San Marino’s national broadcaster SMRTV is considering taking legal action overs its 2016 Eurovision participation. And no, it’s not because the song was criminal — it’s because Serhat wasn’t allowed to use holograms in his “I Didn’t Know” performance, as he had originally planned.

As Eurofestivalnews.com reports, the director-general of the Sammarinese broadcaster, Carlo Romeo, is contemplating suing either EBU or SVT as a result of Serhat’s holograms not being allowed on stage. The hologram technology was expensive, but it couldn’t materialise into the semi-final performance because of unclear “technical problems”. The holograms, however, could be seen during the first rehearsal:

Serhat’s first rehearsal with the holograms

In our review from Stockholm, we also commented on how the hologram was a very good idea, as it helped uplift a pretty mediocre act:

After San Marino’s first contact with the stage, the micro state’s team was informed that they couldn’t use their “surprise effect” at the semi-final and apparently no more explanations were given.

Serhat’s holograms might have not looked as expensive as Iveta Mukuchyan’s — who happened to precede him at the semi-final — but judging from the rehearsal video, they were actually similar to what Ivan from Belarus brought to stage:

So this leads to the question: why could Belarus and Armenia use holograms and San Marino couldn’t? That’s what they’re asking at SMRTV.

This is not the first time the broadcaster has been irritated this year. Back in February, they considered the new voting system to be “unacceptable” because it “discriminated” against them by using a composite televote as San Marino is unable to provide its own televote

With SMRTV publicly annoyed with many aspects of Eurovision 2016, the country is still to announce whether or not they will be in Kyiv next year.

Earlier this summer, San Marino withdrew from Junior Eurovision with no further explanation, although they stated they were still to decide on their 2017 Eurovision participation.

Tell us, what do you make of all this? Why do you think Serhat wasn’t allowed to have holograms? Leave a comment below!

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PP
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PP

SVT ruins two time San Marino at Eurovision first in 2013 (when they gave Valentina to sang second in semi final thank to producers of SVT and EBU) and in 2016 because they not allow Serhat use holograms.

KennyESC
Guest
KennyESC

@Robyn Gallagher I’m not saying that. But it’s just unfair that SVT & EBU doesn’t let Serhat have holograms when Iveta, that was AFTER Serhat had them. Why that, only because Iveta was a fan-favourite to win with that dumb song? If so microstates like San Marino are disadvantaged, because all micro-states “recently”partecipating(so Monaco, Andorra & San Marino)are hated by a lot of fans. While instead some countries(*COFF*Sweden, where ALL love ESC*COUGH*, Russia & Azerbaijan, maybe Italy & Greece too)are always loved by fans and(not considering Italy)almost always make it to the finals. But some of them(Azerbaijan particularly)are just corrupting(?)ESC,… Read more »

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

well its obvious that technical difficulties is a cheap excuse. svt just didnt want to have holograms on the stage and who knows why

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Another thought: the expense of the technology is not a reason to keep it in. Malta were planning to use a very expensive digital projection that would follow Ira as she moved across stage. But in the end, they realised it wasn’t working and so they cut it. But then, that was Malta’s decision.

Lawrence Gibb
Guest
Lawrence Gibb

Regardless of one’s opinion of the song, it does seem odd that such a decision is made without clear reasons. I also sympathise with their grievance via a vis voting. It was extremely crass and discriminatory of the EBU to make that change without due consultation. I can only surmise that EBU doesn’t earn enough from micro states like San Marino to care whether they take part or not.

Denis
Guest
Denis

Talk about making a hen out of a feather, as we would say.
If you got nothing genuine to complain about, then find something:)

No amount of holograms would make that song tolerable, or make it pass.
San Marino should focus on finding good entries and artists, instead of fussing over nothing.

Álex, from Spain
Guest
Álex, from Spain

San Marino’s delegation is so stupid! :O They only argue and argue, they don’t know how to do anything else :O If they used time to look for good songs and artists instead of complainig because their trash doesn’t work at Eurovision… Gosh.

James
Guest
James

@KennyESC The micro states you mention have generally sent low quality songs. This might come down to money, as countries like Azerbaijan and Russia can pay for international production etc, but regardless of that the EBU is not deliberately harming micro states as a rule. San Marino qualified just recently, but entries from Andorra and Monaco when they returned were generally terrible. Also, you included Luxembourg which makes no sense as they were winning and doing really well on many occasions. We can’t know how they would fare under the televote days or in a semi final, because they have… Read more »

James
Guest
James

Two back to back performances featuring holograms? Uhm, no. SVT and the EBU made the right call for San Marino’s sake.

Robert
Guest
Robert

It’s not like those holograms where going to bump them from 12th place in the semi-final to the final. I think they should just be happy that they managed their third ever best placement . Maybe next time, try sending an actual good song.

When
Guest
When

Svt so unfair . Just because Iveta’s performance creative director is a swdish woman.

Rhy
Guest
Rhy

San Marino may be overly dramatic but the thing host countries / EBU do with the stagings is quite unfair; when a country begin with preparing the performance only thing they get is an empty stage. All aditional costs a lot of money and if the country can’t afford it, the good song can be harmed, for example Croatia this year. While, for example, rich Azerbaijan had all kinds of pyro which uplifted the generic song. They also had a golden microphone. So you can say they invested in everything they could. Money should not take over the Eurovision, this… Read more »

Danny
Guest
Danny

There is no technology in the world that could help this HORRIBLE entry. This is just sad that they think the lack of holograms was the problem. STOP SENDING AWFUL MUSIC TO THIS CONTEST.

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

@ MTD
I know that some countries are more pampered, and others are late because of the host, but this is one good reason why ESC should go to the winning country, because is hope, maybe Ukraine will be better at this.

MTD
Guest
MTD

Say what you wanna say, but San Marino ain’t being quite while MANY other broadcasters are silent for the way their entries are treated. It is really a comedy show. If only the fans would knew. Hahaha

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

I love to see many countries so I hope San Marino will be in Ukraine, and also Luxembourg, Andorra, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Faroe Islands, and others.
About San Marino this year I wonder why so much hate. I was not there, so I don’t know what happened, but I can say why I don’t like Serhat : because he looks like a sugar daddy, he sings about being in love with women that can be his daughters.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

KennyESC: “Why EBU doesn’t let them have good results?!”

Are you suggesting that the EBU should have somehow fixed the competition so that San Marino got a higher score? Because that’s corruption…

Jamaraqueer
Guest
Jamaraqueer

This is hilarious. I thought the show looked great without them. Serhat slayed on his own with the real women behind him

KennyESC
Guest
KennyESC

Oh, and I’m all for San Marino taking legal actions against EBU and SVT. THIS IS JUST TOTALLY UNFAIR! The only problem is…does San Marino have the money to take legal actions..?

KennyESC
Guest
KennyESC

I don’t understand all this hate against microstates. Monaco, Andorra, Luxembourg and especially San Marino always send beautiful songs. Why EBU doesn’t let them have good results?! Plus, Iveta’s Lovewave is just ****. How could people prefer her stupid “”song”” instead of Serhat’s?!

beccaboo1212
Guest

Now that’s what I call controversy!!! 😮

khm
Guest
khm

TBH, not even the highest modern technology wouldn’t help this song qualify.

Lianne
Guest
Lianne

I agree with Robyn. The holograms were unnecessary anyways, the backup dancers were all this song needed.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

dd; they need the money for their 2017 participation

Jak
Guest
Jak

I do believe that was directly related with the following Armenian performance, including hologram-like computer effects. In my opinion producers just didn’t want to let them use the holograms, and they rather wanted to keep a fan-favourite’s act (Iveta) more original. Perhaps because of their small-size, producers do believe that opinions of the Sammarinese delegation are worthless. Not in this case, but with their televoting results, which they do not have any idea where they came from, they should seriously take a legal action. A withdrawal for San Marino won’t be a surprise in 2017, but will be very sad,… Read more »

MirkoJoshua
Guest
MirkoJoshua

I’m so sorry that everyone doesn’t even consider San Marino because they think it’s not important. Eurovision is not suitable for little states, it involves a lot of work they can’t afford, and San Marino is trying to change that (at least for itself). I’m sure that if they participate in Kyiv, people might start consider San Marino as all other countries, I mean, Serhat got the third best placement in San Marino’s history at Eurovision, I personally consider it an improvement.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

I’ve just watched the bit of semi-final 1 with “LoveWave” then “I Didn’t Know”. The holograms in Iveta’s song are slick and cool and are a feature of the performance. If San Marino had added the two hologram dancers, a) it would have looked inferior following Iveta’s holograms, and b) they would have been competing with the actual dancers who had far more impact. San Marino just needs to chill out.