The former Yugoslavian republics really have given Eurovision a lot. In fact some might even say that before the breakdown of Yugoslavia and the dismantling of the USSR, Eurovision was all a little pedestrian. Now it has come of age, you see these countries were largely shut off from the Western world during the eighties, so now they are playing catch-up and from what I can tell it’s up to the early 90’s in most of these places.
Beer – Jelen Pivo. It is absolutely what you would expect from a European pilsener, slightly wheaty, very sweet and little hop character. Probably best summed up by Jordan when she asked ‘Am I drinking the Serbian Carlton Draught?’ Best to avoid this one if you can – Pot.
Highlights and Lowlights – So much to choose from here, but I’m going to restrict it to the last three years, in order.
2009 – Marko Kon and Milaan – A fat Colonel Mustard with a Afro, a Balerina throwing a tantrum and a Robin Hood reject with a piano accordion and some very questionable ‘dancing.’ The song is about how Fat Colonel Mustard has old shoes and the women didn’t want him until he got rich. I think the reason the ladies didn’t like Marko had nothing to do with his shoes. Poor Marko didn’t even make it out of his semi final.
2010 – Milan Stankovic with a happy little number called Ovo Je Balkan which is mainly in Serbian, although apparently the chorus is English, which comes are news to me. Here is the chorus:
Balkan, Balkan, Balkan, this is Balkan, come on!
Hop, hop, hop, this is Balkan, come on!
The rest of the song appears to be about a girl called Ljubica, who is kissing our little blonde friend (I would have thought he wasn’t that interested in that, but whatever). And the lyric of the day, translated into English is ‘Hey, Hey, Hey Ljubica, Ljubica, your breasts are a deadly weapon’. Then he says Belgrade a few times in what I can only suggest is product placement by the Belgradian Tourist board. Tie all that up with a natty jacket, some white jeans that look like they are failing down, pink boots and a Jeanne Pratt crossed with Flock of Seagulls haircut and you have a Eurovision classic. Milan finished 13th.
2011 – Nina with a song called Caroban. I have to admit I actually like this song and not even in an ironic so-bad- it’s-good way, I would actually like it outside the confines of Eurovision. Sure it’s a 60’s throwback with an Austin Powers vibe, but it’s just so damn catchy and the shimmy in the chorus, brilliant. Oh and when translated it makes sense and is actually quite a nice Didoesque song about having a bad day and coming home to your man who is magical (Caroban). Nina once again proved good songs that make sense don’t win Eurovision – she finished 14th.
2012 Form – A moody piano and string quartet number, combined with Serbian Kenny G. It’s in English which is a plus but it’s still boring. Might make the final, but that’s about it.
Random Fact about Serbia: Serbia are the largest raspberry exporters in the world – in fact they account for a third of all the raspberries grown in the world. Makes you wonder why they don’t make more sour beers really.