Benidorm Fest kicks off in Spain tonight with the first live semi final. But if you’re struggling to get your head around RTVE’s revised national selection, here is all you need to know.
What is Benidorm Fest?
The Festival Español de la Canción de Benidorm was a national song festival which originally ran from 1958 until 2006. It was created to promote the town of Benidorm and to celebrate and increase the popularity of Spanish music. The contest frequently shifted across television networks in Spain, debuting on REM but soon alternating between TVE, Telecinco and Canal Nou.
Shortly after the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest, RTVE reflected on their recent lack of success at the contest. President of RTVE, José Manuel Pérez Tornero, spoke freely on plans to improve the country’s track record stating “We are the only Spanish public television that belongs to the EBU, we are interested in the event and in contact with youth in their European context“. Within weeks, the broadcaster announced a complete overhaul in the way they would select their act. At a press conference in Benidorm on July 22nd 2021, Benidorm Fest was officially revived and confirmed as the country’s new format to select their Eurovision entry. A four year agreement between Generalitat Valenciana and RTVE was reached
Format & lineup
Two semi finals will be held across two nights back to back. Four songs will advance to the grand final, to be held on Saturday 29th January. The shows will take place at Palacio de Deportes L’Illa and are to be hosted by Alaska, Inés Hernand and Máxim Huerta.
25% of the votes will be received from televoting. A further 25% will come from a demoscopic jury, 30% from a Spanish and 20% from an international jury.
The running order for the final was decided via a random draw with Spain’s Junior Eurovision 2019 participant Melani García at hand to select the order of the songs.
The full running order for the grand final is as follows:
|1||Rayden||Calle de la llorería|
|5||Rigoberta Bandini||Ay Mama|
|7||Gonzalo Hermida||Quién lo diría|
|8||Blanca Paloma||Secreto de agua|
The running order for the semi finals are as follows:
Semi Final 1 – Wednesday 26th January
- Varry Brava – Raffaella
- Azúcar Moreno – Postureo
- Blanca Paloma – Secreto de agua
- Unique – Mejores
- Tanxugueiras – Terra
- Chanel – SloMo
Originally, seven songs were to compete in this semi final. Luna Ki withdrew from the contest after a request to use auto tune in their performance was rejected.
Semi Final 2 – Thursday 27th January
- Xeinn – Eco
- Marta Sango – Sigues en mi mente
- Javiera Mena – Culpa
- Gonzalo Hermida – Quién lo diría
- Rigoberta Bandini – Ay Mama
- Rayden – Calle de la llorería
- Sara Deop – Make You Say
Unfortunately, Gonzalo Hermida tested positive for COVID-19 and will not be performing his entry live. The music video will be broadcast instead.
How to watch Benidorm Fest?
Benidorm Fest has certainly created a buzz within the Eurovision community. Thankfully there are many ways to watch all three shows live.
Both Semi Finals will begin at 22:40 CET
The Final is due to begin at 22:00 on Saturday 29th January
- The live stream of La 1 on RTVE.es will be available worldwide during the show
- A live stream will be available on RTVE Play for mobile devices. This can be downloaded from the Apple Appstore and/or Google Play.
TV & Satellite
- La 1 will air the shows live for residents in Spain
- TVE Internacional Europa will broadcast the show live for international viewers. This channel is accessible across many European satellites without the need of a subscription.
ESCXTRA will be providing live realtime coverage of all three Benidorm Fest shows on Twitter. Follow us and join in the discussion!