The future of the controversial national selection, used to select the San Marinese entry for Eurovision 2018, has been thrown into doubt following a cryptic tweet. This comes a month after a ‘redesign’ for the format was announced.
Despite yet another rocky year for San Marino at the contest, it appeared that 1in360 would be returning for 2019, seemingly confirming the microstate’s future participation. Shortly after the winners, Jessika Muscat and Jenifer Brening, were chosen, 1in360 made an announcement on their official Facebook page, stating that they “have every intention to come back next year with a bigger and better selection…”
Note that this came before ‘Who We Are’, the selected entry, failed to qualify for the grand final in Lisbon. It is not uncommon for delegations to plan future selection formats based on how their acts perform at the contest. A good example of this is the expansion of Unser Lied based on the success of Germany at the 2018 contest.
A more recent development emerged in the form of a short video. Titled ‘1 in 360 – Brand Identity Redesign’, the video details five “core values” of the contest. These values are inclusiveness, across boundaries, creativity, uniqueness, and premium content. Interestingly, San Marino is not the focus of the video. Instead, it aims to emphasis the potential within the heavily digitalised format.
It states that the goal of 1in360 is to “…carry these values to new talent and audiences across the world.” This is still very much in line with the concept of its original incarnation, in which acts from multiple countries participated. For example, Jessika and Jenifer were artists from Malta and Germany, respectively. As the Eurovision Song Contest itself becomes increasingly international, there is certainly potential for an international selection.
A spanner in the works
Despite this optimism, it is not yet clear whether the show has been commissioned for 2019. A tweet posted last month, the most recent on 1in360’s official channel, suggests uncertainty in the future of the contest.
‘A number of angles’ could mean anything. It could suggest a total overhaul in the format, possibly the removal of the controversial crowd-funding element. Alternatively, the format could return as the selection method for another broadcaster, rather than SMRTV. Or perhaps, the format will not return at all? Only time will tell.