Preview: Open field at EMA 2020

Evrovizijska Melodija (EMA) is back for 2020, as Slovenia pick the act to represent them in Rotterdam. We preview all the competing songs below… 

Slovenia have qualified for the Eurovision final for the past two years. Will they be able to continue that streak? The EMA YouTube channel has published a video featuring snippets of the competing songs, with the full versions to be heard for the first time during the live performances.

The jury is made up of three experts, who will select two super finalists after all the performances. Then, public televote will decide the ultimate winner.

Simon Vadnjal – Nisi sam

One of the many rock entries from this year’s EMA will be opening the show on Saturday night. ‘Nisi sam’ has the potential to be a little repetitive over the three minute duration of the song. Simon Vadnjal will need to bring a real edge to his live performance and staging to win with this one.

Saška – Še kar lovim tvoj nasmeh

‘Še kar lovim tvoj nasmeh’ may be viewed as slightly generic by the televote and jury. It is pleasant, but does not feel like it progresses through the chorus. Saška won EMA FREŠ (a pre-selection featuring artists under the age of 26), so she does have momentum.

Gaja Prestor – Verjamem vase

This pop song definitely has a fierce nature to it. With a strong vocal performance and staging to match, this could be a real contender. ‘Verjamem vase’ feels modern and would likely have broad appeal to both televoters and the jury.

Ana Soklič – Voda

This ballad goes from soft to powerful within a matter of seconds, which could make for a memorable moment on stage. As is often the case with power ballads, vocals will be crucial to conveying the emotions and message of the song. The snippet may not tell us the whole story about how ‘Voda’ will fare at EMA.

Inmate – The Salt

‘The Salt’ has an undoubtedly gritty element to it, which is always great for a live rock song. Transferring the energy of the song into a live performance will be key for Inmate. It is not always easy to win with a rock song, so they must excite the audience.

Manca Berlec – Večnost

Although we can only listen to a snippet, this entry does seem to be one-dimensional and slightly repetitive. There is a little bit of a jazz element, which adds a nice point of difference in the national final. However, it likely will not have the x-factor to win on Saturday.

Tinkara Kovač – Forever

This entry draws immediate comparisons to fellow competing song ‘Še kar lovim tvoj nasmeh’. Both are soft, gentle ballads that will find it hard to stand out at EMA. Staging and vocals will be the two main differentiators on the night between the two tracks.

Božidar Wolfand – Wolf – Maybe Someday

Lyrically and musically, ‘Someday’ is rather cliché. The campfire-esque element at the end of the chorus is a nice feature of the song, though. For this song to do well, the staging would need to be warm and inviting, otherwise viewers may not connect.

Parvani Violet – Cupid

Parvani Violet is the other artist who won EMA FREŠ, and they will be singing their song ‘Cupid’. It is an enjoyable jazz entry that highlights the impressive vocal abilities of the lead singer. If this lives up to the studio track vocally, this could do particularly well with the jury. It is harder to judge how the public will react, though.

Klara Jazbec – Stop the World

A gentle pop song, ‘Stop the World’ may be quiet, but has potential to do well at EMA. From the snippet, the track seems to develop into a catchy melody. The vocals are controlled, yet emotional, which suits the song perfectly.

IMSET – Femme fatale

Another rock entry, ‘Femme fatale’ is very energetic and could be captivating on a live stage. Out of the three rock songs at EMA this year, this song arguably has the best chance of winning. It has a real punch, which could appeal to a wider audience.

Lina Kuduzović – man like u

It is hard to listen to this track without noticing similarities to Ariana Grande. Although this is not inherently bad, the jury may mark it down for a lack of originality. Lina Kuduzović will need to show her true self on the stage to get this song across the line.

It’s definitely an open field at EMA this year. There are no clear frontrunners, so live performances will really be the determining factor. As it stands though, IMSET, Klara Jazbec, Gaja Prestor and Parvani Violet have the most promising entries.

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