It’s the time of year when the Post-Eurovision depression is in full swing, but there’s no better cure than to reminisce! Together with ESCDaily Editor, Dennis Van Eersel, we will be discussing each of this year’s competing nations – from their results to how we think they could improve in the future!
Predictions, Personal Scores and Results
Results: 20th place, Final
Did San Marino live up to expectations?
A: Yes and no. I think that overall, the expectations were high for San Marino, with this certainly one of the most liked Sammarinese songs at Eurovision. Adding Flo Rida into the mix was a novelty, and it was expected to do well. Personally, I didn’t expect big things for San Marino, and really didn’t buy into the hype. While I think they exceeded my personal expectations of what they would achieve, I think on behalf of the fans, San Marino failed to live up to the hype.
D: Whether San Marino lived up to the expectations depends on who you are asking. They reached the final, where they got a rather low placing. Their televote in particular wasn’t what I was expecting, with Flo Rida being there and having a slot to close off the show. I expected San Marino to have their best result to date, since it was better than Say Na Na Na, but in the end it didn’t so it didn’t fully live up to what I expected. A top-10 finish was never on the cards for me.
A: It all seemed to add up, having the closing slot of the running order and Flo Rida, plus a well-liked song overall, but the televote was certainly surprising. I would have thought it would be a strong televote favourite but it proved not to be the case.
D: Yes, 13 points in the televote was very underwhelming for them.
How do you personally feel about the song for San Marino at Eurovision 2021?
A: I was quite harsh in my reviews for this entry, but my one big gripe with this song is that Senhit did not suit this style. Her voice didn’t match up with the Latin style of the song, and it was always disjointed. For that reason alone, I could never really enjoy listening to this song.
D: I’m not the biggest fan of this genre, to say the least. But, the fact that Flo Rida was involved and even actually came to Rotterdam, showed that San Marino took things seriously this year. And for that, I can only praise them. They came a long way from ‘the robots’ in Lisbon.
A: They may have taken it more seriously with the addition of Flo Rida, but at its core, San Marino is still using some sort of novelty factor. Looking back historically, there’s always been something – even Valentina qualifying on her third attempt, the novelty was her by that point. It would be good to see something more genuine come from San Marino, because to me it seems like the nation doesn’t believe that they can do well based on actual merit.
D: Great analysis, it would be nice to see San Marino send in something just based on the quality of the performer or composition.
Could San Marino have done anything different?
A: First of all, I would have chosen a different stage director. The stage show was a punch to the senses, and it could have been the cause of the low televote. There was just too much to digest at any one time, and to me, that doesn’t make it enjoyable to watch. I touched on the disconnect between the song and singer, but putting that aside, I think the stage performance was something significant that could have been refined.
D: There were still a lot of camera shots showing the back of Senhit and they just didn’t capture everything perfectly. I don’t know if this would have given San Marino a better result. The fact that they got Flo Rida to be in Rotterdam and the effort that must have taken, I guess that took a lot of their time in preparations as well. We will talk about their back-up tape later, but if we compare that, looking at what they started with, I think this was the maximum result for this team.
A: This feels like a loaded question – where do we begin? As we mentioned before, I think the key thing is sending a competent artist with a strong composition. We know San Marino likes to look elsewhere for their artists, and it’s understandable given how small San Marino actually is, but the songs need to be stronger. I think the approach of constantly sending repeat artists is getting old, and they need to find their niche. The novelty has worn off, at least on me.
D: I also see the struggles and issues a small micronation like San Marino is facing, like Anita described above. Additionally I would like to say that therefore my definition for ‘success’ is different for San Marino than it would be for – for instance – Sweden. The bar is lower, and making it to the final and middle of the pack is already a success for San Marino I think. And that is possible for them.
A: I think it’s definitely possible, but is it probable? Time will tell!
Which was better, the live-on-tape performance or the actual performance?
A: So we can safely say that this was a masterclass of what not to do in a live-on-tape performance. The lighting was incredibly bad, so bad that you could barely see Senhit with all the flashing lights. The camera work was bad, and the outfits were a questionable choice. Just all of it was bad. And here I was criticizing the live Rotterdam performance – the recorded version is significantly worse.
D: San Marino came a long way with their back-up tape to the actual performance. Their back-up tape for San Marino was the worst of the bunch for me. It was messy, shots missing the people on stage. Distorted shots not working, distracting backing dancers and the rap part of Flo Rida fully off screen. I feel pretty safe to say this would not have even qualified for the final.