17 February 2015

Review: Serbia: Eurovision 2015: Bojana Stamenov

Bojana Stamenov is the Serbian representative

After an absence of a year from the competition, Serbia returns to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2015 with the entry Ceo svet je moj (The Whole World is Mine) performed by Bojana Stamenov.

Serbia's selection process was launched last November and overseen by the co-writer of the country's winner in 2007, Vladimir Graić. He was joined by singer/songwriter Leontina Vukomanović in composing all three of the songs that went forward to the national final on Sunday evening.

Odbrojavanje za Beč (Countdown for Vienna) was a relatively short elimination process which pitted three singers and their songs against each other. Aleksa Jelić performed the disco-influenced Vodi me (Take Me), Danica Krstić sang the heartfelt ballad Suze za kraj (Tears For the End) and winner Bojana Stamenov brought us the Eurodance flavour of Ceo svet je moj (The Whole World is Mine).

Stamenov is a previous participant in the Serbian version of the television Got Talent franchise in which she finished fourth in 2012. Since then, her big vocals have established her as a recognised artist in her home country.

There is no doubting that she has the voice. She has been widely compared with American R'n'B artist Aretha Franklin. However, if any comparison is to be made, I'd prefer it to be with Martha Wash. Remember The Weather Girls, Black Box and C & C Music Factory? She was the voice behind them all. Bojana has that look, sound, stature and vocal similarity. And, no doubt, she will attract the same audience demographic as Ms. Wash.

However, while her vocals may be first class (if a little overstretched in places), in my opinion, the song she has been given is merely mediocre. It starts off well enough as Bojana's voice soars over a mid-tempo, electro back beat, but it soon descends into a soulless, tedious dance relic from the 1990s.

That element prompts her four dancers to animate proceedings, but Ms.Stamenov appears determined to remain glued to the spot. After a while, I began to wonder whether someone had nailed her feet to the floor, but perhaps her performances are always this static.

While it's good to see Serbia back in the fold, I can't help but think that Bojana's points total won't move much either when she takes to the stage in the second half of the first semi-final. Depending on the quality of the rest of the field competing on May 19, it looks as if Serbia are going to struggle to make much impact.

What are your thoughts?

An English version, Beauty Never Lies, has been released:

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