The Xtra Files 2018: We Review Serbia’s ‘Nova Deca’ by Sanja Ilić & Balkanika!

Welcome to The Xtra Files, our series which will give you an insight into what the team at ESCXTRA think of your favourite entries into this year’s contest! Today, we review Serbia.

Now that all the songs have been released, we are able to review each and every one of them. Our honest and brutal reviews will keep you entertained until the rehearsals start on 30 April! We will also each give a score out of 10 for every entry, and create an ESCXTRA leaderboard of the entries!
Today we have reviews of the Serbian entry, ‘Nova deca’ by Sanja Ilic & Balkanika, from Miki, Nathan, Rigmo, Rodrigo, Simon and Tim. Let’s get started!

The Reviews


Doing the reviews for the renewal of Beovizija truly made me love Balkanika’s “Nova Deca”. As mentioned, this song is the perfect portrayal of the updated Balkan ethno sound. It is traditional yet it has a very modern production in the chorus which just makes it more approachable for people outside of this region. The mix of all these elements makes it feels like my childhood in three minutes so I’m bound to love it.


The opening fifteen seconds or so sound promising… then it drags into a minute of… vocal wailing before the song becomes something else entirely and whilst I appreciate the boldness in trying something completely different, I think Serbia have totally missed the mark on this one. For me, in the end it turns into a complete waste of three minutes. This could even finish last place accidentally.


The combination of balkan pop and Byzantine folk shouldn’t work, but Balkanika and Sanja Ilić make it…make it uh…Hold on…Sanja Ilić? …who? One of the ghostly goatherders? The flute playing KFC mascot? The guy who manages to create sound by just tapping the empty space next to the drums? Could someone get Sherlock on the phone? I NEED to figure this out. I’m probably just a google search away from finding out the answer, but frankly covering my room in post-it notes and drawing red lines between them while looking perplexed is MUCH more fun. Just ask Björkman. Hmm. Maybe…OH…Oh right, the actual review of the song….Yeah, It’s good, would listen again.
Related image


Not sure which of the three songs fudged into these three minutes to review? In theory they all should work, but in reality trying to blend them together ends up being quite messy and what tries (too hard!) to be an authentic, ethnic entry ends up being three minutes of bland nothingness.


I’m told this is a song in its own right, not a “megamix” of 20 years of balkan entries. Who’d have guessed? I was on board at first, even if it felt dated, but then I got rather lost. Intrigued, but lost.


I really like how they harmonise very well in the chorus, and the tempo change in the second half of the song. Folk meets EDM, it is definitely unique in its own right, but I don’t see myself dancing to this to the Euroclub any time soon, but overall a great package.


Dominik  5 Nick  5.5 Tim  5
Hlynur  2 Riccardo  5 Tom  3
Lisa  7 Rigmo  8.5 Vincent  5
Luke  2.5 Rodrigo  3 Wiv  5
Matt  5 Ryan  7.5 Yassia  6
Miki  8 Sami  6
Nathan  4 Simon  3

Therefore, the average score for Serbia is 5.05.


Serbia reaches 10th place with a score of 5.05.

  1. Finland – 7.66
  2. Bulgaria – 7.63
  3. France – 7.50
  4. Germany – 6.95
  5. Ukraine – 6.92
  6. Australia – 6.76
  7. Lithuania – 6.50
  8. Latvia – 5.61
  9. Albania – 5.50
  10. Serbia – 5.05
  11. Belarus – 4.97
  12. Moldova – 4.92
  13. Montenegro – 4.71
  14. Armenia – 4.29
  15. Georgia – 4.18
  16. Iceland – 4.18
  17. San Marino – 4.03

Tomorrow, it will be the turn of Austria to be reviewed.
Do you agree with our reviews of Serbia? What are your thoughts on Nova deca?

Let us know in the comments below and on social media @ESCXTRA!

Luke Malam

I've watched Eurovision for as long as I can remember, but my interest really built in 2008, after I decided to watch the semifinals online, out of boredom, before the final...I was blown away by the quality of the show and have been hooked ever since! I'm a competitive trampolinist and I love baking. I've also just completed a master's degree in Research Methods in Psychology at University College London.

Comments on The Xtra Files 2018: We Review Serbia’s ‘Nova Deca’ by Sanja Ilić & Balkanika!

Back to top button