Last year, San Marino hired Turkish entertainer Serhat to fly their flag in Stockholm. Serhat’s song was the promisingly unpromising “I Didn’t Know,” an awkward ballad with one of the most glorious videos ever created. Why Manfred T. Mugler did not graduate to directing a sequel to Battlefield Earth we’ll never know. Anyway, at a certain point, a disco remix of “I Didn’t Know” started circulating around the internet, and the enthusiastic reaction of online Eurovision fans caught the attention of the San Marino delegation, who apparently do not understand irony. Serhat gleefully adopted the remix as the official arrangement for his Eurovision performance, where he only missed out on qualification by 65 points.
Okay, so Serhat didn’t make the Grand Prix final. But San Marino seems to have recognized an opportunity to cater to a certain set of enthusiastic Eurovision fans. So here they are, fanwanking us off again with “Spirit of the Night.”
Valentina Monetta will be representing her country for the fourth time. She has now competed in Eurovision as many times as Lys Assia has, which actually makes us pretty happy. We’re worried that if she goes for a fifth time, Lys will try and take her out at the knees. She is teamed up with Jimmie Wilson, an American singer who starred in Hope, a German musical about Barack Obama. “Spirit of the Night” was written by Eurovision legend turned Sammarinese muse Ralph Siegel with lyrics by Jutta Staudenmayer and Steve Barnacle (and we can’t tell yet if it’s the same Steve Barnacle who is in Visage, but it might be and we hope it is).
We’re not exactly sure why San Marino wants to continue to participate in Eurovision, especially given their dispute with the EBU over how their vote in the Song Contest is tallied. (Read more at ESC Insight.) But you know what, if they still want to join in, then great, the more the merrier. They have a short bench, so Monetta can represent her home country any year she wants. Siegel will probably write songs for San Marino for as long as he still has catchy little melodies stuck in his head.
And you know what? We’re okay with that. At this point, San Marino’s Eurovision output is sort of like a box of Corn Pops. Sure it’s a bit cloying, but sometimes, on a rainy day, you just want to curl up in front of the television with a big bowl of sweet cereal and watch a Sammarinese Eurovision legend hit on a guy who played Barack Obama in a musical.