San Marino — population 34,000 — faces an uphill climb to find just one singer for Eurovision. That partly explains their tendency to call on the same singers — Valentina Monetta, Serhat, Senhit — repeatedly.
While we are all fans of their returning artists, it’s great the microstate is doing its best to field some fresh talent with its very international national selection Una Voce per San Marino.
The broadcaster is so enthusiastic about it that they’ve released an update three days after launch, explaining that there have already been 45 registrations.
About 40% of the applications were filed from abroad, “and for the most part from Sweden.” That make sense. Sweden regularly receives around 2,500 submissions for its national final Melodifestivalen (and for just 28 spots in the contest). That makes the mountain very high to climb for folks without a record label or established name.
The contest is open to both emerging artists and established artists, with a 50/50 split between the two groups. These contestants can come from any country — San Marino or abroad.
San Marino celebrates Una Voce per San Marino applications
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 (sort of like the pre-qualified artists portion of Norway’s national final in recent years).
Eighteen artists — nine emerging and nine established — will compete in the grand final. Acts will perform their intended song for a potential Eurovision entry. Songs can be performed in any language.
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).
Which artists would you like to see competing in San Marino’s national final? Are there any Swedish acts you’d like to see represent the microstate? Tell us your thoughts below!