This year there were 16 participants in the Slovenian national final Evrovizijska Melodija (EMA) 2018. The lucky winner of this year’s edition is the talented singer Lea Sirk with the ultra-modern song “Hvala, ne” – which means “no thanks”. It’s not the first time for Lea to be at Eurovision. She already had two attempts in the Slovenian final in 2009 and 2010, furthermore she was the backing singer of the Slovenian entries in 2014 in Copenhagen and 2016 in Stockholm. So she knows how it feels to be on such a big stage where over 200 million TV spectators and an enthusiastic crowd in the arena are watching.
Lea Sirk was born in Koper at the Adriatic coast in 1989. She has been studying the concert flute at the Conservatory of Music in Geneva, Switzerland. She has also established herself as a singer. In 2005 she won the music competition in Cologne, Germany. By now she has also released her first album called “Roza” arranged by her husband Gabor Radojevic.
The song “Hvala, ne” is a proclamation not to believe in the promises of the commercial industry – just say “no” whatever they would like to sell to you.
Don't believe in everything that they offer you I won't give my soul to anyone, I'll keep it for myself
The song will be sung in the native Slovenian language according to the rules of the Slovenian broadcaster, despite the open language rule of the EBU. The ultra-modern arrangement especially with the floor illuminating show is breath-taking. Unfortunately, the stage in Lisbon is made without LED lights, so it will be interesting how Lea and her backing group will cope with this.
Finals: 15 (4 since 2004)
Top 10: 3
Chances for Top 10: 13%
Chances for Final: 27%
This year in Lisbon, Slovenia will have its 24th entry in the Eurovision Song Contest. In the year 1993 there has been the first only pre-ESC, which was held in Ljubljana. The participating countries in this pre-selection were Estonia, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Slovenia. Only three songs could qualify for the Millstreet ESC those were Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia. The debut song “Tih Dezeven Dan” by 1X Band only reached the 22nd place in Millstreet. Nevertheless the participation of Slovenia brought a huge public interest. Slovenia was among the top 3 countries, when the Eurovision Song Contest has opened to a wider scale of participating countries.
As one of the former ex-Yugoslav countries, Slovenia can look back to an additional 27-years-old history of Yugoslavian entries, where one victory with “Rock me” by Riva in 1989 could be celebrated. The Slovenes have participated since then with great enthusiasm and put every effort in well-chosen songs of high quality with an international standard. And the interest seems to increase from year to year.
Slovenia is the only country from the ex-Yugoslav countries which does not benefit from the “Balkan Block Voting” like Croatia, Serbia, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina. Since the Semi Finals have been introduced in 2004, Slovenia could only qualify four times out of thirteen. Last year the Slovenian entry “On My Way” by Omar Naber did not reach the Grand Final in Kiev, and made the 17th place in the Semi Final.