Great news from Spain. Spanish public television (RTVE) has announced from Benidorm that this city will host the national final for Eurovision 2022. RTVE, the government of the Valencian Community and the Benidorm City Council have agreed to hold the Spanish final in this town of the province of Alicante and make it an annual meeting point to promote Spanish music.
The new president of RTVE, José Manuel Pérez Tornero, has recently made changes to the leadership of Spanish public television and has stated that they “are going to take Eurovision very seriously”. Now, RTVE, the Government of the Valencian Community and the Government of the City of Benidorm have reached an agreement for the representative of Spain in Eurovision 2022 to be elected in a great national final to be held in this city. The choice of Benidorm is because it was the site of one of the most important musical competitions of music in Spanish: The Festival de Benidorm.
The name of this contest has not been announced, but it has been advanced that it will consist of three shows (two semifinals and one final) that will be broadcast on consecutive days through RTVE. The Director of Contents of RTVE, Amalia Martínez de Velasco, has assured that they “want it to be a contest with renowned artists and young promises“, and has anticipated that there will be a mixed vote with jury and public and it is not ruled out to have international experts.
From left to right: Amalia Martínez de Velasco (Content Director of RTVE); Toni Pérez (Mayor of Benidorm); the president of the Generalitat Valenciana, Ximo Puig; the singer Ruth Lorenzo (Spanish entry at Eurovision 2014), the president of RTVE; and the Director of Communication, María Eizaguirre. (Photo: RTVE.es)
In addition to being one of the most important tourist destinations in Spain each summer, Benidorm is also famous in Spain for being the site of an important song contest called the Festival de Benidorm. 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 for five decades, except in 1979, 1984 and between 1986 and 1992. Despite its great popularity in the 60s and 70s, the contest was definitively cancelled in 2006 due to a lack of audience and interest in the press.
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).
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