Valencia becomes involved in the selection of Spain’s representative in Eurovision 2022, and Benidorm is on its way to becoming the Spanish San Remo
Radiotelevisión Española will choose its representative for Eurovision 2022 at a musical event in Benidorm, most likely in January, with the collaboration of the Generalitat and the City Council.
This was announced in a press conference last week by the corporation’s president, José Manuel Pérez Tornero; the Director of Contents, Amalia Martnez; the president of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig; and the mayor of Benidorm, Toni Pérez.
During the month of January, in preparation for Eurovision 2022, three galas will be held on three consecutive nights. The project will be funded by the Generalitat and the City Council, with RTVE organizing and broadcasting the event. There is also speculation that Benidorm may become a permanent venue for this event in the future.
The president of RTVE, Pérez Tornero, was very pleased with the collaboration between institutions and stated that the idea of combining Eurovision and Benidorm originated with the president, Ximo Puig, and thanked the mayor for “joining the project right away.”
The celebration of this event, according to Puig, means putting “the soul and culture” at the center. “Thank you for accepting the magnificent idea that Benidorm is the venue for winning, winning hope,” he said.
“Benidorm has never stopped being Benidorm, and it will be more than ever with this festival,” said Puig, clearly in favor of the move.
Pérez, for one, has stated that music “has always been linked to this city.” In this regard, he referred to the first International Song Festival, which took place 62 years ago and “opened Benidorm” to national and international tourism. “Some of the most outstanding Spanish hits came from Benidorm, and the music has returned to the city after 15 years,” he said.
The tradition is undeniably present. From 1959 to 2006, the old Benidorm International Song Festival, also known as the Festival Internacional de la Canción de Benidorm, was held every summer. The contest, modeled after the Italian Sanremo Music Festival, was created to promote Benidorm and Spanish music, but it never received the same amount of attention as its Italian counterpart.
There was also inconsistency; there were years when it did not take place, the prizes and formats were constantly changing, and it became an international festival in 2004, only to be discontinued two years later. However, it will be remembered as a stage where some notable careers took off, including those of Raphael, Dyango, and Julio Iglesias, the festival’s 1968 winner.
Amalia Martnez, the content director, has stated that the galas will be held on three consecutive days, with two semifinals and one final. She hopes that the event will “connect with the young audience,” become a “long-term strategy,” and become an annual event.
“We want to focus on promoting musical talent in order to perfect the formula, which must include good songs, talented artists, and a well-designed visual show,” she explained.
There isn’t much information about the selection process yet, but it is known that there will be a mixed jury made up of music professionals and members of the public, and an international jury isn’t out of the question.
Spain is one of the first countries to confirm its selection format in an effort to find a successor to Maneskin, the Italian rock band that won Eurovision 2022 with “Zitti e buoni” in 2021. Benidorm will attempt to emulate San Remo, an Italian tourist town that has hosted the famous national music festival since 1951. For 47 years, Italian performers were sent from San Remo to compete in the main European event, until Italy decided to withdraw from the competition in 1998.
Since their return to the Eurovision Song Contest, in 2011, Italian performers have won the competition once, finished second twice, and placed third once. Such success is desperately needed in Spain. Spain last won Eurovision in 1969, the last time it finished in the top five was in 1995, with Anabel Conde, and it has not finished in the top 20 best spots in the Festival since 2014.