Our penultimate entry in semi-final 1 comes from the land of ski slopes, lush forests, clear lakes and a certain First Lady who totally didn’t copy a speech off anyone else. It’s Slovenia!!!
Slovenia first participated in the Eurovision Song Contest as an independent country in 1993, having previously participated as part of Yugoslavia. They will make their twenty-third appearance in the contest this year. Their best result has been seventh, which they achieved twice; first in 1995 when Darja Švajger sang “Prisluhni mi” and then in 2001 when Nuša Derenda sang “Energy”. Last year, ManuElla finished 14th in semi-final 2 with “Blue and Red”, thus leaving Slovenia out of the final for the first time since 2013.
The Slovenian broadcaster, Radiotelevizija Slovenija (RTVSLO), organised the 21st edition of EMA (Evrovizijska Melodija – Eurovision Melody) to select the country’s Eurovision entry. 16 songs competed across two semi-finals. In each semi-final, public voting selected two finalists and a jury selected another two. In the final, 6 regional juries (50%) and public voting (50%) decided the winner. After coming first in the jury vote and second in the public vote, Omar Naber was awarded the Slovenian ticket to Kyiv once more.
Omar Naber was born on July 7th 1981 in Ljubljana to a Slovenian mother and a Jordanian father. He has involved in music since the age of 16 and plays piano, guitar and bass guitar. Before his big break in music, he worked as a dental technician. In 2004, he won the talent show Bitka talentov which granted him the right to participate in EMA 2005, which he also won. He represented Slovenia in 2005 in Kyiv with the song “Stop” and finished 12th in the semi-final. He has released four albums. He currently divides his time between Ljubljana and London, where he is a licensed Underground busker. Prior to winning EMA this year, he also participated in 2009 with “I Still Carry On”, in 2011 with “Bistvo skrito je očem” and in 2014 with “I Won’t Give Up”. Omar wrote and composed his entry for Kyiv, “On My Way”, a song which he had saved for ten years.
Slovenia, you are one of the most beautiful places on Earth but I’m a little disappointed in your choice. For me, this was one of the weaker entries in EMA. It’s a bit too dated and it doesn’t excite me. Not even the multiple key changes do anything for me. Omar’s live performance lifts the song but there were much better songs on offer in EMA. Sorry, Slovenia, no final for you this year.
What Could Have Been
As you probably guessed by now, Omar was not my pick for Eurovision. My personal favourite was Raiven (not this Raven) with Zažarim (I Light Up). The song is contemporary and modern and Raiven serves fierceness and harp realness for days. When she literally lit up, I was getting my life! I for one cannot wait for the day she finally gets to grace the Eurovision stage!
Srečno v Sloveniji!
Is Omar on his way to victory or an early exit? Leave your comments below. Stay tuned tomorrow for another Eurovision preview!
(Sources: eurovision.tv, RTVSLO, YouTube)