Now that we know Ana Soklič will represent Slovenia at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest (Eurosong) in the Netherlands – with the final on 16 May – we can take a look at all the other important contents of this year’s Ema.
The show began with its host Klemen Slakonja performing last year’s winning Eurovision song Arcade by Duncan Lawrence. In the middle of the song, a lamp fell down, prompting Slakonja to hit his head on the piano and “damage” his “arcade”, an arch above the eye that tends to absorb the damage when things are not going as planned.
Slakonja’s injury gradually “healed” as the show progressed so that by the end he could perform impersonations of all 25 of Slovenia’s Eurovision entries so far.
Klemen Slakonja also appeared as Ema’s main host in 2011, 2012 and 2016, when he also became known to the international audience by his Putin Putout YouTube hit. Unlike in previous years, many voices could be heard on social media calling for Klemen Slakonja to be sent to the Eurovision contest next year, due to his obvious singing skills, stage presence and general likability.
But Eurovision is a serious contest with serious rules that need to be followed. Although people like to point out how political the event is, which becomes especially apparent during the vote casting, perhaps even more telling are the scandals that appear to be happening on its fringes but are in fact, as I believe, at the essence of its existence.
Last year, for example, Lea Sirk, the previous year’s Eurovision entrant, couldn’t hide her disappointment over the winning duo Zala and Gašper and dropped an F-bomb into a live microphone she was wearing. Eurovision might be Europe’s campest of events, but it is also a family-friendly affair, so no swearing, please.
This year’s award presenters, Zala and Gašper – launching a new album this week with a performance at Kino Šiška under the name zalagasper – were therefore reminded, as a joke, not to forget that their microphones were on so they should refrain from any bad language during the announcement of the winner.
They obeyed and Ana Soklič accepted the reward, visibly moved and surprised. Then she was invited to give the first comment. In brief translation, she said:
“In the end I always place it all on – I don’t know what the people will say – but only Jesus Christ is the one who leads us through the paths of our lives and no one should ever worry that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Despite all the hardships we face in the music industry, we cannot quit, there is no way to return.”
Slovenian social media exploded. Apparently, Ana Soklič thanking Jesus Christ is this year’s Ema scandal.
However, as we always wonder following the conclusion of Ema, can Jesus Christ draw enough attention to Slovenia at the higher, international stage of the competition?
We have to stay optimistic. Or as Slakonja appropriately responded to the words cited above, “We are moving towards the light!”.