He was my #2 before the 2015 contest and his performance was my #2 in the contest. If he had represented a bigger country with “Adio”, it surely would have made the top 5. They should send him to ESC 2019; him or Sergej Cetkovic.

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

I absolutely LOVE Igranka… You can’t imagine how mad I am that it didn’t qualify. Also, I feel like Montenegro doesn’t give a damn and I like that. They always just send whatever they want. It’s similar to what Georgia’s doing every year, they don’t go with the mainstream, they try out new things. I mean, some of the songs these countries have sent were kind of… weird. But at least they try to bring something new.

MyName
Guest
MyName

I agree, both Montenegro and (especially) Georgia, has had some great daring innovative songs

Breebroo1
Guest

Sue me, but Igranka is my all time favorite Eurovision song

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

That should have made the Grand Final in 2013, even if barely.

EscAU
Guest
EscAU

aaa the first time i watched esc on tv in 2009 i still remember singing ‘get out of my head get out of my bed’ XD