May 14, 2019
The official opening of the European Song Contest begins tonight with the first of the two semi-finals, which will decide which countries will compete for the winning title in the grand finals this Saturday, May 18th.
Among the 17 entries that will compete for the top 10 that will qualify for the finals tonight are the Slovenian duo (and real life couple) Zala and Gašper. According to betting odds Slovenia is currently ranked seventh to win and eighth to qualify, with Greece, Australia, Iceland and Cyprus topping this semi-final’s betting.
Zala and Gašper offer a downbeat, moody alternative to the usual bright pop that enters Eurovision, with the UK's Popbitch noting its competition rundown that they look like "a brother and sister art collective", adding that “It’s not often that Eurovision tosses out a song that could happily sit on the soundtrack to an indie movie about a millennial’s quarter-life crisis, grappling with an estranged parent’s secret addiction to prescription pain-killers – but Slovenia have made a decent fist of it.”
The duo are not new to musical success, and last year they won the Zlata Piščal Award for best song of the summer in recognition of their debut single “Valovi” (Waves).
However, the pair upset expectations when they won the EMA contest to represent Slovenia, coming second to establishment favou rite Raiven. However, the final decision was based on a pubic vote, where they received 72% of the total, prompting an angry reaction from pop star and previous Eurovision contestant, Lea Sirk. Perhaps uncomfortably, Sirk will be watching Saturday’s final from Slovenia, reporting the county’s point to Tel Aviv
The show starts at 21:00 tonight and will be broadcast by TV SLO 2. The second semi-final will be on Thursday.