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.
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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!