All opinions expressed in this article are those of the person quoted and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the other team members or ESC United as a whole.
It’s 2 days to go until Junior Eurovision 2022, and we are counting down the 16 nations who are participating in Yerevan, Armenia on Sunday, December 11, 2022.
Every day we will do an overview of a participating nation in alphabetical order, recapping how they got to Junior Eurovision, a brief history of the nation’s participation, a brief biography of the artist, and finally, our “expert” panel of editors give the entries a score out of 10 and a brief review.
Next up, we look at Serbia, with two bronze finishes the highlight among some middling finishes.
Serbia’s history at Junior Eurovision:
Serbia is another Junior Eurovision with three distinct eras separated by a country name change and a lengthy absence.
Serbia and Montenegro only had one attempt at Junior Eurovision in 2005 with Filip Vučić coming in 13th with “Ljubav pa fudbal.”
Serbia, after Montenegro’s independence, debuted at Junior Eurovision with 2006’s Neustrašivi učitelji stranih jezika coming in 5th with the weird reggae-ish “Učimo strane jezike.”
But in 2007, Serbia sent a legend who has gone on twice to Eurovision: Nevena Božović. She came in 3rd with “Piši Mi.” She went on to represent Serbia at Eurovision twice in 2013 as part of Moje 3 and in 2019 as a solo artist with the criminally underrated ballad “Kruna.”
Sonja Škorić came in third with “Чаробна ноћ” (“Magical Night”) in 2010. Despite equaling Božović’s all time best for Serbia 3rd placed finish, Serbia would withdraw from Junior Eurovision for three years, only returning in 2014 with Emilija Đonin.
Serbia’s second stretch has not been too successful. The best from this period is Lena Stamenković’s “Lenina pesma” that came in 7th in 2015, but Dunja Jeličić came in 17th and last in 2016, while Bojana Radovanović narrowly avoided last place in 2018 by coming in 19th with “Svet.” Serbia placed 10th with Darija Vračević and the song “Podigni glas” in 2019, and 11th with Petar Aničić and “Heartbeat” in 2020.
Jovana Radonjić and Dunja Živković came in 13th at Junior Eurovision 2021.
Before Junior Eurovision 2022:
Katarina Savić was internally selected by Serbia’s RTS (Radio Television of Serbia) on October 10, 2022.
13-year-old Katarina Savic hails from Belgrade, and on top of being a singer is also a trombonist.
According to an interview with ESC United’s Connor Terry, Katarina hopes that “the song will inspire the audience to turn to the beauty of music and the emotions of first teenage love.”
On October 10, 2022, RTS announced “World Without Borders” would be Serbia’s entry, but on November 6, 2022, they announced the song would go with the Serbian title “Svet bez granica” instead.
“Svet bez granica” was written by Serbian songwriter and producer Ivana Dragićević.
With the background out of the way, here is what we at ESC United think of Serbia’s entry for Junior Eurovision 2022.
Providing their thoughts for Junior Eurovision this season: Alice Christine (Washington, D.C.), Boris Meersman (Belgium), Gianluca D’Elia (New York City, New York), James Maude (Los Angeles, California), Roy Postema (The Netherlands), William Carter (Dallas, Texas), and Zephaniah Gabriel (The Philippines).
Alice – 8 – “Very sweet music-box melody, I like this dreamy and wintry song.”
Boris – 7 – “I like Serbia and I can’t really pinpoint why. It’s quite unlike anything else, in this year or even any other year? “Svet bez granica” is bit of a musical mutt – a bit of jazz, some ethnic, a dash piano and spirtz of strings, picking up shiny fragements like a magpie without ever commiting to a genre and staying within its own unique confines. It comes off as avant garde and this should be applauded if nothing else. As far as a prognosis for the contest goes, I have no fucking clue. Serbia could finish bottom five or do as well as third with the right visual support. Katarina is THE wildcard in this year, which is FUN. ^__^ ”
Gianluca – 10 – “I LOVE a good Balkan ballad. This entry is so beautiful, charming, and dare I say, underrated. It feels so classic and mature. And then she started playing the trombone! It was a pleasant surprise in a song that I was expecting to stick to a more traditional Balkan ballad formula. Katarina’s voice, trombone solo and the instrumental are so charming. Those qualities combined made this song one of my favorite entries overall.”
James – 10 – “Every once in a while Eurovision and its spin-offs and national selections will have a throwback song that is untethered to modernity and yet so utterly charming. Barbara Tinoco’s “Pass-Partout!” from Portugal’s national selection in 2020, or even Simão Oliveira’s “O Rapaz” for Portugal at JESC last year, spring to mind as other examples. Bonus points go for the trombone solo, which is the cherry on the cake of this beautifully arranged classical number.”
Roy – 8 – “I absolutely love Serbia for agreeing to send this piece to the competition. It shows of all the talents that Katarina has, which is what junior should be all about. Show off your talent to the world and start off your career. With such a unique song, I could see a lot of kids voting for this! Especially if she is allowed to showcase her instruments and dancing skills. I can picture a lot of kids saying: ‘I want to be like her’ and that really reminds me of when I used to watch junior as a youngster, I always cheered for the ones I most wanted to be like!”
William – 8.5 – “Gorgeous, mesmerizing, refreshing, and distinct. While other countries this year are trying to recapture the ‘Qami Qami’ magic, Serbia is keeping it simple. I hope the audience at home is receptive to this special little gem. I loved it even before Katarina busted out the trumpet, but that certainly helped.”
Zephaniah – 9 – “Oh my god the intro is everything. This sounds so ethereal and magical. This sounds like it also came from a musical theater. I love everything about this song.”
Total: 60.5 points (Average = 8.643)
And holy smokes, we have a new leader by quite a wide margin! Serbia has raced into a commanding lead with a stunning average of 8.643. When 7.5 is the lowest score awarded, you know Serbia has something special. We shall see if the kids agree with the crusty old cynics on this panel.
1.) SERBIA – 60.5 POINTS (Average = 8.643)
2.) The Netherlands – 58 points (Average = 8.286)
3.) Ireland – 56 points (Average = 8.0)
4.) Italy – 55.5 points (Average = 7.926)
5.) Armenia – 54.5 points (Average = 7.786)
6.) Georgia – 52.5 points (Average = 7.5)
7.) France – 52 points (Average = 7.428)
8.) North Macedonia – 48.5 points (Average = 6.929)
9.) Poland – 47.5 points (Average = 6.786)
10.) Portugal – 46 POINTS (Average = 6.571)
11.) Kazakhstan – 45 points (Average = 6.429)
12.) Albania – 42.5 points (Average = 6.071)
13.) Malta – 38.5 points (Average = 5.5)
What do #YOU think of Serbia’s entry? Do #YOU think Serbia’s classical approach lets it stand out in the right way ? Let us know in the comments below, on social media, or in our forum.