COUNTDOWN TO (CANCELLED) EUROVISION: #12 – SAN MARINO

#12 – San Marino
Freaky!
Senhit
Songwriters: Gianluigi Fazio, Henrik Steen Hansen, Nanna Bottos

eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica has begun its Countdown To the now-cancelled Eurovision Song Contest 2020! Over 41 days I’m bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such.  Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary. As of the official announcement on March 20 2020, ALL of this year’s songs are now officially “lost”; Eurovision’s executive committee has stated that all songs in the ESC 2021 contest MUST be new, so there will never be an “Official” winner of ESC 2020 thanks to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak causing the contest’s first-ever cancellation. So this is my only chance to rank them. The songs will all be spotlighted on a special called Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light, which will air LIVE on May 16, when the Grand Final should have been held, so that’s at least SOMETHING…

In at #12 this year is the official entry from San Marino, “Freaky!” by Senhit. It is performed in English, and would have been performed 8th at the second semifinal on May 14. The song was chosen to represent the country by an internal selection committee followed by a 48 hour online vote from the public. The country has not yet announced its plans for ESC 2021.

Italian native Senhit would have been making her second trip to Eurovision representing San Marino this year; she had previously represented them in 2011 with the song “Stand By” which did not get out of the semi finals. She’s been a successful musician in her native Italy and surrounding countries for over a decade.

What I’m thinking about this song…I have to be honest, I’m usually a sucker for San Marino in the same way other devout ESC fans automatically fanatically support Belgium (and their usually snooze inducing entries) and Sweden. But I’ve genuinely liked all the songs the country has entered while I’ve been an ESC devotee – I still utterly ADORE last year’s entry, “Say Na Na Na” by Serhat.  And this year, people are just dumping all over this song, but once again, it doesn’t deserve the drubbing it’s getting. An anthem to being in love and letting your freak flag fly, no matter what happens, it’s a damn good song. The video has some questionable stuff in it, but it’s nowhere near the borderline-offensive stuff Iceland’s 2019 entry “Hatrio mun sigra” (“Hatred Will Prevail”) by Hatari had in it – now THAT was seriously questionable. But Senhit’s video is all in fun and you can tell by the very nature of the tune – seriously DISCO of the 1975 era variety, it lights up, flaunts what it has, and makes its way through and doesn’t let anything stop it. I don’t think the judges or ESC fandom had enough to push them through to the finals, but I don’t care – I STILL LOVE IT!

Nestled within a tiny 24-square-mile area completely surrounded by Italy, San Marino is one of those little European conclaves that tourists flock to – the entire country has a population of just over 33,000 people, and is completely autonomous, currently making them the smallest country represented at EuroVision (in comparison, among the countries of Europe, only Monaco, which hasn’t participated since 2006, and Vatican City, which has never participated, are smaller). They made their debut in 2008, and have been in the contest eleven times including 2020. They have qualified for the final only twice –  in 2014, with “Maybe” by Valentina Monetta, where they finished 24th, and in 2019 with the utterly AWESOME and unfairly constantly dissed “Say Na Na Na” by Serhat, which became their most successful entry to date, finishing in 20th place (it should have been in the top five, dammit…). They DO hold a EuroVision record, as strange as it seems – the aforementioned Monetta, who represented the country three years in a row, in 2012, 2013, and 2014, and also in 2017 with Jimmie Wilson, holds the title for the female artist with the most participation in the contest with four appearances…pretty wild…and both Serhat and Senhit have twice represented the country at the contest. And interestingly, only Monetta, Anita Simoncini (2015) and two members of Miodio (2008) are actually NATIVE Sammarinese; everyone else that has represented them has come from outside the country…

Here’s the official music video  – check it out…

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica throughout the next 41 days as I bring you the 2020 entries, and also updates on the status of the songs and artists for this year. Hopefully the EBU will find a way to salvage this year’s contest – and if you want them to do so, use the hashtag #SaveEurovision2020 in all your social media posts!

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