I tend to like Serbia’s entries for the Eurovision Song Contest – I still have a “Caroban” ringtone that I use as an alarm on my phone, and “Ovo Je Balkan” is a pretty solid “no, this is what Eurovision is” entry to point people to when you’re trying to get them on board with Eurovision as a whole. This year’s performer, ZAA Sanja Vučić, has a slightly confusing name1, but does “Goodbye (Shelter)” have what it takes to make it to the Eurovision finals?
The more I listen to this one, the more I like it. The intro is a little too Postmodern Jukebox for my personal taste (although that may just be the old-timey microphone), but the song builds beautifully to an emotional climax. I can’t quite place my finger on who ZAA Sanja reminds me of, vocally, but if this is a live performance, she definitely has the performance skills to impress in Stockholm.
The song definitely hits the peaks/valleys a Eurovision ballad is supposed to hit, but there’s something to be said for executing a template well – there’s a reason the template became a template in the first place. I’m interested to see how this performance (which takes advantage of a full orchestra behind ZAA Sanja) gets translated to Stockholm – I hope they replace that element with dancers or some other element that sticks out on stage to highlight what’s a pretty fantastic song to use as a base.
- Is ZAA Sanja? Are those two different people? ↵