Tuesday, November 29, 2005

More Hot Slovenia Action

On a gentle stroll through the archives at The Glory of Carniola last week, the Gazette briefly considered a quick post on a Slovenian turbo-act it unaccountably managed to ignore while in Ljubljana, a charming and unassuming little quartet called Atomik Harmonik. What with one thing and another, it quite slipped the Gazette's mind.

Until yesterday, when Slovenian television announced its finalists for this year's EMA festival, the annual Slovenian pre-selection for Eurovision. Looking at Slovenia's recent Eurovision record, RTVSLO clearly have something to prove.

Much was expected two years ago from wronged disco diva Karmen Stavec, who'd controversially lost the year before after the voting system broke down and EMA supremo Miša Molk decided in favour of a transsexual trio from Ljubljana. She came last in the final.

Much was expected last year from chirpy lovebirds Platin, who presented each other with engagement rings on stage at EMA and promised to get married during Eurovision in Istanbul. They came last in the semi-final.

Much was expected this year from casting-show winner Omar Naber, who acknowledged his target audience by shooting a bare-chested preview video knee-deep in a pool of water. He came... well, no, he didn't. But he didn't get much further, either.

For 2006, RTVSLO are taking no chances. Among the favourites will be the woman who might as well be The Glory of Carniola's house band, Natalija Verboten. And the turbo-schlager sensation of 2005, Rebeka Dremelj. And, inevitably enough, Atomik Harmonik.

Two-girl two-guy Atomik Harmonik resemble a fusion of Verbotenovanje with the British chart-pop tradition of groups like Steps, the sort who pick up the songs the Swedish pop industry doesn't want. The two blondes, Špela and Špelca, have an almost English affection for matching kitsch uniforms such as firewomen or that old favourite, the nurse's outfit.

If the whole of Slovenia wakes up one Sunday morning in March '06 wondering how on earth it's meant to look the rest of Europe in the face after voting en masse to be represented by this lot and a song called Polkaholik, the Gazette would want to make it known that it disclaimed all responsibility as of, well, this minute.

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