Sunday 25 February 2024

San Marino 2024 - Megara – 11:11

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Now hereby hangs a complicated tale of international Eurovisionistics and allegiance shifting. Around this time last year a moderately gothicky techno pub metal band called Megara had a stab at representing Spain at Eurovision. Having just scraped through the Benidorm Fest semi-final they came a creditable fourth to this historically risk averse country. Buoyed on by this encouraging result it appeared that they wanted another go this year. Now we can't be sure, but we suspect they might have had another pop for Benidorm but got turned down this time, as their first performance in what's become the competition's most notorious last chance saloon in San Marino was suspiciously well thought out and nicely put together.

Still, they only just scraped through into the competition's final show, having been edged out of an automatic qualifier's berth by a cheesy-assed superannuated Slovenian boy in shiny slacks and had to drag their way through a repêchage round in order to make the final stage. You'd have thought the writing of another failure would have been on the wall for them, as now they were battling against some significantly major Italian pop stars, most notably Loredana Bertè, a growling blue-haired 73-year-old woman with a significant pop heritage who is pretty much as close to being considered royalty as any Italian can get these days.

After a chaotic and near never-ending final show, it came down to just the pair of them - Loredana and Megara - on stage, awaiting the final judgement. It was bound to go to Ms Bertè, surely, as most of the jury were as old as she was. The partisan crowd began to chant her name in anticipation, before the non-anxious hosts announced "Megara!" to the shock of pretty much everyone in the building. The chants of "Loredana! Loredana!" began to get louder, and an awkward few minutes followed as the audience were seen to be visibly bolting for the doors while Megara were setting up to play their reprise. It might be an auspicious start for the poor pups, but they seem like they're well up for the larks and more than able to take it all in their stride.

But one is still left wondering if it was a missed opportunity, and quite what the non-Italian remainder would have made of Ms Bertè. Man, that could have been bloody incredible - just look at her go…!

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