During the week, the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — reviewed and rated the eight finalists from both semi-finals of Slovenia’s EMA 2017. It was close, but in the end duo BQL topped our jury rankings, finished just ahead of Nika Zorjan.

The duo’s average ranking was 7.29, a very respectable score from our panel. This means they finish on top of both our jury as well as your poll results. This no doubt puts them high up on the list of favourites to be Slovenia’s Eurovision 2017 act.

Our jury for this edition consisted of 14 jurors who hail from Armenia, Australia, Iceland, Malta, Morocco, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

As always, each juror assessed each song independently and awarded each song a score from 0 to 10. Before calculating the Wiwi Jury verdict, we dropped the highest and lowest scores to reduce potential bias and remove outliers.

You can scroll down to see the final rankings along with the average score and some of our comments. Click on the song title to read the full reviews from our Wiwi Jury.

EMA 2017 — Wiwi Jury Rankings

1. BQL – “Heart of Gold”

The positive: “Smooth vocals and strong chemistry are key elements of this contemporary song, especially in the last chorus. The young guys seem warm and full of character, which will serve them well in this national selection.” (Antony, 8/10)

The negative: “Interesting, a song that has so many elements, yet none of them properly work or go anywhere. It’s as though they had a checklist and refused to give in until they had every single musical trick packed in to the song. The two guys also don’t have enough chemistry, it’s way too forced and doesn’t come across well at all. It’s a shame, because they have a few good ideas here, but they just need to spend more time focusing on the beauty of simplicity.” (Natalie, 3/10)

Score: 7.29/10

2. Nika Zorjan – “Fse”

The positive: “From the very first note Nika Zorjan got me! The production is well executed and the violin adds a little ethno flavour. However, the highlight of this performance is Nika herself: her voice is sultry and powerful at the same time and her stage presence is undeniable. Easily the best song from this semi-final. Oh, and thank you for this wonderful song, Maraaya!” (Zakaria, 10/10)

The negative: “This is my favourite of the four qualifiers from the first semi-final. It has a modern sound and Nika is doing a better job of rocking pink hair than Dinah Nah’s ill-fated pink wig. But yet “Fse” still isn’t captivating enough. It has a few hooks, but not enough to make it a stand-out performance, either at EMA or ESC.” (Robyn, 6.5/10)

Score: 6.96/10

3. Raiven – “Zažarim”

The positive: “A genius composition, let down by poor staging. “Zazarim” envelops your senses at key intervals, whilst Raiven’s vocals draw you deeper into her world. Vocally and conceptually, this slays! Unfortunately, a winning entry calls for a much stronger visual presentation and an energetic stage presence.” (Deban, 8/10)

The negative: “This has to be the most underwritten song in the entire national final season. There are chunks where it feels like some of the instruments stopped working. The song just goes in and out of life like a patient on their deathbed. Raiven is obviously a terrific vocalist but let’s be honest — this is an absolutely horrible take on an electronic ballad.” (Antranig, 1/10)

Score: 5.5/10

4. KiNG FOO – “Wild Ride”

The positive: “This song is so wonderfully genuine. Aleksandra Josic definitely has a very raspy voice and I’m sure not everyone will like it, but for me it just adds to the rustic charm of the song. I don’t think the lyrics are any especial genius either, but they’re nice enough. Sure it lacks a bit of punch and feels amateurish, but it has true grit, emotion and honesty, and especially nowadays that should be applauded.” (Natalie, 7.5/10)

The negative: “Her voice is deep, gutteral and stirring — she’s like Anastacia but fresher. Unfortunately the song inspires little emotion and, despite the catchy opening, ends up cheesy and forgettable. For a song promising a “Wild Ride” this feels rather safe and pedestrian.” (William, 5.5/10)

Score: 5.5/10

5. Sell Out – “Ni panike”

The positive: “As a long time fan of Madness and later, in relation to Eurovision, the almighty Athena from Turkey, Sell Out make me want to dance and learn how to play the trumpet. This is such a fun song. And the guys are lively and seem to enjoy what they’re doing. Which is always a nice asset, when one wants to captivate the audience. And who doesn’t like to be entertained? Yup, I’m feeling this.” (Kristin, 8/10)

The negative: “I want to like this song, but I just can’t wrap my head around it. It’s nice enough, even with all the weirdness and the jazzy stuff, but it just seems really forced and disconnected. I just don’t know what Sell Out are trying to achieve, whether they’re making for a song with genuine thought behind it, or just trying to be a joke – in any case, this just doesn’t gel.” (Natalie, 3/10)

Score: 5.38/10

6. Nuška Drašcek – “Flower in the Snow”

The positive: “Her blackbird earrings are incredibly distracting, and she seems to keep the metaphor going with her black dress. Thankfully the chorus of the song takes flight, helping me look past the visuals. Lyrically I’m not feeling this — a flower in the snow isn’t that compelling of an image — but when she hits the big notes she really hits them. Slightly dated and throwback, but at least there’s a soul.” (William, 6.5/10)

The negative: “This was not my cup of tea. Her vocals were really shaky, and the song took forever to start, and once it did, nothing really happened. That flower in the snow will not make it through the winter. Its lifeless from start to finish.” (Kristin, 3/10)

Score: 5.29/10

7. Omar Naber – “On My Way”

The positive: “Omar’s vocal flourishes are a wonder to behold. “On My Way” captures much of this vocal drama whilst retaining a very strong melody. Warm, soothing, uplifting and soaring, Omar Naber’s voice is a fine instrument, and his self-composition bears the hallmark of a modern classic.” (Deban, 9/10)

The negative: “Yes, it would be nice and symmetrical if Omar Naber returned to another Eurovision hosted in Ukraine, but with this song? He has a really good voice, but “On My Way” is such a bland song. The only thing commendable about the performance is Omar’s vocal technique. Everything else is just so dull and forgettable. He deserves better.” (Robyn, 3/10)

Score: 5.04/10

8. Tim Kores – “Open Fire”

The positive: “Performing at EMA is nothing new to Tim Kores, so he delivered when it really mattered. The firey staging looks impressive and should Tim win EMA 2017, I hope he translates it to Kyiv along with his stage presence. With the combined efforts from songwriters Jeff Lewis and Drew Lawrence, Tim Kores has ended up with a rather safe, catchy pop-rock song.” (Anthony, 6/10)

The negative: “This song sounds like an entry that would finish fifth in a Melodifestivalen semifinal. The song is not bad at all, but it’s a bit tiring. It starts well, but there’s not really a progress here, and the beat ends being annoying. It’s well produced, yes, but there’s little more to save from this entry.” (Luis, 4/10)

Score: 5.04/10

The final of EMA 2017 stars at 19:55 CET, with special guests including Eurovision 2016 winner Jamala. You can catch all the action live on the RTVSLO’s live stream here.

Read more Slovenia Eurovision news here

Photo: Bit Sever

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Brett
Guest

obviously like your web-site but you need to check the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very troublesome to tell the truth nevertheless I’ll certainly come back again.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Omar’s song is a little bit like “My Heart is Yours” (Norway 2010)? – It’s that same style of song anyhow. But I would have given either BQL or Raiven the win; I don’t understand how the juries could have given Omar the win based on his first performance. However, his winners’ performance was truly stunning. Headaches all round I think.

Austrian Ari
Guest
Austrian Ari

I agree with a clear public vote EVEN if I myself can’t stand it. There is no such thing as neighbor voting in a national final. THE PEOPLE should decide who will represent THEIR country. If the people want something as stupid as Moje3, so be it. We all saw what happened.
BQL were so much more than that. They had the best, most contemporary song and they do have real talent. Being pretty does not diminish that, you know?

Colin
Guest
Colin

I’m just here, reading all the bitter comments when Wiwibloggs’ last choice managed to snatch the win from the big favorites.

I don’t mind. Raiven, Omar, BQL and Nuška were all really good and honestly, it could be any of them.

Kris
Guest
Kris

Aargh……why do my favourites never win!!
Why couldn’t raiven get a few more votes……had she gotten more than Omar BQL would have won……but Omar was my 3rd going in…..and 2nd on the night.

Austrian Ari
Guest
Austrian Ari

Man, who can be bitter at this result? Omar is killing it. Awesome reprise. Just wish his song would give me as much enthusiasm as he gives me.
BQL should give it another go and come back with something even better.

N77
Guest
N77

We need juries to prevent to win singer with not good song and vocals only because they are popular and some of them is teenage atractions.
We have in past exampe mistake in Serbia 2013 when not best song win only because trio was consist of Top 3 singer from one talent singer show few months before national fina.

kluk
Guest
kluk

well we never won with vocals, and thats the first slovenian winner I don’t support. I love Omar but WTF is that. I’m done with watching EMA for good. Here go my slovenian dreams

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Okay this winners’ performance is MUCH BETTER. He kicked the mic stand away and is killing it! Statement?

N77
Guest
N77

I agree with juries better singer are Omar,Nuska and Raiven than BQL. BQL show again that they don t sound good live.

Zolipop
Guest
Zolipop

Worst chioce ;-;

Austrian Ari
Guest
Austrian Ari

Poor guys, I totally expected this. Juries preventing the people’s favorite from going has a tradition in Slovenia.
BUT this time, it’s Omar. Omar is a good choice simply for being Omar. And at least he came second in the televise, so it’s not like it’s a decision completely against the public.
Good luck in Kiev to Omar, I do hope he’ll reach the final, which he already should have in 2005.

So sad for the BQL guys though, you could see them frown. More than understandable. A national final should be decided by the public.

kluk
Guest
kluk

I’m literally crying. I think this will backfire and Omar won’t represent slovenia

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

OMG! Controversy again! BQL won the televote, but Omar got more points overall! Hahahaha!!!

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Omar has won

Colin
Guest
Colin

It’s a four horse race now. Omar leads the jury votes, but Nuška, Raiven and BQL can still win if the have overwhelming televote on their side.

Austrian Ari
Guest
Austrian Ari

I’d wish both of them well though. Awesome singers, Nuska and Omar!

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

It’s between the top 4, mathematically now. Omar, Nuska, Raiven and BQL. That’s the order at the moment. I think Nika and the others can’t win now

kluk
Guest
kluk

they are changing the format every year, i imagine they want to find the best format. Right now the jury is giving points and omar and nuška are leading…

Austrian Ari
Guest
Austrian Ari

Omar and Nuska in the lead… interesting.
I think the televoting will not agree.

Velma ESC
Guest
Velma ESC

I’m not able to watch the show live but someone who does, how’s the final going at the moment? Hasn’t there usually been a superfinal in EMA so if there is this year, did they already announce who is going there?

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Omar Naber has an early lead. But it’s close!

kluk
Guest
kluk

WTFFFF no no no no.

Austrian Ari
Guest
Austrian Ari

The juries are very divided, as I expected.

Austrian Ari
Guest
Austrian Ari

Certainly richer than Malta. Based on the ads. 😛

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

You would think all Slovenians were really rich from their upper class adverts!!

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

@kluk: Oh Bryan Adams! ahhh, ok! 😀
Thanks.

Austrian Ari
Guest
Austrian Ari

Just when the commercial breaks kick in, it works perfectly. Just what I wanted: To enjoy all those special Slovenian car ads. 😛
Give us the result already…

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Jamala proving why she’s the champion there. Astonishing vocals.

kluk
Guest
kluk

hahahaha you got me thinking and I’d say he’s more of a Bryan Adams hahahah 😀

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Is Toni Cetinski like the Elton John of the region? (That’s not a joke; i’m actually asking)

kluk
Guest
kluk

Love him. His concert was the first one I’ve ever been to haha 😀

Colin
Guest
Colin

Toni Cetinski is the interval act!!! Omg! He is one of the greatest stars in Croatia. B-) He and Jacques are both judges in Hrvatska Traži Zvijezdu! He is a legend around here. Nice to see him here.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Actually BQL and Nika are more of a tie for me. Dunno. A very good show overall.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

How come Omar hasn’t aged since 2005? Hmmm.
Honestly I could see any of these 8 winning. But my music heart says BQL.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Raiven has the biggest stage presence. I wasn’t very impressed when watching her semi performance, but I am impressed now. Raiven would bring something new. Omar and Nuška have really memorable songs too. BQL are very likable and energetic. Nika is not bad either. Good luck everyone.

Austrian Ari
Guest
Austrian Ari

If someone on here able to watch can be bothered to type the detailed results as they come in, please do so. 🙂

kluk
Guest
kluk

I bet she’ll love our 60+ comments haha

Alex
Guest
Alex

Song 4 was great, vocals could’ve been better though. I think my ranking is
1) Nuska
2) Omar
3) Nika
4) BQL

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Oh look! It’s Tayl… I mean Manuella. 🙂
Be careful what you say now, she apparently reads this blog! :O

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Thanks Alex 🙂
Tim sounded like he can’t support his lower range – he needs more vocal training to do that properly. But his rock voice is great, and the staging is excellent.

Austrian Ari
Guest
Austrian Ari

1) BQL

2) Nuska
3) Tim

Anyone but BQL winning would be a disappointment, I gotta say. Not getting the fuss about Raiven at all.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Nice to see a peaceful discussion here haha 🙂 Tim Kores was good but his vocals were too quiet in the first minute – audio mixing problem or just singing too quiet? Song is as the jury says, not quite memorable enough for ESC… one more song and then I’m caught up basically

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Jamala is backstage 🙂

Colin
Guest
Colin

@Purple Mask – Thanks. Coincidentally, I managed to figure it out by a bluff. So, I’ve seen Omar, BQL and Raiven in full. (All 3 are good, btw). First five acts I’ve seen with technical difficulties. May the best one win.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Yes Nuska did have amazing vocals. They’re all good really. Slovenia has impressed me. 🙂

Alex
Guest
Alex

Omar Naber was also great. I’d rather have him or Nuska going to ESC than BQL or Raiven.

kluk
Guest
kluk

I thought her performance was strong, vocals too. the chorus was amazing, but the rest for me is meh. The snippet was by far my favourite but the rest of the song is as you said empty. 😀

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

I always think of Doctor Who when I see the word “slovene.” (There was an alien race called the “Slitheen,” and it sounds similar)

Alex
Guest
Alex

I disagree on Raiven… her vocal abilities were not up to par for that song, same problem as last year. Song seemed really empty.

Scrolling back to the songs I missed and Nuska’s performance (song #2) is PHENOMENAL. Great song too.