It’s the time of year when the Post-Eurovision depression is in full swing, but there’s no better cure than to reminisce! Together with ESCDaily Editor, Dennis Van Eersel, we will be discussing each of this year’s competing nations – from their results to how we think they could improve in the future!
Predictions, Personal Scores and Results
- Prediction: Non-Qualifier
- Personal Score: 4
- Prediction: Non-Qualifier
- Personal Score: 7
Results: 13th place, Semi-Final
Did Slovenia live up to expectations?
A: Sadly, I think Slovenia lived up to expectations in the sense that we didn’t predict big things for the nation this year. While Dennis preferred the song, I unfortunately didn’t see a lot of appeal. A non-qualification was inevitable, and their semi-final performance really cemented that status. Ana gave a decent vocal performance, but the staging was completely uninspired, and the song just didn’t have enough appeal to the viewers.
D: I agree with you to a certain point. I also didn’t see Slovenia as a qualifier, especially not after receiving the second start position with this song. But I still thought Ana would come up with better staging and I don’t understand some changes Slovenia made to their composition. I don’t think it could have been lifted up to being a qualifier, but I still expected it to be better than this.
How do you personally feel about the song for Slovenia at Eurovision 2021?
A: Prior to the contest, I really wasn’t a fan of this song. During the rehearsal period, I enjoyed the song more as it was performed live, however this is still not a song that I would personally listen to going forward.
D: My opinion is different from Anita’s, since I actually like the Slovenian song. With the background story of Ana Soklic, who never sang about her religious beliefs before but now finally dared to do so, that spoke to me. She used Charlie Mason as a composer and we know, from his winning song ‘Rise like a Phoenix’ that subtlety is not his biggest trademark, haha. The lyrics are a bit out there, with lots of Hallelujah, but I think it definitely came right from Ana’s heart and I can always appreciate that.
Could Slovenia have done anything different?
A: Something that really caught my attention in the press conference with Slovenia was that the landscape images projected throughout the performance were just stock images. While I didn’t necessarily see the connection with those images to the song, at least if it had some sort of meaning, you would understand it more. This made the performance seem totally generic. It’s time to retire the image of the Earth.
Instead, the nation could have really buckled down to create something more memorable visually. They could have utilised the choir sounds in the song, whether having a physical team of backing singers, or creating that effect with the LED.
D: For me the main changes are the ones that they should not have made. They changed the composition and lyrics at the beginning and end of the song, giving it a messy start. Then Ana Soklic took the catwalk in the middle of the song and was constantly shouting to the audience, which did not suit this song at all. Despite all that, the whole visual presentation was a bit boring. I did not notice they used stock images until just now, but I think people pick it up in their subconsciousness and it certainly did not help them. I also agree on using an actual choir or group of backing singers, that would have made much more impact than how Slovenia did it now.
A: It’s interesting you say that they changed the composition, as for me, that’s something I failed to notice. It may have been due to not listening to the song much before the contest, but even that says something. If a song is not appealing enough to want to listen to it, it’s probably not going to do that well in the end.
D: I suggest you play the studio track and then watch the live performance. The ‘You’ll get beaten and bruised’ part doesn’t even fit in the melody anymore because of the changes they made. And that’s the start of the song, not a strong move I would say.
What can Slovenia do to ensure success in future years?
A: Slovenia often holds a national final, and it’s not usually one fans actively look forward to in terms of the quality. There are usually one or two gems, but again, it never feels like enough. Could it be that the nation needs to select a competent artist and really focus their time on the songwriting?
D: Slovenia has been on and off again when it comes to qualification. Their last real success dates from 2001, which is 20 years ago now. It’s a small nation so they don’t have a lot of big names in their musical pool to pick from. I would go with what you are saying now. Drop the EMA-format and find a team of gifted songwriters to write up something good and then find the most competent artist with television experience to perform the song. And stick with that game plan for a few years, before evaluating what that gave them.
A: It’s not just enough to pick a good song and singer though, there certainly needs to be a lot of focus on the staging as well. This year was a prime example of how not to stage an entry. Eurovision is not a platform where you want to be generic. You need to stand out, and Slovenia needs to work on that.
D: Of course the staging is of the utmost importance. But Slovenia has shown that they know how to stage their entries in the past (Tinkara Kovac, Maraaya, Lea Sirk), they just didn’t get it right this year. I don’t have the feeling that, over the course of the last 5 to 10 years, lack of good staging was the main problem for Slovenia.
A: All in all, the nation has a lot to work on for future years, especially with the songs they choose to enter. Let’s hope the nation can return in 2022 with a strong entry!
Which was better, the live-on-tape performance or the actual performance?
D: Without a doubt: The back-up tape was better. It featured the original version of the song, without the shortened intro and outro and updated bridge. Also the camerawork and lighting had more focus on Ana Soklic than it did in the actual performance at Ahoy. I don’t think Slovenia would have qualified either way, but as someone who liked their song, it’s a waste to see that they took things in the wrong direction at a late stage before the contest.
A: This may be one of the only times I say this, but I actually did prefer the back-up tape. While Dennis prefers the back-up tape primarily for the untouched song, I personally preferred it for the visuals. The horizontal lights were basic, but I think it looked much better. In both performances however, I think the generic choices in all aspects would have led to inevitably failing to qualify.