Slovenia kicked off the search for their Eurovision 2018 representative in Lisbon with tonight’s semi-final of their national selection process EMA 2018, co-hosted by the stand-up comedian Vid Valic.

Sixteen acts were chosen from a total of 108 entries and they all performed their songs entirely in Slovenian, live for the very first time.

Tonight’s lineup included a mix of newcomers and returning artists, most notably two of Slovenia’s former representatives — EMA 2016 winner ManuElla and Eurovision 1997 alum Tanja Ribic. Last year’s competitors KiNG FOO, Nika Zorjan, Nuška Drašcek and Lea Sirk all returned to compete alongside runners-up BQL.

After all of tonight’s performances, it was then up to the televoting public and juries to make their decisions. With a little help from last year’s finalist Raiven and in no particular order….

ProperLara KadisBQLLea SirkIndigoIna ShaiMarina Martensson and Nuška Drašcek advanced to next week’s EMA 2018 final on 24 February.

Sadly, we had to bid farewell to the eight remaining acts as their journey came to an end and were sent home, so no Eurovision return for ManuElla and Tanja Ribic.

EMA 2018 — Semi-Final qualifiers

Ina Shai — “V nebo”

Indigo — “Vesna”

Lara Kadis — “Zdaj sem tu”

BQL — “Ptica”

Proper — “Ukraden cvet”

Marina Martensson — “Blizu”

Nuška Drašcek — “Ne zapusti me zdaj”

Lea Sirk — “Hvala, ne!”

EMA 2018 — Semi-Final eliminated acts

Anabel — “Pozitiva”

Tanja Ribic — “Ljudje”

KiNG FOO — “Žive sanje”

ManuElla — “Glas”

MILA — “Svoboda”

Orter — “Kraljica”

Nika Zorjan — “Uspavanka”

Gregor Ravnik — “Zdaj je cas”

The EMA 2018 final gets underway next week on February 24, where the winner will be decided by a 50/50 combination of televoting and professional juries.

Do you agree with tonight’s results? Who are you rooting for in the final? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below!

Watch the show again here

Follow all of our Slovenia Eurovision news here

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AngieP
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AngieP

Nika is out? Come on! The song was so good. The staging didn’t quite fit though.
I also liked Manuella. It was better than her 2016 song.

About the qualifiers, I really enjoyed BQL! Tbh I prefer their 2016 song. Just amazing! I also liked Nuška Drašcek (strong performance and great vocals), Lara Kadis (such beautiful performance) and Indigo (beautiful, sounded like sth traditional but also modern).

Roelof Meesters
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Roelof Meesters

BQL all the way. Nika and Manuella where eliminated, so they will probably win. Blizu was really good too, but not a winner. BQL is modern and fun, and I think it could qualify.

Jake
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Jake

Slovenia always does a good job with the stage, lighting and production of their national final. For such a small country it always feels rich and modern. It’ll be interesting to see these songs now going in English.

Alison
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Alison

Please Slovenia dont send BQL as some of retribution for last year. Their entry this year is so dull and would go absolutely nowhere in Lisbon. I think Lara, Ina or Lea would be good choices. As others have said though Lara needs to ditch that dress, was genuinely distracting.

Eurovisionfan12
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Eurovisionfan12

With ManuElla and Nika not qualifying, I’m starting to lose faith on Slovenia and believe they won’t qualify again

Sabrina
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Sabrina

My favorite now is Indigo – “Vesna”. It hasn’t caught my attention on the studio version, but the live performance seduced me. I also love Lea Sirk’s energy. It stood out on the audios, it stood out on the live show.

BQL would only be my third choice. It’s nice, but nothing more than that. I believe the ballads tend to cancel each other on the final, since they’re levelled. “Svoboda” and “Uspavanka” were some of my favorites, but they lost a lot of power on their live performances. I still think they could qualify though.

Roddie Santos
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Roddie Santos

MANUELLA AND NIKA ZORJAN DIDN’T QUALIFY TO EMA’S FINAL BUT MARINA MARTENSSON AND PROPER DID, WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU THINKING, SLOVENIA??? Nika was totally robbed this time, and ManuElla, come on guys, you loved Blue and Red, but didn’t vote for Glas, which is miles better?! I just can’t understand! Well, at least we still have BQL, Ina Shai, Lara Kadis and Lea Sirk with decent entries to give Slovenia a good result in May!

Sve4
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Sve4

Lara Kadis is TOP10 material!!
She’s great

Hayley
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Hayley

It has to be Lara that song is head and SHOULDERS above the rest of the qualifiers

Héctor
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Héctor

I choose BQL. Not as good as last year, but still the best from this bunch.

Kris
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Kris

Lara kadis with zdaj sem tu needs to win this without a doubt

I don’t think any other songs have a chance!!
BQL song is good but not anywhere close to last year

Phary
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Phary

Doing a single semi-final with all the contestants is just plain stupid. Why don’t they just choose the winner of tonight’s show?

Fayn
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Fayn

I’m pretty sure Slovenia has the most squandered potential of any country in this contest.

Marko
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Marko

Hi there, just another rage about Nika not qualifying here.

Honestly, this looks like Slovenia just said fck it, we’re in the harder semi in May so let’s not even try…

EH UK
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EH UK

Nika’s song was the only one I would definitely voted for. Slovenia would of got a vote form the Uk but know I’m not sure about the rest apart from BQL

EH UK
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EH UK

great so out of all the songs, the one song I loved from hearing it one time, Nika doesn’t get through. well Slovenia good luck, because apart from BQL, no other song will get you very far

Sverige
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Sverige

Lara was great!
Top 10 material!!

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

I hope they don’t choose BQL based on their fame, that song isn’t going far.

Jo
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Jo

I think they will, and Slovenia will crash in the semis.

Ari
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Ari

That’s the plan. Unless the jury chooses another act to crash in the semis, like last year.

zheng
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zheng

YES LARA KADIS!! Only 16 years old and she slayed!!!

Vanessa
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Vanessa

BQL FOR THE WIN

Ari
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Ari

Oh and I am not surprised about Tanja’s failure, either. I wanted to like “Ljudje” so badly because her evergreen “Zbudi se” is one of my all-time Eurovision favorites. But it was just way too lukewarm. I am surprised that this song also comes from Raay. This is not how you make a grand come-back after 21 years.

West
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West

Out of 6 songs I liked 5 got eliminated. Great. So now I’m supporting… Inigo…?

Jo
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Jo

wow Manuella is out!!

Milkyy
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Milkyy

#JusticeForNika
Otherwise, I’m so happy for BQL. Ptica isn’t as good as Heart Of Gold but I still like it and want to see at Eurovision!

irish esc
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irish esc

same

eurovision6
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eurovision6

Nika out? What?? BQL better win

eurovision6
Guest
eurovision6

Or Lara..

EH UK
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EH UK

Nika got robbed completely her song is the only one I would of been happy to vote to hear and would of done well but oh well

Ari
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Ari

I feel like Slovenia is going to keep struggling this year. I did not feel Nika’s song at all, which is why I am not surprised she crashed out of the semi final tonight. The performance seemed weird to me. Singing to “mama” in a bed while wearing panties was probably not the best idea Not even BQL made much of an impact on me, to be honest. Anej’s close-ups were great but the song is just mediocre and doesn’t really go anywhere. They might very likely emerge as the winners next week, though. I’m assuming the televote is theirs… Read more »

Eve
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Eve

Yes, ”Vesna”, my favourite <3

nauportus90
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nauportus90

lots of bad live singing on display here (manuella sounded especially horrible). lara kadis gets my vote, but she needs to lose the ridiculous and very distracting princess outfit.

BQL’s song sounds like a lamer remake of their last year’s entry and the performance with those tacky guitars was cringe-worthy.

Erasmus
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Erasmus

Happy for BQL and Lara(she was really good, but she needs to ditch that dress). How Nika didn’t qualify is beyond me. If Slovenia sends BQL or Lara they have chances of qualifiying otherwise – NOT

Rene
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Rene

WHERE IS NIKA OMGGG

EH UK
Guest
EH UK

she got robbed absolutely wrong she didn’t get through