SAN MARINO: Serhat “Say Na Na Na”May 3, 2019
San Marino is the smallest country currently competing in Eurovision, both by physical size and population, coming out at 61.2km2 and 34,000 people respectively. Often selecting artists from neighbouring nations for their Eurovision entries (mostly from Italy, their only bordering neighbour), only two Sammarinese artists have actually represented San Marino, that being Valentina Monetta (2012, 2013, 2014, 2017) and Anita Simoncini (2015).
2019 will see San Marino's 10th entrant ever in the contest after their introduction back in 2008 - and there's no signs of slowing down. Always selecting their entries internally, last year they hosted their first and only national final, the interesting '1 in 360'.
San Marino has had an interesting relationship with the Eurovision Song Contest. It's the only country in the contest where the citizens do not televote due to the countries' telecommunications infrastructure being run by Italy, and as such, are unable to discern Sammarinese votes from Italian votes. Instead, a jury votes on their behalf.
Back to internal selection, San Marino's chosen entrant this year is no stranger to the Eurovision Song Contest. Turkish singer, Serhat, represented San Marino in 2016 with I Didn't Know, originally a ballad that was changed to a disco variant prior to the contest, but released at the same time. It came 12th in the first Semi-Final, sadly just missing out on qualifying for the Grand Final that year.
Serhat has come back with another Euro dance song named Say Na Na Na, not so dissimilar from his 2016 entry. The song was written by Serhat and Mary Susan Applegate, best known as the co-author of Jennifer Rush's song The Power of Love, as well as the Buranovskiye Babushki's Party for Everybody, the Russian Eurovision entry and runner-up in 2012.
Say Na Na Na is a typical Europop song. With its infectious chorus, anyone can get involved with it, even if you don't know the song on first listen. It will play in your head for hours and hours on repeat, for your enjoyment (or detriment - your choice). There's no doubt Serhat enjoys the spotlight that Eurovision gives him, so he's more than happy to provide us with a song that is for the fans, and for the enjoyment of the contest overall.
This year is going to be a challenge for Serhat. His semi-final performance will go up against such polarising performances as Iceland and Portugal, however, performing 17th on the night (last place) means that when it comes to voting time, he will be in the hearts and minds of the countries voting (which includes Australia). It will be up to them to hopefully grant San Marino their second ever placement in the Grand Final.
Is the entry dated? Yes. Is the entry cheesy? Definitely. Will San Marino not qualify this year? Say Na Na Na.