Since it was announced that they would revive the Benidorm International Song Festival to pre-select their entry for 2022’s Eurovision Song Contest, all eyes have been on Spain and Benidorm Fest is hotly anticipated by fans. Luckily, we won’t have to wait much longer because the first semi-final of Benidorm Fest hits screens tonight! Let’s meet the seven semi-finalists hoping to take Turin by storm…
Luna Ki – Voy a Morir
Luna Ki (who goes by he, she or they pronouns according to their Instagram bio) was due to open the first semi-final of Benidorm Fest with ‘Voy a Morir’. However, on 23rd January RTVE (who are organising the event) announced that Luna Ki would be withdrawing from the competition due to the EBU’s rules against using autotune, which is an integral part of the song’s sound.
Luna Ki had already had a rocky start to Benidorm Fest, having been at risk of disqualification after it was found that ‘Voy a Morir’ was performed at a concert in Barcelona on 4th September, 2020. According to Benidorm Fest rules, “the songs must be original, and not have been published, performed or distributed, in whole or in part, before September 1, 2021”. However, RTVE then announced that Luna Ki would remain in the contest, having consulted with the EBU, who advised that they would be eligible to compete in ESC 2022 should they win Benidorm Fest.
‘Voy a Morir’ (translated in English as ‘I’m Going to Die’) has pop, electronic and rock elements and, according to Luna Ki, is supposed to represent “that you can be bad and still get up. We are all sad. It is a song that marks a before and after.” We’re sure many fans will be sad to see it go but you can still listen to it here:
Varry Brava – Raffaella
Indie pop band Varry Brava formed in 2009 and have produced one self-produced demo and six albums in that time. Their entry for Benidorm Fest, ‘Rafaella’, pays tribute to Italian singer, actress, TV presenter and all-around icon Raffaella Carrà.
Carrà had an established relationship with the ESC, hosting contests related to Eurovision throughout her life, including Sanremo Music Festival. She also provided the Italian commentary for the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest and was as loved in Spain and Latin America as she was in Italy.
Carrà died on 5th July 2021 aged 78. It was revealed after her death that there were plans to ask her to host both Sanremo and Turin 2022. While we will never get to experience this, ‘Raffaella’ is certainly a fun and touching tribute to her memory.
Azúcar Moreno – Postuero
Azúcar Moreno is a musical duo consisting of sisters Antonia “Toñi” and Encarnación “Encarna” Salazar and will definitely be familiar to Eurovision fans, having placed fifth in the 1990 Eurovision Song Contest with the song ‘Bandido’.
On the night of the 1990 final, the song’s backing track started later than expected. The sisters started dancing before the song before briefly walking offstage when they realised the mistake, leaving the audience bewildered and cementing them a place in meme history when the moment was relived while watching the contest during Eurovision Again.
We’re sure Azúcar Moreno won’t want any similar errors tonight! Will their 2022 effort ‘Postuero’ wow at Benidorm Fest?
Blanca Paloma – Secreto de Agua
Blanca Paloma is an emerging artist whose entry ‘Secreto de Agua’ is the theme tune for RTVE’s true crime series ‘Lucía en la Telaraña’. Could the song’s familiarity to jurors and listeners work in her favour? Only time will tell!
Unique – Mejores
Unique are a boy band who debuted in 2018 with the song ‘Tú y yo’. They will compete in the first semi-final with the song ‘Mejores’ (meaning ‘best’). RTVE’s website describes the track as having “a modern sound, with epic and tribal overtones”. Is it best in show for you?
Tanxugueiras – Terra
Tanxugueiras are a trio of Galician tambourine players who have been performing together since 2016. They take elements of traditional Galician music and combine these with modern features.
Their Benidorm Fest entry, ‘Terra’, is sung primarily in Galician. However, the song’s refrain “non hai fronteiras” (“there are no borders”) is sung in Castilian-Spanish, Basque, Catalan and Asturian. If you want to learn more about the history of Spanish languages in Eurovision, read Nana Ama’s amazing article on this here.
‘Terra’ is proving a runaway favourite with fans so far, topping the My Eurovision Scoreboard app and having amassed nearly 2.5 million views on YouTube at the time of writing. Does it get your vote?
Chanel – SloMo
Closing the first semi-final is actress, singer and dancer Chanel. She is primarily known for her performances in musical theatre, including productions of ‘The Lion King’ and ‘Flashdance’. Her track ‘SloMo’ is an infectious dance-pop track with a Latin twist. It’s sure to keep the party going long after the show is over.
Four of these acts will progress to the final on 29th January, although it is not yet clear whether Luna Ki’s withdrawal will have any impact on this. Who are you rooting for? You can watch the first semi-final at 22:40 CET by clicking here. Don’t forget to have your say in the comments and follow Eurobuzz on all our socials so you don’t miss a second of Eurovision news!