Aussievision team rankings for Slovenia's EMA 2020 Final
Slovenia’s Evrovizijska Melodija also known as EMA will be held this weekend and the Aussievision team has ranked the 12 songs that vying for the ticket to Rotterdam. 10 direct to final artists and song titles were released in December while Parvani Violet’s ‘Cupid’ and Saška’s ‘Še kar lovim tvoj nasmeh‘ won their spots in the pre-qualifying final ‘EMA FREŠ’ last month. EMA FREŠ was an online competition which was open to artists under the age of 26 and who had released less than three singles. The winner of EMA 2020 will be selected via two rounds of voting. In the first round, a jury of three-person panel will select two entries to proceed to the second round or Superfinal. From there the winner will be decided by a public vote.
You can check out the snippet of all the songs for the final here:
So what did the Aussievision team think?
1st place - INMATE – ‘The Salt’ (68 points)
Highs: 10 points from Emma, Ruby and Steve
Lows: 2 points from Dale
Ruby: This entry makes me overly excited – it’s rock! The lyrics are strong and resonating, the drum line is driven, and overall I’m thrilled at the prospect of some more rock at Eurovision.
Steve: Passionate and dramatic heavy rock with a D&M, parable-esque message.
Liv: Feels a little bit like a videogame soundtrack but does remind me of early 2000s angsty music and for that reason it stands out for me and I quite enjoyed it. Needs some proper production put into it but overall my wig did fly a bit.
Kyriakos: We need more rock in Eurovision! And Eurovision needs this. This song gets my full support, will definitely add this to my playlist.
Mike: It sounds like a genuine rock song. Hopefully the live performance has the right amount of punch to it.
Dale: Hard rock, with a song and melody underneath the noise but production feels very messy. Falls into early 2000s soft rock at times. Heard it all before, just because you’re different heavy rock doesn’t make it interesting.
2nd place - Simon Vadnjal – ‘Nisi sam’ (You're not alone) (65 points)
Highs: 10 points from Guy, Kyriakos, Mike and Fleur
Lows: 0 points from Emma, 4 points from Steve
Kyriakos: This track is a pleasant surprise. It has an anthem vibe. Very Radio friendly. It is a stand out.
Mike: This sounds like it may some good energy and impact to it. The production sounds good. Hopefully it comes together life.
Liv: Kind of boppy – is certainly dated but also slightly anthemic! Has some good qualities – would love to hear a better production studio and see what staging they put along.
Ruby: Anthemic and powerful, ‘Nisi sam’ has a lovely build, and I really hope the full version travels in the similar direction with a focus on the strong vocals and driving piano and percussion.
Dale: This has a ‘big’ sound. Production is good, nice vocal in Slovenian, wouldn’t call it modern but it has some moments to hang on to as a English speaking listener. It has decent instrumentation and choral elements. It’s a bit like liquorice, I shouldn’t like it but I keep coming back for more.
Steve: Love the tone to Simon’s voice and the pre-chorus build, but then... yeah, it’s OK.
3rd place - Klara Jazbec – ‘Stop the World’ (61 points)
Highs: 12 points from Emma, 10 points from Dale
Lows: 2 points from Steve, 3 points from Guy
Dale: This is a really nice song. Great production, nice modern voice, this seems the most contemporary song of the bunch. No massive ‘big’ moments, just a well executed song. I enjoyed the full three minutes. Will need to do a great live to show it’s a song for Eurovision though.
Mike: She has a very nice vocal tone and the track sounds modern and well produced.
Kyriakos: ‘Stop the World’ is pleasant. Klara takes it to another level near the end. It’s very enjoyable.
Fleur: This is definitely my favourite amongst the female vocalists. This is quite contemporary. It sounds a like modern-day folk song. I really like this, but I don’t know if I can see it on the Eurovision stage. Klara has a sweet voice which makes it an enjoyable song to listen to.
Ruby: ‘Stop the World’ is a melodic, guitar driven song that mixed with Klara’s vocals is sweet, but not entirely memorable. Feel as if there is a message that I’m missing, but am sure/hoping I will find it once this entry is fleshed out onstage.
Steve: Pleasant and a nice voice, but just too beige.
4th place - Imset- ‘Femme Fatale’ (60 points)
Highs: 12 points from Steve, Dale and Fleur
Lows: 0 points from Emma, 3 points from Mike and Ruby
Dale: Big Balkan boyband bop. This feels genuine to Slovenia, this is something I would expect to hear on radio across the region and even though elements may be a little 2017 – in Eurovision that gives it a contemporary feel. Lends itself to stage well and provide a ‘moment’ or two to win over the crowd.
Steve: Ethno-/electro-pop vibes, strong verses and a “boptastic” chorus.
Kyriakos: Ok this song is a bop. We need more of this in Eurovision this year. Would need to see where he takes the staging.
Liv: Dated as all hell but I find it quite catchy. Would benefit from some better production but has some fun elements behind it.
Mike: This sounds like it may have some decent energy to it. The production does sound a little flimsy however.
Ruby: It’s a light bop, with a rock/alternative feel, but it’s just not catching much of my attention. The dynamics are slightly stagnating, and I’m not overwhelmed by the look of this group… we stall see how it goes on stage.
5th place - Gaja Prestor – ‘Verjamem vase’ (I believe in myself) (56 points)
Highs: 12 points from Mike, Guy and Liv
Lows: 0 points from Ruby and Fleur, 3 points from Emma
Mike: Sounds modern and well produced with a good tempo & some sass. A good live performance and this could be very good.
Liv: Reminds me of Romanian pop music – naturally this caught my attention. Has some fun swagger about it. Is a bit repetitive and needs a music break or some good staging to break it up.
Steve: A sexy, sultry voice selling a good song with a decent beat.
Kyriakos: ‘Verjamen vase’ makes for an enjoyable listen. Again this song sounds familiar, it has a great hook.
Dale: This sounds like good modern pop with the verses building and building to what I hope is a massive chorus pay off and…. I’m just a little disappointed. Still ok.
Ruby: It’s the one 30-second snippet that I find repetitive – the chorus and it’s ‘ehhs’ particularly. Gaja has a striking voice, which I’m sure will elevate this piece live, however I can’t get behind this song.
6th place - Lina Kuduzović – ‘Man Like U’ (39 points)
Highs: 8 points from Emma, 7 points from Steve
Lows: 0 points from Dale, 3 points from Kyriakos and Fleur
Steve: Contemporary, RnB-meets-pop, radio-friendly track that slightly overpromises and under-delivers.
Kyriakos: I get Jessica Mauboy vibes with nice R&B vibes. Sounds like music I used to listen to in high school over 15 years ago.
Mike: Very modern sounding track with some RnB elements to it. She has a nice vocal as well.
Ruby: Ahh so this is Slovenia’s Ariana Grande! It does feel very Americanised and commercial, but I imagine if it went to Eurovision, it would do very well.
Fleur: This is probably the most mainstream sounding song in the competition. It is neither here nor there for me. It will have its fans, but it is not a stand out. There are better songs out there, this is average at best.
Dale: Ariana Grande karaoke not for me.
7th place - Ana Soklič – ‘Voda’ (Water) (37 points)
Highs: 12 points from Kyriakos
Lows: 0 points from Dale and Ruby, 1 point from Emma
Kyriakos: Wow I love where the song takes you after the minute mark. I do get the ever slight ‘Molitva’ vibes and feels from this. One to look forward to seeing live. Ana’s voice is great.
Liv: Classic big female power-ballad with Balkan vibes – it’s powerful and gives plenty of opportunity for eye-catching vocal moments.
Steve: A classic piano ballad sung well. Love the chorus. This would be a safe and solid choice (so an unlikely one?).
Mike: The big female Balkan ballad in the selection. Ana has a great voice live, so expect a big vocal on this one.
Ruby: With such a sultry, yet strong, voice, I expected a bit more from Ana than the overly dramatic, slow ballad we received and hope a lot more body of the song is yet to be revealed, other than this snippet.
Dale: Passed me by.
8th place - Tinkara Kovač – ‘Forever’ (31 points)
Highs: 7 points from Mike, 6 points from Kyriakos and Emma
Lows: 1 point from Guy, Ruby, Liv and Fleur
Mike: Sounds a little too ‘Eurovision’ and schmaltzy off that snippet.
Kyriakos: A different approach compared to her ‘Round and Round’. She is going for the epic feels. It sounds a touch dated to me. But her voice makes the song.
Steve: A love song from another era that’s a tad too twee for me (and I’m British!).
Dale: Quite dramatic with a strong vocal (but what’s with keeping that breathing on the studio?) but ultimately the song isn’t super strong or even close to contemporary. But it’s pure old school Eurovision cheese with a key change and that gets an extra point from me.
Fleur: I was expecting a better song from Tinkara. Like many of the songs in this year’s competition, it is rather dated and unmemorable. This will not be causing any ripples in the Final. This is not redeeming at all.
Ruby: On first listen I was vaguely reminded of bad high school musical numbers mixed with a Disney vibe… which aren’t entirely styles I enjoy/seek out. The lyrics aren’t exactly ground-breaking either, but the vocals hold some promise.
9th place - Manca Berlec – ‘Večnost’ (Eternity) (30 points)
Highs: 7 points from Dale and Ruby
Lows: 0 points from Steve, Mike and Kyriakos, 2 points from Guy
Dale: This is super cute. It’s boppy Sunday afternoon walking through the park in the sunshine kind of song. Brings a smile to your face.
Ruby: I’m reminded of Nintendo music with Manca’s song… in the best way possible. Not sure how this will fare live, but would certainly be a soft and pausing entry, which has worked in the past for Slovenia (see 2019).
Fleur: This an understated, cute, happy song- almost like sunshine and lollipops. It sounds quite different to the other female vocal songs. However, it needs something extra to stand out. I quite like it though.
10th place - Saška- ‘Še kar lovim tvoj nasmeh‘ (I just love your smile) (27 points)
Highs: 8 points from Guy and Ruby
Lows: 0 points from Steve, Kyriakos and Fleur, 1 point from Mike
Ruby: I’m somewhat reminded by Junior Eurovision by this snippet, yet this is simply nice and I really enjoy the guitar and piano.
Dale: Good vocal, modern production but ultimately nothing big to hang on to with the song. Well put together though.
Mike: She performed this competently at EMA Freš. Although the song has a pleasant vibe, it really quite pedestrian unfortunately.
Fleur: This reminds me of Wales’ JESC song last year. It was one of the EMA FRES songs that won through. I suspect that this one was the jury’s choice so it may do reasonably well in that department again, although there are stronger songs in this Final. Overall, it does not sound as polished as the more experienced acts and is rather forgettable.
11th place - Parvani Violet –‘Cupid’ (26 points)
Highs: 12 points from Ruby, 7 points from Emma
Lows: 0 points from Guy, Mike and Liv
Ruby: Jazz club time! The vocal finesse and horns present make this entry my clear and away favourite of the selection, but then again, I am a sucker for anything with a brass section. As one of the two entries selected from EMA FREŠ, ‘Cupid’ has an already good enough staging to work off of, and combined with the story present in the song, stands a real chance in this selection.
Steve: Cute and quirky but ultimately too wacky for me.
Dale: Jazzy café music, does exactly what it says on the tin. I’d enjoy a nice glass of vino listening to this as background music.
Fleur: The other EMA FRES song. I think this was the televote choice as the lyrics are a mess. It may be a café hit in the streets of Lublijana but it is not my taste really. Again, I cannot see this troubling the scoreboard.
12th place - Božidar Wolfand Wolf – ‘Maybe Someday’ (22 points)
Highs: 5 points from Dale
Lows: 0 points from Guy and Liv, 1 point from Steve
Dale: – Vintage with a bit of Balkan flair, like the military beat underneath but ultimately like my morning bus I just kept waiting for the song to ‘arrive’. Ultimately it lacks impact but overall still an enjoyable three minutes.
Mike: There is some traditional Balkan vibes mixed into this, however the lyrics sound quite cheesy.
Fleur: Inoffensive, dated little ditty. It’s not a bad song but it is a little on the bland side. I am not expecting this to do well. I feel like I have heard a few songs like this before.
Kyriakos: Ooooo this one seems like a mash up of a lot of familiar hooks from a few pop songs. I am not connecting to the message of the song at all unfortunately.
Steve: 90s boyband sea shanty (hey!) B-side. Nope!