Eurovision 2017: [Slovenia] Omar Naber / On My Way

This has old-school Eurovision written into its manuscript.

‘On My Way’ has a strong discernible melody right from the off that makes me think we’re listening to a piece of musical theatre. In that way we’re transported back to the Eurovision of thirty years-ago. There are moments when I’m reminded of Germany’s 1988 song Lied fur Einen Freund. In that way, Slovenia’s 2017 song effortlessly taps into the spirit of German schlager.

But, ‘On My Way’ maintains its distinctiveness with a nauseating chorus. The melody creeps higher and higher with a Disney-esque resolution at the end.

I think this song will tank.

Read more song and rehearsal reviews from Eurovision 2017

Eurovision 2016 – Slovenia: ‘Blue and Red’ ManuElla

Slovenia have a long way to go to better my most special of Slovenian Eurovision memories: Sestre in 2002 singing ‘Only Love‘. They may have only come 13th, but it still stands the test of time.

2008 was a low-point – eight years on, I still can’t quite work out what’s going on. And don’t forget 2009, their worst entry ever – a magic trick waiting for magic and trick – and potentially the worst ever Eurovision entry in the history of the contest. Looking back on 2015, ‘

Looking back on 2015, ‘Here For You‘ (14th) still looks weird, but in the spirit of balance and fairness and all that, their 2011 entry not only qualified and got the country a much-needed reputation-saving 13th place, it is also a song that features in my Spotify ‘One Massive Bucket of Eurovision Loveliness’ Playlist. So, you know, Slovenia hasn’t been completely useless.

This year’s song from Slovenia is basically Taylor Swift. It’s hard not to like anything from Taylor Swift, so its hard not to like this. Musically this is Slovenia’s best song since 2002 and, as it happens, I think it does a better job at country than the Netherlands’ Douwe Bob does this year. Like a handful of others this year, Slovenia’s suffers from the very bittersweet quality the song is rooted in: the ending suffers from a lack of a definitive finish. Good as it is, my worry is that its obvious derivation will make Saturday night viewers dismiss it out of hand. A more distinctive staging may help overcome that.

Eurovision 2012: Slovenia Verjamem Eva Boto

Eva Boto sings Verjamem for Slovenia this year.

This probably made sense to someone. It doesn’t make sense to me. And that’s very nearly all I can say. And I feel awful about that.

It’s a sweet melody and singer Eva Boto obvious professional ease belies her 16 years. She’s also incredibly pretty.

But, the song jumps around all over the place and the meringues do rather upstage Eva. Any viewer who stumbles into watching the Eurovision final (assuming Slovenia get a place in it) will be looking for reasons not to vote. I fear people will be ignoring Eva and laughing at the background.

If I was a project manager having to explain to my line manager why I hadn’t delivered what I promised I would in the interview for the job, I’d probably be the kind of person who explained everything away by blaming everyone else.

Somebody somewhere is either doing that now or will be doing it on Friday 25 May 2012.

 

Slovenia has never won the Eurovision. Their best placing was seventh in 1995 and 2001. I’m still struggling to understand their 2009. Slovenia’s 2011 song was the first time the country had secured a place in the final. It came in at thirteenth place.

Eurovision 2011: Slovenia

Slovenia will be placing a lot of hope in singer Maja Keuc with the song No One. It’s powerful. Demanding. And rousing. And that might be just enough to get the country a place in the final, something I imagine they’d be quite pleased about.

No One might possibly be the best they’ve submitted in recent history. At least the best song since 2005 (and that wasn’t earth shattering, it has to be said). Everything since then has – described in the nicest possible terms – either been a grave musical error of judgment or a TV crime.

Looking back at their pseudo-magic act from 2009 I’m still not entirely clear how on earth it was even chosen to represent the country at all. Underwhelming. Bland. And … even more boring to watch.

2008 was a mixture of pantomime and rather dull pop. And really, someone should have seen the writing on the wall in 2006 with the song title Mr Nobody. 2007’s pop-opera-esque thingy was their last time in the final and they came fifteenth that year.

But if Slovenia are hoping for better things this year, they should remember that their best contribution to the Eurovision still remains the utterly brilliant Sestre of 2002, making the UK’s airline themed Flying the Flag from 2007 a pale and utterly embarrassing imitation.

Eurovision 2010: Slovenia

A car crash is waiting to happen.

I can hear the commentaries. I can see the interview sequences. I can see what clip sequences will be used in news reports. Slovenia’s contribution to Eurovision 2010 – Narodnozabavni Rock – will be held up as evidence that the Contest hasn’t changed at all. Laughing at the contest will be allowed. Laughing at those who take it reasonably seriously (seriously enough to write a blog post about every single song) will also remain de rigeur.

Whilst I fear that Slovenia’s Ansambel Žlindra & Kalamari will amount to nothing more than shorthand for the cynical hacks struggling to up their word count at the request of their impatient online editors, I’m also at pains to point out that there’s quite a lot about this song which makes me screw up my nose and narrow my eyes.

I say this as sincerely as one can when dishing out negative criticism. I’m the last one to want to break anybody’s heart. There is such a thing as schandenfreude after all.

Even so, there are so many different styles and musical ideas crammed into this song that the truth is that almost as soon as the vocal lead dressed in her gypsy costume reaches for the note at the top of the opening leap I want the thing to be over. It does – in the most unexpected way – make me quite look forward to the UK’s Josh Dubovie set foot on stage. Just.

I’m sorry Slovenia. I’m really not a nasty piece of work – despite what others might think. This really doesn’t work. Better luck next time.