Following last year’s excellent debut of Benidorm Fest — a new Spanish national final, based somewhat upon 1958-2006’s Festival Español de la Canción de Benidorm — RTVE has announced details surrounding the upcoming second edition of the fledgling festival.
Mark your calendars: the festival will follow the same format as 2022’s edition, with two semi-finals and a final. It all kicks off with an opening ceremony on January 29th; the live shows will then take place on January 31st (Semi Final 1), February 2nd (Semi Final 2), and close with the Grand Final on February 4th. Daily programs will build hype around the competition. A special Christmas show will also be held later this year, as a further means of introducing the artists.
There will be a total of 16 artists participating this time around, competing to land one of the 8 spots available in the Grand Final.
The live shows will be hosted in part by successful Spanish singer Mónica Naranjo, with further hosts to be announced later. Naranjo is perhaps best known for her 2000 song Sobreviviré, and has enjoyed success in Spain and Latin America. Per RTVE, Naranjo admits that she was “disenchanted” with Eurovision prior to 2022’s contest, but soon “fell in love with Eurovision all over again.”
Last year, the results of Benidorm Fest were plagued by controversy: its victor Chanel, who would go on to snag the Eurovision bronze medal in Turin, received only 3.97% of the Spanish public vote. The public’s favourite, Tanxugueiras with the song Terra, came 3rd overall despite winning 70.75% of the televote.
However, it appears that RTVE has decided against significantly changing the festival’s voting system. Identically to last year, the professional jury vote will account for 50% of the result, while a demoscopic jury and the public will account for 25% each. In the case of a tie, the professional jury will decide the winner.
The lack of change to the voting system may disappoint some fans — however, RTVE has promised that there will be an expanded panel of jurors, to present a wider field of opinions. Of these jurors, two have been confirmed: the jury will be headed by Nacho Cano, successful Spanish producer and founder of the band Mecano; and Christer Björkman, familiar to Eurovision fans as the former head of Melodifestivalen and frequent face of Sweden in Eurovision.
Applications will open from the 1st of September, and will close on the 10th of October. Last year, Benidorm received 886 song submissions (194 of which were invited by the broadcaster); it is hoped that the spectacular success of Chanel in Turin will spur even more talent to put themselves forward. Indeed, RTVE’s president José Manuel Pérez Tornero again stressed RTVE’s commitment to gaining consistently great Eurovision results. Chanel’s third place was the best result for Spain in 27 years; and it seems that Spain intends to keep up this momentum!
Benidorm Fest 2023 will take place in the city of Alicante’s Palau Municipal d’Esports l’Illa de Benidorm, and tickets will range between €20-€60. The seating capacity will be higher than last year, reflecting RTVE’s intention to continue growing the festival. The future of Spain at Eurovision certainly looks exciting!
Are #YOU excited for Benidorm Fest 2023? Who do you want to represent Spain next year? Let us know on social media @ESCUnited, on our discord, or on our forum!
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