Željko Joksimović returns for Serbia
Only hours after the announcement came in from Belgium about Iris’s participation in Baku, Serbian broadcaster RTS surprised Eurofans everywhere by suddenly announcing their plans for ESC 2012. To the delight of many, veteran singer and composer Željko Joksimović will be taking the stage at Baku Crystal Hall (assuming it’s built in time, of course). Eurovision followers are most familiar with Željko as the man behind 2004’s stirring ethno-ballad “Lane Moje”, sung for a then-united Serbia and Montenegro. He might have come in second to Ruslana, but “Lane Moje” still remains a beloved modern classic in the eyes of many.
In 2006, Joksimović composed Hari Mata Hari’s “Lejla“, which came in third for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Two years later, as the event made its way to Belgrade, Željko not only composed another gorgeous ballad, Jelena Tomasevic’s “Oro” (which came in a respectable 6th place for Serbia), but he also co-hosted the event itself! He has released five studio albums, two “best-of” compilations, and a live album, and he’s sold out concerts all over the region. He penned 2003’s Beovizija winner “Cija Si” for Tose Proeski, and even recorded a duet with 2011’s Bosnian representative Dino Merlin, “Supermen“. Needless to say, the 39-year old Joksimović has proven himself to be one of the Balkans’ most prolific musicians, especially in the world of Eurovision.
For the first time, Serbia will have a completely internal selection, but details on Željko’s song are still being hammered out (in fact, he’s still composing it!). We should hear the song in full early in 2012. It’s still incredibly early to start guessing how Serbia will do this year in the competition, but if Željko ends up winning the whole thing, he will be part of an extremely exclusive cadre of ESC performers who have come in second place, returned to the Contest at a later date, and won (the others being Ireland’s Linda Martin and Russia’s Dima Bilan).
What are your thoughts on the return of Željko Joksimović?