SPAIN now has its entry for Eurovision 2022 after Chanel won last night’s final of the Benidorm Fest.
The competition to find an act to represent Spain in the 66th Eurovision Song Contest, took place in the city of skyscrapers, throughout the week. An initial line-up of 14 contestants was whittled down in the two semifinals on Wednesday and Thursday, leaving just 8 acts to compete last night at Benidorm’s Palau l’Illa for the bronze microphone and a ticket to Italy.
Chanel will represent Spain in Turin on 14 May with her song Slo Mo, after winning the selection contest with a total of 96 points from the combined votes of the professional jury (50%), the phone vote (25%) and the demoscopic jury (25%).
The deomoscopic jury was comprised of a group of 350 men and women chosen by market research company IPSOS and divided into two age groups; 18 to 44 and over 45.
After years of Spain being represented at Eurovision by winners of television talent shows or acts chosen by “experts”, RTVE decided they needed to get the viewing public interested in the song contest again, and what better way to achieve that than with public voting. And so, the interactive Benidorm Fest was born, which this week has also enjoyed great success as a trending topic on Twitter.
Saturday night’s show was presented by Spanish singer, Alaska, along with former culture minister, Máximo Huerta and comedian and presenter, Inés Hernand.
Just like Eurovision itself, the final of the Benidorm Fest was an eclectic mix of acts. There were soloists singing slow ballads, a catchy retro throwback to the 70s complete with giant glitter balls, sequins and satin, and many songs that conveyed a message.
The groundbreaking Ay Mamá by Rigoberta Bandini, a homage to the female body, in particular the breasts, did surprisingly well, finishing in second place, while third place went to a trio of Galician women with the rather shrieky folkloric Terra sung in their regional language, who banged tambourines as topless men painted with glitter danced around them in skirts.
But at the end of the night the award, and a place at Eurovision, went to an act which some have dubbed ” the Spanish JLo” – just a quick look at JLo’s performance at the 2020 SuperBowl, and it’s not hard to see where Chanel got her inspiration.
Benidorm Fest final results:
- Chanel (96pts)
- Rigoberta Bandini (91pts)
- Tanxugueiras (90pts)
- Rayden (67pts)
- Blanca Paloma (61pts)
- Varry Brava (55pts)
- XEINN (45pts)
- Gonzalo Hermida (35pts)
A long wait
Spain has competed in the Eurovision Song Contest every year since it joined in 1961. However, it has only won the competition twice, first in 1968 with the song La La La by Massiel and in 1969 with Vivo Cantando by Salomé which was in a four-way tie with France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.