He’s one of only a handful of performers to secure two podium finishes at Eurovision. Yet Serbia’s Zeljko Joksimovic has never won the contest. And judging from a recent interview, he has no plans to return a third time and try for a victory.

Speaking to avaz.ba, the man who placed second in 2004 and third in 2012 confirmed that he had no interest in a comeback.

“I would never again participate in the Eurosong as a performer”.

Thankfully, that leaves the door open for him to pen yet another banging Balkan ballad. He’s written many in the past, most recently “Adio” for Montenegro’s Knez in 2015.

And his Twitter activity proves that be bears no ill-will against the contest. Replying to two — frankly misguided — Twitter users who claimed to no longer watch the contest, Zeljko said:

“no! It’s still the best and biggest music show in the world.”

He ended his Tweet with a winky face emoji.

It’s a tweet that we’re more than happy to endorse.

But while a Eurovision return might be out of the question, Zeljko still continues to drop the hits.

In June we got “Ponelo Me”. And you’ll struggle to find a Balkan balladeer deliver a boppier bop. Replete with all the traditional Balkan ballad elements, including some essential flute, Zeljko adds a surprise element to the mix – dance! He sings of a perfect night of passion as we tap our toes.

Zeljko Joksimovic “Ponelo Me” (Official Music Video)

Back in January he teamed up with Serbian singer-songwriter, actress and model Emina Jahovic for “Dva Aviona” (Two Planes). She previously attempted to represent Bosnia & Herzegovina at Eurovision 2002 and Serbia in 2010.

“Dva Aviona” is a change of pace for Zeljko, in that it contains very few noticeable Balkan flavours. Instead, it’s a down-tempo modern pop number. Emina leads with the “Lane Moje” hitmaker chiming in on the chorus. The lyrics are laced with danger and darkness. They’re suspicious of one another and both predict catastrophe “We’re like two planes in the pitch dark / We can’t see either / The engine’s only dust”.

The music video is rather literal, as the pair stalk broodily around an airplane hangar. Meanwhile, two actors play out the relationship breakdown.

Emina feat. Zeljko Joksimovic – Dva Aviona (Official Music Video)

Zeljko Joksimovic at Eurovision: Zeljko first took to the Eurovision stage in 2004, placing second with “Lane Moje” for Serbia & Montenegro. He returned eight years later to sing “Nije ljubav stvar” for a now independent Serbia. On that occasion he secured bronze.

In between his two stints, he wrote entries for Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Hari Mata Hari in 2006 and Serbia’s Jelena Tomašević in 2008. He also co-hosted the 2008 contest in Belgrade. His most recent dalliance with the contest came in 2015 when he wrote “Adio” for Knez. The entry finished 13th, giving Montenegro it’s best ever result.

What has he been up to since? Away from Eurovision, Zeljko has released numerous singles. These include “Zabluda” and “Ranjena zver”. He also acted as a judge on the pan-regional X Factor Adria. In 2013, he married his Eurovision 2008 co-host Jovana Jankovic. The pair welcomed twins last year.

What do you think of Zeljko’s comments? Is he right to say no to a comeback? And what about his new music? Let us know in the comments below.


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5 years ago

Great artist, I love his ballads, ”Lejla” is my favourite.

5 years ago

It was him and Sakis Rouvas who converted me into a fan. I’ve always loved hims music, my faves are Amalija and Ludak kao ja.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Mr. Vanilla Bean
5 years ago

I think he is one of the best songwriters ever at Eurovision. I do not care that it’s always the same formula, I love his Balkan ballads filled with sorrow and misery. Adio was no exception, very beautiful. So obviously, I’d love to see him writing more songs for Eurovision. As a performer, I don’t like to see him back, though.

5 years ago

You do know Zeljko doesn¨t only write music in traditional Balkan sounds, right? He is a versatile song-writer. The dramatic change isn¨t dramatic if you know anything about him..

5 years ago

Write about Tamara ( Tako’s) engagement to Borislav Milanov! I was so surprised