SPAIN – Benidorm Fest 2023 will have the same structure as the previous year, with two semi-finals and a final. The festivities begin on January 29th with an opening ceremony. The live concerts will then take place on January 31st (Semi Final 1), February 2nd (Semi Final 2), and February 4th (Grand Final). Daily activities will raise awareness of the tournament. As an additional way of exposing the performers, a special Christmas event will be conducted later this year.
This season, there will be 16 musicians competing, with 8 slots available in the Grand Final.
The live events will be presented in part by Mónica Naranjo, a popular Spanish singer, with other hosts to be revealed later. Naranjo is most known for her 2000 song Sobreviviré, which was a hit in Spain and Latin America. According to RTVE, Naranjo confesses to being “disenchanted” with Eurovision before to the 2022 event, but quickly “came in love with Eurovision all over again.”
Last year’s Benidorm Fest results were marred by controversy: Chanel, who went on to win the Eurovision bronze medal in Turin, garnered just 3.97% of the Spanish public vote. Tanxugueiras, with the song Terra, finished in third place overall despite receiving 70.75% of the televote.
However, it looks like RTVE has opted not to drastically alter the festival’s voting method. Similarly to the previous year, the professional jury vote will account for 50% of the outcome, while a dermoscopic jury and the public will each contribute 25%. In the event of a tie, the winner will be determined by a professional jury.
Some fans may be disappointed by the lack of modification to the voting procedure; nevertheless, RTVE has pledged an enlarged panel of jurors to provide a broader range of perspectives. Two of these jurors have already been confirmed: Nacho Cano, a successful Spanish producer and creator of the band Mecano, and Christer Björkman, well-known to Eurovision fans as the previous president of Melodifestivalen and a regular face of Sweden in Eurovision.
Applications will be accepted beginning September 1st and will conclude on October 10th. Last year, Benidorm got 886 song applications, 194 of which were invited by the broadcaster; it is believed that Chanel’s remarkable success in Turin would inspire even more talent to apply. Indeed, RTVE president José Manuel Pérez Tornero emphasised the network’s dedication to achieving consistently high Eurovision results. Chanel’s third-place finish was Spain’s highest performance in 27 years, and it seems that Spain aims to maintain this momentum!
Benidorm Fest 2023 will be held in Alicante’s Palau Municipal d’Esports l’Illa de Benidorm, with tickets ranging from €20 to €60. Seating capacity will be more than the previous year, demonstrating RTVE’s ambition to develop the event further.
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