Earlier today, the Wiwi Jury – our in-house panel of music unprofessionals – made the trip to Lake Bled and admired its natural beauty. As we tuck into our Bled cream cakes, we took the time out to review the other two finalists from the first semi-final of Slovenia’s EMA 2017, Sell Out with “Ni panike” and Omar Naber with “On My Way”. Do they have what it takes to perform in front of a sell-out crowd? Read on to find out what we think!
Sell Out — “Ni panike”
“Ni panike” reviews
Antony: Give me a shot of Slivovica, because this song takes me to a Slovenian party! With an array of instruments, the song creates an atmosphere to get you dancing with enjoyment. What is a concern is the pause during the song — it feels a bit awkward.
Natalie: 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.
Kristin: 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.
Anthony: I suspected all along Sell Out would be the joke act of EMA 2017, judging from the official promo photo. “Ni panike” delivers Madness vibes and the group confidently nailed the mannequin challenge during their performance, which worked brilliantly. However, this is no laughing matter if Slovenia are to bounce straight back into the Eurovision final.
Deban: Inspired by ska, “Ni panike” is turbo folk with a twist. Sell Out bring a stadium feel to their performance and lots of energy. However, by the time they hit the long pause in the bridge, I’d had enough. The last bars of the song then became an overkill. This performance could also be much sharper and better coordinated.
William: He chants ska at the beginning of the number, but this isn’t neccessary. The dated outfits, awkward dancing, blaring horns and very familiar sound make the trip down memory lane manifest and are evident from the start. I can live with vintage, but this just feels bland and tiresome.
Our Wiwi Jury for Slovenia’s EMA 2017 contains 14 jurors, but we only have room for six reviews. The remaining scores are listed below.
Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 2 and a high of 8.
WIWI JURY VERDICT: 5.38/10
Omar Naber — “On My Way”
“On My Way” reviews
Deban: 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.
Luis: It would be a great story if Omar came back for vengeance to Kyiv, where he was so unfairly eliminated in the 2005 semifinal. However, this song is not a vengeance. In fact, if he gets to Kyiv, he will deservedly not qualify. Cliché, pretentious, uninteresting, this song feels like a Walmart copy of “Hour of the Wolf”. Seriously, Omar is a great artist, but his “way” is not looking good. It’s as if he had driven 200 miles in the wrong direction.
Anthony: “Stop” still remains on my list of Slovenia’s “We wuz robbed!” moments. Omar’s a talented singer and when he hits the chorus, those vocals simply make you swoon over him. Sadly, the same could not be said for his self-penned entry. Eurovision 2017 will have its fair share of ballads, so lightning would strike twice should Slovenia send Omar back to Kyiv.
Antranig: Omar’s vocals are so interesting and powerful, they could bring the dead back to life. That’s very handy because I feel the song is trying to kill me. It’s a terrible song but Omar’s amazing vocals make it look like the best ballad since “Molitva”. He has a voice that could win Eurovision one day but this won’t be the song to do it.
Zakaria: “On My Way” sounds like an ending theme from a ’90s Disney movie. While it kind of makes me nostalgic, the song sounds very bland and dated. Needless to say that Omar’s voice is unique but he deserves a much better entry.
Robyn: 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.
Our Wiwi Jury for Slovenia’s EMA 2017 contains 14 jurors, but we only have room for 6 reviews. The remaining scores are listed below.
Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 3 and a high of 9.
WIWI JURY VERDICT: 5.04/10
Photo: Žiga Lovšin / Petra Hlebš