It’s the microstate that will be using a national final to select its act for Eurovision 2022. Now San Marino‘s broadcaster SMRTV has confirmed details of its new national final format Una voce per San Marino. And like the 2018 national final, there’s room for both local and international acts.
The broadcaster confirmed the details of its new national final today in a special presentation. The contest is open to both emerging artists and established artists, with a 50/50 split between the two groups. This is a similar format to that used by Sweden’s Melodifestivalen. These contestants can come from any country — San Marino or abroad.
Emerging artists will enter via the open application process. The broadcaster will hold two casting periods in December and January, where the emerging artist applicants will be assessed at live auditions.
From there, around 40 shortlisted emerging artists will compete in four semi-finals, a second chance round and a final, held at the Teatro Titano. The acts will perform a cover of a well known song and present their choice of unreleased song. The nine highest placed acts will qualify for the overall grand final. These shows will all be broadcast on SMRTV.
The acts in established artists category will not have to audition. Rather, nine artists will be invited by contest organisers to compete directly in the grand final.
The 18 finalists — nine emerging artists and nine established artists — will compete in the grand final. Acts will perform their intended song for a potential Eurovision entry. Songs can be performed in any language.
The winner, second and third places will be selected by an expert jury alone. A lack of televote is likely due to the same reason San Marino is unable to use a televote at Eurovision — the microstate gets its telecommunications services from Italy and is technically unable to have a geographically seperate vote.
The winner will received €7,000 prize money, second place gets €2,000 and third gets €1,000.
The grand final of the contest is scheduled for 19 February 2022, held at the Teatro Nuovo. The Nuovo is San Marino’s largest theatre, with a capacity of 872.
Applications for emerging artists opened today and will close on 10 January. Initial applications are free, but acts who pass to the audition stage will need to pay an entry fee of 30 euros (before 30 November) or 50 euros (after that date).
The event is a partnership between the Secretary of State for Tourism, Posts, and Cooperation and national broadcaster SMRTV. Plans for the new national final were first announced in April.
The event was earlier named by San Marino’s as part of a series of events to revitalise San Marino’s tourist industry. Tourism plays a major part in the microstate’s economy but it has taken a hit from reduced visitor numbers due to the pandemic.
San Marino’s national final history
This is only the second time San Marino has used a national final to select its act for Eurovision. In 2018, San Marino used the new national final format 1in360.
The competing acts attracted familiar faces from national finals around Europe, including Finland’s Emma Sandström, Malta’s Jessika and Franklin, and Austria’s Sara de Blue. San Marino’s own rap star IROL also competed.
After several wildcard rounds and three live shows, the contest was won by Malta’s Jessika with guest rap from upcoming German rapper Jenifer Brening. In both the national final and Eurovision performance of their song “Who We Are”, the human singers were joined by cute robots.
Sadly the performance did not give a good result for San Marino. They finished 17th in their semi-final with only 28 points.
In 2020, while artist Senhit was internally selected, she used an online vote to select her song for Eurovision 2020.
What do you think? Who would you like to see competing in San Marino’s new national final? What sort of song should the microstate send to Eurovision 2022?