Montenegro haven’t always had the best of luck when it comes to Eurovision, having only qualified through to the final twice out of numerous attempts. Last year, we fell in love with the charismatic Slavko, but despite his energetic performance, failed to qualify (robbed), but this year the nation went back down the Balkan ballad route, the same route that brought them those two qualifiers. Their national final only featured a handful of performers, but after two rounds of voting, it was decided that Vanja Radovanović would represent Montenegro with the song Inje, a self-penned entry by Vanja himself. Will we be seeing Montenegro back in the final this year?
After Vanja’s selection in the national final, I was quick to say no, we wouldn’t be seeing this in the final, but as time goes by, I’ve started to question my first impressions. There’s no doubt that it’s a beautiful song, as most Balkan ballads are, but saying that, it’s no Željko Joksimović ballad. What would have lifted this song dramatically was more oomph in the second minute leading into the final minute, which is the minute to really have the ballad build into a spectacular ending. The middle of the song felt a bit stale, but queue the revamp.
Now that we’ve got the final version, I do think that the revamp added some of that extra power into the song, mostly through the instrumentation, but saying that, it still doesn’t rival some of our favourite Balkan Ballads. But…. I can’t discount this just yet. Although it’s not hitting the spot for me personally, I see how this could make the final. Vanja’s vocals live are identical to the studio version, and with some strong backing vocals at Eurovision to give this more dimension, this could definitely be one of the best vocal performances of the night.
In terms of the stage performance, I hope that they can create something as beautiful as Moj Svijet and Adio both were, as the song demands a beautiful stage performance. The quality of their music video was outstanding, and I hope they can take that quality and translate it to the Eurovision stage.
All aboard… the Balkan Ballad train!
I’m always pleased to see a Balkan ballad, but I think this song is just missing something that’s stopping it from being one of my top entries. Being late in the running order of the semi-final that’s a bit more open for surprises, I think Montenegro still has a fair chance of qualifying. Being between the huge upbeat songs of Sweden and Slovenia is a tough gig, but being third to last in the running order certainly helps his case.
This is one of those songs that I wouldn’t be surprised to see in the final, but at the same time I also wouldn’t be surprised to see this as a non-qualifier. It can really go either way.
Our rating: 7/10
If you support Montenegro at Eurovision, make sure to vote for Vanja in our poll! Watch his official video below, and follow our Eurovision 2018 playlist on Spotify.