Slovenia are hit or miss at Eurovision, but it’s not too often that we see Slovenia in the Top 10 in the final. Despite that, in recent years the nation has selected unique entries with a good mix of both modern and more traditional entries. This year, Slovenia has selected the duo Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl with the song Sebi, a song unlike anything else from the nation, and unique in this year’s Eurovision field. Could we be seeing Sebi in the top 10 this year?
Song + Vocals
This entry went completely under the radar, from the time it was released as part of the EMA selection right up until it was selected, so I was surprised to see that the duo had won the selection with such a significant percentage. Clearly the Slovenian public are onto something, as this is certainly not a bad choice. Admittedly, it has remained under the radar for me until only recently. For me, this is the type of song that has needed a few listens to understand the hype surrounding it. However now that I have a few listens under my belt, I can really see how this is a fan favourite.
It’s definitely more subdued than last year’s entry Hvala Ne, but I would argue that it’s much more modern. There is something about the beat of this song that almost sounds futuristic but is brought back to earth with the delicate vocals. I find the melody to actually be quite simple and isn’t pushed too far, but it mixes well with this futuristic sounding beat to create a very interesting atmosphere.
This is definitely a nice song, but I would worry that it won’t make enough of an impact in a competition setting. It took me perhaps half a dozen listens to really get into this song, and for many people, they will hear this once in the semi-final and that might not be enough to capture votes. Since this was part of a national selection, we do have a live performance to go off, and vocally it’s not too far off the studio version, but at times lacks a little je ne sais quoi.
Act + Performance
Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl are a very interesting duo. I find that in their performance they are so focused on each other that they don’t connect with the audience or the viewers practically at all, yet I don’t necessarily want to look away but could see how people could lose interest while watching. I think this could be improved by working with the camera a bit more. They can still keep that intimate feel to the performance, however include the audience rather than exclude them from the entire performance. They seem to be in their own world, and we aren’t invited.
At Eurovision, I think that a simple performance is still needed for this song, and I quite like the star type lighting for this performance. Even though it only needs a simple staging, I do think that improvements need to be made in order to showcase a bit more personality and liveliness even though this isn’t a lively song. I think this could simply come from more interaction with the camera.
This is definitely a risk for Slovenia, and I think it could go one of two ways. The first is that this will not qualify to the final due to how minimal the song and performance is, or alternatively, it will qualify as it will stand out from the plethora of big personality songs in the first semi-final. It’s really hard to say. It seems to have a fairly strong fan following however as we know, it’s not all about the fans. This song needs to impress not only the voters (many of whom aren’t hardcore Eurovision fans) but also the jury, and I’m just not certain they will be able to do that.