Eurovision 2016 – Serbia: Goodbye ‘Shelter’ (Sanja Vučić)

Get past the odd pseudo-Amy Winehouse vocal performance and slightly contrived stage presence and you’ll find something rather pleasing about the chorus in Serbia’s song for Eurovision 2016. This may have something to do with the hint of an acoustic orchestral backing track which helps give the whole thing a sense of drama and depth.

The preview video lends the whole thing a sense of integrity, something lacking from a lot of this year’s entries. On the whole it’s a gratifyingly balanced number that consistently holds my attention. Its weakness will be her stage act, whatever it turns out to be – it could quite easily be ruined and then mocked.

Bojano Stamenov sang ‘Beauty Never Lies‘ for Serbia last year, and secured the country an impressive 10th place in the final. But their highest placing (after their win with the ponderous ‘Molitva in 2007) was the ravishing ‘Nije Ljubav Stvar‘ (don’t worry, I can’t pronounce it either) sung by Željko Joksimović, a song which keeps the original spirit of Eurovision alive. It came in 3rd.

2014’s sixties-infused ‘Caroban‘ (14th) is worth a look. Be warned, 2010’s ‘Ovo je Balkan‘ (13th) still makes me want to punch someone. As noted in Montenegro’s review, Željko Joksimović’s appearance for Serbia and Montenegro in 2004 (2nd) still knocks the socks off all of them, including this year’s.

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