PREVIEW: Spain’s Eurovision selection show Benidorm Fest starring Azúcar Moreno 

By Neil Durham

WHEN?: 26, 27 and 29 January 2022

WHERE?: Watch on TVE

2021 Eurovision winners Måneskin were selected at Italy’s San Remo Festival and Spain, looking for its 1st Eurovision victory since 1969, has revived its own Benidorm Fest for 2022.

  • Read on for reasons including why this is Spain’s best ever selection and where our douze points is going

The big news about Spain’s 2022 Eurovision selection show is the return of Azúcar Moreno, sisters Antonia ‘Toñi’ and Encarnación ‘Encarna’ Salazar, who finished 5th in Eurovision in 1990 despite sound problems meaning their performance had to be restarted.

Read on to discover how many points in true Eurovision style we’re giving the duo in a 14-song selection we believe is the strongest we can ever remember from Spain, a country we think many fans would be delighted to win Eurovision.

Doce puntos (12) : Chanel SloMo (Leroy Sanchez, Keith Harris, Ibere Fortes, Maggie Szabo, Arjen Thonen)

Always difficult to judge the true potential of a performance without the live version of the song but we believe, in a very strong field, that this is the biggest hit here. Boasts a hypnotic bassline and a repetetive yet memorable hook which we can see performing very well in Turin come May. The performance we’re most excited for here.

Diez puntos (10): Xeinn Eco (Carlos Marco, Jimmy Jansson, Marcus Winther-John, Thomas G:son)

G:son and Jansson are regular Melodifestivalen contributors and in previous years this would be a strong candidate for internal selection. It’s very reminiscent of The Weeknd’s smash Blinding Lights, 1 of 2020’s best songs, and could well represent a vocal challenge. A rousing chorus and a soaring falsetto vocal means it could be a radio hit whether or not it wins here.

Ocho puntos (8): Azúcar Moreno Postureo (Posture) (Miguel Linde, Alberto Lorite, David Parejo)

The 1 our hearts want to win. Invariably returning Eurovision acts perform less successfully after their 1st appearance although Russia’s ice skating-aided 2008 winner Dima Bilan was a notable exception. This reminds of Bandido (picture far above) and we’d love for the Salazars to replicate live their distinctive trademark raspy vocals. Took some sass also to recover from their 1990 false start opening the contest in Zagreb.

Siete puntos (7): Varry Brava Raffaella (Óscar Ferrer, Aaron Sáez, Vicente Illescas)

Indie disco in honour of the titular Raffaella Carrà, the Italian singer who died last year and had a big UK hit in the 70s with Do It, Do It Again. Similar in tone to these ears to the fabulous La Casa Azul who should have won Spain’s Eurovision selection in 2008 with the frankly legendary La Revolución Sexual.

Seis puntos (6): Marta Sango Sigues en mi mente (You are still on my mind) (Marta Sango, Marco Frías, Mané López)

Marta’s a musical theatre star and graduate of reality show Operación Triunfo and her song is very 80s schlager which is to say that while we love it it is likely to Fyr Og Flamme in competition. Given her stage background though, she could well perform the socks off it.

Cinco puntos (5): Rayden Calle de la llorería (Crying street) (David Martínez Álvarez, François Le Goffic)

The most impressive CV – six solo studio albums that have earned him nominations for the MTV EMAs and 40 awards – and professional preview video and we’re still not quite warming to this. We want Spain to choose something authentic and Spanish and while, on paper, this should very much be it, we’re not quite hearing it. Plenty of time to be convinced though.

Cuatro puntos (4): Unique Mejores (Top) (Marco Dettoni, Manu Chalud, Armando Valenzuela, Carlos Almazán, Javier López, Raúl Madroñal)

Something a little more route one from this four-strong boyband offering an anthemic chorus adorned by facial hair and manbuns aplenty.

Tres puntos (3): Sara Deop Make You Say (Leroy Sanchez, Camille Purcell, Linus Nordstrom, Frank Nobel)

Co-writer Purcell has penned some of our favourite songs by acts including Little Mix and Dua Lipa and, while this is not of that class, it is very much in that ballpark. The vocal on the recorded version of the song sounds very produced which is not to say that it might be a struggle live but it is a worry.

Dos puntos (2): Tanxugueiras Terra (Olaia Maneiro Argibay, Sabela Maneiro Argibay, Aida Tarrío Torrado, Iago Pico Freire)

Electro folk found an audience at Eurovision with arguably its 2nd breakout act of 2021 (Ukraine’s Go_A) and it’s not a genre we’ve much love for but this already has a fan audience and could be the acceptable sound of Spain going authentic in 2022.

For more details of the remaining artists check out this fine taster at our new favourite site AussieVision.

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy Azucar Moreno. Watch Benidorm Fest at TVE
  • Have you heard any of these songs or seen any of these shows? Let us know what you thought in the comments below
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow monstagigz on Twitter @NeilDurham, email neildurham3@gmail.com and check us out on Instagram and Facebook

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