Eurovision Song Contest - Belgrade 2008
Russia takes Eurovision prize
This is the first time in the competition's 53-year-history that Russia has won – gaining at the same time the opportunity to organize the festival next year.
Bilan, who sang his winning song, Believe, in English, collected a total of 272 points from voters in 43 countries, leaving behind Ukraine and Greece. This year's winning song is composed by Jim Beanz and Bilan himself.
Serbia's Jelena Tomašević ranked sixth, with her Oro.
Thousands of people watched the show inside the New Belgrade venue, while thousands more followed the performances and the voting via large video beams in the capital's central squares.
At the same time, more than 100 million people worldwide are estimated to have watched the live broadcast tonight.
Serbia organized this year's competition after winning in Finland in 2007, with Marija Šerifović's Molitva.
Djokovic sings with Joksimovic
The first Dress Rehearsal of the first "Eurovision" Semi-Final was held yesterday at the "Belgrade Arena". Everything was happening in exactly the same way as the TV viewers will have a chance to watch tonight at 9 pm on RTS, so the Eurovision hosts, participants and the special guests of the program were wearing their Eurovision outfits. Rehearsal was not absolutely flawless, there were some problems with sound and video clips, while and Zeljko might need more days to coordinated their presentations…
The first Dress Rehearsal started out with an instrumental version of the song "Molitva" which continued with the performance of a children choir singing the song about Belgrade . After this the fireworks is planned to ensue, and Serbian Trumpet Orchestra and Serbian Folklore Ensemble "Kolo" will start performing Balkanized versions of the songs "Volare" and "Waterloo", which delighted the numerous audience at the "Belgrade Arena" at the Rehearsal. Thereafter, Jovana Jankovic and Zeljko Joksimovic, the Eurovision hosts, appear on stage. However, since it was their first Dress Rehearsal, it seemed that they had a stage fright and left an impression of being a little bit uncoordinated.
Representatives of the first six countries performing in the first Semi-Final appeared on stage, and after that Ana Ivanovic explained to the audience from the great screen why Belgrade is so unique.
After minor technical problems, the rehearsal was continued, and the greatest ovations were directed to the representatives from Russia and Greece , as well as Laka, the musician from Bosnia and Herzegovina , who already has numerous fans. Polish representative Isis Gee shone on stage in a wonderful gown covered with Swarovski crystals, Estonians were waving with Serbian flags, while Finland heated the atmosphere with powerful pyrotechnics… After the last performance of the Greek representative Kalomira, the hosts invited Novak Djokovic (who was replaced by Ivica Klemenc at yesterday's rehearsal), who announced the beginning of televoting by simulation of throwing the tennis ball towards the audience. The duet of Djokovic and Joksimovic is planned before the official announcement of televoting. Source: Blic
Stars fascinated by Belgrade
During the breaks between the rehearsals and press conferences, the Eurovision Song Contest participants use every opportunity to see the sights of Belgrade, try Serbian specialties or do some shopping. The Romanians are delighted by Belgrade architecture, Czech representative says that she feels as if she was at home, since numerous Belgrade citizens speak Czech, the Belgians try some new restaurant every night, while Swedish singer Charlotte Perelli has already planned a performance with the pub band…
Nico, Vlad Mirita, Romanian representatives of the Eurovision Song Contest 2008, went on their first tourist tour around Belgrade on Monday. The Romanians paid special attention to dilapidated buildings on their way to the city center, which the tour guide explained to be the result of the bombing that took place in 1999. After taking photographs on different locations, such as in front the National Assembly and Nikola Pasic Square, the two singers went to Kalemegdan, which fascinated them by its greenery and the Fortress. They were constantly stopped by numerous fans, who wanted to take photos with them.
"We are really impressed by the city, it is very clean and streets are generally wider than in Bucharest. Architecture is amazing and people are very kind," Nico and Vlad say.
Czech representative Tereza Kerndlová has been in Belgrade for several days and she is fascinated by Belgrade cafes and restaurants where she likes to relax after tiring rehearsals at the "Belgrade Arena". She has had a chance to taste some of the specialties of Serbian cuisine and after her walk at Kalemegdan, she is looking forward to her sightseeing cruise.
Swedish singer Charlotte Perelli expressed her delight with Belgrade, organization of the competition, and especially with Belgrade restaurants. Two days ago she went to Montenegro, but she has promised to perform with the band at the "Reka" restaurant.
Members of the Belgian group "Ishtar" tirelessly walk along the streets of Belgrade. They have been to Kalemegdan, had lunch on the ship "Sirona", had dinner at the "Daca" restaurant and had drink at the "Absint" café… They also plan to walk along the banks of Ada Ciganlija and visit "Salas 84". Cheerful Belgians also expressed their delight with sljivovica. Members of their delegation say that they always have hard times trying to find the performers every time they have to go to some previously scheduled event.
"We are really delighted with Belgrade and we are having a great time. It is unbelievable how much fun people can have here," members of the band 'Ishtar" say.
Guys from the Turkish band "Mor ve Otesi" say that they will take their stay in Belgrade as an opportunity to meet beautiful Serbian girls!
Jelena Tomašević to represent Serbia
Jelena Tomašević will represent Serbia at this year's Eurovision Song Contest which will take place at "Belgrade Arena" on 24th May.The popular singer with her song "Oro" scored maximum points from both jury and televote and triumphed over a pleasant surprise of Aleksa Jelić and Ana Stajdohar's performance and the charming girls from "Beauty Queens".
Jelena Tomašević won the Beovizija already in 2005, but back at that time, the festival only served as a semi-final of the national selection procedure of Serbia and Montenegro. In the final, she was narrowly beaten by the band No Name from Montenegro. This time, however, she finally made it. Her song "Oro" was written by Željko Joksimović, who had represented Serbia and Montenegro in the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest, reaching the second place. He will be one of the presenters of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade. Being the host country, Serbia is directly qualified for the Final of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest on 24th May.
"I am very excited, I want to thank all the people who have supported me and the audience, my family and a little girl who has been the source of my inspiration. I will do my best to justify your expectations at the "Eurovision Song Contest 2008" and try to keep it in Serbia one year more," Jelena Tomašević said upon receiving the reward. back to top