Serbia: No more ESC performance for Željko Joksimović?

by Roy Knoops 1,362 views

Željko Joksimović may have put his interest in Eurovision on hold, focusing on other projects, including a movie about singer Toma Zdravković.

Renowned Serbian artist and prolific Eurovision contributor Željko Joksimović is working on several new initiatives. The singer and composer, whose fame spreads across the Balkans and beyond, is known within the Eurovision community for his successful participations in the contest, both as a performer and as a composer/lyricist.

Yet, with new projects to look forward to, a return to the ESC stage does not seem to be a top priority for him. In a recent interview at an event in the Serbian city Leskovac , Željko Joksimović stated:

I want to record two films that will be connected to this city. The first one would be devoted to the life and work of the unprecedented Toma Zdravković , and the second about the golden age of Leskovac, that is, about the period between the two world wars. I would never again participate in the Eurovision Song Contest as a performer. Well, that’s settled, is it not?

Željko Joksimović will firstly focus on a movie about the lauded Serbian singer Tomislav “Toma” Zdravković (1938-1991), known for his characteristic warm voice.

Although Željko Joksimović was adamant in his statement, it remains to be seen if the artist has definitely said farewell to the contest. Although not as a performer himself, he might be back as a composer or songwriter.


At Eurovision

Željko Joksimović partook in the ESC five times, as a performer and as a composer/lyricist, reaching honourable placings for each of his contributions. Moreover, he co-hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 in Belgrade, Serbia, alongside Jovana Janković. The spark between Željko and Jovana resulted into a relationship, and the couple married in 2012. They have three children, son Kosta and twin daughters Ana and Srna.

In 2004, Željko Joksimović represented Serbia and Montenegro with the Balkan ballad Lane moje (My fawn) alongside the Ad Hoc Orchestra, winning the semi-final and eventually reaching an honourable 2nd place in the Grand Final, earning 263 points.

He furthermore composed the song Lejla for Bosnia and Herzegovina, performed by Hari Mata Hari at the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 in Athens, Greece. The song honourably placed 3rd in the Grand Final, with 229 points.

Besides hosting the 2008 ESC on home soil, Željko Joksimović also composed the country’s participating song, Oro, based on a folk-dance. Performed on stage by singer Jelena Tomašević with flautist Borislav “Bora” Dugić, the song reached a respectful 6th place in the Grand Final, receiving 160 points.

Željko Joksimović himself participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012, representing his country Serbia. With his entry Nije ljubav stvar (Love is not an object) he again reached a top position, placing 3rd in the Grand Final with 214 points.

He returned to the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 in Vienna as a composer and lyricist of the song Adio (Farewell), performed by Nenad Knez Knežević for Montenegro. Ultimately reaching a decent 13th place in the Grand Final, earning 44 points, it remains Montenegro’s best placing (as an independent state) to date.

Enjoy Željko Joksimović’s successful Eurovision performances!