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Flashback Friday: San Marino’s criminally underrated debut?

My turn for the throwback this week, with what is by far my favourite entry from San Marino. Prior to the almost annual Valentina and Ralph Seigel combo, SMRTV, the broadcaster for the small nation internally selected the band Miodio with the Italian track ‘Complice’. A decade on from their debut entry, this song still stands strong. Oozing in sophistication and sung with gusto, ‘Complice’ offered an angsty ballad to Belgrade.

Artistic poetry

I’m all too aware that songs are more musical forms of poetry. But the lyrics of this song is sheer poetry. The song depicts a post-modern artistic narrative in media res – or in the middle of something. Listeners are given very little information or knowledge about what has led to this solemn hymn of loss and despair. You don’t need to speak Italian to understand the emotionally fraught state of Nicolo Della Valle.

However, despite all of this praise I’ve given the song, it only received 5 points. It seems that San Marino copied the success of CzechRepublic’s debut in Helsinki, rather than Serbia’s. What is so frustrating is that looking at the first semi-final I could certainly make a case for this qualifying over other songs. Ahem, Poland and Romania, looking at you…

I will say that the staging of this is not ideal. I’m not a fan of the poor girl flailing from one corner of the stage to the next. She sort of appears towards the end of the first chorus. Sure, it relates to the constant buzz of melancholy of a lost love which is constantly floating in the back of the mind. But I’m not convinced this reflects the lyrical and tonal message of the song as effectively as it could have. In fact, I would go even further and say she is literally reflecting the translated lyrics… and not in a great way:

That you are so much more, something that isn’t there.

But these are just my late-night rambles, what do othermembers of the team think?

Emanuel 

Despite placing last this song has many fans inside the Eurovision bubble. Eurovision 2008 is for me one of the weirdest years ever.

While we had at least 5 great songs that could have been deserved winners, most songs are just awful. I can’t even find 20 songs that I actually like. About San Marino, I think the song deserved to qualify but just because it was a very weak year. Otherwise I can’t see what is so good about this song. I just can’t feel the connection.

Of course it is miles better than what San Marino usually sends, but that is not a hard mission. Despite the fact that I am not a big fan of the song, I think we can all agree on this: It was by far superior to the Irish and Estonian entries: and it still ranked last. The wonders of the 100% televote years. As my favourite entry from San Marino I would chose “Crisalide” by Valentina Monetta in 2013. It’s their best attempt so far.

Nathan

The point of these throwback features is to remember great entries from throughout the years, across all the participating nations. The difficulty this week is that I didn’t remember this song. At all. Playing it again, I realised why I didn’t keep this one in my memory. It’s utterly forgettable. It passes by and then ends. Sure, it was kinda nice on stage but… still, it was just there… existing. Nothing fancy, nothing special, just… Italian soft rock. Not my cup of tea, not memorable, not San Marino’s best. Crisalide was robbed.

Wivian

‘Complice’ is by far my favorite San Marinese entry. The country entered the contest with a gentle bang, and since then it‘s been a seemingly never ending downward spiral. I really enjoy this kind of softish rock. I have to admit however, that I‘m not a massive fan of Nicola‘s voice. Especially not live, when I find it has a somewhat grating quality to it. In recent years I‘ve only listened to the studio version. I just listened to the live version again to prepare for this article, though, and it‘s not as bad as I remembered. That dancer, though…. #baffling I would love it if San Marino (or Italy, for that matter) would send something like this to the contest again.

Sami

I never was a huge fan of this song, even I do enjoy listening to it once every now and then. I somehow find the song very haunting, yet very interesting. We don’t get this kind of music at Eurovision too often, so it was a brave choice from San Marino. I totally understand why they didn’t qualify with this though. It probably just wasn’t memorable enough for people to remember to vote for it.

What are your thoughts on San Marino’s debut entry? Let us know in the comments or on social media @ESCXTRA

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