EDITORIAL – When most of us heard that San Marino will enter the Eurovision Song Contest, the first thought in our minds was that this small Italian micro state will become the modern Monaco in the Eurovision history.
In June 2007, Radiotelevisione della Repubblica di San Marino (SMRTV), the Sammarinese public service broadcaster, indicated interest in joining the contest in the near future, all depending on the interest of the stockholders, especially Italian broadcaster RAI, which had withdrawn from the Contest in 1997. Five months later, the broadcaster confirmed their participation in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 in Belgrade.
The first Sammarinese entry in the Eurovision Song Contest was Miodio, with the Italian language song “Complice”. San Marino holds the honour of being the 50th country to participate at Eurovision, participating 5th in the first semi-final of the contest. However, Miodio failed to qualify for the final, receiving just 5 points in total and coming last. Despite this, the winner of the 2008 contest, Dima Bilan, concluded his “Winner’s Tour” in San Marino. SMRTV broadcast the full event.
San Marino has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 9 times, debuting in the 2008 contest, followed by participation from 2011 onward. Having failed to qualify in their first four attempts, San Marino qualified for the Eurovision final for the first time in 2014. Valentina Monetta represented San Marino in 2012, 2013 and 2014, making her the first Sanmarinese singer to participate in three consecutive contests. Her most recent representation in 2017 together with Jimmie Wilson, gave her the title of the woman with the most participations ever in the Eurovision Song Contest.
It is no secret that SMRTV is the annual joke in the Eurovision community. The country’s entries are usually mocked by the fans, despite most of them when greeting the SMRTV, Head of Delegation, praise him for his work and express their faith to a potential qualification in the final.
From all that one thing is for sure. Having met Alessandro Capicchioni I can tell two things. First, that this man is a serious professional person and actually does all the backstage work during the Eurovision weeks. He grabs a camera, her films backstage videos, he arranges the interviews, the rest conferences and deals with the EBU and the media. Alessandro Capicchioni for me is the example of one-man show.
The second thing is that I think I am one of the few persons who can greet him and tell him that his country’s entry sucks. I am proud to bee able to that honest and Alessandro Capicchioni seems somehow to appreciate it although he never included our website to press. ad media invitations or broadcasts as he did with other fan sites who love to suck him up.
San Marino entries of 2008 and 2011 (Miodio and Senit) although didn’t do well in the contest gained lot of respect among the fans. Since then, simply the chaos. Troll entries which mostly caused laughter and mocking rather than scarring well, seem to have a foundation.
For some reason SMRTV is showing two everyone that they don’t wanna try even to qualify in the contest. It is well known that SMRTV constant complaints that due to their size as a country they cannot score well. SMRTV also complaints for the voting system and the EBU ignorance towards them. The last argument finds me completely aside to them.
EBU rules say that if a country jury or public voting fails, a preset of votes from (never announced of course) five countries will be given instead. Due to inability of San Marino to sustain a public voting, annually their public voting is votes from another country! and SMRTV tolerates this!!!
Alessandro Capicchioni asked for a special meeting with EBU and proposed solutions to this issue. He was completely and arrogantly ignored. And still this country participates in the contest.
But in any case SMRTV pays nothing for Eurovision. Unconfirmed information claim that the artist and team wanting to represent the country in Eurovision have to pay 250,000 Euros for all expenses including the EBU fee. But still they cannot find a descent artist to represent them. And after all that Ralph Siegel and Valentina Monetta joke the past years, I can barely see any serious artist to bid and pay for a great San Mario entry.
Is SMRTV using this joke entries because they don’t care to qualify or to win? They consider themselves so small country they cannot do it? Monaco did it in 1971. Malta which also compliant to be a small country and cannot win the contest has almsot deleted that argument and fight equally with countries like Russia and Sweden. Is there something else behind the way SMRTV treats its Eurovision participation?
San Marino for me has an asset which also Monaco had. Just like Monaco had the French language as asset for their entries, SMRTV has the unique chance to use the Italian language to triumph in the contest. And they don’t see it. As if they only participate to give points to Italy and avoid to use Italian language not to undermine the Italian entries.
Someone can say that SMRTV is trolling Eurovision by submitting such entries to boycott the EBU inside their “game” (meaning the Eurovision Song Contest). But somehow I have the impression that SMRTV is battered towards RAI. I have the feeling that SMRTV entered Eurovision in 2008 to prolong the Italian return in 2011 and always be there to support them. But RAI, 50% shareholder of SMRTV is not supporting San Marino at all. Not through the record labels so they can find a good artist and song, neither by voting.
Now human doll Ken, is rumoured to represent the country. Yes, mass media attention guaranteed as well as a complete disaster in the voting! SMRTV suicides in Eurovision again. The sad thing is that if they changed strategy they could even win the contest!