On February 22 ten acts – plus the two winners of the EMA FREŠ competition – sang it out during Slovenia’s national final Evrovizijska Melodija (EMA) 2020. There were two rounds of voting, which resulted in the country selecting Ana Soklič as their Eurovision 2020 representative with her entry “Voda”.

EMA 2020 running order

Simon Vadnjal – “Nisi sam”

Saška – “Še kar lovim tvoj nasmeh”

Gaja Prestor – “Verjamem vase”

Ana Soklič – “Voda”

INMATE – “The Salt”

Manca Berlec – “Večnost”

Tinkara Kovač – “Forever”

Skip to 39:10 to see Tinkara’s EMA performance.

Božidar Wolfand – Wolf – “Maybe Someday”

Parvani Violet – “Cupid”

Klara Jazbec – “Stop the World”

Imset – “Femme Fatale”

Lina Kuduzović – “Man Like U”

Jury evaluation

The finalists all performed their entries under the confirmed running order, before a jury panel of former Eurovision representatives made their decision. They consisted of Darja Švajger (1995 and 1999), Nuša Derenda (2001) and Maja Keuc (2011).

All three jury members evaluated the performances of the 12 finalists and decided that Ana Soklič and Lina Kuduzović would advance to the EMA superfinal.

Superfinal

The two superfinalists, Ana Soklič and Lina Kuduzović, performed their entries again and the televoting public had the final say with their all-important decision. In the end, Ana Soklič came out on top with a total of 5035 votes to Lina’s 4369 votes and will be flying the flag for Slovenia in Rotterdam! She will perform in the first half of the first semi-final.

Are you happy with Slovenia’s decision? Who do you think should have won? Let us know below!

Follow all of our Slovenia news here

Photo: Adrijan Pregelj

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Tom
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Tom

Well there goes Slovenia’s Chances of qualifying, its outdated and boring.

Tjasa
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Tjasa

I like her voice. Performance was ok, probably the best that day. But I don’t think it is the best choice. Best choice was left behind in EMA freš. Astrid in Avantgarden was my personal favourite. She absolutely kicked ass. Too bad jury did not see it.

Mr X
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Mr X

Hvala, Slovenija – you did the right choice !

8/10

Vogzal Odessa
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Vogzal Odessa

Eurovision has many faces and Ana’s song definitely is one of them! Yesterday night I was only able to properly tune in at the moment of recap of all the live performances just before the televoting was launched. I must say Ana’s excerpt was the one that immediately stood out to me, that is, her vocal performance, but I thought that because of the previous hype she didn’t stand a chance against Lina and Gaja’s entries. I was very pleasently surprised when Ana was named one of the superfinalists because she really deserved it by all means. Everything in this… Read more »

Safiya
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Safiya

I’ve listened to this song once. I liked the melody at the very beginning and I was waiting for something good to come. I was waiting for a special, catchy moment but… It never really came. Maybe it will grow on me late but now after the first listen I can’t remember the song at all. Her voice is great of course but Eurovision is really not only about the voice. And I love her outfit by the way!

BREXIT CAREER WOMAN
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BREXIT CAREER WOMAN

NQ

Lorena
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Lorena

Lol you commented so many times… I hope obsessive hating makes you sleep better

Fionn
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Fionn

This is now my third favourite so far but Astrid would have been my #1:'(

Ohi
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Ohi

Actively boring

Jake
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Jake

It won’t qualify.

Joe
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Joe

She’s got a good voice. Semi one is still pretty open but I’m a little nervous for her.

Jakra
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Jakra

I don’t care what y’all say, this is so beautiful.
Am I the only one who has this in their top five? I mean, sure. It’s still early days, but I love it~

Muwa
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Muwa

This is my tip 13 for the moment
13.Slovenia
12.France
11.Czech Republic
10.Armenia
9.Spain
8.Belgium
7.Albania
6. Italy
5.Latvia
4.Ukraine
3.Australia
2.Norway
1.Lithuania

Emkay
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Emkay

From a presentation standpoint I can definitely see how this won. Unfortunately, I doubt this will qualify. Bigger surprises have happened tho.

Ari
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Ari

Nothing special

Kobe
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Kobe

Yawn..

Polliu
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Polliu

The last place in the Mr. Scoreboard right now. It tells something about this song…

Thorbeta
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Thorbeta

People must understand the difference between being ‘honest’ and being ‘bitter’. Comments like ‘I don’t like ballads’, ‘it’s boring’, ‘I fell asleep’, ‘this is a toilet break’, ‘it won’t qualify’, do not contain any opinion about the actual song, they’re either expressing personal taste or simply being nasty and hateful. I personally don’t care reading about either. It’s disappointing to discover that most discussions around here are overflowed with such comments. Does anyone really love the diversity in Eurovision around here or just want to turn it to a personal playlist?

bryn collins
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bryn collins

omg preach

Diego
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Diego

Exactly! I love that Eurovision has diversity, it’s what keeps it so intriguing. Like I personally am not a huge fan of ballads, but I can appreciate Fai Rumore because of its unique and subtle synth sound design qualities mixed with the orchestration. It’s interesting to listen to and feels 2020.

keith mawson
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keith mawson

I do

Miguel
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Miguel

A slow ballad. It’s a solid performance but the song doesn’t move me. It passes by so quickly I don’t even get into it. Not good, not bad, I won’t add it to my playlist.

ElMisterio
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ElMisterio

UPDATE: Ana said in a post-win interview that she wrote English lyrics as well but wanted to sing in Slovenian in the NF. She and her team have yet to decide if she will perform in Slovene or English in Rotterdam.

DoTheKiki
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DoTheKiki

I find it funny how so many people in the comments describe this as a “Balkan ballad”. To me, a Balkan ballad is something by Zeljko Joksimovic or Hari Mata Hari – with that distinct Balkan melos & traditional instruments.
The instrumentation of “Voda” is actually quite modern. So calling it a “Balkan ballad” just because of the geography is like saying Norway’s song is a “Scandinavian ballad”, which is a term I dare say no one would use. 😀

Denis
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Denis

I think people outside Balkan loose the term Bakan ballad more in a general way, to describe that it comes from the region. But as you say no one says it’s a nice Nordic ballad..
What’s even worse is that Slovenia isn’t even a Balkan country. Ex-Yu yes but Balkan no

Azaad
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Azaad

Yes. Don’t these particular Balkan ballads have to originate from Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro or Serbia?

ElMisterio
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ElMisterio

The sound of most typical Balkan ballads you may think of, such as “Lane moje” does typically originate in Serbia, Bosnia or Montenegro and partly Croatia. Slovenia does not really share this melos in its traditional songs. Sure, some singers may imitate it, but it’s not as much part of Slovenian folklore.
If you look at the Slovenian record at eurovision, I don’t know if you’d consider any of our entries “Balkan ballads”. Maaaybe “Verjamem” by Eva Boto but that was actually composed by Serbian composers,so… 🙂

BREXIT CAREER WOMAN
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BREXIT CAREER WOMAN

or Greece

Craigeemac
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Craigeemac

I love her voice, and the song is not too bad. It’s the Balkan ballad of 2020 so far; we need at least 1 every year. Slovenia has had a knack of qualifying when singing in their native tongue the last 2 years, so I hope they make it again this year. I always respect entries in their native language, as I would never want Eurovision to become 40 English-language radio pop songs, so I hope she goes thru from her semi. They have Austria and Serbia in their semi, so they have a chance.

Noone
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Noone

Ulrikke from Norway has an even better Balkan ballad! *sarcasmoff Balkan ballads have traditional ethno elements, melody and a specific type of singing, this song has none of that, it has an orchestra and computer beats and interpretative singing. And the small fact that Slovenia technically isn’t a Balkan country

ElMisterio
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ElMisterio

I think it’s debatable at best whether Slovenia is part of the Balkans or not, but to me (and I agree with you here) the point is rather if it has the sound of a Balkan ballad, which “Voda” does not.
Even a Serbian singer can sing a ballad, which is not a Balkan ballad if it doesn’t have the Balkan melos or elements such as traditional sounds, instruments, or singing. The geography alone doesn’t define the type of the song.

Franky
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Franky

How is this a Balkan ballad? It doesn’t sound anything like a Balkan ballad at all. I didn’t realise Slovenia is considered Balkan.

Escf
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Escf

This is not Balkan balad lol and also Serbia and Austria are not in the same semi with Slovenia

noone
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noone

People finally started to complain about the whole voting system: only 3 singers decide on two songs that will go to the televote. The two finalists were already fixed at least since the rehearsals, so why do we have to watch the 10 other songs? The problem with the jury, especially Darja Svajger is that the winner Ana Soklic is her student and friend, as were Omar Naber, Eva Boto and a bunch of other winners in the past that she put through. The other jury member Nusa Derenda also worked with the winner and a lot of the other… Read more »

noone
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noone

That being said, I like the winner and even voted for her. Lina’s song and staging was simply to weak. I hope she comes back next year with a banger. Overall I would have sent Gaja Prestor and without the jury she or Tinkara would have won.

ElMisterio
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ElMisterio

I agree, the system is baffling. If a jury selects 2 songs, why even bother televising the rest. It’s true that artists get exposure this way but it would be much better if the public had at least some say in the first part to feel included. Parhaps the public could pick 2 songs and the jury 2 songs and then have a larger choice in the superfinal. Or simply split the public/jury vote 50:50 like at Eurovision. On the other hand, this system has worked quite well in the last few years, which is probably why EMA keeps sticking… Read more »

Una
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Una

Congratulations to Ana and her team. About “Voda”. Very special voice, strong chorus and quite catchy for this kind of ballad. It’s an OK song with a very good interpretation.

keith mawson
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keith mawson

omg this is gorgeous. good choice Slovenia

mio
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mio

For people who like to read lyrics,
How do you interpret the meaning of this song?

noone
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noone

It’s about a big tragedy that happened and you have to pick yourself up, she said it herself after the win. She doesn’t say anything too specific, could be about break-up, death, suicide. But the line “raztrgan stol, caka otroka”, means “torn/empty chair waiting for a child” indicates that it could be about the loss of a child.

Man
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Man

NO FINAL! BAD!

Harvey
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Harvey

Even tho this comment has the vocab of a four yr old. It is true tbh

Phantom632
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Phantom632

Slovenia ended like Albania and Norway… 🙁

thatbritishgal
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thatbritishgal

… which are very good songs

Serafina
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Serafina

Well, we’re getting a lot of balads this year ain’t we? Norway and Albania remain my favorites, aka the only ones I actually like. The only reason why this isn’t my last place so far it’s because at least her vocal tone is unique, whereas France just has nothing going for it this year.

Kirby
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Kirby

EMA Freš had fresher, promising entries: Astrid in Avantgarden, Younite, Pia Nina…

BadWoolfGirl
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BadWoolfGirl

I am not going to lie, I don’t really like this song. I found it boring, and I actually ranked it below France in my personal ranking , which says a lot because I really hated the French song. I don’t care if this comment gets downvoted. I’m just expressing my honest opinion.

Whisker
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Whisker

First, the upvote. Second, I don’t like it either.

xohxoh
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xohxoh

None of their songs had a chance at Eurovision, at least it’s a nice song, nice voice. It’s ok. Nothing special, nothing tragic.

BleuKnaveXD236
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BleuKnaveXD236

Well, she has a nice voice…. but I’m afraid this song doesn’t really do anything for me. I’m not much on ballads as I’ve said before, and this isn’t super boring and does have nice elements but overall I’m not moved/intrigued by it. So in short this is another song that I don’t hate nor do I love… kinda like “hmmm, this is okay and pleasant”
Anyways good luck to her and Slovenia in Rotterdam

Jimmy Smit
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Jimmy Smit

She has such a beautiful voice and sings the song very nicely. I’m sure she will make Slovenia proud with her performance in the semi final.

...
Guest
...

Beautiful voice, but the song is not my cup of tea. I’m sorry.

Jeydelrey
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Jeydelrey

I have to admit that I’m a bit disappointed by Slovenia this year, considering what they sent in 2018 and 2019. It’s not bad at all, I guess it’s just not my cup of tea. Still, this option was miles better than Man Like U for me.

BREXIT CAREER WOMAN
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BREXIT CAREER WOMAN

0 points

Polliu
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Polliu

And another ballad…Next!

Leo M
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Leo M

She has a good voice but the song is a bit meh. Probably won’t qualify.

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

It’s a big nervewracker of a song. Wow, that is a special vocal. Deep tone of voice, but with such power and range all the way through to the end. Bravo Ana. The song is a bit, erm, watery, but the performance was very well done. 🙂

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

I’ve never heard a song described as “watery” before but here, it really does work as the adjective of choice!
Slovenia show that when you don’t know which song is best, just pick the best singer. At the very least, there will be no embarrassment when this is performed at ESC.

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

Indeed, so it would seem.

Philip
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Philip

this will not qualify for the final.. it is a good toilet break song though… Now hold back your minuses, i am just being honest..

Robert
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Robert

Beautiful song.. Not sure this will end up high tbh but I like it a lot.. I drifted away, my thoughts were of a beach and I was drifting g in the sea.. Funny enough voda means water.. Nice

Mr X
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Mr X

Actually at position 3 in my personal ranking after Italy and Lithuania.

Skiwalko
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Skiwalko

I don’t have much to say about this one. “Voda” has some charm, the lyrics are OK, Ana’s voice is amazing and the EMA staging was classy, but even after a couple of listens I don’t remember the chorus. I’m afraid it might not make the cut, the first semi is shaping up to be the tougher one and in a way Ana’s song reminds me of Omar’s “On My Way”, which is not a good thing.

Mr X
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Mr X

A very deserved victory. Hvala, Slovenija !

“Man like U” was a bad joke, I´m sorry.

Joey
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Joey

I think this is a nice song overall. I like the chorus and Ana‘s vocals sounded great, she’ll have no problem pulling this off live. I don’t think it’s as strong as Sebi from last year (Slovenia were my absolute favourites last year), but this is a nice effort from Slovenia.

Bob
Guest
Bob

There is nothing special about this song that will make it stand out at Eurovision. I’m sorry Slovenia. This is not your year. The only thing I like about it is she is a good singer and no english. Everything else is forgetable.

DoTheKiki
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DoTheKiki

Here’s a VERY ROUGH translation of the lyrics:

Let’s go on
Into a new time
Let’s run away from here
Far away
Let’s not stop
Anywhere
The night will be long

You hear the reason beating in me
This unrest
All this sound
Let them say anything
As a nomad you are well aware
That the longest road is that from words to actions

(CHORUS)
Water
During the storm I lie in you until the end
Water gushes
But it can’t enter you and me
It can’t enter you and me

Let’s drive on
The other way
Far from the lights
Convictions
There’s a torn chair
Which stands
Waiting for someone
Waiting for a child

(CHORUS)

DoTheKiki
Guest
DoTheKiki

And here’s the Slovenian (transcript from the song, not official lyrics): Greva naprej V novi ?as Zbeživa od tu Dale? stran Ne ustavljajva se Prav nikjer Dolga bo no? Ti slišiš, ko mi bije razum Ta nemir Ves ta zvok In pusti jih, naj pravijo vse Ti kot nomad dobro veš Da od besed do dejanj najdaljša je pot (CHORUS) Voda Med nevihto obležim v tebi do konca Voda drvi A ne zmore v naju dva A ne zmore v naju dva Peljiva naprej V drugo smer Dalj od lu?i Prepri?anj Tam je strgan stol Ki stoji In ?aka nekoga… Read more »

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

A wonderful Gem. Shining. My No. 3 currently. So 8 points from Hamburg. 10 goes to Latvia and 12 to Ukraine.

ESCNils
Guest
ESCNils

Really Beautiful, this is something that really grabs your attention. Unlike ‘Attention’, which is a pop ballad, this is full of emotions and her voice is top notch. Slovenia could surprise us all this year and slip to the final through that hard semi. That’s gonna be more than deserved.

Kosey
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Kosey

You can complement a song without being rude to another you know!

Fionn
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Fionn

I actually like it. Her voice is incredible. There are a lot of powerful ballads already tho.

Monika
Guest
Monika

Bad, bad, bad. The 1st semifinal is already hard, with some automatic qualifiers like Sweden, Australia, Norway, Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Romania, Malta, Cyprus and Israel… And Slovenia is sending….this? No final this year, I’m 100% sure

Colin
Guest
Colin

Norway, Russia, Azerbaijan, Romania, Israel and Cyprus have failed to qualify at some point in the last 5 years and even Sweden did in 2010. Based on what we know, Australia, Norway and Ukraine will likely make it, but we know nothing about what the rest of them will send (disclaimer: haven’t heard Romanian songs yet). We know absolutely nothing of Russia and Azerbaijan. If it’s bleak, like it was in 2018, they might not qualify. Don’t jump to conclusions.

Monika
Guest
Monika

Listen the Romanian songs, then… Romania is currently Top 3 on the betting odds! Also, Sweden, Russia, Norway will definitely qualify, we all know it. Malta is sending Destiny, a definite qualifier… Israel will have a song written by Doron Medalie. Azerbaijan and Cyprus will also qualify. We all know Australia is gonna make it, the juries seems to like it, also Ukraine…. So…

keith mawson
Guest
keith mawson

Nothing in Sweden sounds like a winner. Dotter is a good choice I guess.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

no such thing as an automatic qualifier, monika. please make some sense!

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

I don’t think Australia is 100% safe.

astro
Guest
astro

Nobody is ‘100% safe’. But unless the semi-final is INCREDIBLE Australia will qualify. We have a really solid song and if we pull off another Zero Gravity staging then we are fine.