Only one star for Bosnia

by Richard West-Soley 63 views

Eurovision runner-up and Balkan phenomenon as writer; celebrated Bosnian star as singer. Are there really two stars for Bosnia this year? The delegation refute that claim with an emphatic no. There is one star for Bosnia: Lejla.

After giving another strong and moving performance of the song in the arena which left spectators with judgements like beautiful and haunting, Hajrudin Varešanović and his team spoke about the focus of this year's entry for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

All about Lejla
While it is true that writer �eljko Joksimović isunderstandably getting a lot of attention himselfdue to his own celebrity status and former Eurovision Song Contest participation, the Bosnian team are keen to stress that it is all about the song. All about Lejla – in fact, Lejla is the name of Bosnia's head of press this year, and she jokingly claimed that the song was written for her. In fact, she continued in earnest, it was named after the wife of one of the lyricists, who were not present at today's conference.

The originalmeets the new
Ample time was given to both �eljko and Hari to showcase their vocals to the assembled press. The audiencewas not only treated to Hari Mata Hari's withdrawn 1999 entry Starac i more, and a rendition of Lejla with audience clapping along and �eljko on backing vocals, but also a version of the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest entry for Yugoslavia, the synonymously titled Lejla, sung by both stars.

�eljko impressed locals by not only singing a Greek song, but speaking in Greek to the hall. He confessed a great love of Greece – music, food, and land – and has been taking lessons.

Hari's advice from his family is simple: be calm and enjoy. And with those words, he leaves behind his two days of rehearsal and prepares for the first semifinal dress rehearsal on Wednesday.

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Richard West-Soley

Senior Editor

Richard's ESC history began way back in 1992, when he discovered the contest could fuel his passion for music and languages. Since then, it's been there at every corner for him in some way or another. He joined the team back in 2006, and quickly developed a love for writing about the contest. In his other life, he heads the development team at the learning resources company Linguascope, and writes about all aspects of language learning on the site