Slovenia decided: Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl are going to Tel Aviv with Sebi

Slovenia has chosen Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl as their 25th representatives at the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv. From ten contenders, they were crowned the winner of EMA and given the honor of representing Slovenia in Tel Aviv this May.

Thus, Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl will compete in the first half of the first Semi Final on Tuesday 14th of May with the song Sebi.

A jury consisting of Lea Sirk, Mojca Menart, Žiga Klančar and Aleksander Radić had chosen the 10 EMA finalists back in  December 2018. Three artists in particular was worth paying attention to: Maraaya, the Balkan country’s 2015 entrants, gave their creative touch to Kim’s Rhythm Back To You and Ula Ložar’s Fridays. AQLA Piletič, and Charlie Mason who have co written Ula Ložar’s Fridays are also the author of the Conchita Wurst’s Eurovision winner Rise Like A Phoenix, and Maraaya’s Here For You.

Additionally, Ula Ložar is a young singer who was the first Slovenian representative at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2014.

Last but not least, Sara Briški Cirman aka Raiven appeared on EMA for the first time in 2016 with the song Črno Bel. Eventually, she won the second place with 127 votes less than the winner. In May last year, she was one of the five Slovenian jury members.

The show

The show began at 8 pm (CET) in RTVSLO studios in the beautiful capital Ljubljana with a dance show to a new remix of Hvala Ne!. The host Ajda Smrekar is a very famous actress in her country. She was wearing black glittery costume. Ajda introduced the jury that included Darja Svajger (1995 and 1999) and Lea Sirk.

After the performances, Smaal Tak took the stage as guest artist. Ajda and two other female dancers accompanied him on stage. Four male dancers joined them later. After the super final performances, a comedian took the stage singing Maaraya’s Here For You in different styles. Lea Sirk took the stage next and sang 3 songs including Hvala Ne! It was a big question how she managed to change three costumes in such short time.

The songs

Kim– Rhythm Back To You:  Kim started the night’s performances with her uptempo pop song. She was accompanied by two male dancers who were playing drums. At the end of the performance the drumsticks were striking fire.

Renata Mohorič– Three Bridges: Renata and her guitarist started her rock ballad Three Bridges with soft guitars. She was wearing black trousers and golden & black jacket and a giant black ring. In the second half of the song, drums were added to the performance.

René – Ne Poveš: Rene and his two male dancers performed his soul / funk / R&B style song with matching dance moves. Rene was wearing a purple glittery suit with a black t-shirt while his dancers were dressed in black. Dance routine was the main element of the performance.

Fed Horses – Ti Ne Poznaš Konjev: The song is a ballad with country flavors. The group consists of four artists. Guitars, violins, drums and keyboards were seen on stage. Lead singer was wearing a black blouse and red skirt.

Ula Ložar– Fridays: Young Ula took the stage with her uptempo, energetic pop tune “Fridays” accompanied  by her two male dancers who were wearing black trousers, white shirts and black bowties. She was wearing a black pullover and black sports shoes. Saxophones were added to the performance through the end of the song.

Lumberjack– Lepote Dna:  Group Lumberjack took the stage with 3 guitars, keyboard and drums performing their rock song Lepote Dna. The performance was flavored with colors all around the stage and videos of the band members playing with powder paints. The performance was completed by flashlights.

Okustični– Metulji Plešejo: Another country ballad came from Okustični. Mate started the performance by singing and playing the guitar. Later on, Karin joined him singing on stage in her white costume. Later in the performance, a second guitar and drums joined them.

Inmate– Atma: Inmate’s Atma was the other rock tune of the night. The dynamic band of 2 guitars and drums were all over the stage all through their dynamic performance.

Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl– Sebi: The young duo’s romantic performance of their song was accompanied by guitar and keyboard both played by Gasper. Stars were all over the stage. Both Zala and Gasper were wearing white costumes. The song had electronic and r&b flavours.

Raiven – Kaos: Raiven took the stage accompanied by her 4 male dancers in her mini white dress, with her green hair. Her song started with synthesizers and sirens were added after the intro. Electronic sound was the major speciality of the song. Dance moves were seem to be inspired by Madonna’s dance moves in the video of her song Vogue.

The result

The voting took place in two stages. As a result of the first round, out of 10 entries that performed tonight, Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl and Raiven won the chance to perform in the Super Final round with the votes from the expert jury.

At the end of the night, after the Super Final performances by Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl and Raiven, the eventual winner Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl were selected solely by the public vote.

The publics votes were as follows:

Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl   73%

Raiven                                 27%

Slovenia in Eurovision

Slovenia joined our beloved TV show in 1993 and has participated 24 times since. They have ended up in Top 10 twice. Likewise, both songs finished in seventh place; in 1995 Darja Svajger with Prisluhni Mi and in 200 Nusa Derenda with Energy. These two have been the Balkan country’s best result to date and Slovenia is yet to win the contest.

Omar Naber (2005 and 2017) and Darja Svajger (1995 and 1999) have represented the Balkan country twice. Slovenia  qualified for the Grand Final on five occasions, in 2007, 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2018.

Last year, the winner of their national selection show was the successful pop singer and songwriter Lea Sirk. Eventually, she went on to represent the country in Lisbon, with her song Hvala, Ne! (No, thanks!). Lea’s performance in the semi-final eventually carried her to the Grand Final. At the end of the Grand Final, she placed 22nd with 64 points in total.

Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl will be the 25th representative of Slovenia in the history of Eurovision Song Contest this year.

You may enjoy Zala and Gasper’s live performance in the below video.

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