Slovenian voters have chosen Eva Boto to represent them with “Verjamem.” The decision concludes a months long search through Misija Evrovisija, an Idol-style series, and EMA2012, an Unser Star-style selection show.
We have followed Misija Evrovizija on and off since October (check out our earlier observations here and here). A powerful and talented vocalist, 16-year old Eva Boto emerged early as a worthy successor to Maja Keuc. Throughout the series, Boto showed range in her song choices and was consistently strong. She offered 3 songs as part of EMA2012. A big Eurovision ballad, “Verjamem” showcases Boto at her best.
Competing against Eva Boto were identical twins Nika & Eva Prusnik. In truth, we didn’t take the Prusnik sisters seriously until the final weeks of Misija Evrovisija. Vocals are not the twins’ strong suit, but they entertained viewers through gimmickry and goofy charm. Their strongest entry in EMA2012, “Konichiwa,” was cheesy, politically incorrect, and fun–a perfect example of what they do so well. This one made it to the Superfinal, and we would have been chuffed to see it progress.
My biggest concern with “Verjamem” is that we’ve heard it before. The opening impression is The Little Mermaid–Ariel’s voice. Then at 2:27, it turns into 2007 Eurovision winner “Molitva.” Small surprise, as songwriter Vladimir Graic was behind both “Molitva” and “Verjamem.” The question for me is whether these similarities will bother Eurovision voters. The song is good, and Boto sings it well. Personally, I have a hard time getting past it.
The bottom line: we think the Slovenians made the right choice. “Konichiwa” had kitsch value but would have gotten no support from juries. I doubt it would have made it out of the semifinals. Eva Boto, on the other hand, has oodles of talent, and “Verjamem” is the type of power ballad that in the past has found favor with juries. With this one they stand a chance.
A final note: Though we have made our feelings about host Klemen Slakonja known in the past, it bears repeating. We think he’s fabulous. We would love to see Slovenia win just to see him as host.