Your favorite microstate is back. The little country that has no filter, San Marino will be returning to the Eurovision Song Contest and hopes to make it back to the Grand Final after two years of non-qualifiers. Una Voce per San Marino. The Sammarinese version of Italy’s Sanremo, except it has shorter runtimes and more days to go through. There’s a lot of moving parts involved in this year’s selection, so let’s walk through the process.

Before the show actually starts, there is a pre-selection going on right now. To show that perhaps musical creativity can be generated by machine, the selection has partnered with Casperaki, the service that claims to “create catchy, hit-worthy songs in minutes.” After some polishing up, four songs were produced using this technology, and you can vote on YouTube via likes and comments about your favorite and maybe the expert panel will agree with you. The four entries are as follows (you can click on the links for each entry to be directed to the music video):

“Corazón de mariposa” as performed by Nicole Silva.
“Dare to Dream” as performed by Marie Wegener.
“Neon Rain” as performed by Meg Birch.
And “The Last Polar Bear” as performed by Dana Gillespie.

The winner of this mini selection will have a spot in the final. But wait, there’s more. In addition to a spot in the final for one of these AI songs, you can also expect to see 8 Big Artists compete in Saturday’s final. We should be receiving an announcement on 19 February of the Big Artists that will be automatically qualified for Saturday’s final. Recently speculation saw Mahmood and Annalisa being participants even after the Secretary of State for Tourism said they wouldn’t be participating…this year. If you are keeping track, that is currently 12 acts that could represent San Marino.

But wait, there’s even more. I’ve only talked about the acts that either will potentially qualify directly to the final, or will be competing in the final by being a Big Artist. What about the little artists that decided to take a chance and compete in Eurovision for San Marino? They’ll get their shot, but it won’t be pretty.

129 artists will be competing in the five Semi-Finals that will air each day from Monday, 19 February through Friday, 23 February. Following the link will also give you the running order of the semi-finals and its participants. You’ll have to tune in live to see what songs the artists will be performing. Semi-Final 1 will be on Monday, Semi-Final 2 will be on Tuesday, the Sammarinese Semi-Final will be on Wednesday, and then Semi-Final 3 (which is the fourth semi-final to air) and Semi-Final 4 (which is the fifth) will air on Thursday and Friday, respectively. In previous years, there was a repêchage round to give acts a second chance at reaching the final, but that seems to be out of the picture this year. (Or is it? Who knows.) Out of those 129 artists, there will be EIGHT spots up for grabs for the final on Saturday. How many will advance from each semi-final? That’s a good question!

The semi-finals will all air on San Marino RTV (SMRTV) starting at 21:40 CET. The final will air starting at 21:00 CET. You can watch the madness of 141 artists perform here when it goes live.

San Marino will be competing in the second half of the second semi-final in Malmö on 9 May.

San Marino was represented last year by the Italian band Piqued Jacks with the song “Like an Animal”. San Marino competed in the second Semi-Final in Liverpool, but failed to qualify, scoring 0 points and finishing in last place in 16th.

Are #YOU ready for Una Voce per San Marino? How are you preparing? Who do you think will win the contest out of all these entries? Let us know on social media @ESCUnited, on our discord, or on our forum page!

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