Slovenian broadcaster RTVSLO confirms new semi-finals for EMA 2017

Last month media speculated that Slovenian broadcaster RTVSLO would use three shows for EMA 2017. This month the broadcaster confirmed it to be true. RTVSLO has now revealed that the competition will introduce two semi-finals.

The new plan of the 2017 competition has been outlined in the official EMA rules.

The two semi-finals will be made up of eight songs each. From each semi, four acts will qualify for the grand final. The two songs with the highest televote scores will qualify first, followed by the two songs that are ranked next highest with the jury vote.

This format is similar to the semi-final voting systems of Hungary’s A Dal and Latvia’s Supernova. While the public and jury votes usually agree, the results can sometimes produce in awkward mismatches. At the 2016 Supernova semi-final, Markus Riva was the public’s third choice. However, he missed out on making the final when the jury did not select him.

The EMA grand final will consist of eight finalists. The voting will be split between six regional juries and the public televote, using a variation on the traditional Eurovision “12 points” system.

This is a change from previous years, where a jury alone selected the top two acts in the grand final. Under the old system, the public then voted for the winner in a superfinal.

RTVSLO has not confirmed dates for EMA 2017, but Slovenia media have speculated that the grand final will take place on Friday 24 February.

Slovenia at Eurovision

The change to EMA comes after Slovenia’s mixed fortunes at Eurovision in recent years. They qualified for the grand final only four times in the past decade. Slovenia’s best result in that period was in 2011, when Maja Keuc’s song “No One” placed 13th.

In 2014, Tinkara Kovac placed 25th with “Round and Round”, while the following year, the married duo Maraaya placed 14th with “Here for You”.

Most recently, ManuElla’s song “Blue and Red” failed to quality for the final in Stockholm, placing only 14 in its semi-final.

What do you think? Is the new semi-final system a good choice for EMA? Share your thoughts below!