|Also known as||Evrovizijska Melodija|
|Country of origin||Slovenia|
|No. of series||19|
|Original network||RTV SLO|
|Original release||10 February 1996– present|
|Preceded by||Slovenski izbor za pesem Evrovizije|
|Followed by||Misija Evrovizija (2012)
Internal Selection (2013)
EMA (Evrovizijska Melodija; English: Eurovision Melody) is the national contest in Slovenia to select the country's entry since 1996 to the Eurovision Song Contest. The contest has been held since the country's debut in the Eurovision Song Contest, and has been held every year since, except for on two occasions (1994 and 2000) when Slovenia did not compete at Eurovision.
The contest is organized and broadcast by the Slovene broadcaster Radiotelevizija Slovenija (RTV SLO). The contest was previously known as Slovenski izbor za pesem Evrovizije (literally Slovenian selection for the Eurovision Song Contest) in 1993 and 1995.
EMA has been the selection show for Slovene representative in the Eurovision Song Contest. Originally it was titled ‘’Slovenski Izbor za Pesem Evrovizije’’ (English: Slovenian Selection for the Eurovision Song Contest), however it was re-named into EMA in 1996.
After the break-up of former Yugoslavia, Slovenia gained independence and as RTV SLO became a member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) in 1992, Slovenia was able to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 1993, for the first time as an independent country. RTV SLO organized the first "EMA" on 25 February 1993 in RTV SLO Studios in Ljubljana, Slovenia. It had 12 participants. Ironically 1X Band was not on the original participants list. However, after a disqualification of one of the original participants 1X Band was chosen to participate in the last minute. The winner was selected by 12 regional radio station juries from all over Slovenia. Each radio jury voted with Eurovision votes (1–8, 10, and 12 points).
Due to Slovenia’s first appearance being placed in the bottom 7, Slovenia wasn’t allowed to participate in 1994. Therefore, the contest wasn’t held that year.
The contest followed the 1993 format in 1995 and 1996. But in 1996, only eleven participants appeared, because of the twelfth participant’s disqualification before the contest was held.
In 1997, EMA saw major changes in the format. RTV SLO chose to invite 7 songwriters to each write 2 songs for the final, rather than to open a call for participants. And regional juries were re-placed by televoting. Both features stayed in production also in 1998.
In 1999, EMA dropped invitation format and once again opened a call for songs, RTV SLO eventually chose 20 songs, but 3 of them were disqualified which made the final participants list having 17 participants. Role of televoting was reduced to 1/3 of the final voting. Other than that Slovene Expert Jury and International Expert Jury voted. Each voting factor; televoting, Slovene jury and International jury vote with Eurovision votes (1–8, 10, and 12 points). During the show, the presenter (Mojca Mavec) called the international jury as Ireland, as its chairman was Marc Roberts (Irish representative in 1997). This edition caused high controversy as the televoting winner, Tinkara Kovač didn’t won the selection.
In 2000, Slovenia was not allowed to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest due to poor average of results between 1995 and 1999.
In 2001, EMA returned, expending over 2 nights for the first time. In the semi-final 22 participants appeared. Televoting chose six and Jury chose 6 to proceed to the final. In the final, the voting was up to Televoting, Expert Jury and RTV SLO Jury. The format continued in 2002, however with only 18 semi-finalists and 10 finalists. In both editions, Karmen Stavec finished first in televoting and second in overall results. This caused big controversy, especially because her songs received much better reviews and bigger commercial success than any other participant in these two editions.
In 2003, the format was changed to being a one night show, once again. The contest was moved out of the RTV SLO Studios into Gospodarsko Razstavišče Hall A. The new venue is 5-times bigger that has room for an audience of 1,500. EMA contained sixteen participants. In round one, Televoting and International jury vote and top 3 are qualified forward. In round two, televoting selected the winner. The same format with minor changes returned in 2004. The controversial rule that jury votes overrule televoting votes in round one, resulted in elimination of viewers favorite Bepop in 2003 and Natalija Verboten in 2004 in the first round.
The 2004 format followed the 2003 format with introduction of four weekly semi-finals. Four semi-finals are held weekly, with the last being held 2 weeks before the final. Each semi-final contained 8 songs. Viewers chose 3 qualifiers and Jury chose 1 qualifier from each semi-final.
The controversy that surrounded EMA over the past years as the viewer’s favorite didn’t win the selection in 7 years (since 1998), producers decided to drop the juries and select the winner solely by televoting. In 2005, the show returned to be recorded in RTV SLO studios and the winner was selected in two rounds of televoting. Thirteen participants were chosen from the submissions on the open call and one participant was the winner of Bitka Talentov (The Battle of Talents; RTV SLO singing talent competition).
In 2006, RTV SLO decided to modify the format with re-introducing the jury. Landline phones voting, mobile phones voting, and jury voting, each vote with Eurovision votes (1–8, 10, and 12 points). This voting format resulted in yet another-one of the viewers favorite being eliminated.
Due to controversy in 2006, RTV SLO decided to drop the juries voting and re-introduce 100% televoting. The 2007 edition consisted of 3 shows over three nights. All the show were staged in Gospodarsko Razstavišče Hall A. For the first time in 3 years, the winner was not the selected act from Bitka Talentov, as Eva Černe (Bitka Talentov winner) finished 2nd. It contained of 24 semi-finalists and 14 finalists. The format was repeated in 2008, with 20 semi-finalists and 10 finalists.
The 2009 edition was changed to two shows format. It had 14 semi-finalists, selected from the open call submissions and 6 automatic finalists, invited by RTV SLO. Eight semi-finals qualify to the final. In both shows 50% televoting and 50% jury voting is used.
In 2010, RTV SLO invited 7 songwriters and only 7 qualified from the semi-final. In both shows 100% televoting was used due to controversy in 2009.
In 2011, RTV SLO decided to have only songs by invited songwriters. They invited 10 songwriters. On the night expert jury eliminated 8 songs in round one and televoting chose the winner in round.
In 2012, RTV SLO decided to introduce a talent show titled Misija Evrovizija (Mission Eurovision). In this show, they got 2 contestants for Misija EMA (Mission EMA).
In 2013, EMA wasn’t held for the first time and act was chosen internally. EMA would’ve been staged, but due to RTV SLO intention to withdraw and deciding in the last minute to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest, RTV SLO didn’t have time to produce it.
In 2014, EMA will be a one night show with 7 songs, written by invited songwriters. The winner is selected by 100% televoting.
|1993, 1995–1998||Slovene||Slovene||Eurovision rules stated that songs should be performed in country’s official language.|
|1999, 2001–2002||Slovene||Song can be translated to other language, but RTV SLO should approve the song in other language.||In 1999 and 2000, both songs were approved by RTV SLO to be performed in English. But in 2002, Sestre planned to perform the song in German. Sestre pointed-out on various occasions that the German version is much better and they would most certainly receive more points if they would perform in German. But ultimately, RTV SLO committee didn't approve and they needed to perform in Slovene.|
|2003–2004||Any language||Song should be performed in same language as in EMA.|
|2005||Slovene||Song can be translated to other language, but RTV SLO should approve the song in other language.|
|2006–2009||Any language||Any language||RTV SLO should approve if a song would be translated to other language.|
|2011–present||Any language||Any language|
Final Voting Process
|1993; 1995–1996||12 (11 in 1996)||12 Regional Juries vote with 1–8, 10, and 12 points.|
|1997–1998||14 (13 in 1997)||Televoting votes.|
|1999||17||Slovene Jury, International Jury, and Televoting vote 1–8, 10, and 12 points.|
|2001–2002||12 (10 in 2002)||Expert Jury, RTV SLO Jury, and Televoting vote 1–8, 10, and 12 points.|
|2006||14||Jury, Landline Voting, and Mobile Voting vote 1–8, 10, and 12 points.|
|2009||14||Jury and Televoting vote 1–8, 10, and 12 points.|
|2014–2016||8 (7 in 2014; 10 in 2016)||Jury chooses the top two and televoting selects the winner out of those two.|
|2017–present||8||6 Slovene Regional Juries vote 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 points and Televoting distributes 252 points between the finalists|
|RTV SLO Studios||1993, 1995–1999, 2001–2002, 2004 semi-finals; 2005–2006, 2008–2009, 2011–present|
|Gospodarsko Razstavišče (Hall A)||2003, 2004 Final, 2007,2017|
|Gospodarsko Razstavišče Marmorna Dvorana||2010|
Through the years special guest have been asked to make an appearance. The guest list includes:Katrina Leskanich the winner of Eurovision Song Contest 1997, Lys Assia the winner of the first Eurovision Song Contest and in 2010 Alexander Rybak the winner of Eurovision Song Contest 2009.