For its first participation in the Eurovision Song Contest since 1998, the Slovak public broadcaster STV organised a great national selection this year, including five semi-finals, to find a worthy representative. A total of 50 songs - all in Slovak language - were presented in the five semi-finals. In each of them, two finalists were picked by televoting and another one by the decision of an expert jury. A sixteenth finalist received a wildcard by the jury: Samo Tomeček, singing To Čo Chceš.
Tonight, the final was broadcast live from the STV studios in Bratislava, with the winner being decided by a combination of televoting and the verdict of an expert jury. A lot of ballads and rock songs were presented tonight, and the public got to see quite some pyrotechnical effects on stage as well. This was the order of appearance:
During the interval act, several 2009 Eurovision Song Contest representatives from other countries performed their entries. Among them were Aysel & Arash from Azerbaijan, who presented their song Always to the Slovak public. Gipsy.cz, the representatives of the neighbouring Czech Republic, were also present, and they performed their song Aven Romale, one of the songs of the Czech national selection for the Slovak public.
In the end, the results of the televote were announced - the top three songs were:
Those three acts were evaluated by the professional jury again, who decided that Kamil Mikulčík & Nela Pocisková should represent Slovakia in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest with Leť Tmou. The duo had already won the fifth semi-final of the Slovak national selection ahead of their concurrents. Kamil Mikulčík is a 31-year old actor, who also sings in the a cappella band Fragile. However, for his participation in the Slovak final, he temporarily left his band and teamed up with 17-year old Nela Pocisková, who is studying to become an actress as well. Soon she will also star in the musical West Side Story. You can watch a video clip of Kamil & Nela's Eurovision Song Contest entry here:
Slovakia decided to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in 1993 with the Band Elán and their song Amnestia Na Neveru, but, at that time, did not qualify in the Eastern European qualification round. Thus, the first "real" Slovak entry in the Eurovision Song Contest was Nekonečná Pieseň by Martin Ďurinda & Tublatanka, who reached the 19th place in 1994. Two years later, Marcel Palonder achieved the best Slovak placing in the Eurovision Song Contest to date - he came 18th with Kým Nás Máš. 1998 saw the last participation of Slovakia in the Eurovision Song Contest for more than ten years, when Katarína Hasprová came 21st with her song Modlitba. This year, Slovakia will be represented in the Second Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest, to take place on May 14th in Moscow.