San Marino is the eternal underdog when it comes to Eurovision, having participated in what will be the 9th contest this year, having only qualified once. Mind you, that qualification was one of four attempts from now Eurovision royalty, Valentina Monetta but hey, one out of four ain’t bad! This year, San Marino searched outside the box for their next Eurovision act, holding a worldwide search for a promising artist who could bring the nation back to the final.
Their national final format, innovative albeit totally confusing, revealed some former Eurovision hopefuls, who had previously tried to represent their own nations at Eurovision with no success. In the final line-up, we saw Finnish national finalists Emma, some of the Maltese national finalists such as Franklin Calleja and Jessika Muscat and former Israeli national finalist, Judah Gavra, but emerging as the winner was Jessika featuring Jenifer Brening with the song Who We Are.
If we look past the incredibly generic song title, we are getting a fairly generic pop entry from San Marino this year. The lyrics are incredibly cheesy, and yes, we’re looking at you Jenifer, but if we add generic and cheesy together, we have the perfect guilty pleasure. There’s nothing revolutionary about this, but with Jessika’s powerful voice and the catchy chorus, this could just be the surprise package on the night.
If I could have my way, I may have swapped out Jenifer for the original duet partner Irol, the only representative from San Marino, and this is purely to have some sort of connection to the nation it’s actually representing. Plus, after hearing Jenifer sing, it doesn’t seem like a necessity to feature the cringe worthy rap when she is capable of much better. At least if the rap is in Italian, it would make a bit more sense to the identity of the song.
Attempted rap aside, Jessika is really a vocal powerhouse, and I’m happy that she’s finally getting her chance to perform at Eurovision after numerous attempts to represent Malta over the years. She also has a commanding stage presence, and knows how to engage with the audience and the cameras, which is a good skill to have going into Eurovision.
With that said, this song could come alive with a good stage show. We saw the budget version of the performance at the national selection, but with a bit of time, effort and a bit of cash behind it, this could look really great on stage. I think this has the potential to do ok, but it’s just one of those songs that truly depends on the night.
All aboard… the Jenny B train!
Being in semi-final two, I don’t want to discount the guilty pleasure factor of this song, but am relatively confident that this will be left behind in the semi-final. It’s definitely not the worst song of the 2018 Eurovision season, but it’s definitely not the best, but it is a grower.
Our rating: 6.5/10
If you support San Marino at Eurovision, make sure to vote for Jessika and Jenifer in our poll! Watch their official video below, and follow our Eurovision 2018 playlist on Spotify.