Eurovision 2017 Entry: Montenegro — Slavko Kalezić — Space

Will Slavko Kalezić give Montenegro a well-deserved "Space" in the Eurovision Grand Final?

Slavko Kalezić will represent Montenegro at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv, Ukraine (Photo: Dejan Milićević) Slavko Kalezić will represent Montenegro at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv, Ukraine (Photo: Dejan Milićević)

Country: Montenegro
Song Title: “Space”
Artist: Slavko Kalezić
First Semi-Final: Position #6
Last year’s entry: “The Real Thing” – HIghway (DNQ – 13th Place, SF1)

One of the things I love about writing about Eurovision are the different rubrics of evaluation we use for countries and songs. We can’t directly compare the apples of female power ballads to the oranges of disco funk Klezmer bands, nor is it helpful to compare the Military Industrial Pop Music Complex (aka Sweden) to the more traditional styles of central and eastern Europe.

Montenegro exists in a delightful place geographically and musically where it has no choice but to dance to the beat of its own drum, showcasing that dance for the rest of Europe and the world each May. This year’s entry, “Space” by Slavko Kalezić, is the prime example of what Montenegro does best:

This might be the performance I am most looking forward to in Kyiv. As the video demonstrates, Slavko Kalezić has a strong point of view and aesthetic. Also, though this year’s slate of entries is quite strong, it doesn’t identify as queer as the last few years. The only other entry that comes close to being a gay anthem is San Marino’s (which is thankfully in the other semi-final). I’m thrilled that the two smallest countries at the Contest are bringing the representation.

That being said, it isn’t a slam dunk for Slavko Kalezić to get into the Grand Final. First, there are a lot of strong conventional entries in the first semi-final, so there aren’t a lot of qualifying slots available once the shoo-ins are accounted for. Although it seems fair to expect performance art in the stage design1, I’m concerned about Slavko Kalezić’s performing ability. His performance at Eurovision in Concert in Amsterdam last weekend could have used a little more polish. Granted, it was a club show, but toward the end it looked like someone dancing around in their bedroom singing along to the radio.

As for the running order, Montenegro follows Belgium, which isn’t ideal given how popular “City Lights” is. However, Finland follows Montenegro, so… sorry, Finland. I have a hunch the performance will be memorable enough without the recaps during the voting window, though I hope it’s because it was AMAZING and not full of cringe.

I think there’s space for “Space” in the Eurovision Grand Final, but Slavko Kalezić will need to slay to make it happen.

Eurovision Song Contest First Semi-Final
May 9, 2017

AlbaniaArmeniaAustraliaAzerbaijanBelgium • Cyprus
Czech RepublicFinlandGeorgia • GreeceIcelandLatvia
MoldovaMontenegroPoland • Portugal • Slovenia • Sweden

  1. Oh please oh please oh please  

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