The Serbian entry for the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest was selected in the Beovizija festival, which has been taking place every year since 2003. Yesterday evening, a semi-final took place with twenty entries, the ten best of which proceeded to tonight's final. Apart from the national final participants, the semi-final had already featured several representatives of other countries for the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest, who had all travelled to Belgrade to present their contributions to the Serbian public: Stefan Filipović from Montenegro, Rebeka Dremelj from Slovenia, Kraljevi Ulice feat. 75 Cents from Croatia, Laka from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Tamara, Vrčak & Adrian from FYR Macedonia, and Isis Gee from Poland. Moreover, the organisers paid tribute to Toše Proeski, winner of the first edition of Beovizija in 2003 and representative of FYR Macedonia in the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest, who had died in a car accident last year.
During the interval act, the festival awards were given in the following categories:
The annual awards were presented to the following artists:
Best Female Singer - Marija Šerifović
Song Of The Year - Vladimir Graić and Saša Milošević (Molitva)
Best Comeback - Dejan Cukić
Best Video - Kristina Kovač (Kolena)
Award For The Promotion Of Serbian Music Abroad - Bilja Krstić and the Bistrik Band
Award For The Best Humanitarian Music Project - Ivan Plavšić
Best Music Event - Music Star Company (concert of the Rolling Stones)
Best Concert - Belgrade Arena (Joe Cocker)
Best TV Series Music - Željko Joksimović
Best Single - Natasa Bekvalac
Best Pop Band - Neverne bebe
Best Album - Zdravko Čolić
Best Ballad - Aleksandra Radovic
Best Concert Tour - Željko Samardžić
Duško Trifunović Award - Bora Đorđević and Ana Stanić (awarded by the Serbian Record Company PGP RTS)
After the final round of the national selection, fan club OGAE Serbia organized an after-party for all participants, special guests and media representatives.
The show featured ten songs, with the winner being chosen by both televoting and an expert jury. Their voting results were both converted to a scheme from one to twelve points and added up. This is the final ranking:
Jelena Tomašević won the Beovizija already in 2005, but back at that time, the festival only served as a semi-final of the national selection procedure of Serbia and Montenegro. In the final, she was narrowly beaten by the band No Name from Montenegro. This time, however, she finally made it. Her song Oro was written by Željko Joksimović, who had represented Serbia and Montenegro in the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest, reaching the second place. He will be one of the presenters of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade. Being the host country, Serbia is directly qualified for the Final of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest on 24th May.
Update 1:14 CET: Awards information added, contributed by RTS