After a nine year absence, the Beovizija format will once again be used to select the Serbian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest.
Olivera Kovačević, editor of entertainment programmes at the Serbian national broadcaster, RTS, confirmed the news to the newspaper, Blic.
Submissions for the Serbian entry for Eurovision 2018 already opened in August. Songs from these submissions will be considered by a selection committee based on their artistic quality. Up to 10 songs will be selected to participate in the televised national final. Kovačević confirmed to Blic that the final decision on who will be on this selection jury has not been made.
The deadline for entries is 20 October 2017 and the final of Beovizija will take place in February 2018. The winner will be decided on the basis of a mix of jury and audience vote.
The change of tactics from RTS comes following two closed internal selections in 2016 and 2017. In 2017, Tijana Bogićević disappointingly failed to reach the final. Her song In Too Deep finished in 11th place, just two points behind the 10th place qualifier in Semi-Final 2, Anja from Denmark with Where I Am.
In the past, Beovizija has produced mixed results for Serbia in Eurovision. It produced Molitva the winner of the 2007 contest in Helsinki. However, the last time the festival was used to select a Serbian entry for Eurovision, Marko Kon and Milan Nikolic didn’t make the final in Moscow. Although the duo reached 10th place in the televote, the jury chose instead to send Croatia with Lijepa Tena to the final.
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Serbia have competed as an independent nation in the Eurovision Song Contest since 2007, and have seen great success in the competition. Their first entry in 2007, Marija Šerifović’S “Molitva”, won the contest in Helsinki with 268 points, making Serbia’s debut one of the most successful in Eurovision history. From then up to their year’s break in 2014, Serbia finished in the top 10 a further two times, including a 3rd place finish in 2012 with Željko Joksimović’s “Nije ljubav stvar”. They have only failed to qualify for the final on three occasions, the most recent being in 2017 when Tijana Bogićević’s entry “In Too Deep” finished in 11th place in it’s semi-final in Kyiv.