PREVIEW: Spain’s Eurovision selection show Benidorm Fest 2023 starring Agoney & Sharonne

By Neil Durham

WHEN?: 31 January, 2 and 4 February 2023

WHERE?: Palau Municipal d’Esports l’Illa de Benidorm Watch on TVE

2022 saw the return of Benidorm Fest as the method for Spain to select its Eurovision entry and our choice to win, Chanel with SloMo, finished 3rd in Turin, Spain’s best result since 1995.

  • Read on for reasons including how we predict Agoney could do even better than Chanel if Spain chooses them for Eurovision 2023 in Liverpool

The big news in the 2023 selection of 18 songs is that it includes Drag Race Espana winner Sharonne (pictured complete with crown below), Operación Triunfo 2018 victor Famous and former Eurovision contestant Alfred.

Read on to discover how many points in true Eurovision style we’re giving them in an 18-song selection which we believe is similar in strength to last year’s hugely enjoyable selection process from Spain, a country we think many fans would be delighted to win Eurovision.

Doce puntos (12): Agoney Quiero arder (I Want To Burn) (Agoney Hernández Morales, Marta Martínez López, Andrés Huélamo López)

Nicknamed ‘the Canary with the golden voice’ because they come from the Canary Islands and found fame on 2017’s TV singing contest Operación Triunfo, this 27-year-old is openly gay and topped the charts in Spain with their debut album Libertad (Liberty) in 2020. Quiero arder reminds these ears of withdrawn Ukrainian 2019 contest entry Siren Song with its dramatic parping horns. The song’s darkness is likely to endear it to juries and if Agoney is as equal to it as their TV talent show experience suggests, this could win or come very close to it in Liverpool in May.

UPDATE: This won Semi 1 and the performance burned!

Diez puntos (10) : Sharonne Aire (Air) (ván Torrent, Alejandro Barroso, Cristóbal Garrido)

Season 2 Drag Race Espana winner Sharonne has a mighty, hands-in-the-air disco stormer song under starter’s orders that has a lot of repeated build with handclaps, is going to be a real challenge to sing live and is potentially more of an obvious crowdpleaser than Agoney’s effort.

UPDATE: This did not make the final

Ocho puntos (8): E’FEMME UFF! (Antonio Escobar Núñez, Bárbara Reyzábal, E’Femme)

Nice to see a girl band so high up our rankings and co-author Reyzábal will be familiar to Eurovision fans as Barei who finished 22nd in 2016 at the Eurovision Song Contest final in Stockholm with Say Yay!. UFF! wouldn’t be out of place in the UK charts and sounds like something Little Mix would’ve been proud of if they were looking to go a bit Spanish. UPDATE: This did not make the final

Siete puntos (7): Rakky Ripper Tracción (Traction) (Raquel García Cabrerizo, Aleix Martin Font, Joan Valls Paniza, Rubén Pérez Pérez)

Reminding of the sort of pop of Charli XCX and Rina Sawayama, this would be a credible if leftfield choice for Spain and 1 that, while interesting, we wouldn’t see doing terribly well at Liverpool. UPDATE: This did not make the final

Seis puntos (6): Twin Melody Sayonara (Aitana Etxeberria, Paula Etxeberria, Jonathan Geraint Burt, Natalia Neva Martín)

Pure pop is a genre we love and while this is a little cliche-ridden, it’s also a lot of fun and we’re really enjoying it. UPDATE: This did not make the final

Cinco puntos (5): Meier No nos moverán (They will not move us) (Jonathan Geraint Burt, Francisco Javier Pagalday González, Natalia Neva Martín, Oliver García Cerón, José Héctor Portilla Rodríguez)

Boyband with an Irish member which has produced a hit that The Wanted wouldn’t turn its nose up. UPDATE: This did not make the final

Cuatro puntos (4): Siderland Que esclati tot (Let everything explode) (Uri Plana, Albert Sort, Andreu Manyós, Roger Argemí)

Barcelona-based band singing in Catalan who manage to combine both Greatest Showman musical theatre vibes with something quite rocky. Not to be discounted because it’s quite different to much else of the selection. UPDATE: This did not make the final

Tres puntos (3): Vicco Nochentera (Nocturne) (Victoria Riba, Rubén Pérez Pérez, Joan Valls Paniza)

More melodic pure pop which is refreshing if a little lightweight, particularly with wolfwhistle, but has us up on our feet and dancing.

Dos puntos (2): Famous La Lola (Adrián Ghiardo, Andrés Sebastián Ramírez, Jorge de la Cruz Correa)

We expected a little more from 1 of the big names coming into this contest and the song has an unexpected musical theatre vibe which isn’t unwelcome. UPDATE: This did not make the final

Of course everything will be decided when we see the live performances in 2023 but we think this is a terrific selection that Spain should be proud of and should repeat, if not surpass, its 2022 success with Chanel’s magnificent SloMo.

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy Agoney. Watch Benidorm Fest at TVE
  • Vote for Chanel to win Best Performance Of A Song in 2022
  • 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 and check us out on Instagram and Facebook

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