It’s not uncommon to see competitors of Eurovision National Finals to compete numerous times over the years, with some participants lucky enough to eventually score their Eurovision ticket. Others, however, may compete to no avail. Today we are putting the spotlight on Slovenian national finalist, Ravien, who proved that sometimes third time isn’t a charm.
Raiven first participated in the Slovenian selection, EMA, back in 2016 with the song Črno bel, where she went on to place second. In 2017, she returned with the song Zažarim, and finished third overall. The most recent attempt was in 2019, where she competed with the song Kaos, the focus of today’s throwback. Raiven once again placed high, finishing in second place. Always the bridesmaid, but never the bride!
Although it was just over 2 years ago, I can’t say I remember this national final well. Other than the eventual winner, Zala & Gašper, and former Junior Eurovision participant Ula Ložar, all other memories of this selection have been wiped from my mind. Knowing that Raiven had previously placed in the Top 3, and had once again finished in 2nd place in 2019, there had to be something there for her to continuously achieve these results…
Listening to the song again now, I’m surprised this was such a fan favourite. In the context of the studio version, I can sort of hear the potential, but overall, this is just not hitting the mark for me. The backing music is so faint and diluted in the verses that there is literally nowhere to hide in the vocal performance, and the vocals are completely flat. The melody is instantly forgettable, and even the ‘chaotic’ choruses are bland. This feels like the love child of Elitsa and Stoyan and Lea Sirk, with a sprinkle of Samanta Tīna – and it’s not a great combination, I must say.
In addition to the incredibly bland vocal performance is the lacklustre visual performance. The dancers are doing the heavy lifting here, with Raiven looking totally unfazed through the performance. There’s movement in the lights, the patterns of the LED screens and in the choreography, yet somehow this performance comes across as so static.
Am I surprised this came as high as second place? Absolutely. Looking back at the previous two EMA entries from Raiven, I’m starting to suspect that maybe her style just isn’t resonating with me, as both her previous entries also failed to impress me. Yes, she is unique, but Kaos does Raiven no favours. I suspect that had this gone to Eurovision, it would have fallen into the Samanta Tīna category, and unfortunately finished towards the bottom of the table. Far from impressive.
It’s a 2/10 for me, and even that feels quite generous.