Thursday, 30 March 2017

Serbia Surprises with Choice of Little-Known Singer for Eurovision



Text by Igor Jovanovic for Southeast European Times*   
12 March 2009 | A little-known Serbian singer and composer, Marko Kon, has surprised many by emerging as his country's representative at the 54th Eurovision in Moscow.

Kon will perform "The Shoe" in a duet with accordionist Milan Nikolic. Kon sports an eccentric appearance, topped by a blond Afro.



Kon himself expressed surprise at his victory. "I'm still not fully aware that we won. I'm shocked. I know that some others were seen as favourites, but there you have it -- we are the winners," he said.

"The Shoe" is a pop melody with a layering of Serbian ethno sounds. It tells the story of a man rejected by a woman who expects him to gain riches.

Many are skeptical of Kon's chances for victory in Moscow. The pressure for success is expected to build, since Serbia hosted Eurovision last year, its privilege after singer Marija Serifovic won the 2007 contest in Helsinki with her rendition of "A Prayer". Other Serbian representatives achieved high scores in years past, like second place in 2004 when the country competed as Serbia and Montenegro (Zeljko Joksimovic, "Lane Moje").

Kon and Nikolic's victory divided the audience, resulting in a number of visitors leaving the hall in disappointment. The winning song received maximum points from the jury, but the audience, voting via text messaging, awarded it seven out of 12 points.

Scandal, not just disagreement over the winner, marred the Serbian competition. Ten contestants were supposed to appear in the finals, but an error in the audience vote count prompted organisers to announce that two more contestants would join the finals. The two had been mistakenly eliminated in the semifinals.

One of the two contestants, however, refused to appear, causing Serbia to have an odd 11-contestant final round. Two members of the organising committee subsequently resigned from their posts.

In addition, journalists reportedly witnessed security personnel at the contest throwing out the former manager of 2007 champion Serifovic because he lacked authorisation to be backstage.

According to the critics' initial reactions, the songs at this year's contest lacked the quality of past years. Serbia's current Eurovision representatives will have their work cut out in trying to match their predecessors' success.

*This text is courtesy of the Southeast European Times (SET), a web site sponsored by the US Department of Defense in support of UN Resolution 1244, designed to provide an international audience with a portal to a broad range of information about Southeastern Europe. It highlights movement toward greater regional stability and steps governments take toward integration into European institutions. SET also focuses on developments that hinder both terrorist activity and support for terrorism in the region.

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Serbia Surprises with Choice of Little-Known Singer for Eurovision

12 March 2009 | A little-known Serbian singer and composer, Marko Kon, has surprised many by emerging as his country's representative at the 54th Eurovision in Moscow.
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