Slovenia - Damian & Jorge

Damian and Jorge were both assigned Slovenia but it was only a single show in the end so we will have two perspectives on the same show.


The great final of the Slovenian EMA took place on Saturday, February 16, from the studies of the RTVSLO in Ljubljana. Slovenia will compete from the first Eurovision 2019 semifinal to be held on May 14 in Tel Aviv. Ajda Smrekar presented the final of the traditional Evrovizijska Melodija where 10 songs aspired to win the long-awaited ticket to Israel. A jury composed of Darja Švajger, Lea Sirk and Vladimir Graić (composer of Molitva) were in charge of scoring and choosing the 2 songs that would go to the Superfinal where only the public would vote to choose the winner... Superfinal that has already caused quite a few surprises in Slovenia before, leaving artists and songs that seemed sure winners on the way. 

I must admit that this year the selection of songs and the way they were presented to the public was quite rare. With the snipetts published three weeks ago, everything was confusing: we knew Raiven was in the final, taking into account her previous results she stood out as a great candidate to win, adored by eurofans. But KAOS was heard ... something weird. It promised something but we still didn´t know if it was going to be the great song we expected. Ula Ložar was there with "Fridays", a song composed by Maraaya and the fans remembered her from Junior Eurovision. There was also Kim, with a great voice and another song composed by Maraaya. A couple of rock / metal bands, a guy who danced and sang, a couple of country-style songs ... and nothing more.


The show was truly very well produced. The great lighting and stage that the EMA brings us every year added in this edition very good sound, dancers and very interesting graphics.

The first of the night was Kim Begovič with The Rythm back to You. Blonde and exuberant in black, with a great voice, the song promised more and ended up becoming repetitive.


Next up was Renata Mohorič with Three Bridges. The song was quite good (certainly not for Eurovision) but if it had been well sung it would have stood out a bit more ... it was not the case. She was almost the whole song out of tune.

With "Ne poveš" (Do not tell), René invited us to dance. In glitter, with two dancers and a lot of energy, it brought us a somewhat bland song. He stayed halfway.
Fed Horses with Ti ne poznaš konjev (Something like "You do not know horses") brought to the EMA the first great song of the night. Song of country style, intimate and beautifully sung by Urša Mihevc. It's not surprising that they were in third place that night.


With "Fridays" comes Ula Ložar, from the hand of Maraaya. Fun song, well sung and not so well danced. Ideal for the Eurojunior more than for the Eurovision. A good proposal very well qualified by the jury.


The following are Lumberjack with Lepote Dna. Boys rocking, a good song but nothing to emphasize. I´m not a fan of these kind of songs.


It is now the turn of the vocal/instrumental duo Okustični, composed by Mate Brodar and Karin Zemljič, who have already tried out the great Eurovision stage, as vocalists: Mate ( Sestre ) and Karin (Maraaya and Lea Sirk). Metulji Plešejo (Butterflies are dancing) is melancholy, romantic, slow, ideal to listen in the car. Nice song.


INMATE is a metal rock band with many years of career. Their vast experience is noticed on stage. The song does not bring any novelty within the genre. Turkey, Cyprus, Georgia already presented songs in this genre with very similar songs. This style is not mine at all.


With the snipetts presented by the RTVSLO the next song,"Sebi"(To yourself), was almost unnoticed. An ethereal song, to which only a few pay attention. Sung and composed by a duo of young singers / musicians / composers from Maribor, Zala Kralj (19) & Gašper Šantl (22). Only with the presentation of the versions of just over a minute, the public could appreciate the jewel that was hiding here.

Ko so tvoje misli polne

Lahko poslušaš

kako mi bije srce

Ko težko je tvoje brem

K meni se lahko zateče

(When your mind is full you can listen to my heart beating .When your burden is heavy you can take refuge in me) 

This is how  Sebi begings

Zala only has eyes for  Gašper, she sings to him, whispering "The stars are not always visible.Stay true to yourself. Don´t tell me to forgive you" . Fragile? May be. Or not. He takes her hand and does not stop looking at her.  She says "Look at me ... that everything has a meaning". Her voice is crystalline and natural, the atmosphere they create is unreal.  She throws her only look at cameras in the second end.
The last one to sing was the one that a priori seemed the great favorite of the night: Raiven. With "Črno bel" she was second in EMA 2016 and with "Zažarim" she was third in 2017. Both are amazing songs.  After presenting the 2018 edition it seemed that this was her year. She promised "Kaos" and fulfilled. Literally the song was chaos. Visually very interesting, beautiful with her green hair and big eyes, accompanied by sexy dancers ... Lights, dancing and chaos. She repeated again and again "kaos kaos kaos" and her dance steps imitated Madonna's Vogue. The song started very promising and then it became a big mess. Too modern maybe? Avant garde? A pity because the effort was a lot and the great work she did was noticed.


After the 10 performances, the jury evaluated the performances and went to the superfinal Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl and Raiven. In places 3/4 were Ula and Fed Horses, fifth was Okustični, sixth Lumberjack, in seventh place was INMATE, eighth was Kim and closed the list with Renata and René. In the end Zala & Gašper came out on top with a total of 72,89% of televotes and will be flying the slovenian flag in Tel Aviv.
When they announced to the winner the faces of surprise of all could not be disguised. We even heard Lea Sirk uttering the F** word while hugging Raiven (Fak no, pa ne morem faking verjet/Well, I can not f** believe it ). Of course if you look for Eurodramas Slovenia is THE place..
EMA 2019 / Lea Sirk prizna Raiven / fak no, pa ne morem faking verjet / Zala Kralj in Gašper Šantl

And the Eurodrama is served. For some "Sebi" is "too slow", Zala is "an iceberg", Gašper "only balances during the 3 minutes"... For me is a beautiful song, with the most wonderful and moving lyrics that I heard at the festival. I do not know what will happen in May, it will depend on the presentation they make. But "Sebi" deserves the spot and fortunately it will be in Eurovision. And surely we will see Raiven, a great singer, at an upcoming festival.

See you in Tel Aviv !!!

(PS: I leave you the link of S teboi, another Zala & Gašper  song that I find very interesting. At one point it says in the lyrics "S papirnato barko plujem s teboj, tudi če potopiva se, jaz sem s teboj" / " I'm floating in a paper boat with you, even if I'm sinking, I'm with you. "

I'm still crying like a baby)

Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl - S teboi


Fak no, pa ne morem faking verje! (Well, I can not f** believe it!) - These words of enormous surprise were those that Lea Sirk, the winner of EMA 2018, said in Raiven's ear, comforting her for a new second place. Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl, two very young musicians from Maribor had just won the Evrovizijska Melodija (EMA) 2019 in Slovenia with the song "Sebi" (To yourself). A new year. A new EMA. An old Eurodrama.

EMA 2019 / Lea Sirk prizna Raiven / fak no, pa ne morem faking verjet / Zala Kralj in Gašper Šantl

When I found out that I had to do the review of the Slovenian EMA for the OGAE ROW, I was especially happy. I have always had a special taste for the music of the countries of the former Yugoslavia and the rest of the countries of Eastern Europe, a taste that surely comes from my family roots. And taste shared by my husband who also had the luck to do the review of the same Slovenian final.

I was already prepared to listen to beautiful Balkan ballads or divas singing dramatic songs. I expected dancing, wind, Sašas, Mancas ... But it was Slovenia, the most western of the former Yugoslav republics, and I knew that I was going to find some rock and modern sounds.  And of course, there was little of the first and much of the second.

The final of EMA 2019 disappointed me because of the quality of the songs presented. The truth is that none of them managed to captivate me.

From the beginning, Kim with Rythm back to you has already started my discomfort. The song was repetitive, well sung but not perfectly interpreted. The song promised but it stayed halfway. 

When I saw the title of the second song "Three bridges" instantaneously I thought about the Tromostovje in Ljubljana and crossed my fingers. Sadly Renata Mohorič sang it completely out of tune. I must say that the song is ok. But it is another no.

The next song brought René and Ne poveš (Don't tell) on stage. He attempt to transmit energy and good vibes with a song too soft. Not again.

Fed Horses and Ti ne poznaš konjev were the following. Country music, very well sung, a beautiful singer (although poorly dressed). I must say that this fourth song of the night I liked a lot. Is it for Eurovision? No, certainly not.

When I started listening to Fridays by Ula Lužar I immediately felt Flamingosi´s vibes. I immediately became curious. The song is ok, she sings well (and dances badly), the lyrics of the song were a mess. Ideal for Eurojunior but until here was the one that counted on my votes.

Lumberjack brought rock to the EMA stage. Lepote Dna is a standard rock song, without much to emphasize, It's ok but in a festival like Eurovision it would go unnoticed. Of course, all fans would think to see the singer "Waw, is Michal Szpak´s twin!"

With Okustični something strange happened to me. I liked the song ... but I got a little distracted. Immediately I saw myself driving a car to Velika Planina listening and singing Metulji Plešejo. I realized that it is an ideal song to have on my favorites list but not to take to Tel Aviv.

INMATE (And then Raiven) I found them to be the most professional musicians tonight. Atma is not in any way the kind of music I would listen to. Of course the song is good, I would have loved to listen to it in Slovenian. But it is another not for me.

Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl with "Sebi" were the following. Of course I had no idea who they were. But my husband next to me began to rub elbows and to tell me "Put your eyes on this! They are amazing! Pay attention!"

Let's see...

The song is interesting. She whispers, her voice is wonderful and it's as cold as an iceberg. Big sad eyes, she sings the song to her boy. But they did not manage to convey emotion to me at all. I stayed halfway ...

The last one to sing was Raiven. She promised "Kaos" and fulfilled. The song is really chaotic. She repeated KAOS again and again as she danced Madonna's Vogue. A pity because it could have been a work of art ... but no. Avant garde? Too modern? Or simply chaos? I must admit that the song was very well produced. And of course her dancers were very sexy.

So far the songs. From here on the drama. In the Slovenian selection two songs are chosen that go to a Superfinal in which the televot decides the winner. This year's jury composed of Darja Švajger, Lea Sirk and Vladimir Graić (composer of Molitva) were  who decided the two songs that would happen to that Superfinal, They chose Sebi (Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl) and Khaos (Raiven), great surprise in the first, not so in the second. But of course we still had to wait for the public's decision. And the public voted overwhelmingly that the song that will represent Slovenia in Eurovision will be SEBI.

What will happen in May with Slovenia? The bet is very risky, considering that in Eurovision there is only one opportunity to captivate the public. I see very difficult that Zala & Gasper manage to transmit enough to achieve the votes of the public (it is likely that they do well with the jury)

PD: After listening to the winning song again and paying attention to the lyrics, it improved a bit. The lyrics of the song are wonderful. At one point it says "Eternity and this planet are not friends.And I´m like a snowflake waiting for spring to come. The stars are not always visible,stay true to yourself. Don´t tell me to forgive you"

See you in may in Tel Aviv!!