Montenegro's Five Iconic Songs
Article by Guy Hornsey
Today Montenegro commemorates Statehood Day. It marks the day on 13th July 1878 when the Berlin Congress recognised Montenegro as an independent state. Since then it has transitioned through a number of periods, seeing it become part of Yugoslavia (in its various incarnations), and the state union of Serbia and Montenegro. In 2006 they held a referendum, which lead to a declaration of independence that year. Statehood Day also marks the day in 1941 when the uprising began against the occupation of the country.
Montenegro has been present at Eurovision since 1961, as part of Yugoslavia. From 2004 to 2006 Serbia and Montenegro competed, with their best result coming from Željko Joksimović with ‘Lane moje’, coming second place in 2004.
Since their independence in 2006, Montenegro competed in the 2007 contest and have been back every year except 2010 and 2011. While they might have only qualified twice for the final, they have never failed to put on a show, giving us some pretty memorable moments… From Astronauts to ice skaters (or was she a roller blading ballerina?), and from Dad-like rappers to Slavko’s hair extension… Montenego usually keep us entertained. It’s not all novelties and gimmicks too, with Montenegro also delivering some top Balkan ballads over the years (Vanja Radovanović in 2018 and Sergej Ćetković in 2014 to name a couple).
Here are our top 5 memorable moments that Montenegro have given us since 2007.
5. Who See & Nina Zizic – Igranka (2013)
It’s an electro banger from 2013, staged with Who See performing in astronaut suits and Nina elevating onto the stage dressed as a futuristic space woman. It was popular with the viewers, coming fourth in the semi final televote, but failed to get enough jury points to qualify, finishing 12th in the semi final.
4. Rambo Amadeus - Euro Neuro (2012)
Rambo is a well established Montenegrin entertainer, known for using comedy and satire in his music, which he didn’t pull back on for his slightly weird 2012 ESC appearance. Euro Neuro commentates a view on the state of the European Union at the time. He opened the first semi final, but failed to qualify coming 15th.
3. Andrea Demirović - Just Get Out of My Life (2009)
It’s a simple pop song, but it’s fun (well some might say annoying – but that’s the ESC!). It’s also the only time Montenegro have been represented by a solo female, and marked the first time their entry was sung in English. Andrea opened the first semi final and just missed out on qualifying, finishing 11th in the semi final.
2. Slavko Kalezić – Space (2017)
While he failed to qualify (coming 16th in the semi-final) Slavko werked every second he had on the Eurovision stage, pulling out all the stops with his sass, a costume reveal, birds eye camera shot, and unleashing his trademark hair extension swing. Slavko stood out and was a fan favourite in the 2017 season. He also gets a special mention for making it to Australia for the 2018 OGAE preview parties.
1. Knez – Adio (2015)
Apart from being memorable for his plastic surgery, Knez scored Montenegro their best result in the contest so far. The song qualified for the final and came 13th overall. The song delivers catchy Balkan feels, starting as a strong ballad and building into a driving ethno bop. The staging was simple but effective, with the performance being carried by the strength of the song and Knez’s vocal.