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San Marino introduces Europe-wide casting to pick 2018 contestant

17 October 2017 at 17:00 CEST
Valentina Monetta and Jimmie Wilson - Spirit Of The Night (San Marino 2017) Thomas Hanses
San Marino Radio and Television just announced that their representative for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest will be selected using a Europe-wide talent casting process, which will primarily take place online. That means we won't see a fifth Valentina Monetta participation this year. Unless...

Broadcaster San Marino RTV launched their search for Lisbon moments ago during a televised press conference. The broadcaster's Eurovision team will collaborate with London-based production company 1 in 360 Ltd. to find their candidate, under the motto Any country. Any genre. Any age. Needless to say, contestants must fit the Eurovision Song Contest rules and be 16 years at the time of the contest in May.

The journey to Lisbon

This is how San Marino aims to find its "internet candidate": Talent from all over Europe and beyond are invited to submit performance videos on until 30 November. To make it through the first round, interested candidates are encouraged to submit covers, but original songs will also be considered. To be considered by the jury, candidates should either obtain 100 likes and/or shares for their submission, or skip the line by paying ā‚¬4,99 per entry.

In early December, a shortlist of ten hopefuls will be published. Up to three of these candidates may be selected by wildcard. From January to February 2018, the ten shortlisted candidates will be invited to perform in front of a jury in a series of live recorded shows that will be broadcast online and via satellite TV. To add to the excitement, parts of the shows will be filmed and broadcast in 360 and virtual reality. 

In each show, qualifiers will be chosen by a mix of televoting and jury vote. The judges will consist of music industry professionals and former Eurovision participants. 

Songs for the three candidates who got the most votes in the shows will be chosen internally in consultation with the candidates and be submitted to a public vote in the final show, totake place in late February 2018.

The winner of this elaborate process will be crowned San Marinoā€™s candidate for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest.

San Marino's Eurovision story

San Marino's first Eurovision participation was in 2008. Since then, San Marino made it to the Grand Final only once, in 2014. Out of eight participations, the small but proud mountain state was represented by Valentina Monetta four times, including last year in Kyiv, when she performed Spirit Of The Night together with Jimmie Wilson. They finished 18th in the second Semi-Final.

Whether she will make an attempt to participate in this elaborate selection process... is yet to be seen!