This Friday, Slovenian broadcaster RTVSLO revealed the names of the 16 participants for EMA 2018 (Evrovizijska Melodija), the Slovenian national selection.
The 16 challengers
Like in 2017, sixteen acts will compete for the right to represent Slovenia at Eurovision. They were selected among 108 applications, by a four-member jury: Maja Keuc (who represented Slovenia in 2011), Eva Hren, Jernej Vene and Tadej Košir (all musicians).
RTVSLO only revealed their names and the titles of their song: the songs themselves will be revealed later.
- Anabel – Pozitiva (Positive)
- BQL – Ptica (Bird)
- Gregor Ravnik – Zdaj je čas (Now is the Time)
- Ina Shai – V nebo (In the sky)
- Indigo – Vesna (Spring)
- KiNG FOO – Žive sanje (Live the Dream)
- Lara Kadis – Zdaj sem tu (Now I’m Here)
- Lea Sirk – Cirque (Circus)
- ManuElla – Dan potem (The Day After)
- Marina Martensson – Blizu (Close)
- MILA – Svoboda (Free)
- Nika Zorjan – Uspavanka (Sleepy)
- Nuška Drašček – Ne zapusti me zdaj (Don’t Leave Me Now)
- Orter – Tisoč let (A Thousand Years)
- Proper – Ukraden cvet (Stolen Flower)
- Tanja Ribič – Ljudje (People)
Here, you can watch the official announcement from RTVSLO:
Half of this lineup consists of returning artists:
Six contestants participated in EMA 2017: Ina Shai, KiNG FOO, Lea Sirk, Nuška Drašček, Nika Zorjan and of course BQL, the fan-favorite in 2017 (which you should pronounce the Slovenian way, “Be cool”, and not “Be-Q-el”). Nika Zorjan was also part of the Slovenian jury for Eurovision 2017.
Two former winners of EMA are also returning. ManuElla flew the Slovenian flag in Stockholm in 2016, with Blue and Red. Tanja Ribič sang Zbudi Se for Slovenia in Eurovision 1997, in Dublin.
EMA 2018 : the rules
There are two big changes in the rules for 2018.
First, RTVSLO has re-introduced a language rule. The last time it happened was with EMA 2010, when all songs had to be in Slovene (and the winning entry, Narodo Zabavni Rock, kept the Slovenian lyrics for Oslo 2010). However, this year, the rules allowed lyrics in any language officially recognized in Slovenia: Slovene, of course, but also minority languages like Croatian, German, Hungarian, Italian, Romani and Serbian. Only songs in Slovene made it through the first selection, though.
The second change in the rules is the format of the selection. EMA 2018 will consist of two shows: a semi-final with all 16 contestants, and a final, with 8 entries (who will have qualified from the semi-final).
Among the 8 qualifiers, four will be chosen by televoting and four by a 7-member jury.
During the final, however, there will be 6 juries of 5 members. The winner will be decided by a 50/50 mix of televotes and jury votes. Unlike 2017, the juries won’t be regional, but “professional”, for there will be:
- a jury of music performers (singers and other performers)
- a jury of music artists and producers (composers, lyricists…)
- a “Radio” jury (radio editors, journalists…)
- a “Television” jury (same, with TV)
- a jury of Eurovision fans (members of OGAE Slovenia)
- an international jury (musicians, producers, journalists, publishers…)
We don’t know the precise dates of the two shows yet, although we know they will take place in February 2018.
Last year, Omar Naber won the national selection, becoming the second artist to win it twice. Unfortunately, both times (in 2005 and 2017), he failed to qualify to the Eurovision Final.
What do you think of the new rules? Who are your favorite artists in the lineup? Will you follow EMA 2018? Tell us on the comments below or on social media at @escxtra !