XTRA Preview & Review: Slovenia – EMA 2018

The national final season is definitely in full swing. Tonight, Slovenia’s EMA is going to take place live in Ljubljana and is one of the SEVEN national finals taking place during this evening. We’ve taken a look at the entries and the procedure below, so here is the XTRA Preview & Review!

XTRA Preview:  EMA 2018

Slovenia’s EMA is an established plateau of musical talent, showcasing the best the country has to offer since the 90’s. The first time this format was used to determine the Slovenian representative at Eurovision was way back in 1996.

This year, RTV SLO, has decided to narrow down the sixteen competing acts to only eight. The Despite the fact that the results haven’t been revealed yet, we do know that four of the eight qualifiers have been selected by the public, while the remaining four had to rely on the jury vote.

Eight songs will be taking part tonight. The Slovenian audience will be given a chance to vote for their favorite act. Their votes will then be combined with a jury vote. Whichever act receive the most votes from both the public and jury will be crowned as the winner and will get the chance to represent Slovenia in Lisbon.

You can watch the show live via stream provided on RTV SLO’s website here, and follow our coverage of the show on Twitter at @ESCXTRA.

XTRA Review:  O Melodie Pentru Europa

Lea Sirk – “Hvala, ne!”

Miki: Lea delivers this so well live, I just wish that the song was a tad more polished. Don’t get me wrong, I actually really do like it and the verses are everything, but the dance break that serves as a chorus gets kinda repetitive. However, the redeeming factor here is Lea’s ability to sell this live as we saw in the semi finals.
Score: 7/10

Nick: Now this is when I want attitude. A good song with plenty of character and a singer who’s living for it. I usually like the national languages, but this screams for an English version to dominate the stage.
Score: 8/10

Nathan: Straight off the bat, I am so INTO this. The chorus has me absolutely on hooks and then the post-chorus drop delights me. The way the song builds back up to speed in the second verse too. This is as close the contest has come to having my preferred style of music fully represented since Igranka. The staging is innovative and the vocals stand up for the most part. This is my winner.
Score: 9.5/10

Hlynur: Lea Sirk looks like a confident singer and performs the song really well. But it does not mean that I like the song, in fact it irritates me a bit. So no thank you for me.
Score: 3/10      

Indigo – “Vesna”

Miki: This is a refreshing little song, infused with a bit of an ethnic/ spiritual touch. The entire concept of the staging can be a tad off putting but I wouldn’t say it’s the worst song in this years EMA lineup. Indigo do sell it live and vocally it’s everything you would expect it to be. With that being said, I do not think we will be seeing them in Lisbon this year.
Score: 5/10

Nick: An attempt at creating heavenly folk. This somehow makes me uncomfortable as I’m not sure what I am watching. It’s not heavenly and not as much folk as I had hoped for. It’s like “Horehronie” went on relaxation pills…
Score: 3/10

Nathan: I really find it hard to describe this. It’s kind of ethereal but at the same time it’s very bland. I don’t remember it at all as soon as the next song starts.
Score: 4/10

Hlynur: This song is quite enjoyable. I like her voice and it the song just feels nice. Don’t think it is a winner though, sadly.
Score: 7.5/10

Ina Shai – “Glow”

Miki: “Glow” is quite a powerful ballad, Ina is also a very competent performer but I somehow fail to connect with this. It’s not that I don’t manage to see the emotion coming through while watching her performance, It’s just that I find the song a tad generic.
Score: 6/10

Nick: Is this your choice, Slovenia? No, it probably isn’t. But we need to appreciate the fact that it is here. This is a very decent, but standard pop tune. I think the English version will give this a couple of needed points on the scoreboard. Current, up there, but not so much out there.
Score: 7.5/10

Nathan: A delicate piano ballad grows into something much more contemporary with the bass kicking in and the bells adding to the depth of backing track by the first chorus. Simply staged but effectively lit at the key moments in the chorus. The vocals get a little off-key waily in the last chorus and will need tightening up for the final.
Score: 6.5/10

Hlynur: This song started quite good, but then it started to get kind of boring. But then again I am not usually the ballad lover.
Score: 5/10

BQL – “Promise”

Miki: “Promise” is a nice little tune performed brilliantly live. This is one of the instances I actually prefer the English version of the song and the guys truly do sell this brilliantly live. However, comparing this to their last EMA entry, “Heart of Gold”, I am a bit underwhelmed. With that being said, I still do think they are in with a shot and if they actually manage to win …. I won’t be mad at all.
Score: 8/10

Nick: Sometimes, you lose a national final and your broadcaster wants to make it up to you. Put them back in for a new chance and hope for the best. The key issue then is to not get lazy and deliver the same quality you did a year prior. BQL have missed that memo. It’s quite bland and not quite as on point as last year’s entry.
Score: 7/10

Nathan: It’s worth saying off the bat that this isn’t as good as their previous entry which should have won EMA. However, I still like it a lot. The use of synth sounds in the backing track fits with a lot of the music I listen to on a weekly basis. The beautiful staging here with the colours is so effective too, it perfectly fits with the contemporary theme of the song. I just wish the vocals were a little tighter in the chorus.
Score: 7.5/10

Hlynur: This song is sounds rather pleasant, however it does leave much after once you finished listening to the song. Although I do remember the word “Grýla” which is the troll mother of the Icelandic Santa clauses. Think this song could grow on me though.

Marina Martensson – “Blizu”

Miki: This has to be the weakest song in this years EMA lineup. The fact that it managed to qualify over much more credible entries leaves me wondering as to what people saw in this. It’s slow, mellow and very much dated.
Score: 2/10

Nick: Eurovision 1996 is calling, it wants its song back. With such a Swedish name, you’d crave for one of those bog standards Swedish Eurovision efforts. Not this attempt to be something. She sounds so nervous, even in the studio version. Not a fan at all.
Score: 2.5/10

Nathan: Well this just isn’t my thing at all. The vocals are about two octaves too high for this type of song, in my opinion. Marina’s breathy vocal is not one that appeals to me.
Score: 3.5/10

Hlynur:  Marina has this cool vibe in her voice, so I quite like the song. However it is not that catchy, so not sure it will be high at the final.
Score: 6.5/10

Lara Kadis – “Zdaj sem tu”

Miki: I actually really, really like “Zdaj sem tu”. I think that Lara is a brilliant vocalist and gives the song that extra something live. However, plenty of people were left confused by her stage costume and I truly do hope she ditches the tiara and goes full on regal/simple for the final.
Score: 8/10

Nick: A decent song with a lot of attitude. She looks like Cinderella, but I swear, if Cinderella had this attitude, the fairy would never have dressed her up. Make sure to return home before midnight, because that fairy won’t be mild if you’re late. Bit too dramatic…
Score: 6.5/10

Nathan: This grows from a simple piano track into a beautifully presented power ballad – the soaring vocal really gets my attention and retains it for the whole performance.
Score: 7.5/10

Hlynur: Guess I don’t understand this song, that is don’t understand the buildup neither the set up. Why is she is wearing a crown and singing about being there.
Score: 2/10

Proper – “Ukraden cvet”

Miki: I don’t actually mind this at all, but it’s kinda just there and it gets a bit forgettable once the recap comes on. I don’t think it’s a contender for the win, but a respectable placement is achievable.
Score: 5/10

Nick: Two pianos, a drummer, a guitar player and a singer and yet the small stage feels empty. Not a good sign. The song itself is bland and inoffensive, but the singer has the charisma of a paper towel… Sad to say, but how did this even qualify?
Score: 3/10

Nathan: A nice piano ballad whilst it happened but not entirely sure I’ll remember it afterwards. Nice vocals too. It’s all just nice. Nice.
Score: 6/10

Hlynur: Even though I am not the biggest fan of ballads in general, I rather like this one. It´s just easy and good to listen to it. Wouldn’t mind if this stole the show, but don’t think it will do that.
Score: 6.5/10

Nuška Drašcek – “Ne zapusti me zdaj”

Miki: This is so dated and cheesy that it’s almost becomes brilliant. I don’t think this should win, despite the fact that it is in a very favorably position in the running order.However, I do kinda appreciate that it’s there. As far as it’s chances at Eurovision, I’d say this would definitely not take Slovenia in the grand final.
Score: 5.5/10

Nick: A mature voice with an impressive vocal performance. Choreography works well, she’s enjoying herself. The picture works, the chorus is pitch perfect and I NEED that high note near the end. I very much like this. Probably not their winner, but it’s my favorite for sure.
Score: 9/10

Nathan: Dramatically staged, dramatic instrumental, dramatic vocals. Drama then fades into camp for the chorus. It’s a very odd song to me, personally speaking.
Score: 4/10

Hlynur: Not that fond of this song, feels like it’s to much. I don’t mind leaving it.
Score: 3/10

Who do we want?

The XTRA Jury, this time consisting of Miki, Nick, Nathan and Hlynur has spoken. Below you can see the average each song achieved. Their favorites for EMA 2018 are BQL with their entry “Promise”.

  1. BQL – “Promise”: 7.1
  2. Lea Sirk – “Hvala, ne!”: 6.9
  3. Ina Shai – “Glow”: 6.3
  4. Lara Kadis – “Zdaj sem tu”: 6
  5. Nuška Drašcek – “Ne zapusti me zdaj”: 5.4
  6. Proper – “Ukraden cvet”: 5.1
  7. Indigo – “Vesna”: 4.9
  8. Marina Martensson – “Blizu”: 3.6

Do you agree with our choice of winner, or would you prefer someone else to take the crown?. Let us know your opinions and thoughts below or at social media @ESCXTRA.

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