The final of EMA Freš 2022 was broadcasted early this morning on RTVSLO, and we have some winners! Four acts have been selected (two by a jury and two by the televote) to move on to the main rounds of EMA, which will kick off next week (5 February).
The four successful acts (presented here in alphabetical order) are:
Leya Leanne - 'Naked'
An up-and-coming singer-songwriter, Leya kept things simple, which paid off in droves. Flanked by two guitarists and covered in glitter, the young artist gave one of the most convincing vocal performances of the night, visibly emoting in a way that some of the other vocalists weren't able to. Leya filled the space with her charisma and presence, making this one of the stand-outs of the night.
LPS - ‘Disko’
LPS (or 'Last Pizza Slice') is a band consisting of Filip Vidušin (vocals), Gašper Hlupič (drums), Mark Semeja (electric guitar), Zala Velenšek (bass guitar, tenor and alt saxophone) and Žiga Žvižej (electronic keyboards), who formed the band at school. Tonight, they brought their student charm to the stage, giving a performance that wouldn't be out of place in a jazz bar somewhere in Ljubljana. Lead vocalist Filip holds the performance together, keeping it simple by staring down the camera while delivering some great jazzy vocals.
LUMA - 'All in'
An alternative duo consisting of a psychology student and a young musician, LUMA certainly provided one of the most interesting entries of the night. With only a VAL-style keyboard on a trolley, the two young performers moved slowly around the stage as though in a hypnotic trance, staring intently into each other's eyes for a large chunk of the performance. Vocalist Lucija gives a great vocal, at one point "freezing" her partner Martin and taking over the keyboard. We haven't seen such sexual tension on the EMA stage since zalagasper's Sebi in 2019!
Stela Sofia – 'Tu in zdaj'
This one really came to life in the show tonight. Despite standing alone on the stage, Stela gave a commanding performance of her contemporary Slovenian-language ballad, with flawless vocals and an effortless stage presence. This one also had some of the best staging of the night, with spotlights used to pull focus and keep things visually interesting. Watch this space - this one could do some real damage in EMA next week.
Unfortunately, this means we had to say goodbye to 10 other wonderful performances, for whom the Eurovision journey ends here.
The true tragedy of the evening was the loss of the iconic Jesus Style, sung by Jon Vitezič. This one had everything - lyrics about Jon's "greasy hair", backing dancers dressed as church choristers in tennis shoes, an extended sequence where Jon has his hair cut by his backing dancers while sitting in a red office chair (no, really), and of course a great big foot-stomping "everybody love Jesus" chorus. You really owe to yourself to give this one a watch. Rock that asymmetric hairdo, Jon!
Ina, who gave a terrific performance of her song Moj Dopamine in the contest tonight, can go home feeling justly proud of her self - there was little she could have done to improve on her showing here.
Sisterly duo De Liri (one of Aussievision's pre-contest favourites) also did a great job. They performed with a harp while dressed in fluoro-yellow raincoats, and would likely have progressed in a different year.
The other unsuccessful acts were:
Mia Vučković – 'Telenovela'
Marijan Novak and Špela Velikanje – 'I Am So in Love'
Nika S. – 'Počakaj me (Wait for me)'
Katja Kos – 'Deadly Flower'
Jaka Hliš – 'Svoje sreče krojač (Your luck tailor)'
Anja Vodošek – 'Maniac'
Emma – 'Moja sreča (My happiness)'
The four successful qualifiers will now move on to the semi-final rounds of EMA itself, which take place on 5 and 12 February 2022. They will join the 16 previously-announced artists taking part in the selection process.
For more updates on Slovenia's Eurovision selection process, keep an eye on the Aussievision website in the coming weeks!