Tonight sees the start of the final week of San Marino’s selection process for Eurovision. This has been a somewhat convoluted process having started exactly two months ago to the day. Whilst many will have ignored what they’ve been up to, given its complicated nature, I’ve kept a close eye on everyone’s favourite microstate. Let me give you a rundown on how we’ve got to this final stage.

IT’S SAN MARINO TIME!

Back in December we saw hundreds of emerging artists, predominantly from San Marino & Italy, fly to Japan to take part in the initial process. This involved all artists trying to climb a slippery wall set at a 45° degree angle. Some of the more nimble musicians were able to clear the wall, with others helping each other over. Those unable to make the climb were left in Japan to start their life anew.

Those artists who made it through then made their way to a maze-like structure in an undisclosed location. Artists were split into groups of 6, before being greeted by bald New-Zealander inviting them to enter a geometric structure to collect gold tokens. Within this dome, we’ll call it, fans blew gold & silver tokens which artists had to collect from the air around them, with every silver collected subtracting one from the total number of gold. If the groups collected over 50 they could make it to the next round and if over 100 were collected they also won a trip to Woburn Safari Park.

After completing these challenges artists may have expected the opportunity to sing. Not for San Marino. As we saw with Måneskin last year any Eurovision winners, as well as being musical, have to have a keen interest in sports played in youth clubs. So in this next round artists were put into pairs and given six darts each to score more than 101 on a traditional dartboard. Non-darts playing singer going first. Those successful would proceed with those eliminated offered consolations of a bendable cow and tankard.

The pairs that made it through the darts round will remain together as they encounter the BBC’s commentator, Rylan, standing outside a Tesco Extra. These pairs will be asked Eurovision-related trivia questions buying them time to roam the aisles for high-value items. If any of the couples find themselves an inflatable microphone then they win themselves a place in the next round as well as £75.

And after all that, we find ourselves where are today. The final acts from the emerging artists & Sammarienese section that made it through the previous round will be battling it out this week with the established acts. They will, of course, be singing but sources tell me to expect some Family Fortunes (oh no wait, that’s Malta), Golden Balls (Achille Lauro has quite the stage show) and Pointless Eurovision (or The Late Late Show as it’s otherwise known).

The final night will be a straight-up national final. The successful acts who make it to Saturday night. They will have proved their worth and afforded the opportunity to please a judging panel. We already know Andorra’s 2009 representative, Susanne Georgi, is confirmed on the lineup with others rumoured to join including…

  • Samira Bensaïd
  • Rambo Amadeus
  • LAKE MALAWI FROM THE CZECH REPUBLIC
  • LAKE MALAWI FROM THE POLISH NATIONAL FINAL
  • Dustin the Turkey
  • The woman on her phone from the Moldovan auditions
  • The Ghost of Katie Boyle
  • Serhat’s Hat

And after all that we will finally know who’s name will go before “ft. Pitbull” to represent San Marino in Turin.

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