¡Hola, hola, hola! Spanish broadcaster RTVE is set to announce new details on its Eurovision 2022 participation next Thursday in Benidorm. Estamos chillando.
Our colleagues at Eurovision-Spain are reporting that RTVE will make announcements on Thursday 22 in the sunny seaside resort town Benidorm, in a meeting with media.
— eurovision_rtve (@eurovision_tve) July 16, 2021
RTVE later confirmed the news. The broadcaster quoted a recent statement from its president José Manuel Pérez Tornero who had said the channel would take Eurovision “very seriously”. He said, “We are the only Spanish public television that belongs to the EBU, we are interested in the event and in contact with youth in their European context.”
Festival de Benidorm 2022?
Why is Benidorm relevant, though? Apart from being one of Spain’s touristic hot spots, it was the city that hosted Festival de Benidorm.
Festival de Benidorm was Spain’s version of Festival di Sanremo. The festival launched in 1959 and it was last held in 2006. However, the recent news has fans wondering if RTVE working on a reboot.
However, the festival was never related to Eurovision. In fact, only one of Spain’s Eurovision entrants won: Julio Iglesias — who came fourth at Eurovision 1970 — won Festival de Benidorm in 1968.
Coral Segovia — a Spanish fan favourite in the last decade — was one of the last winners of the festival in 2005. She would later go on to finish second twice in Spain’s national selection, in 2008 and 2010.
Spain has used small-scale national finals to select its act in recent years, including Mira quién va a Eurovisión, the drama-filled Objetivo Eurovisión and the talent show Operación Triunfo. RTVE internally selected Blas Cantó for 2020 and 2021.
Spain’s new direction
The news follows a recent reorganisation at RTVE, with the broadcaster intent on moving in a new direction.
Last month Spain’s Head of Delegation Ana María Bordás was named Entertainment and Outreach director of RTVE.
Bordás joined the Spanish delegation in 2017, after the abrupt exit of Federico Llano following the heavy Eurodrama at Objetivo Eurovisión that year. She was supposed to handle the job temporarily, yet problems with RTVE’s renewal of direction have delayed her exit.
Despite the poor placings at Eurovision, Bordás has managed to bring Spain back to Junior Eurovision, where the country has achieved two top three results.
What do you think? Should RTVE bring back the Festival de Benidorm? Will a big national final help Spain at Eurovision? Tell us your thoughts below!