San Marino so dearly wants a taste of Eurovision success, but it just can’t seem to find (or afford) a quality entry. Ralph Siegel, San Marino’s Eurovision sugar daddy, isn’t the only musical option. The country, with a population similar to the capacity of the Wiener Stadthalle, actually has a rich and varied music scene. Here are 10 artists who could bring glory back to this pretty little corner of the Apennine Mountains.

1. The Peppermints

A big possibility for next year’s entry is none other than JESC stars, The Peppermints. Fronted by last year’s San Marinese representative, Anita Simoncini, the girl group is pop through and through. Arianna even hinted at a future participation for the band at a press conference in Vienna, stating “it would be very beautiful to be here in the future, maybe with The Peppermints – who knows?” With a young, fresh, bubble-gum pop song that would appeal to their teen-girl market, San Marino may have found the recipe for success. But let’s learn from others’ mistakes *cough* ESTONIA 2005 *cough*.

2. Irol

Lorenzo Salvatori – A.K.A. Irol – is the king of the San Marinese rap scene (which, adimittedly, is probably not that difficult). Many a eurofan will turn their nose up at rap, arguing “it just doesn’t work at Eurovision.” Well, we’ve seen Greek ethno-rap, Montenegrin dubstep-rap and Polish paedophile-rap (I’ve never been the same since 2006) – but the question is, has anyone ever tried a genuine hip-hop song? Irol’s music is pure, genuine hip-hop: something that will surely stand out on the night, and could reward San Marino with a Common Linnets style success.

3. Senhit

Do you remember taking a three-minute nap during the first semi-final of Eurovision 2011? If so, you probably missed San Marino’s dreary love-ballad, “Stand By”. Despite non-qualification, Senit rose from the ashes and re-invented herself as (wait for it…) Senhit. The crummy cruiseship singer sound has now been replaced with a fun, catchy feel-good vibe – something that was certainly missed at this year’s contest. She’s now working with the big-guns, such as Busbee (who has written for the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Pink, and Shakira) – so could surely conjure up a tune to make even Terry Wogan tap his feet.

4. Helia

One genre that seems to guarantee success at Eurovision is rock (assuming we’ve all erased this year’s Finnish entry from our memories). MaNga, Eldrine and of course Lordi have all watched the points come rolling in for their hardcore performances. So how can San Marino take advantage of this? Helia. This San Marinese quintuplet mixes Max Jason Mai’s screamy verses with a Softengine style chorus to create an undeniably epic sound. Their work has already seen large success – their cover of Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro” has over 5 million views. Could this success translate to Eurovision?

5. Ilaria Ercolani

At the tender age of 20, Ilaria Ercolani is an exciting prospect for San Marino. She’s been studying dance since a young age, and in 2013 actually appeared on the Eurovision stage as a backing dancer for for the San Marinese entry, “Vola.” Since then she’s been taking singing lessons, and is now ready to give us a show. With some spunky ethno-pop and a killer dance routine, San Marino could relive the successes which won the trophy for the likes of Helena Paparizou, Ruslana and Sertab Erener back in the days.

6. B-Project

Dance music rules the European charts at the moment. For this San Marino offers us Andrea Gattei and Matteo Duan Venturini – friends by day, B-Project by night. This DJ duo plays in clubs all over Italy and San Marino, and would surely bring the house down in Stockholm next year. The likes of Cascada, Freaky Fortune and Ryan Dolan may not have seen the results they’d wished for with their dance entries, but this would be different. Two DJs, one dance anthem and zero fuss. What could go wrong?

7. Monica Hill

Arguably the best vocalist in the whole country, Monica Hill is currently touring with Italy’s biggest export (no, not olive oil) Laura Pausini. This woman has years of experience behind her. And what’s more, she got souuul. Anyone who has watched Sanremo will know the power of the Italian ballad. We’ve seen a hint of its success at Eurovision with Marco Mengoni’s “L’essenziale” in 2013, but have not yet seen a female powerhouse take on the genre. With a big voice and a big song, San Marino could be on to its first top-10 placing.

8. Sara Jane Ghiotti

Next we have the classical jazz singer and long-time friend of Valentina Monetta, the talented Sara Jane Ghiotti. With a smooth, funky, organic sound, Ghiotti could sing the song which Valentina always yearned to send, but never did. Better still, she could hire the likes of Yolanda Be Cool or Milk & Sugar to remix it and give us some real electro-swing (and no, Electro Velvet was not real electro-swing). Either way, a recommendation by Ms. Monetta herself is enough for us to give her a shot at bringing the contest back to the Most Serene Republic.

9. Locustacustica

And yes, it does translate to ‘acoustic locust.’ The San Marinese-Italian band describe themselves as an “acoustic group that combines dance music of Italian, French, Irish and Balkan folk traditions.” With a sound somewhere between Sebalter and Željko Joksimovic, the odds are looking good that this would be the entry to lift San Marino from its dark days of Eurovision failure. The band’s fusion of European musical styles is bound to pick up points from all over the continent, and from televoters and jurors alike. ESC 2017 in Valentina’s back garden, anyone?

10. Valentina Monetta

And finally we have the diva. The God. The Eurovision legend. The one and only Valentina Monetta. With a voice more versatile than Verka Seduchka’s dress collection, Valentina has done it all. From 90s cyber-pop, through to Italian schlager-ballads to mystical bond themes, Monetta has aced every performance. But the question is, has she ever really had a good song? Ralph Siegel’s vintage sound has weighed down on the San Marinese signora, meaning her success in the contest has been limited. That said, she has bettered her result each year, leading to San Marino’s first ever qualification in 2014. With an actual good song, who knows what the future could hold for this woman and her nation?

So what do you think? Who is San Marino’s best chance for Eurovision gold? You can vote for as many acts as you’d like, but you can only vote one time. You can also write in the name of another artist if we left them out.

Eurovision: San Marino 2016

Follow all of our San Marino Eurovision news here

newest oldest most voted
Notify of

Screw them all! I want solo Michela or Anita for 2016!!


I do not agree with article’s writer, Valentina had an Amazing song in 2013.

Roelof Meesters

Irol+ Senhit? Oh yeah; San Marino confirmed JESC participation. Will somebody read this!!

Yudhistira Mahasena

I thought they could send Michele Perniola again. Or Hoolahoop?


no more Ralph Siegel or John O’Flynn… please. Give the other songwriters a chance!

John Christian

Either Valentina Monetta or The Peppermints.

Because Valentina failed to qualify in 2012 and nearly got a place in the final in 2013, and then she qualified for the first time last year. On the other hand, The Peppermints, although sending a bubblegum, teeny-bopper song, ended giving 8 points from Italy. I think twenty bucks says that either one of them will represent the country. The others, sorry, but I don’t know who they are.


Found a great shirt expressing my opinion on who should sing for San Marino:
No matter who gets chosen, I hope San Marino qualifies for the final next year!

PastoraSoler haha!

Valentina Monetta can win Eurovision, she only needs a good song.

Her voice is similar to Pastora Soler: A-M-A-Z-I-N-G

The problem of San Marino is always the same… Ralph and his old-fashioned songs.


Her entry of 2012 was my #1 most favorite among her 3 songs! <3


Vola,vala,che la forza arrivera’
siempre sola verso in’ oltra liberta’


@Melissa – and a stylist who does not dress him up as an extra from Grease.


Valentina Monetta is brilliant (except for 2012 though).

#MarioVision ~ *Valentino Monetti* 4 Representing San Marino to our Vision! :)
#MarioVision ~ *Valentino Monetti* 4 Representing San Marino to our Vision! :)

OR… :p
Valentina Monetta to change her female sex becoming a man so to return to our Vision as *Valentino Monetti*! <3 😀


Queen Valentina should be the permanant San Marinese entrant… Until she wins it all (which is inevitable… Home girl got a voice!). Love her!!!

Melissa J

All of these sounds like great options, but they must get rid of Ralph Seigel.I’d still love to see Michele Perniola back, with a song more suited to his strong vocals and dance skills.


Wow – I never knew San Marino had so many artists! All could give great entries but I agree with Sara Jane Ghiotti sending electro-swing the most. Il Volo were very successful sending something typically Italian, so why not try this?

Calum Macleod

I’d go for Senhit, Ilaria, B-Project, Monica or Locustacustica. And a lot of you should learn to have Eurovision without Valentina and try and hope for some different acts from San Marino.


Valentina Monetta feat Monica Hill would be great!


I don’t care who it is to be honest because I know that the song will be dated anyways. However I think Helia could be a good choice – I voted for them on wiwivision. They’d stand out.


They need to leave and move away from Ralph!

Queen Valentina shall continue to reign! (or at least in the form of presenting the votes).


Valentina is one and only, that’s for sure, but I would give chance to Helia 🙂


The Peppermints crashed at the JESC (they placed 15th out of 16 acts!), and so did Anita Simoncini at the ESC 2015 (second to last in the semi-final, in case you forgot). How could they possibly be a good choice for San Marino? Same for Valentina Moneta: she failed to clear the semi-final 2 times, and placed 24th out of 26 acts in the final in 2014… Maybe she should take the hint!

One thing they should surely do is get rid of Ralf Siegels, who has been giving them nothing but awful songs.


Not thle awfull Valentina again. The social network song is a joke, Crisalide is meh and Maybe is a disgrace. I was heppy to not see her this year but then I saw she was the spokesperson…


Ilaria Ercolani, Valentina Monetta or Locustacustica please!


Please, just not the Peppermints. Anita should not be allowed back.
Hmm…would like to see Valentina have a chance with a better song and Monica Hill would be amazing if there was any chance of it happening.
Otherwise, the choices are uninspiring.


I hope Ralph Siegel writes the 2016 song. Despite what people say, he is evolving musically. His recent songs for San Marino are very different from what he wrote in the ’90s and early ’00s. Chain of Lights is the most modern song I have heard from him.

He deserves a chance to finish his musical transition. His brilliant musicality appeared in the 2013-2015 songs, and in due time he could be a winning Eurovision artist again.


If I apply I can win …… Include me !!!!!
Grab a shower curtain and a chandelier from Ikea and I am all set


Valentina minus Ralph Siegel = success.


We need Queen Val!


Just send Ralph Siegel instead. Though Monica Hill looks okay.


Valentina 4 Life


That Irol-stuff is my jam!



The other ones are either boring or too special.
B-Project could be successfull due their style which is popular!