Last year we ran a series of articles detailing the “10 reasons” that we love every country at Eurovision. This year we’ve decided to focus on the countries that are no longer participating. Their departures gave us sad face, but the thought of their return — no matter how unlikely — makes us smile big. Next we turn our attention to Slovakia. The Slavic nation has competed 7 times and hasn’t seen a grand final since 1998. That’s not to say there haven’t been some iconic moments though. So let’s look at 10 reasons why we love Slovakia at the Eurovision Song Contest.
1. The Slovak language
Many Eurovision fans love hearing a variety of languages each year. Let’s face it — Eurovision wouldn’t be the same without a generous helping of Slavic tongues. The Slovak language fits the bill and Slovakia sang in its native tongue in all of their Eurovision appearances except the last two. We have to applaud that as a stepping stone to the rest of this list.
2. They sent a Slavic “Prayer” nine years before “Molitva”
Sticking with the idea of Slavic languages, we have to point to perhaps the most famous Slavic-language song to grace the Eurovision stage. Slovakia didn’t compete in Helsinki in 2007 when Serbia debuted and won with “Molitva“. However, they sent their own Slavic “Prayer” to Eurovision before Serbia was even an independent country. Katarína Hasprová sang “Modlitba” in 1998 and finished 21st. Ironically, it received all 8 of its points from Croatia.
3. They beat KEiiNO to the weird double I thing in their name
While Slovakia haven’t had any success at Eurovision, they have certainly set successful trends. They did “Modlitba” before “Moltiva” but that isn’t the only trend they set. KEiiNO won the Eurovision 2019 televote and if you were wondering why they have two lower case Is in their name, we have the answer for you. Clearly they were paying tribute to Slovakia’s TWiiNS who got the ball rolling eight years earlier in 2011. The more you know!
4. They sent twins to Eurovision in 2011
Speaking of TWiiNS, let’s pay tribute to them a little longer. Jedward weren’t the only twins who rocked Düsseldorf. Slovakia did it too and they decided to put it in the name to remind you. You might argue that TWiiNS were blown out of the water in the battle of the twins but only one set of twins went on to release a collaboration with American rapper Flo Rida, and it wasn’t Jedward.
5. They came back to the contest only to fail to qualify four times
Every Eurovision fan hates seeing countries pull out of the contest. It’s like having a family reunion with some members missing. As such, every Eurovision fan likes seeing countries come back. Some come back and find new success, such as Bulgaria returning in 2016 and recording two Top 4 results. Others come back and ruin their perfect qualification record and leave again anyway (hello Bosnia & Herzegovina). The only thing more iconic than that? Slovakia returning to the contest and failing to qualify 4 out of 4 times, only to leave again.
6. Genre diversity
It’s one thing to fail by doing the same thing over and over again. It’s another thing to try your hand at different genres and still fail to qualify either way. Slovakia’s last Eurovision appearance was the epic rock number “Don’t Close Your Eyes” by Max Jason Mai. Even rock couldn’t take Slovakia to the grand final. Bonus points go to Slovakia for the best hair of 2012.
7. They have the best hair in Europe
Speaking of big hair, Max Jason Mai isn’t the only Slovak act to slay the pack. I’m just going to leave this one here for you and make no further comment.
8. They are the only competing country who didn’t make a grand final this decade
This might sound a bit negative but go with me here. Winning Eurovision is all well and good but it takes a special kind of talent to do quite so badly. Even San Marino managed to qualify for two grand finals this decade. You might argue that Slovakia only participated three times this decade but even Montenegro qualified twice — and they spent much of the decade sending things like “The Real Thing” and “Falling”, which are basically tantamount to not competing anyway. Slovakia don’t really have their pick of plaudits so take what you can get and let this honour be bestowed upon you.
9. Bratislava would be an incredible Eurovision host city
There are many countries which have never hosted Eurovision, including plenty which still compete unlike Slovakia. However, a big gap exists in this geographic region. Slovakia hasn’t hosted and neither have neighbouring countries like Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary. There are plenty of cities in that part of Europe equipped to host the contest — Prague being a prime example. However, Bratislava would make for a brilliant host city too.
I had the pleasure of travelling to Bratislava this year and between the majestic Old Town, the restaurants and atmosphere along the Danube and the imposing Bratislava Castle atop the hill, it is a stunning city that deserves some time in the spotlight. It is easily accessible, located a stone’s throw away from a major hub like Vienna and it can accommodate the international community, having recently hosted the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. Having Eurovision in Bratislava would be a fairytale come true.
10. The legend that is Kristína Peláková
Surely you didn’t think we would finish this list without paying tribute to the one and only Kristína? Even though she finished second last in her semi-final, “Horehronie” is clearly Slovakia’s moment of Eurovision glory. There are many “robbed” semi-final songs at Eurovision, like “Hear Them Calling” and “Blackbird” for instance. However, the fact that “Horehronie” didn’t just fail to qualify but finished so far down the leaderboard is an absolute crime. The powers that be in Slovakia may look to this as a reason to steer clear of the contest and that is a tragedy.
That hasn’t stopped our queen though. She has been releasing hit after hit after hit in recent years and has developed an impressive discography. If we can be thankful to Slovakia for one thing, it is that they brought this goddess into our lives.
Do you want to see Slovakia return to Eurovision? What are your favourite Slovak entries? Let us know in the comments below.