One of the messages repeated last night at the Benidorm Fest was that “music wins”. Nobody dared to specify what is important: what kind of music. In this universe so close to a colorful dystopia that Eurovision has become, Benidorm Fest fulfills its role as ideological armed wing. Moving like a mini Eurovision, the competition from the city of Alicante extends the philosophy of a competition that feels in its gravy and rewards staging, laboratory voices and dance groups. And, okay, we come in and try to have fun, that’s what it’s all about. From time to time, individual verses pop up that take us out of chiripitifláutico mode and get us serious.
This is what happened when Alice Wonder from Madrid performed. His song, I want, is taken away from him by the least, who include this thug and say that he has no chance of “small Eurovision”. Because a Eurovisual proposal must be euphoric, choral, danceable and peppered with visual stimuli. I really don’t want to go that route. The woman from Madrid has an exciting voice, with soul, ripping when the story demands it and powerful when it comes to demonstrating lung power. His performance last night was a joyful bracket in a fair level gala. More compared to last year. Alice Wonder didn’t win, of course, although it wouldn’t have been crazy. Because the concept of a Eurovision song has its cracks: Salvador Sobral slipped through one of them with his brilliant victory in 2017.
Of the two favorites, Agoney and Blanca Paloma, the best won. Experience with Spain, which sends flamenco to Eurovision, is not good. It was tried in 1983 with Remedios Amaya and it was a disaster: the result (last place), not the song, which was funny. Blanca Paloma will go to Liverpool with Eaea, a song with a flamenco twist, a song with modern instrumentation inspired by the movement of singers who have been updating the jondo genre for some time, such as María José Llergo, Soleá Morente or Rosalía want from El mal. The Woman from Elche sings well, and although she abuses those insistent “eas,” the song has power and passion. It’s a long way from there to the invocation of Lorca (“a song with echoes of Lorca,” the enthusiasts repeat).
But we feel more comfortable with Blanca Paloma than with Agoney. The canary’s performance was like walking into a nightclub in 2003 and seeing a go-go shake on a metal platform. It happens that Quiero arder was built by an algorithm that is nostalgic for what happened in the world 20 years ago. Both the staging and the interpretation go beyond revolutions and are overwhelmed by an obsession with haphazardly implanting punches of effect just to create stimuli like we don’t have enough. A lot happens in the song, but none of it is suggestive. It has a lot of leather and no soul. Of course, dedication and enthusiasm nobody beats the canary.
The members of Megara kept repeating that they were a rock band. Watching his overloaded and parodic performance makes you think yes rock is very bad. Kamento set the folk note. Honest and stuffy, he even spawned a chorus that was as atypical as it was true. Good for her and I’m sure she has a long career ahead of her in this business. What to say about Fusa Nocta: Rosalía has such a unique style that the sight of imitations makes one blush a little. José Otero wanted to be Ed Sheeran and Coldplay at the same time: he got lost trying. Vicco had the catchiest song of the night. This is as shallow as it is funny. Without a doubt the favorite of the little ones in the house. And be careful, Aitana fills pavilions with things like Nonchentera.
The night passed so calmly and predictably that there were not even any polemics. Well, if they take that away from us…
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