Glossy wave icon. Free flag icons from SerbiaSERBIA
BROADCASTER
SONG   "Nije Ljubav Stvar" (Love Is Not A Thing)
SINGER   Željko Joksimović
MUSIC   Željko Joksimović 
LYRICS   Marina Tucaković & Miloš Roganović
DRAW   #1 in the second semi-final

 

THIS YEAR'S ENTRY

Several Serbia songs represented Yugoslavia, until the break-up of the country in 1992. Following a period in the wilderness, Serbia & Montenegro returned to Eurovision 2004 and it was a Serbia song that brought them into second place in Amsterdam. After Serbia and Montenegro went their separate ways in 2006, the first entry by the independent Serbia won the contest in 2007 and since then, Serbia has only missed out on one Eurovision final.

On November 18th, Serbia broadcaster RTS confirmed its participation in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku and announced that Željko Joksimović would be the Serbian entrant. It will be Joksimović's fourth participation in the event having been the singer and composer of Serbia & Montenegro's entry in 2004, the composer of the Bosnian entry in 2006 and the Serbian entry in 2007 when he also presented the contest in Belgrade.

The 2012 Eurovision entry was presented in a special show broadcast on March 10th and Serbian and English versions were performed. A few days later, it was confirmed that Zeljko will sing the Serbian version of the song "Nije Ljubav Stvar" (Love Is Not an Object) in Baku.

 

BIOGRAPHY

He was runner up in the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest as a performer, took third and sixth places respectively as a composer in the 2006 and 2008 contests. And as if that wasn't enough experience of Europe's Favourite TV Show, Željko Joksimović also co-hosted the 2008 contest in Belgrade. This year he is back as a performer, aiming to take the title back to Serbia with the self composed Nije Ljubav Stvar.

Željko Joksimović was born on the 20th of April, 1972. in Belgrade, Serbia. At 12 years of age, he won the prestigious First Accordion of Europe award at the music festival in Paris. He attended the University of Musical Arts in Belgrade and is one of rare musicians who knows how to play 14 different instruments.

His professional music career has continuously been on the rise. During the 1990's he achieved consecutive success at the Belgrade Spring festival as a composer. In addition to performing, Željko also composed music for theatre productions.

The defining year in the career of Željko Joksimović was 2004. when he won the national song contest for Serbia and Montenegro with the song Lane Moje. After many years, Serbia and Montenegro got their representative at the prestigious Eurovision Song Contest, where he finished in second place in the Final. The success at the Eurovision Song Contest changed the direction of Željko's career. This is proven by the results that he achieved in the following years.

In December of 2005 Željko's fourth album sold over 500.000 copies. In terms of quality, this album represents a big step forward in his career - during this period Željko also ventured into composing music for films. The Eurovision success repeated once again in 2006, when his composition Lejla for Hari Mata Hari, the representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina won third place.

September of 2007 was marked by the sixth regional Balkan radio festival in which 22 pop stars from the region competed. The Grand Prix was won by Željko for his hit song Devojka. At the most prestigious music festival in Serbia, Beovizija in 2008, he composed the winning song Oro, performed by Jelena Tomašević. It was this song that represented Serbia, the host of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2008.

Serbian Broadcasting Corporation and the EBU gave Željko the role of the host of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest, held in Belgrade along with Jovana Janković. Jelena Tomašević and the song Oro Finished in sixth place in the Final.

Serbian broadcaster RTS revealed the exciting news that Željko Joksimović would once again represent his country on the 57th Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan 2012.

Željko has been given complete control over the Serbian entry. He will both compose and perform the entry, which was presented to the public for the first time in a show on Serbian television in early 2012. This will be Željko's fourth attempt at winning the competition.

 

REACTION

The return of one of the most popular and successful singers and songwriters in Eurovision history raised interest in the Serbia song, long before it was eventually presented. From the moment that the song was performed, Serbia took a place in the bookmakers Top 5 most likely winners and the most certain qualifier from the second semi-final, despite the earliest possible draw. Internet polls have also rated the song highly 

There has been very limited international promotion for the entry, with most attention being put into gaining support in the Balkans. A Russian version has been recorded for the former Soviet market and the song has been re-arranged, since it was originally presented.

 

REHEARSAL SCHEDULE (BAKU TIME)*
Date Rehearsal Press Conference
Tuesday May 15th 11:00 - 11:40 12:25 - 13:05
Friday May 18th 15:00 - 15:30 16:15 - 16:45
*Baku is four hours ahead of Ireland and the schedule has still to be confirmed officially

 

 

 

FORM GUIDE

 

OVERALL RATING

  Bookmakers
  History
  Running Order
  Fan Polls
  Webmaster

PREVIEW VIDEO

LAUNCH PAD

SERBIA AT EUROVISION

  • First entry: 2007
  • Number of previous entries: 5
  • Best result: Winner (2007) 
  • Worst result: 14th (2011), failed to qualify (2009) 
  • Qualification record: 3/1 (75% success)
  • *Also several entries as part of Yugoslavia and one as part of Serbia & Montenegro.

TEN YEAR FORM GUIDE

 

WEBMASTER REVIEW

"Another fantastic melody from Zeljko, who seems to have the magic touch is presenting something familiar but always making it sound fresh. The song has a beautiful build, a lovely climax and is sung beautfully. It may not have the instant hook of "Lane Moje", but this is head and shoulders above 90% of the songs in this contest. I expect it to sail into the final, and could even win its semi, but a glut of ballads may once again see Zeljko narrowly losing out on the final night." - Keith Mills

YOUR REVIEWS

"A nice safe ride into the final.It improves with every listen. Already on heavy ipod rotation.If performed well will get points across the board & finish top 5 in final." - Dave Mongey (Ireland)

"Just like Jedward, Željko failed to impress a lot of people. This song is not bad at all but it simply doesn't fullfill his previous efforts (which all deserved to win). Nije Ljubav Stvar is ten times inferior to Lane moje, Lejla or Oro, its lyrics and melodies are not emotive enough. It lacks originality; I don't find the similarity with Coldplay's Paradise but it sure sounds a lot like last years Danish entry A New Tomorrow which was taken from another ESC entry Love Shine A Lightand many other songs. It is a common repertoire, if you get what I mean. On the other hand, I'm glad they keep this song in Serbian, firstly because the guy can't sing in english and this type of ethnic ballads work much better in their native tongues. Serbia's chances this year are way too overrated. To me it is a definite qualifier but it might just struggle to reach the top ten in the final." - Anthony Lopez (Venezuela)

"There is no going around the bush. This is not as strong as previous songs he wrote for the contest. It misses something that would have made him a strong contender. At best an average song that will built more on the success of his writer/singer than on the song itself. It's quite a shame that a gifted writer as he is came up with an disappointing song as this one." - Shai Dagoni (Netherlands)

"Eurovision fans will expect this to do well, but remember most viewers will have no recollection of him, or be aware of his Eurovision pedigree. Not a patch on his previous entries, and singing first in his semi not great. Should still qualify with many friends and neighbours voting. It has the same sound/formula as before, and he is nice to look at! Maybe Top 5 in final." - Chris Church (U.K.)

"Zeljko Joksimovic is back with a nice song, a typical Balkan ballad. “Lane Moje” was much stronger, but this has a nice feeling. He needs to work his presentation it is really strained, but all in all an excellent choice for the Serbs." - Athan (Greece)