They’re the tiny nation that has only managed to qualify for the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest on one occasion in eight attempts.
And following its third straight elimination this evening, San Marino has suggested that it won’t be returning to the contest.
“We are very happy for and proud of Valentina and Jimmie, but I think we are too small for this event,” SMRTV Director General Carlo Romeo said in a statement. “I am not sure that next year we will consider participating. It is very difficult now to think of taking part again. There is no place for micro-states in the Eurovision Song Contest.”
San Marino’s last qualification came in 2014, when Valentina Monetta made her third straight attempt at Eurovision.
She returned this year with the hope of repeating the magic in a duet with Jimmie Wilson, but sadly the song kept with Sanmarinese tradition and crashed out.
The little Republic nestled in the heart of Europe faces unique challenges when it comes to Eurovision. Owing to its small population it has at times recruited singers from abroad, including Serhat from Turkey in 2016 and Jimmie Wilson from the United States this year.
There are also financial issues.
The country made headlines in March when two Italian singers — Tony Maiello and Arisa — revealed that San Marino had asked them to represent the small nation upon payment of an amount between €300,000 and €500,000, stirring unwanted attention at the country’s state broadcaster, which immediately denied the allegations.
On March 7, San Marino RTV’s general manager Carlo Romeo spoke to Italian Eurovision source Eurofestival News about the matter: “It was a very complex year from this point of view”.