This year marks the 10th appearance for San Marino at Eurovision, but through their short Eurovision history, the nation has managed to qualify to the final just once. It’s certainly not the best ratio, but for a small nation, they certainly give it a go. For their 10th anniversary appearance, the broadcaster called on someone with Eurovision experience. It feels like that honour should go to Valentina Monetta in what could have been her 5th Eurovision appearance, however instead the broadcaster selected Serhat (again), this time with the song Say Na Na Na. Will Europe be saying yes instead?
Song + Vocals
We last saw Serhat perform at Eurovision back in 2016 with the song I Didn’t Know, a song that was original a slow paced entry, however for Eurovision it was decided to perform the disco remix of the song. It was entertaining to watch, but realistically not a serious contender and unsurprisingly it didn’t qualify. This time around we are getting more of an upbeat number which was said to be written in 5 minutes, and let me just say, it certainly shows.
In comparison to his previous attempt, I would say that Say Na Na Na is the better of the two, but realistically, both are entries which just don’t appeal to me. Despite that, there are some redeeming features of this song. If you have read my reviews, you will know that I like to highlight the high points of the song, as well as the low points, and what this song has going for it is a nostalgic (or outdated) beat that is quite inoffensive and ultimately will get people up and dancing, especially in the arena.
The melody of this song is very simple, and in the verses I think that it’s quite bland however the chorus although simple, is easy to sing along with and relatively catchy. As for the lyrics, they are cringe-inducing, but perhaps so cringe that it starts to become good. Who knows? This is probably where the 5 minute song writing comes into play as it definitely seems like these lyrics were written in 5 minutes of less.
Realistically the biggest hurdle for me is Serhat’s vocals. He has a unique, deep tone of voice that perhaps doesn’t naturally lend itself to disco, upbeat styles of music like this song. There is something about it that really puts me off this entry, and in some ways it makes it hard to take this song seriously as a competing entry.
Act + Performance
If you like Serhat, it’s likely that you will enjoy this song. He is an interesting character, and admittedly he is entertaining to watch, but not entertaining in a captivating, ‘wow what a spectacular performance’ type of way. At the end of the day, this isn’t going to win Eurovision, so the best San Marino can do is to have some fun.
As for the staging at Eurovision, I suspect something fun like the music video, perhaps playing on the retro vibes of the song but with that said, I think it will still be fairly budget. The song lends itself to backing singers x backing dancers and would say that it would be a bad move to feature just Serhat on stage. For once I’ll say, this needs to be novelty.
Some fans are hypothesising that San Marino’s running order position closing out the semi-final will help the nation qualify, but I would still say that this will struggle to qualify. So much so that I would be surprised if it did make it to the final. I just can’t get on board with this, sorry San Marino, I am literally saying Na Na Na.