Welcome back, Montenegro!
Eurofans the world over got the happy news today that Montenegrin broadcaster RTCG has confirmed their return to Eurovision! The network has undergone a change in leadership over the last year, and while the previous director tended to be a bit skittish about the contest (and, of course, its cost), new director Rade Vojvodić has embraced the ESC (and its potential for international exposure for the country, which only declared its independence in 2006). More details are still to be announced, but it’s wonderful to have Crne Gore back at the party.
The nation has had a measure of mixed fortune at Eurovision, both on their own as well as a part of Yugoslavia or Serbia & Montenegro. When Yugoslavia competed under a single flag (from 1961 until 1992), only two entries came from Montenegrin singers: 1983’s “Džuli” (which came in a respectable 4th place and became a pretty big hit beyond the ESC) and 1984’s “Ciao, amore” (which ended up in 18th). After the breakup of the Yugoslavia, Serbia & Montenegro competed as a single unit in 2004 and 2005. While Serbia-born Željko Joksimović’s “Lane Moje” came in second, Montenegrin boy-band No Name brought the country a strong 7th place finish with “Zauvijek moja“. They were scheduled to represent the nation again in 2006 with the song “Moja Ljubavi“, but due to accusations of tactical voting, as well as the increasing push for Montenegrin independence, the nation withdrew from Eurovision that year, with both Serbia and Montenegro entering separate songs as separate states the next year.
In the post-independence days, Montenegro has not fared as well on the Eurovision stage as their Serbian neighbors. While the victory went to Serbia’s debut entry “Molitva” in 2007, Stevan Faddy’s “Ajde, kroči” tied for 22nd place in the semifinal, and failed to qualify for Montenegro. The next year, the addition of the additional semifinal couldn’t even help Stefan Filipović qualify for the final with “Zauviek Volim Te“, which only made it to 14th place. Finally, in 2009, RTCG sent Andrea Demirović with “Get Out of My Life“, their first entry in English. Despite a song composed by veteran songwriting team Ralph Siegel and Bernd Meinunger (who had over twenty ESC entries between them), Andrea only managed to come in 11th place in her semifinal, just barely missing out.
Will 2012 finally be the year for Montenegro to make it into the Finals? Tell me what you think!