Review: Sanja Ilic & Balkanika - Nova Deca - Serbia

Event: Eurovision 2018  Category: Eurovision  Published: Wed 28th Mar 2018 19:35
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Everything about Serbia's entry suggests the Serbs have absolutely no interest in Eurovision this year. The entire package is lacklustre and frankly, quite confusing. The song opens with an old man playing a flute - "Ah", you say, "so this is an ethnic song". Literally within the first fifteen seconds of the track, flute-man has become utterly redundant and resorts to awkwardly dancing on the stage to fill the time. The opening flute has immediately been followed by the drawn, melancholic singing of the brunette female singer, she warbles with a pained expression - "Ah", you say "so this is a sad song". The blonde female singer joining in seems to confirm this as the music continues it's dark and ominous tone.

A bald man (with chest tattoos apparently doodled by a six-year-old) appears and the music now begins to pick up. "Ah", you say "so this is an upbeat song!". But no, the final curveball - Safri Duo-esque drums kick in, the female vocals become more intense, "Ah", you say "so this is a club track" and by the time that final thought has entered your mind, the song ends. The bald man and the blonde female hold hands despite having no prior connection during the performance, the brunette is left to try and shake off the old man who's waving his flute at her.

"Nova deca" is a song performed by Serbian group Balkanika. The song will represent Serbia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. That's not just me stating the obvious, I just copied and pasted the entire Wikipedia page for this song right there. It's no exaggeration to say that absolutely nobody has a clue what's going on in this track, what kind of music it is or the message it's getting across to the not-insignificant percentage of the world that don't speak fluent Serbian. By the way, "Nova Deca" is Serbian for 'New Kids' but that doesn't seem to correlate with anything on stage either. Absolutely nothing about this makes any sense.

Hopefully they've polished the act since the video was recorded but the entire ensemble screams half-hearted and ill-prepared, the brunette singer appears to need another run-through of the dance routine judging by the repeated uncertainty in her eyes and her late movements at 2:44 compared to her blonde counterpart.

Serbia is currently at 400/1 in the betting markets giving them an implied 0.25% chance of winning. I'd call these odds generous, if this song was the only performance at Eurovision the judges would sooner toss the trophy into the crowd than award it to this mess.


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