Sara, Nevena and Mirna will sing for Serbia when they step onto the stage as Moje 3, after being convincingly chosen in a Beosong public vote. All Serbian eyes will be on the glamorous trio, who will be hoping that valuable advice and support from a winner of such quality will help them to win through from their semi final to deliver for Serbia at the final in Malmö, on 18 May.
For Mirna, Nevana and Sara, the dream to compete at the Eurovision Song Contest was born as they competed as individual entrants at the First Voice of Serbia (Prvi glas Srbije), a TV talent show in Serbia. Now they have to ignore the pressures of representing their country and be ready to step out on stage alongside 38 other competing nations, in front of one of the world’s largest TV audiences for a non-sporting event.
Fitness & Healthy Eating Prepare Moje 3 for Eurovision
Although all three singers are used to performing on stage, the preparation for Eurovision can be grueling, with promotional appearances across Europe. Thankfully, these girls like to travel. “I have travelled a lot since I was very young,’ said Nevena. “I was in Holland, Spain, Italy, France, Croatia, etc. But, I was never in Sweden. I am always very glad to have opportunity to travel more.” Sara is also keen to get back on the road. “I have travelled a lot,’ she told Wild Rooster. “Travel is one of my biggest passions. Unfortunately I didn’t see Sweden or Great Britain, yet. But I’m a huge fan of Britain so I’m pretty sure that I’ll be going there for my next vacation.”
The rigours of another day another country, coupled with a requirement to sing live on the night, can call for some special measures for performers to stay on top of their game. “I’m trying to keep myself healthy,’ said Nevena Bozović, from Kosovska Mitrovica in northern Kosovo. “I eat healthy food and I’m going to the gym everyday.” Sara is taking an equally wholesome approach to her preparation. “I am mostly just being relaxed, positive and drinking tea,’ she said. “And I am eating some good candies for my throat.” For Mirna, there is a simple solution to giving her best with every performance: “I just make sure to have enough sleep before I perform,’ she said.
Healthy eating is one thing, but home cooking has a greater draw when traveling for any length of time, as Nevena knows well. “I miss my friends and family the most when I travel,’ she said. “And, of course, my mum’s kitchen.” Mirna agreed: “I really miss the food, when I am away. It is very good in Serbia – as I hope that you know!” Sara definitely agrees that Serbia is a land of heart, soul and good food.
“I love to eat so, of course, I miss the food when I am away from home!’ said Italian-born Sara Jovanović, who was raised in Rome by Serbian parents, but now lives in Belgrade. “But first of all I miss my family and my friends, as well as the spirit of the Serbian people, who are really warm and friendly, and all the beautiful places that nothing can replace. Home is where I feel happy and secure.”
Of course, staying in touch with friends and family is much easier than it used to be, thanks to Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp etc. “I’m a fan of the social networks,’ said Sara. “Having so many friends outside of Serbia, I use them often. I’m really thankful to the progress of the technology. But, like everything in this world, social media has its limits and we have to use it carefully. I still haven’t thought about how we will use Facebook and Twitter as part of our campaign.”
Nevena is clear how she will integrate social media into the band’s Eurovision campaign, while leaving certain routes clear from personal updates. “Social networks are good way of communication,’ she said. “They allow me to read suggestions from my fans, so I can make improvements to satisfy them. For our Eurovision campaign, I will use Twitter but Facebook is only for my closest friends.”
Mirna Radulović, from Subotica in Vojvodina, is also careful not to overuse social media. “I think that they are good and it is very nice opportunity for meeting other people,’ she said. “But also, I am always very careful not to be overwhelmed with networking. I hope I will have time to keep up to date during Eurovision.”
When they step out onto the stage in Malmo, they will be following in the footsteps of some of the Balkans’ best known names, including Serbia’s repeat entrant Željko Joksimović and the woman who brought home to the trophy to Belgrade, Marija Serifović.
Since bagging their spot at Eurovision 2013, Moje 3 have received support and guidance from many performers. “Of course we had a lot of advice from Serbian signers who have already performed at the Eurovision Song Contest,’ said Sara. “A lot of people who are in this business longer than us gave us much useful advice that we are going to use for sure for the contest. For Mirna, the most welcomed support came from Serbia’s ESC winner Marija Serifović. “I was so happy when Marija won Eurovision,’ said Mirna. “So it was so exciting when she gave us advice to fight and to believe in ourselves.”
Nevena, who lists Marija Serifović, Dima Bilan and Loreen as her favourite Eurovision winners, added: “Marija Serifović gave us her support. She said that ESC will be beautiful experience, but that there also will be a lot of obligations.”
Every year, critics of the Eurovision Song Contest point the finger at the Balkan states and the former Eastern bloc, as well as Greece and Cyprus, accusing them of giving top points to friends and neighbours rather than voting for the best song. Opponents to this claim justify the voting patterns as only natural when artists and their style are familiar in natural areas of Europe.
None of this seems to bother Moje 3, as Sara explained. “People have the right to vote however they want,’ she said. “So it doesn’t make sense to discuss that any more.” Mirna chooses not to think about how or why votes are cast, preferring to focus on her performance. “My only aim is to give the best from myself and represent country, as it should be,’ she said. “I do not think about the votes.” Nevena, too, believes that the music will always win over any political favouritism. “In the end, it is all about music,’ she said. “I think that they should vote for the song they like the most.”
But, while the girls’ sentiments might be valid, it is almost inevitable that the naysayers will still point their finger at predictable judging patterns as neighbours favour neighbours.
Balkan States in Eurovision Semi Finals
Moje 3 speak highly of their fellow competitors from across the Balkans, even though they could not be drawn to pick out any one performer for praise. Sara probably sums up their feeling best. “There is a lot of good music and amazing artists from the Balkans, so I’m really honoured to be part of the contest with them,’ she said. “Everyone is great and I wish them a lot of happiness.”
• Moje 3 can be seen performing their song Ljubav Je Svuda in the first semi final of the Eurovision Song Contest, on 14 May (21:00 CET). Check local broadcasters or the official site of the Eurovision Song Contest for local voting options.
• Serbia will be joined in that first semi final by Croatia (Klapa s Mora), Slovenia (Hannah) and Montenegro (Who See). Macedonia (Esma and Lozano), Bulgaria (Elitsa Todorova, Stoyan Yankulov), Romania (Cezar) and Albania (Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko) will perform in the second semi final on 16 May (21:00 CET). Bosnia is not competing at this year’s event.Photo credits: S. Saric. Used with kind permission of RTS PR and press.