Eurovision 2016 Entry: Bosnia & Herzegovina – Dalal & Deen feat. Ana Rucner and Jala – Ljubav Je

Could Bosnia & Herzegovina's earworm "Ljubav Je" be a contender at this year's Eurovision Song Contest?

Dalal & Deen feat. Ana Rucner and Jala will represent Bosnia & Herzegovina at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest (Photo: Vanja Lisac) Dalal & Deen feat. Ana Rucner and Jala will represent Bosnia & Herzegovina at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest (Photo: Vanja Lisac)

Country: Bosnia & Herzegovina
Song Title: “Ljubav Je” (“Love Is”)
Artist: Dalal & Deen feat. Ana Rucner and Jala
First Semi-Final: Position #17
Last year’s entry: Did not compete

Not much has changed since I last checked in with Bosnia & Herzegovina’s entry “Ljubav Je” other than the song has really grown on me. Although I stand by my previous comments that the rock and rap elements make this entry a tougher sell, I think the argument could be made that Bosnia & Herzegovina are attempting (and achieving) a higher degree of difficulty. Let’s take another listen:

There are a number of factors working in Bosnia & Herzegovina’s favor with this entry. First, they are in a semi-final with lots of friends and neighbors. Add those points to the “welcome back” points that often accompany an entry from a country that has been on hiatus and “Ljubav Je” should rocket up the scoreboard.

Second, this entry is one of only three this year that is entirely non-English. I don’t see this as a barrier, as a quality song should be able to communicate its thesis regardless of language. If you look at the number of YouTube views this song has (more than 1.7 million as of this writing), it must be reaching people who do not speak Bosnian.

The mixing of styles in this track also has its benefits. There is a lot of earworm potential, from the strings provided by Ana Rucner, the fast delivery from Jala, and the chorus from Dalal & Deen. I think this song will play well with others as running orders are determined, allowing what precedes and follows “Ljubav Je” to shine.

My concern about the performance is going to be staging. In my last writeup, the separation of the performers may have been what gave me the initial feeling of this track coming across as two or three songs slapped together. This is not a request for pyrotechnics, but I think Bosnia & Herzegovina would benefit from maximizing the horizontal space of the stage and including movement within the performance. This may be a departure from Bosnia & Herzegovina’s typical staging, as their last three entries1 featured musicians using their instruments.

Welcome back to Eurovision, Bosnia & Herzegovina. I’m excited to see what you do.

Eurovision Song Contest First Semi-Final
May 10, 2016

ArmeniaAustriaAzerbaijanBosnia & HerzegovinaCroatiaCyprusCzech RepublicEstoniaFinlandGreeceHungaryIcelandMaltaMoldovaMontenegroNetherlandsRussia
San Marino

  1. Going back to 2010, y’all.  

A Word from Google Ads

  • I am having a really hard time getting into this entry. Part of it, I think, is the visual quality of the video, which I recognize is totally petty and superficial and won’t have any impact on the live performance. Another part is that this seems straight out of the 90s, but in a tired way, not a “yay nostalgia!” way. I think a compelling (read: ridiculous) performance would add a lot, especially as this year’s contest is shaping up to be VERY sincere and not very campy at all.

  • The current staging (which is mostly just the video here) makes it feel like his is a medley of 2 songs rather than one song as a whole. Hopefully there’s some togetherness on stage in Stockholm.

  • An English-language version of the song has been released:

    • That was helpful. Also, I’m glad they opted not to perform in English. I think this entry may be this year’s “SLOVENIA!!!” for me.