We went into today’s Slovenian national final full of dread. Slovenia sent “Narodnozabavni Rock” last year, which was one of the more painful entries of recent years. It begged the question: if this is what they sent, how bad were the other entries?
Cut to 2011, and Slovenia rivals Estonia as our favorite national final so far this season. Part of the reason was the host, Klemen Slakonja. We don’t speak Slovenian, but you could tell he was an engaging and charmingly hammy presenter, plus he was an excellent singer to boot. If they ever want to send him to the Song Contest, we’d be more than happy.
Aside from the odd commie musical number that kicked off the show, every number ranged from halfway decent to really good, and both of us agreed that all of these songs were better than anything we saw in the Lithuanian and Latvian finals.
The super final came down to two songs. Our favorite was April’s “Ladadidej,” a dance track that even the judges (including 2006 Croatian representative Severina) agreed sounded like Lady Gaga:
The winner ended up being Maja Keuc’s “Vanilija”:
Aside from the literal interpretive dance (which, don’t get us wrong, needs to stay), “Vanilija” is a strong, dramatic number that Maja wrings every last bit of power out of. It sounds like “Hold On Be Strong” (Norway 2008), but hey, that song ultimately finished fifth overall. We’re expecting this one to make the final.