Best of the Bunch: Slovakia

Since their debut in 1994, Slovakia have flowed in and out of Eurovision, participating some years, and others not, with no real strong commitment to the contest. Although we haven’t seen them much recently, we still think it’s of value to go back in time to discover the Slovakian Eurovision gems. The nation first participated in 1994, and skipped the odd years up until 1998, with not much success, so they took a break and returned in 2009 – where we will be starting our Best of the Bunch journey today. Usually we’d start in 2006 and continue to 2015 in our Best of the Bunch posts, but we’re keeping it short and sweet in this post, as Slovakia participated only between 2009 and 2012, and then withdrew once again from the contest. *Slovakia please come back!*

In the participations prior to 2009, Slovakia used an internal selection to choose their Eurovision representative, however upon their return in 2009, the nation decided to change tactic and organise a national final for the first time. The process included a number of heats before the grand final, which decided on Kamil Mikulčík and Nela Pocisková as the Slovakian act with the song Let t’mou. It was a beautiful duet, much underappreciated both in 2009 and still today. The song unfortunately finished in 18th place in the semi-final with just 8 points.

The following year, Slovakia hoped to change their run of average results with Kristina and the song Horehronie. The song incorporated various cultural elements, and for its charming performance, Slovakia and Kristina became a hot favourite with the fans and the bookmakers. But oh how the mighty fall, with Slovakia failing to reach the final once again, which came as a shock to many fans. Kristina finished in 16th place with just 24 points.

In 2011, it was originally said that Slovakia wouldn’t be participating at Eurovision, however upon the creation of a new public broadcaster, Slovakia was back in the game. Pop duo and family act TWiiNS, Daniela and Veronika Nízlová were given the tough task of sending Slovakia to the final unlike the previous two acts. The twins performed the song I’m Still Alive, Slovakia’s first Eurovision song to feature in English, but yet it wasn’t enough to reach the final. Unlike the previous two acts, the girls were only a handful of points away from reaching the final, finishing in 13th place with 48 points.

An internal selection was used in 2012 to choose Slovakia’s entrant, and it was Max Jason Mai who was selected with the song Don’t Close Your Eyes. It was a different approach for Slovakia, who had felt safe within the genre of pop, but were opting for a heavy rock tune hoping that featuring something different would finally send them to the final. Well, not only did Slovakia not qualify, Slovakia came last in the semi-final with 22 points.

After 2012, Slovakia decided to part ways with Eurovision once again, with the cost associated with the contest cited as the decider to withdraw, rather than the string of fairly average results. Perhaps we’ll see Slovakia return sometime soon! For now, you can vote for your Best of the Bunch down below!