San Marino: Emma Sandström gets first wildcard out of 1050 submissions

Emma Sandström, who placed third at the Finnish UMK 2017 with “Circle of Light”, has received the first wildcard for a national final in San Marino. The other two wildcards will be handed out to two artists out of no less than 1050 submitted entries.

San Marino went for a new strategy for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon. They will have a preselection with ten acts, of which seven will be picked by broadcaster SMRTV. The other three will be getting their spot through a wildcard system.

The contest, called ‘1 In 360’ was open to singers from any country, and SMRTV notes that entries were received from 75 countries. Among them are artists from San Marino, like Anita Simoncini (ESC 2015) but also familiar names like Dinah Nah (Melodifestivalen), Dado Topic (Croatia, ESC 2007), Karl William Lund (UK final 2016) and Mahan Moin (Melodifestivalen 2014).

Time to turn things around

In recent years, or like always, San Marino went for an internal selection to pick their act for Eurovision. Now they came up with a new strategy. For San Marino it is a struggle to take part at the Eurovision Song Contest each year. It makes sense, that the delegation from the microstate is looking a bit envious at the bigger countries with big productions, like Russia.

Towards ESCDaily, Alessandro Capicchioni, the Head of Delegation from San Marino explains the financial difficulties for a small nation to take part: “It is very difficult. When you consider that we have only a hundred employees, and how many people are working on Eurovision alone from SVT… The budget of Eurovision is also bigger than our whole tv budget. So you can understand that the numbers don’t fit the word ‘easy’”

The only way that San Marino can take part is if someone like Ralph Siegel or Serhat steps in, the delegation explained in 2016. But now they found another way to be able to take part and still cover most of the expenses. “We always look for sponsors and participate in the most economical way,” says Capicchioni. “Russia has a great production, but we can not afford that. The EBU can not help any mre than giving all countries the same chances. Of course, it is a balance of power, the big countries have more to say at the table. But the EBU is able to keep all countries of Europe under one roof. A political struggle, but also something very huge in terms or organisation, also for small countries like San Marino.”