Third time’s a charm — and fourth time is a bonus! Yes, after representing San Marino three times in a row from 2012 to 2014, Valentina Monetta is ready for another attempt at Eurovision. After performing solo in the past, she’s now joined by the American singer Jimmie Wilson.
A number of fans have already insisted that her 2017 song “Spirit of the Night” is her best entry yet. But which of the four songs do you like the most? Have a listen below and then vote in our poll. Be sure to check the box next to each of your favourites before pressing submit. We will go through the results later this spring.
2012: The Social Network Song (OH OH – Uh – OH OH)
Valentina debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012 with “The Social Network Song” (and a bunch of uh’s and oh’s). Initially calling their track “Facebook Uh, Oh Oh”, San Marino was forced to change the title and lyrics because it appeared to endorse a company. In Baku Valentina competed in the second semi-final, but failed to qualify — finishing 14th. Even so, this marked San Marino’s best placing in Eurovision up to that time.
In our inaugural edition of the Wiwi Jury, wiwiblogger William wrote:
When I saw the official video for the original version of this song, I laughed and cried and laughed again. First of all, the name was ridic. “Facebook Uh Oh Oh”? That’s a sound my stomach makes when I’ve eaten too many beans. Second were the lyrics. I was like, “Did she really just rhyme ‘cup of tea’ with ‘make love with me’?” But then I saw her perform the second iteration of her song (“The Social Network”) live at Eurovision in Concert, and I realized that Miss Valentina Monetta has sass, and she proves that white girls can shake that ass! Her first rehearsal at Eurovision solidified my belief that she can defy the bookies and log-in to the final. She’s already shown perseverance: having to re-write portions of your song at the last minute must be seriously stressful. Now she’s gonna show Europe that hip-hop and cheesy lyrics do, in fact, go together. That she has done, and will do, all of this with a smile warms my heart.
2013: Crisalide (Vola)
A year later Valentina came back to the contest with “Crisalide (Vola)”, which featured a kick-ass tempo change that moved the song from ballad to banger. Riding a wave of hype, the song finished second in the OGAE voting…but again failed to qualify to the final in actual contest. That despite a nice dress reveal and a glowing IKEA lamp. Once again she still gave San Marino their best placing at the time by finishing eleventh in the semi-final.
Ahead of the contest wiwiblogger Vebooboo gave her glowing marks in the Wiwi Jury. He wrote:
Last year Wiwi and I were pretty much the only people in the press room chasing Valentina around. We were obsessed with her, obsessed with her English skills and above all else obsessed with her song. But she was the laughing stock of the press centre, and of the greater Eurovision community. She was the only act on SVT’s Eurovision preview show to receive a 0, and she huffed and puffed her way to the Baku airport after flopping out in her semi-final. But what a difference a year can make. From tight, trashy track suit to elegant gown. From fake Mac to IKEA lamp. From overly sexual pop song to moving ballad. Yes, people, Valentina is back, but she ain’t a girl no more. She a woman! This song is so moving, and along with France and the Netherlands is my favourite ballad this year. I particularly love the tempo change, showing us all that Valentina may be a woman, but she remembers her youthful roots. I don’t think she can win, but I’d be shocked if she didn’t make the Final, and that alone will be such a pleasure to see. By the way, rumour has it that IKEA is sponsoring her stage performance, so bring along sunglasses!
2014: Maybe (Forse)
Valentina believed in the third time lucky mantra and took part again in 2014. This time she was joined on the stage by Ralph Siegel, who wrote all three of her entries, and she belted it out standing inside of a giant clam that had gynaecological flair. For the first time ever San Marino managed to qualify to the grand final. Valentina finished 24th out of 26 entries with 14 points.
She did this despite a somewhat mixed reception from critics. Ahead of Eurovision, our Angus wrote:
There’s a pretty sombre tone to ‘Maybe’ that wasn’t present amid the relentless hope of ‘Crisalide’ and the bubble gum pop of ‘The Social Network Song’. It reflects Valentina’s maturation as an artist but also that La Republica, like Andorra and Monaco before it, is beginning to accept that microstates just don’t qualify to the Grand Final in this century. That’s a shame. ‘Maybe’ is not the song ‘Crisalide’ was, but that isn’t a bad thing. The spoken middle 8 is inspired and it is more immediately catchy than its Italian predecessor. The raw emotion is also more engaging. If her stars hit the right alignment I think Valentina could slip through the net and into the Grand Final with ‘Maybe’. The lack of assumption and vulnerability on show demonstrate that.
2017: Spirit of the Night (with Jimmie Wilson)
This year Valentina is back for the fourth time. Written and composed by Ralph Siegel, San Marino’s entry “Spirit of the Night” is an addictive eurodance track with lyrics by Steven Barnacle and Jutta Staudenmayer.
San Marino will compete in the second semi-final on May 11th.
Poll: Which entry by Valentina Monetta do you like the most?