The new year has started, but not all of the drama stayed behind in 2016. Case in point: San Marino.
A few days ago Italian songwriter Tony Maiello claimed on his Facebook page that he had received an unofficial proposal to represent la Serenissima Repubblica at Eurovision 2016 if he could cough up €500,000.
Apparently keen to take the piss out of those making the alleged offer, the 27-year-old singer boasted that he had thrown the offer back in their face.
“I asked them” – he said referring to San Marino RTV – “if they want it in banknotes or coins”.
The day after his revelation, Il Fatto Quotidiano – a well-known Italian newspaper – reported on the matter, claiming to have obtained the actual Facebook conversation from Tony, in which an intermediary asked the singer if he was willing to represent San Marino.
The mediator also warned him that he would need half-a-million euros ready to cover promotion, transport and other extras. (Sorry, but San Marino’s staging in recent years hasn’t exactly screamed six figures!)
Following the article’s publication, Maiello turned up the heat on the matter yet again, sharing his opinions and getting rul loud.
“You must always denounce any form of illegality,” he wrote. “For me, music is sacred. They’ve chosen the wrong person to propose crap like this. Also, with all due respect, with €500,000 I would buy myself a house”.
It would likely have a very big clothes hanger in the front yard, as it appears he likes to wash his dirty laundry in public.
That outburst wasn’t enough for the winner of the Newcomers’ section of the Sanremo Music Festival 2010.
On January 1 he piled it on again, this time with Italian Eurovision source Eurofestival News, who also reported the story saying that there were several abnormalities in what Maiello had said.
“I blacked out all the names and surnames of people who forwarded me the proposal and believe me, they really have something to do with SMRTV, the TV channel of San Marino,” he said. “Do you know the real scandal in this situation? The total lack of interest about lawlessness, and I mean generally. We live in a nation where people have learned to be sodomized by the system. I am not surprised to be surrounded by a flock of sheep who tremble at the master’s voice”. He was clearly speaking with his teeth clenched.
Maiello goes on: “I’ve highlighted a huge problem — the fact they quietly sell a place on the stage without anyone knowing. This is the problem: the big sh*t there is behind the competition (…) You can shove your truth up your *ss!”
The plot thickened yet again on January 2 when San Marino RTV released an official statement denying any involvement in the alleged messages sent to Tony.
Alessandro Capicchioni, Sammarinese head of delegation, said: “I can affirm that we’ve never had direct contact with Mr. Maiello and we’ve never charged someone to contact him on our behalf”.
It’s unclear whether this affair will have legal repercussions and whether Tony has followed up with the person who appears to have fooled him.
Capicchioni says: “We do not exclude the influence peddling, since our names are public and easily available on the Internet”.