She entered Pesma za Evroviziju 2022, Serbia’s national final for the Eurovision Song Contest, as an underdog. However, Konstrakta‘s song ‘In Corpore Sano’ (Latin for ‘a healthy body’) captivated juries and televoters alike and soon she will be on her way to Turin. Will she have similar success there? Let’s take a closer look at Konstrakta, her music and explore ‘In Corpore Sano’s chances at Eurovision.
Who is Konstrakta?
Born in Belgrade in 1978, Ana Đurić (nee Ignjatović) first gained recognition through the band Zemlja gruva! They released three studio albums from 2010-2016 and even tried their luck at Eurovision, competing in Beovizija (Serbia’s national final at the time) in 2008 and 2009 with the songs ‘Čudesni svetovi’ (‘Wonderful Worlds’) and ‘Svejedno mi je’ (‘I Don’t Care’) respectively. Unfortunately for Zemlja gruva!, they came 10th and 16th in these contests.
It’s certainly interesting to compare Zemlja gruva! with the music Konstrakta is making now. Check out their 2011 song ‘Nisam znala da sam ovo htela’ (‘I Didn’t Know I Wanted This’) and see what you think:
In 2019, Konstrakta adopted her new stage name and went solo, releasing the single ‘Žvake’ (‘Chewing Gums’). Unusual and experimental, it was moving more in the direction we’ve come to expect from her, as was her 2020 single ‘Neam šamana’ (‘I Ain’t Got No Shaman’). Inspired by an article about Serbian pop princess Emina Jahović seeking support from a shaman to overcome her divorce, it shows that Konstrakta’s penchant for satirical lyrics is nothing new.
A Closer Look at ‘In Corpore Sano’
Regardless of how it fares at Turin, ‘In Corpore Sano’ is unlikely to be a song viewers are going to forget. With Konstrakta sitting on stage, wearing all white and washing her hands whilst singing lyrics that feature the words “What is the secret behind Meghan Markle’s healthy hair?”, ‘In Corpore Sano’ is a song that will capture attention even if this doesn’t translate to votes. However, dive a little deeper into the song and you will find there is much more to it.
Konstrakta initially released the song as part of a larger project, Triptih (Triptych), a 12-minute video for three songs. Each of the songs aims to illustrate a different aspect of modern-day life in Serbia: ‘Nobl’ (‘Noble’) explores the pressure society puts on aging women (“Sharon Stone does not use botox/She was watching her face in the mirror/She was watching her body and cried”); ‘Mekano’ (‘Soft’) portrays the lack of work-life balance in the modern world and the pressure that is put on us to be productive (“Money makes sense, let’s go to work […] Two days, five days, two days, five days”) and then, of course, there is ‘In Corpore Sano’.
Like ‘Nobl’, ‘In Corpore Sano’ also explores beauty standards with its now infamous opening line but it also explores the pressure on people to maintain a healthy body, particularly artists who do not have health insurance in Serbia: “God give health, I don’t have health insurance/Oh so how will they monitor me?/How will they care for me?/An artist is invisible.” In turn, Konstrakta also conveys the impact this pressure can have on our mental health: “A sick mind in a healthy body/A sad soul in a healthy body/A desperate mind in a healthy body/A frightened mind in a healthy body/So what do we do now?”
Speaking about the song, Konstrakta said “On one hand, we’re living in an atmosphere where health is represented as a life value that requires huge spending. Health is talked about as something that is fully under our control, only if we do this, buy that, follow the new trend, listen to that […] That’s the pressure that leaves us in fear.”
How Well Will Konstrakta do at ESC?
While Konstrakta’s performance is unlikely to be one viewers forget when it comes to voting, does this guarantee her a place in the Grand Final? Konstrakta is performing in the second semi-final, thought by many to be the stronger of the two and therefore the most competitive. Fans are bound to see some of their favourite songs bow out on Thursday night: could ‘In Corpore Sano’ be one of them?
Additionally, Konstrakta is performing third in her semi. While performing second is infamously nicknamed the ‘death slot’ in the final of ESC, statistically it is the third position that is the worst draw of the semi-finals. She is also performing after Finland and Israel, both of whom are performing high energy songs. Will this hinder her chances, along with her place in the running order?
There is also some concern amongst Eurofans that the song’s complex themes and lyrics could be lost in translation. For further exploration into this topic (as well as an even deeper dive into ‘In Corpore Sano’ itself), read the article we wrote about it by clicking here. However, during her recent performance at Israel Calling, Konstrakta received a positive reception of the crowd with many calling it one of the highlights of the night. Could this be a sign of good things to come?
Ultimately, we will have to wait until Thursday 12th May to find out how ‘In Corpore Sano’ is received. Regardless of how Konstrakta does, we’re sure viewers will still be talking about her song long after the contest has ended!
You can listen to ‘In Corpore Sano’ below:
What do you think of Serbia’s song for Eurovision 2022? How do you think it will place? Let us know in the comments!