Omar Naber won EMA 2017 and will represent Slovenia at Eurovision with “On My Way.”
Naber won Bitka Talentov, Slovenia’s version of Pop Idol, in 2004. The next year, he represented Slovenia at the Eurovision Song Contest with “Stop,” which finished 12th in the Semifinal. According to his Facebook bio, he is a licensed busker on the London Underground. You gotta pay the bills somehow when you split your time between London and Ljubljana.
We were frustrated with EMA this year because there were more interesting entries that Slovenia could have sent. There’s no doubt that Naber is talented, but “On My Way” is a super-safe “I want” show tune. The first thing we thought of when we heard it was “For Life,” Isis Gee’s song for Poland back in 2008. And that song was stale in 2008. Like “For Life,” “On My Way” is jury-friendly: it built a lead in the EMA jury vote that couldn’t be overturned when it finished second in the televote. At Eurovision, there is a slim possibility that its jury appeal becomes an asset. Slovenia participates in the First Semi, which traditionally sees more conservative song choices go through. But for us, this one is a snoozer.