Coinciding with a football match taking place as I post this, I’m staying with the Balkans to focus on Slovenia. In many ways, Slovenia is closer to Austria and Italy than to the other ex-Yugoslav countries. In Eurovision terms that has meant Slovenia has not benefited from Balkan block voting quite as much as the others. However, with 23 entries since their debut in 1993 (and only missing two contests since), I’ve had a reasonable choice to make my top 5 from…
5. Maja Keuc “No One” (2011, 13th place, 96 points)
We start off with highest-scoring of all Slovenia’s entries – a modern song, confidently sung and professionally performed, it scored extremely high with juries. Maja came first in with juries in her semi-final was 4th in the grand final. Like several other Sloven entries, though, a poor public vote deprived this of a higher placing.
4. Tinkara Kovač “Round and Round” (2014, 25th place, 9 points)
A surprise finalist in Copenhagen, I enjoy this song – the flute introduction, the mix of the Slovenian and English, and the stage/floor LED design. It didn’t do much in the scoring but getting to the final was an achievement in itself.
3. Sestre “Samo ljubezen” (2002, 13th place, 33 points)
Long before Conchita took Europe by storm in 2014, it was Slovenia who provided the first drag queen ensemble at Eurovision, bringing sparkle and controversy to the 2002 contest. In a time when the vote was 100% televote, Sestre performed remarkably well, finishing mid-table and getting one of Slovenia’s better results.
2. Maraaya “Here for You” (2015, 14th place, 39 points)
Hotly tipped before the contest as one of the favourites, and a likely to get Slovenia’s first top 5 placing, the actual result was somewhat disappointing, though still better than most recent results. Let down perhaps by a perhaps too quirky performance and staging, this remains a very fine entry though.
1. Nuša Derenda “Energy” (2001, 7th place, 70 points)
The oldest song on this list is my number 1 – and also their equal best placing. It’s a dance song of its time, but a good quality at that and impressive live vocals. One of the most RVT-esque songs I think I’ve heard in the contest!
So that’s my second ex-Yugoslav country done, 4 more to go…