Our penultimate entry in semi-final 2 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, Omar Naber represented for the second time with “On My Way” but only finished 17th in semi-final 1.
The Slovenian broadcaster, Radiotelevizija Slovenija (RTVSLO), organised the 22nd edition of EMA (Evrovizijska Melodija – Eurovision Melody) to select the country’s Eurovision entry. 16 songs competed across a semi-final and a final. In the semi-final, public voting selected four finalists and a jury selected another four. All songs also had to be performed in Slovene. In the final, the language restriction was lifted. Five professional juries (50%) and public voting (50%) decided the winner. After coming first in the jury vote and third in the public vote, Lea Sirk was awarded the Slovenian ticket to Lisbon.
Lea Sirk was born on 1st September 1989 in Koper on Slovenia’s small coastline in the southwest of the country. Lea was interested in music from a young age, as she began learning how to play the flute at five years old. She professionally began her career in 2006 as a singer and songwriter and released her first single Povej mi, kdaj (Tell me when) a year later. She went on to release many other singles throughout her career, as well as her 2014 album Roža (Flower).
Lea has attempted to represent Slovenia three times before her most recent successful attempt. She first took part in EMA 2009, where she placed 9th in the final with her song Znamenje iz sanj. (Sign of a dream) She took part a year later, finishing 10th with Vampir je moj poet (The vampire is my poet). In 2017, she participated with her song “Freedom” but failed to qualify from the semi-final. She also performed as a backing singer for Tinkara Kovač in 2014 at the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The song that Lea will sing in Lisbon, “Hvala, ne!” (No thanks!), was composed by Tomy DeClerque and Lea herself. Lea also wrote the lyrics.
EMA has a habit of screwing over the song that should win, mostly due to jury votes. This year though, I think the right choice was made. This song gives off contemporary vibes and a whole lot of sass. Lea is not taking any of your shit and she wants you to know it! Although the chorus is a bit repetitive, there isn’t a dull moment in this song. Slovenia may be back in the final after two years of despair.
What Could Have Been
The favourites of the public vote for the second year running, the brother duo of BQL ended up in second place due to them not getting much love from the juries. Although I prefer their offering from last year, “Heart of Gold”, their entry this year “Promise” (originally Ptica – “Bird”) was fresh, catchy and an overall good package. They would have been better off keeping it in Slovene for the final but y’know, choices. Third time lucky next year lads?
Srečno v Sloveniji!
Are you saying “Yes please” or “No thanks” to Lea? Leave your comments below. Stay tuned tomorrow for another Eurovision preview!
(Sources: eurovision.tv, RTVSLO, YouTube)