Since its debut as a sovereign country in 2007, Serbia has chosen its Eurovision entry publicly through the annual Beovizija festival. But it seems the Serbian broadcaster are still not decided whether they will retain the same preselection format for next year as well.
According to RTS PR manager Duska Vucinic, RTS have not made up their mind yet as to which method they will use in 2010 to select their Eurovision Song Contest representative: "We are discussing what would be the best choice. We haven't decided whether the Serbian Eurovision Song Contest representative will be chosen as it was in the past through Beovizija, or will we choose internally, like some of the surrounding countries do. There are various suggestions, and RTS's final decision will be announced in a few days." Ms Vucinic stated in an interview with Svet.
Beovizija was introduced in 2003 and in the following year served as the preselection process to choose the Serbia and Montenegro representative in the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest, it then went onto produce a winner as well as a lot of controversy throughout the years. Zeljko Joksimovic won the first Beovizija final with Lane Moje and placed second in Istanbul behind Ukraine's Ruslana. In the following years there came No Name's hotly debated victory in both 2005 and 2006, which eventually made Serbia and Montenegro withdraw from the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest held in Athens. After the country split in 2007, Serbia won the contest in Helsinki with Marija Serifovic's powerful ballad Molitva at its first attempt as a sovereign country. In 2008 Jelena Tomasevic won the right to represent Serbia in Belgrade with Oro. She placed 6th with 160 points.
This year, the controversy was back. This time,there was a mix up with the voting, so 2 acts, including one of the favourites, Ana Nikolic,did not get past the semi final, and were then called up again for the final evening. While Ivana Selakov decided to appear in the final, Ana Nikolic refused to participate any further. Also, Marko Kon's victory was disputed among fans since the public's clear favourite, OT Band, which received 28,521 televotes, received just 5 points from the jury in the final butdouze points from the semi final jury. Thus, they lost to Kon, who received 3,955 votes (7 points). Many online petitions were started, but Kon appeared in Moscow, failing to qualify to the final.
It is still unknown how will the Serbian representative be chosen if Beovizija was to end. Some speculate that rock band Negative will get the chance to appear in Oslo in May. The band's lead singer, Ivana Peters stated that she wouldn't appear in Beovizija again after 2 failed attempts, but would represent Serbia if a different method of selection was introduced.
An article by Marko Milanovic