Benidorm Fest

#SPAIN – LIVE BLOG of Benidorm Fest 2022 from 22:15 CET!

¡Buenas noches Europa, y buenos días Australia! Tonight is the final of Benidorm Fest 2022, meaning we’ll discover who wins that coveted ticket to Turin to represent Spain at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022!

Sit back and relax, and let Eurovision Ireland’s own James Scanlan entertain and inform you. As always, feel free to tell me what you think and give your opinions about tonight’s Final and who your favourites are! I might even shout out to you in the blog!

Tonight’s final will be coming to Europe live from the Palau Municipal d’Esports l’Illa de Benidorm in Benidorm, Spain. 13 acts have been whittled down to 8 over the course of the semi finals, which means performing tonight we have:

  1. Rayden – Calle de la llorería
  2. Tanxugueiras – Terra
  3. Varry Brava – Raffaella
  4. Chanel – SloMo
  5. Rigoberta Bandini – Ay mamá
  6. Xeinn – Eco
  7. Gonzalo Hermida – Quién lo diría
  8. Blanca Paloma – Secreto de agua

The winner of Benidorm Fest 2022 will be selected through a mixture of an expert jury and demoscopic jury, as well as a public vote. The winner then takes home the right to fly the Spanish flag at the Eurovision Song Contest this May!

If you want to watch along with all the fun yourself, you can watch HERE from 22:15 CET / 21:15 GMT. The show is scheduled to finish at 23:45 CET/ 22:45 GMT, but as we know, live TV sometimes doesn’t go quite according to plan!

You know the drill: Just refresh this page to get the comments, points of view and all that Eurovision Ireland goodness you know and love!

LIVE BLOG STARTS HERE!!

I know you’re all excited to see the first of the Big 5 national selections, but you’re also 8 hours early! If you want something to do while you wait, why not take a quick tour around Madrid with Europe in a Day! You’ll also learn about Spain’s highest scoring entry at Eurovision – you’ll be surprised at when it was!!

¡Buenas noches a todos! It’s about 10 minutes till show time! So grab your snacks and get comfy, we’ll be going live in Spain very very soon!

All the adverts and segments leading up to the show keep telling people to enjoy Benidorm Fest and they seem genuinely excited about it, which is really nice! Some other countries *cough* UK *cough* could learn from this optimism! 😉

Ah, Azucar Moreno… Eurovision history makers, though not for the reason I imagine they had hoped! 😅

Tan-shoe-ger-ras…. I’ve been saying tan-shu-gwer-ras all week!

This is where I must admit I haven’t heard all of tonight’s entries, so I’m hoping for some good surprises! I’ve been very impressed by what I have heard so far!

Quite cool to do a recap of the semis like this before the final starts – so guess I will hear all the entries before the final starts…

I’d been told about this, otherwise I’d have been somewhat alarmed… do not adjust your sets, that is a giant boob on the Benidorm Fest stage! Is Eurovision ready for this? Wonder if it’ll return tonight!!

I remember watching the Spanish selection back in 2019, but even from the previews 2022 seems to have blown that out of the water and really upped the production values – I’m excited and we’ve barely started!

Vamanos!

Pastora Soler opens the show with the heart breaking “Quédate conmigo”, easily my favourite Spanish Eurovision entry… my goodness, she’s still got it!! How can this song be 10 years old?! The gospel choir ending was stunning! It was worth tuning in just for that ❤

Our hosts for tonight,  Alaska, Inés Hernand, and Máximo Huerta – Máximo said he was going to cry as Quédate conmigo is so emotional. I know the feeling well, if you haven’t sobbed along to that song, you have no heart #facts

A quick whirl around the judging panel, who will help select tonight’s winner, including the head of the Icelandic delegation – always helps to have an international touch on your jury. After all, you can’t vote for your own country!

SO. MUCH. PINK

The hosts all seem really excited to be there tonight. Sometimes on these shows you get a lot of forced smiling and fake enthusiasm, but this all feels very genuine and is wonderful to see!

And here we go, it’s on to the first song!

Rayden – Calle de la llorería

I’ve heard of a boy band, these guys seem to be more of a bear band… grrr 😉 After a bit of a slow flamenco sounding start, it kicks into quite a thumping beat and grabs your attention, which works really well. But on the other hand, 6 bearded men staring down the camera is a quite intimidating… vote for me or else! O_o Overall though, it’s fun, a good beat and they look like they’re enjoying themselves, which always helps. It’s a good way to start the show, and I’m curious to see what else there is on offer tonight!

The mere mentioned of their name made the audience cheer – and of course, they topped the televote in their semi final – it’s time for Tanxugueiras!

Interesting! The girls said they liked Massiel’s La La La and tried to replicate the sound in their song Terra!

Tanxugueiras – Terra

So, this is one of the few songs I heard before tonight and I LOVED it from the off! It’s dark, brooding, in another new language for Eurovision and has a strong ethnic flare! The girls give a commanding performance in black and gold and I’d be thrilled if this went to Turin. Sadly, I suspect their jury result from the other night suggests RTVE have other plans, which is a real shame. I’m not sure how much the dancers add to the overall value, but it’s certainly not a bad touch. That was very powerful and I thought it was AWESOME! Parabéns rapazas! Brava!

Varry Brava – Raffaella

I just watched a TV show with a Raffaella in it, but she was a time travelling ballerina and I doubt that’s who Varry is singing about! Starting out all in black and white, I thought we were about to see a ballad but instead it’s a very upbeat disco number all in red costumes with more than a hint of glam rock in there! I liked the playing a keyboard hanging from the ceiling, that was an interesting touch! It’s very bright and boppy, though musically maybe a tad tame. Overall though, it was fun and bouncy which I think Europe needs after the last few years!

The crowd went wild at mention of her name – that’s always a good sign! It’s time for Chanel with SloMo!

Chanel – SloMo

Loving Chanel’s silver embossed jacket – looks a bit like one a matador would wear! She’s got the choreography, she’s got the swagger, it’s got sex appeal oozing out of every…. where… it has that throbbing Latin beat that people can’t resist dancing too, so these are all fantastic points and the crowd clearly loves it! My one tiny concern is that Eurovision often sees songs like this, and they usually finish around the middle of the scoreboard (with one or two exceptions). It feels like a safe contest song, but Chanel owns every inch of that stage as she delivers it and I’m impressed! I’m also singing it after it’s finished, which is always a good sign!

We’re already halfway through! Sanremo, I hope you’re watching!

Rigoberta Bandini – Ay mamá

This was another song I heard before tonight. As it started, I thought it was a touch slow and didn’t seem to be going anywhere, but Rigoberta was just toying with us, lulling us in dressed in white before she dropped that beat! The message of the song is very powerful and one people clearly respond to – just listen to that reaction! She topped her semi final and got the highest score of any contestant from either semi – have we seen the winner of tonight? The boob-globe, for lack of a better word may well give RAI and the EBU a heart attack come May if it goes to Turin, but judging by her vocals, the reaction and the confidence of the performance, that’s a real possibility!

I’m guessing this little chat in the Green (Pink) Room is to get said boob-globe off the stage! XD

Xeinn – Eco

Oooooh… I’m blinded by the light! That’s what I thought of the moment this started! It’s got that modern-1980s edge to it which as last year proved, is very popular across the continent. A pretty boy wearing a leather jacket and smouldering down the camera… I mean, he’s certainly going to appeal to a certain contest audience demographic! The song itself is musically entertaining and Xeinn performs it well. I enjoyed that!

Gonzalo Hermida – Quién lo diría

Gonzalo currently has COVID and had to compete at the semi-final via his music video – but still managed to get to the final! He’s still unwell bless him, so we wish you all the best Gonzalo and hope you feel better soon! We’ll be watching the music video again tonight. Seeing the audience all lighting up their phones and swaying to an empty stage feels quite special and this is the first “proper” ballad we’ve had tonight (eg. something slower tempo and more emotionally led). His voice so lyrical and he emotes the meaning of the words beautifully. I can see why he managed to qualify without even being on the stage! That was sublime!

Goodness, we’re already on song #8 and the end of the show!

Blanca Paloma – Secreto de agua

From her video postcard, Blanca seems like a very lively and engaging woman – so the haunting and melodic ballad that followed was a bit of a surprise! This puts me very much in mind of Fado from over the border in Portugal, and her voice is amazing… it suits the feel of the song perfectly! I’m also loving the water effects on the floor – proves that sometimes simple staging with a good idea can create a really intimate atmosphere! I mean wow… that really surprised me!! What a way to end the show, that was beautiful!! Brava!

Máximo is right, the level of artistry and the singers tonight has been incredible! I know some Eurovision fans will gawp and guff at everything, but I’m genuinely impressed at the quality of tonight’s show – this is how you stage a national final Spain, well done! ¡Felicidades!

Lines are open to vote now! These are the numbers you’ll need to cast your votes. I suspect you’ll also need to be in Spain!

While the televoters are treated to a recap to help them decide who to vote for, I’ll summarise my thoughts for tonight -BRB!

I’ve been saying it all night, but it’s worth saying so I’ll keep saying it – Spain, the quality of tonight has been exceptional! The standard of the songs, production values… ¡Todo fantástico! There are several songs that I think could do very well if they got the chance to go to Turin. Judging by reactions from the audience, Chanel and Rigoberta will be ones to watch for the win and as much as I would love Tanxugueiras to take it, I’m prepared for the fact after their disappointing jury score in the semis that might not happen. This being said, I think Blanca or Gonzalo could also be dark horses and surprise everyone… so those are my Top 5 out of 8… and the remaining 3 were pretty good too! Spain, you’ve made this really difficult for me and I love it! ❤

The head of the Icelandic delegation says this is one of the best national finals he has ever seen and any of the 8 acts could do Spain proud in Italy- I agree sir!

While we wait for the televote to close, here’s an interval act – unfortunately their names vanished from the screen before I could read the properly, but they’re great! Love the combination of her hair and shoes, so striking!

You have less than 10 minutes to cast your votes!

Inés is taking a stroll around the Pink Green Room to chat with the artists and make some last minute pleas for votes.

One of the guys singing with Rayden looks like my friend’s ex-husband… I mean, I’m fairly sure it isn’t him… fairly sure… 0_0

Tanxugueiras asked Spain if they are ready to be part of an inclusive project and promoting all languages of the country – of course, Spanish is the only national language, but Basque, Catalan and Galician are recognised on a regional level – and the audience really cheered! Could we see a song in Galician representing Spain this year?

Rigoberta says Eurovision is a celebration of music, and then got so excited and started speaking so quickly I have no idea what else she said… por favor, hable más despacio, ¡No soy un hispanohablante natal!

A message of peace and justice from Blanca – that song was amazing!

Gonzalo joining us live from his home/hotel – he does look a little flushed, bless him!

According to my calculations, we have about 5 minutes left until the show is supposed to end. But as Inés has just said there’s still time to vote, I suspect we may overrun… the perils of live TV!

The voting lines are now closed – Spain, have you made good choices??

While the votes are tallied, we’re being treated to another song from Spain’s highest scoring Eurovision contestant from the last 20 years – Pastora Soler! Could someone we’ve seen tonight go to Turin and score more? We’ll have to wait till May to find out…

Her voice really is out of this world ❤ ❤ ❤ I wonder if she’d ever consider returning to the contest?

The individual jurors will be awarding points 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, in a sort of condensed Eurovision style… but they will all be announced together in total.. here we go!

Gonzalo gets 12 points from the jury – he seems surprised!

Varry Brava gets 25, Tanxuguieras gets 30 as does Xeinn, Rayden get 37

Scores so far…

Blanca gets 39

Who gets the juries Top Marks?

Chanel wins the jury vote with 51 points, with Rigoberta close behind with 46. At the moment, Chanel is going to Turin, but we still have two sets of votes to add in!

The demoscopic jury votes are as follows:

5 points to Xeinn

10 points to Blanca

12 points to Varry Brava

15 points to Rayden

Is it me or are there still a lot of points to award?!

18 points go to Gonzalo

20 points to Rigoberta

The demoscopic jury awarded 30 points to Tanxuguieras and 25 to Chanel – Chanel is still in the lead, but Rigoberta and Tanxugueiras are catching up!

Here comes the televote results…

Gonzalo gets 5, Xeinn gets 10. 12 points go to Blanca

15 points from the televote to Rayden

18 points go to Varry Brava… this is going to be close at the top!

20 points to Chanel – oops… the audience didn’t like that, the hosts are asking for quiet

Well! Tanxugueiras won the televote (as I suspected they would!) but it wasn’t enough to lodge Chanel from the top of the scoreboard! Chanel is going to Turin and will represent Spain with SloMo!

Aww bless her, she’s very emotional and says she’s in shock, but determined to put on a good show in Italy and is profusely thanking her team… awww!

Well, what a night it’s been! I’m going to sign off now, but thanks for reading along! Hope you enjoyed the show and my comments!

Thank you Europe, and good night!

Author: James Scanlan
Source: RTVE

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