Spanish public television (RTVE) has announced through its official website that fans of the Eurovision Song Contest will have news about Spain’s plans for Eurovision 2022 next 24th July. For this announcement, RTVE will travel to the city of Benidorm, in a meeting with journalists and specialized media. This has set off alarms and a rumor runs like wildfire in the Spanish press and social networks: The possible return of the Festival de Benidorm as Spanish national final for Eurovision 2022.
We have recently learned of the changes in the cupola of RTVE, whose new president, José Manuel Pérez Tornero, has caused a complete change in the organization chart of the corporation. Among these changes is the appointment of Ana María Bordas as the new Director of Entertainment and Outreach at RTVE.
Pérez Tornero warned in an interview with the Spanish media YoTele a few days ago: “We are going to take Eurovision very seriously”. The new president of RTVE is very interested in the event and in improving Spain’s international presence through the EBU. To do this, he seeks to solve the deficiencies, neglect and disorganization that affect Spain also in the European contest.
Is Pérez Tornero trying to give Spain its own “Festival di Sanremo” for the year that Eurovision will be held in Italy? The press and fans do not rule out this option and rumors surround the historic Festival de Benidorm, which was last held in 2006.
José Manuel Pérez Tornero, president of RTVE (Photo: RTVE.es)
According to the local media Alicante Plaza, the mayor of Benidorm, Toni Pérez, has held a telematic meeting this Friday with representatives of RTVE. This fact, added to the choice of Benidorm as the place for the meeting with the press and the recent remodelling works of the Benidorm Palace in 2020 has made journalists and fans think that RTVE is planning to bring back the Festival de Benidorm and use it as a preselection for Spain for Italy 2022.
Based on the Italian Festival di Sanremo, the Festival de Benidorm was born in 1959 to promote the Spanish music and the city of Benidorm, one of the most popular places for beach holidays in Spain. The contest was celebrated from 1959 to 2006, except in 1979, 1984 and between 1986 and 1992.
Although it was never directly connected to Eurovision, some of the winners and contestants of the Festival de Benidorm also participated in Eurovision. The group “El Dúo Dinamico” came second at this contest 7 years before composing the winner son of Eurovision 1968, “La, la, la”. Raphael won the Festival de Benidorm in 1962 and, four years later, he represented Spain twice, in 1966 and 1967. Julio Iglesias also won the contest in 1968 and, then, he represented Spain in Eurovision 1970.
Other winners of the Festival de Benidorm have not represented Spain in Eurovision but they have tried in a national final. The group Alazán tried to represent Spain in Eurovision 2000 with the song “Alcanzarás la luna” and, although they did not succeed, they won the Festival de Benidorm that year with the same song. Eleven years later, they returned to try their luck in the preselection “Destino Eurovisión”, being eliminated in the qualifying shows. Coral Segovia won the festival in 2005 and also tried to represent Spain at Eurovision twice, in 2008 and 2010.
Other artists who stepped on the stage of the Festival de Benidorm, before or after their participation in Eurovision, have been Karina (Spain 1971), José Vélez (Spain 1978), Betty Missiego (Spain 1979), La Década Prodigiosa (Spain 1988) or Barei (Spain 2016).
Would you like Spain to bring back this historic Spanish song festival to select its representative for Eurovision 2022? Let us know in the comments below.