After Eurovision 2019 in Tel Aviv – and after a fourth consecutive non-qualification – the Montenegrin broadcaster decided to say audio. His money, he said, would be better spent buying five vehicles to bolster the security of the broadcaster’s fleet.
Two years later, we were fortunate to have good news. The Balkan nation that gave us the Who See astronaut suits and Slavko’s flying hair braid are back in the game. And who knows. Maybe their Eurovision 2022 star will be transported around Podgorica on very nice wheels.
At the end of October, Montenegrin broadcaster RTCG opened submissions for its selection of songs for Eurovision 2022. The process comes with the curious rule that demos must be submitted anonymously: CDs or USBs from the demos should be placed in a large envelope, with the details of the applicant’s identity sealed in a smaller envelope inside. It seems their eccentricity isn’t limited to the stage!
As we celebrate Montenegro’s return to Italy, it’s time to look back on its wonders of yesteryear. Re-take a look at the previous eleven country entries below. Then vote in our poll to tell us which one is your favorite.
2007: Stevan Faddy “‘Ajde, kroÄi” – 22nd in the semi-final
Stevan won the country’s national selection in a landslide, earning the right to be the very first singer to represent the country at Eurovision after gaining independence from Serbia.
The Montenegrin title of the song translates to “Come on, come in”, but it seems that Europe has kept its distance. The song finished 22nd in the semi-finals out of 28 countries.
2008: Stefan FilipoviÄ “Zauvijek volim te” – 14th in the semi-final
Stefan Filipovic once again performed in the national language. “Zauvijek volim te” (I love you forever) is a pop-rock love song in which he asks his beloved to “be his again”. Europe was not influenced. The song finished 14th of 19 in Semifinal 1, although it got 12 points from Bosnia and Herzegovina, 10 from Slovenia and 1 from San Marino.
2009: Andrea DemiroviÄ âJust Get Out of My Lifeâ – 11th in the semi-final
For some reason, Montenegro favors male performers, but the one time they sent a female lead they did pretty well. In 2009, Andrea DemiroviÄ delivered the sassy “Just Get Out of My Life” bop. He narrowly missed qualifying, placing 11th in his semi-final.
The upbeat bop was all about Andrea breaking free from Mr. Wrong. Let’s just say that the character she portrayed would be not be in the lyrics of “I Wanna Be Your Slave” by MÃ¥neskin. As she sings: “Get out of my, out of my, out of my head, out of my, out of my, out of my bed, it’s amazing, but it’s true, I’ve become your slave … “
Of course, there’s a lyrical twist to the song’s very last bar, which suggests that she isn’t as determined in her decision as the previous three minutes suggest.
2012: Rambo Amadeus “Euro Neuro” – 15th in the semi-final
In 2012, âEuro Neuroâ offered an indirect social commentary on the state of the European Union, the financial crisis and ecological issues. But did Rambo Amadeus also comment on Montenegro at Eurovision Song Contest, when he sang? “I have no ambition for a high position in competition”?
Her music video featured a donkey. So our reviewer Meows Kitty got his claws after his first rehearsal, which came with a donkey of a different kind. She wrote: âI can’t make out any of the words coming out of Rambo’s mouth with the drums and horns in the background. It’s just a bunch of random noises and ramblings. The donkey that made the song famous was also on stage, but it wasn’t a real one. I think the accessory is completely useless if Rambo doesn’t want to mount it.
2013: Who See “Igranka” – 12th in the semi-final
âIgrankaâ by Who See and Nina Å½iÅ¾iÄ is perhaps best known as an amazing drum ‘n’ bass song performed by two astronauts and a space diva. But as our Robyn pointed out, hidden in the lyrics is a recipe for a delicious fish dish. The astronauts rap, “Grill some garlic, parsley and fish, give me everything so I can overeat.” It’s a simple yet classic flavor combination, perfect for showcasing freshly caught Montenegrin seafood.
By the way, “Igranka” not qualifying (despite fourth place with televoting) is the biggest heist already and we’re still angry about it.
2014: Sergej ÄetkoviÄ âMoj svijetâ – 19th in the grand final
While some countries still send songs in English, Montenegro is not afraid to mix things up. Six of the country’s ten entries – including their two qualifiers – were in Montenegrin, covering rock, rap, and of course Balkan ballads.
Our Romanian blogger Bogdan was in love. At the time, he wrote: âAlthough Balkan music is not my jam, I love ‘Moj Svijet’. Even without the cinematic video, the song transports you to this beautiful part of the world and makes you fall in love with its colors, rhythms and sounds. (Too bad it ends so abruptly.) Sergej sounds a bit like Zeljko and ‘Moj Svijet’ is similar to ‘Lane Moje’, which makes sense: he represented Serbia and Montenegro ten years ago.
2015: Knez “Adio” – 13th in the grand final
Montenegro is famous for its unusual entrances, but it can also deliver an emotional Balkan ride. Their two qualifications in the grand final were with Balkan ballads, including Knezthe mighty âAdioâ, who placed 13th in 2015. Our Robyn was a fan. Here’s what she wrote ahead of Eurovision that year.
âThere is something very intriguing about this song. It has a nice melody and Knez brings some seriousness to the performance. I think it could be the kind of song that really comes to life on stage. And I hope the five women in the clip make it to Vienna as well – they have a bit of the classic Montenegro weirdness without being too weird.
2016: Highway “The Real Thing” – 13th in the semi-final
This is the year that Montenegro sent a X factor group of boys. Except it wasn’t your typical X factor group of boys. Highway delivered the full-fledged stoner rock of “The Real Thing” in 2016. The band brought a lot of rock attitude as they hid in the dark on the Stockholm stage.
Love was hard to find with our reviews, which ranked it 43rd out of 43 songs we reviewed that year. Antranig wrote, âMusically I really like this song in the chorus – it sounds like it was made for the soundtrack of a racing game. However, their vocals are absolutely horrible and she would probably feature on the soundtrack of My Worst Nightmares. Singing “inside you” over and over almost justifies a phone call to the Montenegrin authorities. “
2017: Slavko KaleziÄ âSpaceâ – 16th in the semi-final
In 2017, Slavko took a break from his daily acting work and graced us not only with her smoldering beauty, but also her one-meter-long braid. With âSpaceâ he took us to his intergalactic garden of sensual delights and delivered one of the most memorable hairstyles of all time. Her stunning clip has left a lot of people saying WTF. But I really admired his bravery. Here is what I wrote at the time in our review of the Wiwi jury.
âIt takes a brave man to spend three minutes shirtless while pushing his hairpiece back six feet. And Slavko is a very brave man. From his talk about wet dreams to his references to ejaculation, he goes where no Eurovision singer has gone before – then he pushes and drops to punctuate his arrival. Musically, he managed to pull the disco in 2017, delivering a piece of feel-good that is expected to attract votes from all over Europe. It’s Montenegro’s best entry yet and – in Conchita and Cleo’s vein – he could climb the table despite being split. Slayko, Indeed!”
2018: Vanja RadovanoviÄ “Inje” – 16th in the semi-final
In 2018, Montenegro restarted its national team Montevizija after several years of internal selections. Vanja, the only male competitor on the pitch, wowed with her beautiful voice – deep, soft, resonant and filled with emotion. That he achieved this in a hotel conference room deserves applause.
Even so, our Croatian blogger Anthony found his song pale compared to the great ballads the country had sent in the past. He wrote: “Homecoming for Montenegro with their proven formula – a good old vintage Balkan ballad sung entirely in Montenegrin … But ‘Inje’ lacks depth and ends up sounding a bit repetitive to even be considered in the same league as “Moj Svijet” and “Adio”.
2019: D mol “Heaven” – 16th in the semi-final
Our Icelandic writer Kristin gave it a 3 out of 10.
It’s like the final soundtrack of a Disney movie straight to DVD. Does anyone remember The little mermaid 2? No? Well, well, because “Heaven” is the tune you’d hear in there! D mol are very accomplished singers and together they harmonize perfectly, but this song does not do them justice. It’s sad, sappy and forgettable. Montenegro left the building. Thanks, then.
Australian Sebastian, however, saw charms and handed him a 7.5
I feel love for D mol – simply for the fact that they are trying something aural different in a sea of ââfamiliar sounds. As a recorded track, “Heaven” sounds like a ’90s track, picked up by the cast of Glee. And it is exactly these clean and young harmonies that bring so much joy to this piece. It might be dated, and we’ve seen the standard key change and the white clad look before – but it’s still a bop. Seeing such an important group on stage is something that Eurovision is sorely lacking.