Earlier this year Beovizija — its rebooted national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest — took Serbia back to the final after a one-year absence. And today national broadcaster RTS has confirmed its participation in Eurovision 2019 and made clear it’s sticking with the Beovizija format.
They made the announcement on Twitter, using the #Beovizija hashtag.
Serbian Broadcasting Corporation – RTS has confirmed its participation in Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Israel! Public anonymous competition for interested participants is open for entries until November 1st 2018!@Eurovision #Eurovision #ESC #SerbiaESC #Beovizija
— RTS | Serbia ESC (@SerbiaESC) August 8, 2018
The representative will be chosen through the national final Beovizija. The system of voting at Beovizija will be the same as the last year — 50% juries, 50% public vote.
In order to determine a lineup for the final, RTS will organise an anonymous pre-selection. Songwriters and artists have until November 1 to submit their songs.
After that a specially organised committee will evaluate the songs without knowing the composer or performer and will then come up with a list of finalists.
The emphasis on the anonymous quality of the selection of songs may stem from controversy that erupted last year.
The final results of Beovizija always draws its share of drama, whether it’s the voting methods or the criteria by which Radio Television of Serbia chooses the contestants. In 2018 the same issues sprang up regarding the victory of Sanja Ilic and Balkanika.
The controversy began the moment the list of participants was announced. Balkanika, the much-experienced group led by well-known musician Aleksandar “Sanja” Ilic, immediately emerged as the favourites for the win, with some even claiming the victory was fixed for them from the start.
One of the strongest reactions came from Danijel Pavlovic, who competed at Beovizija with the song “Ruza sudbine”. He openly attacked Ivana Peters, the composer of Serbia’s 2016 entry and a member of the jury, saying that she deliberately gave him a low score to make sure Balkanika won.
Drama aside, Beovizija 2018 was among the highest quality of all national selections leading up to Eurovision 2018. It stoked fan interest in the contest and drew a lot of social media commentary.
Eurovision winner Marija Serifovic was less impressed and made that clear on a Serbian chat show.
“Beovizija looked a bit scary, a bit funny, a bit bizarre to me. I really believe that in this country we have fifteen decent singers that should compete there and fifteen decent authors that can write fifteen decent songs for those artists.”
“Sanja Ilic and Balkanika definitely were the best that night. The only act that really made sense there. […] The only question here is what kind of selection those songs had passed through. What was the criteria?”
“All in all, I think we can do so much better than that.”
Are you excited that Beovizija is back? What acts do you want to enter? Let us know down below!