Every year there are bound to be a few statement songs and in Stockholm, Serbia will provide one of those. As long as it’s not Russia with yet another peace anthem, which in any case is always intolerable, we’re usually cautiously overbearing. As shown by Romania last year it can be quite clever to use the opportunity to reach a potential audience of some 130 million people to transmit a message of real concern and importance.
But do we really want a song about the horrors of domestic violence in Eurovision? We’re leaning towards a no, which might be out of sync with the rest of Europe. After all Hungary scored a fifth place singing about child abuse a couple of years ago.
The thing is, we struggle to see any real commitment to the highlighted cause from Sanja. Despite the overly emotive performance, she does not manage to show us WHY she NEEDS to sing this song and tell the world this story. It just looks like she’s having a three-minute epileptic seizure on stage, manically trying to avoid strangling herself.
Oddly enough this complete overselling is in a weird way also one of the strongpoints of this performance. Provided no one has whispered into Sanja’s ear she should tone it down a notch or ten, she might fool the viewers into actually believing the song is stronger than it is. In a semi-final with nine other female solo acts it’s hard to stand out, but we doubt Serbia will be running the risk of fading into obscurity before the voting starts.
Sanja seems like cool chick, and we like her better than the song. We kinda wish she’d brought her band ZAA with her to Stockholm with a banger of a song in the crossover between a variety of styles from ska music and dub, to post-rock, jazz and punk. Which according to Wikipedia is the musical landscape she usually operates within. We get the feeling that would have turned out to be something far more interesting than Goodbye (Shelter), which cannot become more than a decent entry no one will hate but very few will love.