Eurovision 2016 Entry: Slovenia — ManuElla — Blue and Red

Slovenia is jumping on the Taylor Swift breakup bandwagon. Will Eurovision fans get on board, or will ManuElla be singing a different tune come May?

ManuElla will represent Slovenia in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. (Photo: Žiga Mihelčič) ManuElla will represent Slovenia in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. (Photo: Žiga Mihelčič)

Country: Slovenia
Song Title: “Blue and Red”
Artist: ManuElla
Second Semi-Final: Position #11
Last year’s entry:Here For You” – Maraaya (14th Place)

After initially releasing their official video by replacing live performance audio with a studio-recorded track (something we’ve seen far too much of this year), Slovenia is one of the few entries so far to make actual changes to their song. The changes are pretty simple; they added some intro vocals and tweaked a note here or there throughout the choruses. I wasn’t a big fan of this entry a few weeks ago; did these tweaks help at all?

I have a theory: the only reason the US will never be invited to join the Eurovision Song Contest is because Europeanish countries wouldn’t be able to send these generic pop/country knock-off songs with impunity. To be clear, I am not against country as a genre in the contest! I’m just saying, if you’re going to steal something, do it well. The Dutch entry from 2014 is a great example. I was too swept up in Conchita-mania to appreciate it then, but “Calm After the Storm” was a beautiful and haunting guitar-duet about conflict, heartache, and the open road. It absolutely nailed the genre.

Unfortunately Slovenia has not had as much success with “Blue and Red”. This is pretty clearly a post-breakup song (“you feel blue and I am better”) a la Taylor Swift. The problem is, it’s not really a song — just a collection of musical parts. It doesn’t flow from section to section, and I don’t even know what to say about the costume design choices we’ve seen so far.1 Worse, I have yet to see a live performance where she looks capable of commanding the stage. Her appearance at last weekend’s “Eurovision in Concert” promotional event was just as awkward as the official video linked above.2 She’s had over a month to work on that. If we haven’t seen progress by this point, it’s probably not going to happen.

The one thing this entry has going for it? The Netherlands and their better, or at least more popular, country tune are in the other semifinal! Even so, I have a feeling this entry will have a hard time qualifying. ManuElla sings between top-five contender Australia and the Game of Thrones rock opera soundtrack from Romania. Good luck to her trying to stick in people’s minds between those! The oddsmakers seem to agree. In the last couple of weeks, Slovenia’s odds have dropped from 250 to 300:1, scraping the bottom of the barrel with the likes of San Marino and Switzerland.3 Unfortunately it seems like Eurovision will be breaking up with Slovenia this year, and not the other way around.

Eurovision Song Contest Second Semi-Final
May 12, 2016

AlbaniaAustraliaBelarusBelgiumBulgariaDenmarkFYR MacedoniaGeorgiaIrelandIsraelLatviaLithuaniaNorwayPolandRomaniaSerbiaSloveniaSwitzerlandUkraine

  1. I really just hope we don’t get another DressGate scandal like last year.  
  2. #PleaseClap  
  3. Seems like a bad year to be from a country starting with S.  

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  • They appear to be getting rid of the key change dress reveal, which I thought was the most interesting part of their original performance. As far as country-esque entries go, I think Douwe Bob’s song is miles above this one in merging country and Eurovision this year.

    • Agreed on both counts! “Slow Down” is pretty boring to me, but yes, it’s miles ahead of this song in a lot of contexts.