We’re looking at all the countries currently participating in the Eurovision Song Contest and picking ten reasons why we love them — for all the right (and sometimes wrong) reasons. Today we’re diving “Straight Into Love” and saying “Hvala, Yay!” to Slovenia.

Finding ten reasons to love Slovenia isn’t hard —  they’ve even got “love” right in their name! Slovenia has competed at Eurovision since 1961, first as part of Yugoslavia, and from 1993 as an independent nation. Their qualification rate may be a little hit and miss, but they always put a lot into their entries. Here are 10 reasons why we love Slovenia at the Eurovision Song Contest.

1. They send strong women

Over the years, Slovenia has sent strong songs, often performed by even stronger women. Lea Sirk is the newest inductee in a long and proud line of Slovenian women who sing about their strength and resilience. We’ve also seen Maja Keuc (AKA Amaya) soar to the grand final in 2011 with her anthem of empowerment, “No One”, and in 2016 ManuElla competed with “Blue and Red”, in which she proclaimed her freedom from those who have hurt her.

2. They embrace the Slovenian language

While Slovenia didn’t debut at Eurovision until 1993, the Slovenian language made its first appearance back in 1966 where Berta Ambrož performed “Brez besed” as Yugoslavia’s entry. Since the national language rule was dropped in 1999, Slovenia has still sent many entries in Slovene, including Lea Sirk, whose “Hvala, ne!” brought Slovenia to the grand final for the first time in three years.

3. They were gender-bending before it was cool

In 2002, Slovenia was represented by Sestre, a drag trio whose name is Slovenian for “sisters”. In those pre-RuPaul’s Drag Race days, many Europeans — and Slovenians in particular — weren’t ready to accept the entry. The choice was so controversial that the ensuing national debate regarding gay rights in Slovenia made it all the way to the European Parliament. But Sestre were a hit in Tallinn and finished in 13th place, paving the way for future drag acts.

4. Their acts help each other out

In 2014, Slovenia was represented by Tinkara Kovač with her song, “Round and Round”. The song was written by Hannah Mancini, who had represented Slovenia the year before, and Raay, who would represent Slovenia the following year as part of Maraaya – talk about a Slovenian super group! “Round and Round” ended up finishing in 25th place, and was Slovenia’s first grand final qualification since “No One” in 2011.

5. They send epic, cinematic songs

If any country knows how to transform the Eurovision stage into a fairytale wonderland, it’s Slovenia. Their 2007 entry, “Cvet ze Juga” by Alenka Gotar, was the first popera entry to grace the contest and paved the way for acts like France 2011 and Estonia 2018. In 2012, Eva Boto served fairy-princess realness with the cinematic “Verjamem”. This soaring ballad would fit right at home in a Lord of the Rings film and is beautifully evocative of Slovenia’s mystical charm.

6. They’ve won a Eurovision contest already

Last year at the inaugural edition of Eurovision Choir of the Year, the trophy was awarded to none other than Slovenia. The all-female choir, Carmen Manet, sang a medley of Slovenian folk music, which began with a traditional Slovenian clapping game. The performance was both expressive and beautifully performed while maintaining a quintessentially Slovenian flavour.

7. They can slay with musical talent

While some acts go all out with flashy staging, Slovenia has proved they can make an impact with their artists’ talents. In 2014, Tinkara Kovač — a classically trained flautist and professor of music — dazzled on the Copenhagen stage by showcasing her talents. Her song “Round and Round” made great use of her flute-playing skills as well as her powerful voice and landed Slovenia a spot in the grand final.

8. They’re creative with musical instruments

In 2009, string quartet Quartissimo featured four musicians playing electric violins, viola and cello before vocalist Martina emerged with a mere 32 words to sing. It was a bold musical choice, but no match for another violin-heavy song. In 2015 with “Here for You” by Maraaya kicked it up a notch by featuring a dancer playing “air violin”, while Marjetka sang and Raay played the piano. The artistic risk paid off, with Slovenia finishing in 14th place in the grand final.

9. Ljubljana would be an amazing host city

Nestled in the Julian Alps, Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana, sits at the intersection of the Italian, Germanic, and Slavic worlds. This is most visible in the strikingly beautiful and eclectic architecture of Ljubljana. If the quality of Slovenia’s annual national selection, EMA, is any indicator, we’re sure Ljubljana would be able to put on a fantastic show.

10. They’re long overdue for a comeback

Slovenia’s golden years in Eurovision would have to be the seven-year period between 1995 and 2001, in which they received their only three top-ten finishes. That means we’re nearing 20 years since Slovenia has placed in the top ten. But after Lea Sirk‘s success in bringing Slovenia back to the grand final, perhaps we’re at the beginning of a resurgence in Slovenian success at Eurovision. If things keep heading in this direction, Eurovision in Ljubljana may be closer than we think!

Bonus fact!

At Eurovision 1988, Yugoslavia’s points were presented live from Ljubljana. In a nail-biting finish, the Yugoslav scores put Switzerland in the lead by just one point, which gave Switzerland its second-ever Eurovision win and helped launch the international career of young Canadian singer Céline Dion.

What do you love about Slovenia? Do you think they have what it takes to win it all? Let us know in the comments below!

Follow more Slovenia news here

 

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AngieP
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AngieP

Slovenia isn’t that successful in general. But they offered us some great eurovision moments.
Strong women, still love their 2011 entry.
The drag trio in 2002.
Something most balkan nations have in common: they tend to sing in their own language. Credits for that!
And yes, Ljubljana would be an amazing host city. So Slovenia, please win soon!

Emily
Guest

Slovenia’s always been a bit hit/miss with me, but the entries from 2007, 2011, 2014, 2015, and 2018 were all great. I still think Cvet z juga’s the best they’ve ever sent.

OrangeVorty
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OrangeVorty

‘Energy’ was their best entry – Slovenia 2001.

pp77
Guest
pp77

Slovenia for me deserved to won 2 times in 1995 and 2001 . I like also song from 1997,1998,1999,2003,2005,2006, 2007,2009,2011,2012,2015,2018
Deserved to qualify to final in 2005,2006 ,2009,2012

noone
Guest
noone

Slovenia should have won in 2001 with Energy! And Cvet z juga 2007 would be Top 5 if it were from Sweden or Ukraine. If I’m not mistaken, Slovenia has one of the lowest televote results in ESC, it mostly comes through thanks to juries. Maja Keuc was 22 in televote (and 4 in juries) !!! Tinkara was 25, Maraaya were 19, Lea was 22. Slovenia just isn’t a compelling or interesting country for the general ESC viewer, it normally only gets 2, 3, (pity) points from ex-YUGO countries in televote. They can’t win no matter what they send. It’s… Read more »

ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)
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ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)

Has anybody else noticed Maja Keuc’s high heels in 2011? I was like, wow, how could you walk in this, incredible! 😉 :*
“No one” was a strong song! I love it very much, highly underrated back in 2011 in my home country’s ESC 🙂

Fredrik
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Fredrik

Slovenia in 1995,1996,1998,1999,2001,2007,2008 should have been much higher. Expecially 1998,1999,2001,2007.

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Slovenia 2015 is and Will be My favorite ESC entry ever, it’s so incredible! They were also My winner in 2011, but apart from This their entries have been mixed for me. 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2017 were dreadfull, but I really like 2009, 2014 and 2018, so I never know What to expect from them. Slovenia deserves a win By Now, EMA every year is pretty cool even tho they rarely select the right winner (BQL!!) and I root for them every year.

Nikko
Guest
Nikko

Forshadowing Slovenia 2014: The song was written by Hanna Mancini who represented Slovenia the year before. The backings were Lea Sirk (ESC 2018), Raay (ESC 2015) Nika Zorjan (EMA 2012,2017&2018) and Manca Špik (EMA 2008,09,10).

It seems that Slovenian music business is very small. Smaller than the Icelandic or Maltese one, even though Slovenia is like 6 times bigger than Iceland or Malta!

Pabloñita Bogusevi?
Guest
Pabloñita Bogusevi?

LOL, I never thought my country would come so early. Or would it come late, or would it come under the category “10 Reasons why we hate Slovenia in the Eurovision Song Contest” I thought.

Luke
Guest

We will never win ESC because we have really bad music. That’s it

Fredrik
Guest
Fredrik

I dont think so. I think right now EMA will grow and find the right way soon :). Slovenia in the 90s, Early 2000 i really liked.

Paul
Guest
Paul

Energy (2001) is still one of my fav ever entries

ovelha
Guest
ovelha

Slovenia’s track at Eurovision is, for me, one of the most interesting ones due to their ability of take risks and changing. I’m not a big fan of the majority of their songs, but when I do love one, I love by heart (Round And Round is one of my favs ever, my 2014’s runner-up). And Ljubljana is such a beautiful city, I’ve never been there but I’d love to, sure they would put a wonderful show. Meh!

MusicIstheKey
Guest
MusicIstheKey

Pioneers with gender bedning acts….Not sure if I think that’s a good thing. No – I think rather the pposite. But even if I dislike typical “gay acts” in ESC, Samo ljubezen is a guilty pleasure. Even if I don’t like the act, the song itslf is cool. I think a better reason for loving Slovenia is their first entry. What a wonderful song “TIh dezeven dan” is! Just a great typical Eastern European pop song. Best song of 1993, and still the best Slovene song for me. And another thing….In 2004 they had 4 semis, with 8 songs each,… Read more »

Hrvatska
Guest
Hrvatska

Raiven please return in 2019 ema

Denis
Guest
Denis

I love how they always send different songs every year. Always a new genre. One year it is a ballad, next year euro-dance, next one musical inspired song, next year modern house songs. You never know what they wll send and you can never say “oh this is from Slovenia”, as you can do with most countries!

Zena
Guest
Zena

Speak only for yourself! Being “different” does NOT necessarily means being good!

avner
Guest
avner

Actually, considering that lately Eurovision winners are those who push the contest in a new direction, sending something different is a good strategy. As far as different does not equal good – you are right, but also obvious…

Denis
Guest
Denis

Well, that is a obvious statment. Right but obvious!
I did say I love it, not anybody else. And I never said anything about quality, just that I love that they change genres every year and refuse to be stuck to one sound. Sometimes it works, sometimes it don’t. But I like that diversity regardless of result!

Joe
Guest
Joe

2014 foreshadowed more than they even say: beyond Raay both co-writing and singing backup, one of the other singers was a recognizable (even without pink hair) Lea Sirk! And the other backing singer has also tried for the national finals, so maybe it’s her time too.

My favorite is a tie between the back-to-back classics of Round and Round and Here for You. No One is also a strong contender.

EscAU
Guest
EscAU

deserve a win very soon

beccaboo1212
Guest

Since Turkey’s broadcaster TRT set conditions for a return to ESC 2019, I think RTVSLO should set conditions for a JESC return. Also, the EBU’s new rule for says that countries that haven’t participated at JESC in years can only return to the contest if they win (or on the verge of winning) the regular Eurovision Song Contest. 🙂 So, if Slovenia wins ESC 2019, then RTVSLO will learn to accept the current rules of Junior Eurovision. 🙂

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

I don’t think that’s a rule, I mean France and Azerbaijan returned this year and they weren’t close to winning.

James
Guest
James

You can never force a broadcaster to return to a contest they’re not interested of taking part for now. If they were to come back, the decision must solely be theirs and not under duress.

beccaboo1212
Guest

The EBU will have to ask RTVSLO to look at JESC as it is now once the 2018 contest in Minsk is over. 🙂

Conor K
Guest
Conor K

My favourite entry from Slovenia is their 1993 Debut, very Underrated 🙂

MusicIstheKey
Guest
MusicIstheKey

I agree! My favourite of 1993, and also my favourite song from Slovenia

noone
Guest
noone

Yes, it’s also my favourite Slovenian song. A very beautiful and melancholic rock ballad with great lyrics.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

I’ll probably get crucified for saying this, but I prefer “Hvala, Ne!” over “Fuego”, especially about the staging.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Depending on my mood? So do I.

Lolz
Guest
Lolz

yasssssss agree

avner
Guest
avner

I am with you, Jo. As brilliant as Fuego was, I found Hvala, Ne! way more interesting and meaningful.

Kris
Guest
Kris

Yeah ! You’re crucified ! You’re crucified …. Baptized in my sweet blue eyes….lol