Slovenia in Eurovision final after two-year hiatus
Lisbon, 10 May - Slovenia will be in the final of the Eurovision song contest after a two-year break as Lea Sirk convinced European audiences with Hvala, ne (No, Thanks) in the second semi-final on Thursday.
The second to last performer in the semi finals, Sirk was accompanied by four dancers and a backing vocal in a refreshed rendition of her dance ode to strong, independent women.
Fearing that her song was somewhat monotonous, she inserted a short pause in the middle for dramatic effect, which appears to have helped overcome poor bookmaker odds.
TV Slovenija said the intermission was what set her piece apart, having piqued the curiosity of Eurovision insiders and reporters during the rehearsals.
Sirk also bucked the trend by singing her piece in Slovenian, albeit with a line in Portuguese at the end.
At 28, this will be Sirk's second performance in a Eurovision final: in 2014 she was the backing vocalist for Tinkara Kovač, who finished 25th.
The 28-year-old native of Koper has been in the music business for well over a decade, having first won public acclaim with a 2006 appearance in a talent show on national TV.
She went on to enter several Slovenian music festivals, including the Slovenian Eurovision selection in 2011.
Sirk writes a lot of songs alone or with her partner, the producer Gaber Radojevič, with whom she has two children.