SAN MARINO – It alls started when Italian singer Tony Maiello, posted on Facebook the chat he had with someone from SMRTV asking him 500,000 Euros to represent San Marino in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. He rejected the proposal with an ironic comment saying “you want them in banknotes or coins?”

Few days later Arisa, the famous Italian singer from Sanremo Festival, confirmed she was approached by the state television of the Italian micro-state. She was offered the representation job for 300,000 Euros. She kindly declined as recently reported.

San Marino Head of Delegation fully denied the Tony Maiello case but there are no comments yet about Arisa. Still, Tony Maiello reacted to the Arisa case saying: “The friends of San Marino RTV should now also deny Arisa. Let’s see how may others there will be. She got a bit better offer, only 300K. I repeat. You are cancer #esc #eurofestivalnews”


I can understand that it doesn’t sound nice for a national broadcaster to use the Eurovision project to “sell” the participation. On the other hand there are two points we cannot forget: First, according to EBU rules, each national broadcaster (although encouraged by them to use national selection in order for people to have a say and interact more with the contest) is free to choose its artist and song (under the specific rules given by EBU each year) in any way they want to. Therefore if SMRTV wants to call an alien from Mars, they are allowed to. Second, I hope and I think that asking this amount of money is about covering the cost of the delegation, the broadcast and participation fee as SMRTV is not a big TV station to cover such costs. I am sure the entire case sounds weird but in the very end it’s up to SMRTV to decide how they will deal and decide their participation no matter what we say. Morally correct? That’s a big discussion!