SPAIN – With a cover version of WATERLOO the 1974 winner song by ABBA for Sweden, the press presentation started. RTVE is officially now connecting the international song festival of Benidorm with the Eurovision Song Contest in an attempt to save any prestige the country had in the contest, especially after the poor results of the recent years.
In the press conference after various RTVE officials spoke (including the new RTVE president), there was a video with all Spanish entries in the contest.
Now to the actual news:
- Benidorm song selection format will include two semi-finals and a final.
- Established and newcomers will be included
- The winner will represent the country in Eurovision 2022
- Jury and public voting will apply
- All nights will be consecutive
- Provisional dates set for late January 2022
RTVE, the Generalitat Valenciana and the Benidorm City Council have signed a collaboration protocol to promote a great musical event. Benidorm will host a great musical event where the representative of Spain will be chosen for Eurovision 2022. RTVE, the Generalitat Valenciana and the Benidorm City Council have agreed to celebrate the Spanish preselection in the Alicante town and make it an annual meeting point to promote Spanish music.
It will be a great musical event that will be held in early 2022 and will consist of three galas (two semifinals and one final), which RTVE will broadcast live through La 1 and RTVE Play. The terms of the call will be announced shortly.
The collaboration protocol between the three institutions has been signed and presented in Benidorm on Thursday, July 22. At this event, the president of RTVE, José Manuel Pérez Tornero, highlighted RTVE’s commitment to winning Eurovision and pointed out “that Benidorm is a great launching pad for a message: Spanish music to Europe through Eurovision”. “We want it to be a real and participatory contest, open to all kinds of music. Especially young music,” he announced. Turner recognizes that Eurovision is a great showcase, that is why this agreement is for him a “launching pad to win in Italy. The efforts will be to launch the best candidacy.”
The agreement has been signed by the president of RTVE, José Manuel Pérez Tornero; the president of the Generalitat Valenciana, Ximo Puig, and the mayor of Benidorm, Toni Pérez. The presentation was also attended by Ruth Lorenzo, representative of Spain in Eurovision 2014 with “Dancing in the rain”.
The agreement was born with the aim of lasting over time and seeks the renewal and modernization of a festival that was born in 1959, following in the wake of the successful and mythical Italian Sanremo. The rebirth of this contest is done with the intention of giving it a new look with a future perspective and taking advantage of a brand that is known and that RTVE wants to evolve according to the current musical panorama.
“We want Benidorm to be a meeting point for what we need most now: music, Europe and diversity. With the Benidorm Festival, we intend to achieve an emotional and tourist reactivation of the Valencian Community”, explained the Valencian president.
“Never has a festival brought Europe together so much. On few occasions, we have needed to be more united than now.”
The Benidorm International Song Festival was held for the first time in 1959 and was born with the aim of promoting tourism in the Levantine town and Spanish music. Based on the prestigious Sanremo Festival (1951), the Alicante contest lived its golden age in the 60s and 70s and achieved great popularity inside and outside our borders. It took place annually until 2006, although it stopped being held in 1979, 1984 and between 1986 and 1992.
Some of the most international stars of our country put a soundtrack to Benidorm’s summers, such as Raphael and Julio Iglesias. They both won the Golden Little Mermaid in 1962 and 1968 respectively, with their eternal songs “They carry” and “Life goes on the same.”
Other Eurovision faces that passed through the stage of the Alicante festival are Betty Missiego, José Vélez, José Guardiola, El Dúo Dinómico (composers of Massiel’s “La, la, la”, 1968) and La Década prodigiosa, which were the winners of last edition of Benidorm in 2006 with “A ti”. Coral Segovia took the trophy a year earlier with “Maldito corazón” and Alazán did the same in 2000 with the summer hit “Alcanzarás la luna”.
RTVE thus joins other European public broadcasters that celebrate festivals or large preselections to choose their candidate for Eurovision. In addition to Sanremo in Italy, the Melodifestivalen -which breaks audience records in Sweden-, the Melodi Grand Prix of Norway, the Festival da Cançao of Portugal, the Dora of Croatia, Dansk Melo Grand Prix of Denmark, Eesti Laul of Estonia, stand out. Evrovizijska Melodija from Slovenia, Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu from Finland and the Festival i Kënges from Albania, among others.