Last month broadcaster RTV SLO confirmed that the national final EMA will return in 2022. And now the broadcaster has announced they’ll be bringing back EMA Freš, the wildcard selection that will give four newcomers a place in EMA 2022.

EMA Freš — that’s pronounced “Fresh” — is all about supporting fresh Slovenian acts. The contest is open to acts aged 30 or younger, who have previously released no more than three songs.

Following the success of Gen Z duo zalagasper at Eurovision 2019, the Freš wildcard ensures that Slovenia’s next generation of music stars will have a chance at Eurovision.

The EMA Freš selection process – it’s complicated

The EMA Freš selection process is a little complicated, but it’s designed to give every act a good chance of making the Freš final. The EMA Freš shows will be held in January 2022.

The contest will involve 24 acts and the competition will kick off with daily online heats over three weeks. From Monday to Thursday, pairs of acts will face an online vote.

The four winners of each duel will then compete in the weekly final on Saturdays where they’ll face another online vote. The top three acts each week will secure a place in the EMA Freš grand final.

The bottom placed act from each weekly final as well as all the losing acts from the previous daily duels will have another shot at the EMA Freš final via the second chance round.

In the second chance round, from Monday to Friday groups of three acts will face an online vote. The five daily winners of each vote will make it to the EMA Freš grand final.

The EMA Freš grand final will involve two shows, both televised. The 14 finalists will be split into two groups who will compete in one of the two shows. In each grand final show, the acts will be voted on by both a televote and a jury vote.

The televote favourite and jury favourite from each show will earn a place in the EMA 2022 grand final — and the chance to represent Slovenia at Eurovision 2022.

And then to EMA 2022

The four Freš qualifiers will join 16 established acts in EMA 2022. Slovenia’s national final for Eurovision 2022 will involve two semi-finals and a grand final, with two Freš acts competing in each semi. A televote and jury vote will decide the six acts that will qualify from each semi-final for the grand final.

The 12 finalists will compete at the grand final of EMA 2022. The winner will be decided by a combined televote and five five-member juries. The winner of EMA 2022 will represent Slovenia at Eurovision 2022 in Turin.

EMA was last held in 2020 when Ana Soklič won with her ballad “Voda”. After Eurovision 2020 was cancelled, Ana was internally selected for 2021 and competed with the gospel ballad “Amen”.

Entries for EMA Freš and EMA 2022 are now open. Entries can be made on RTV SLO’s website and the entry period will close on 22 November.

What do you think? What upcoming Slovenia acts would you like to see compete in EMA Freš? And what big names should compete in EMA 2022? Tell us your thoughts below!

Read more Slovenia Eurovision news here

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Badwoolfgirl
Badwoolfgirl
12 days ago

While I haven’t listened to every Slovene Eurovision entry ever sent, I admit I haven’t been overly fond of most of the Slovene entries since I started watching Eurovision in 2016. 2016: I was really annoyed by the Taylor Swift country sound ripoff. 2017: I did listen to Omar Naber’s 2005 entry “Stop” but his second song was really outdated and boring. Quite a downgrade 2018: Hvala, Ne! is the only Slovene entry I really love. I love the sass and attitude. 2019: I never really got on board with this Sebi as a favorite of mine. It’s okay at… Read more »

Lorenzo
Lorenzo
13 days ago

If they send something out of the box like Hvala Ne or Sebi, it’s a deal

Croatia
Croatia
13 days ago

I am surprised that Slovenia will take part in Eurovision at a time when the prime minister wants to destroy public television, and the director of public television himself talks about the possible loss of EUR 13 million and 600 jobs. Besides, I keep my fingers crossed for Raiven’s return to Ema in Slovenian colors, I also want to see again. Gaja Prestor girl has a rock voice, good songs, the basis is the restoration of the Slovenian language at Eurovision, but I’m afraid of the curse of the Slovenian jurors in the EMA

Erasmus
Erasmus
13 days ago
Reply to  Croatia

Well, EMA and Eurovision are still both one of the most-watched programmes every year not just on RTV but any other channel as well, so it would take a lot for RTV to cut them out of their annual plans.

Do not expect Slovenia to withdraw anytime soon.

+ the prime minister does want that but the problem is that he would need to have a majority in the parliament in order to achieve that and though he is the elected minister all other parties rarely agree with him.

Jonas
Jonas
12 days ago
Reply to  Croatia

The EBU exists to protect public broadcasters from people like him.

Milan
Milan
13 days ago

The only good act to come from EMA Fresh last time was Astrid in Avantgarden, and she didn’t even get to the final of the national selection :/

LaVoixCZ
2 days ago
Reply to  Milan

Ummmm no, EMA Freš was much better than EMA itself. Pia Nina, Astrid in Avantgarden, Stella, Parvani Violet, even Younite, Alfirev… Most of them were better and more interesting than the regular EMA stuff. I would put there at least 3 qualifying places and by the way the jurors actually had it ranked quite nice: 1) Parvani Violet 2) Astrid in Avantgarden 3) Pia Nina… anyways, I am soooo happy for Slovenians, they have the definition of being a PUBLIC BROADCASTER, muuuuuch better chance for all the artists of the country and so much bigger diversity and quality than in… Read more »

Whisker
Whisker
13 days ago

Who are the hosts?

Biscotto7
Biscotto7
13 days ago

I would like Slovenia to do quite well in Eurovision. They don’t send the best songs but perhaps this year they’ll send a masterpiece!
P.S Hvala ne ne was underrated

Erasmus
Erasmus
13 days ago
Reply to  Biscotto7

yeah, we’re quite of a hit (2011, 2015, 2019) or miss (2017, 2021)…

Biscotto7
Biscotto7
13 days ago
Reply to  Erasmus

I liked 2014 Slovenia a lot as well.

Jonas
Jonas
12 days ago
Reply to  Biscotto7

They sent one in 1995…