After two years of televoting only, Slovenian television, RTVSLO, re- introduces jury voting to decide who will be Slovenia's representative in Eurovision 2009 to be held in Moscow, Russia.
Like last year, EMA, the annual Slovenian competition to decide the country's Eurovision- representative, will be held in February. But as far as the rules are concerned, there will be some slight changes. The two semi finals will be reduced to one with 14 participating acts.
RTVSLO is going to invite six songwriters through an internal selection. The invitations will be sent to those songwriters who had the most success on EMA in recent years and celebrated some hits in the Slovenian charts. The invited songwriters themselves will then choose the artist or band who performs their song. Besides the six invited song writers, all other musicians are also invited to submit a song for EMA.
14 acts will eventually compete in the final. It remains open how many songs of the invited artists and how many of the other submitted entries will compete: Maximum six songs of the invited songwriters can compete in the final and at least eight songs by the other musicians will qualify. The invited authors are automatically qualified for the finalif they submit a song.
Another crucial point is the altered voting procedure. The voting consists of a mix of televoting (lines will be open for ten minutes) and an expert jury (50: 50) appointed by RTVSLO.
Contrary to the last two years, there won't be a superfinal anymore- it's going to be only one voting round. Slovenian superfinals were very exciting in the past as the acts placing second in the first round eventually won the superfinal. In 2007, Alenka Gotar placed second in the first voting round only a few votes behind Eva Cerne. But in the superfinal, Alenka won against Eva by a landslide with an impressive amount of votes and thus got the ticket to Eurovision. This year, EMA had the closest result ever with Rebeka Dremelj winning over Langa in Civili with only 395 votes separating them.
However, the presence of jury voting has already led to some controversy in previous editions of EMA as the jury often completely ignored the public's choice. The biggest uproars were caused in 2006, when Anzej Dezan won over Sasa Lendero in 2006 and when Sestre won over Karmen Stavec in 2002. Both Sasa and Karmen had massive support of the Slovenian public which protested heavily against the results.
It is yet to be seen which artists will participate in EMA 2009 or if there are any possible returns of former participants. A lot of new faces are expected though.
Stay tuned to esctoday.com for more information.
An article by Florian G.
Special thanks to Katja Vidojevic for her assistance.