Bless. The entire population of San Marino – Eurovision’s smallest participant – could fit inside the Pala Alpitour in Turin and still leave room for the Arancini stalls.
They first entered back in 2008 in Serbia with a man that looked suspiciously like 80’s illusionist David Copperfield – but it came last with 5 points in the Tuesday night semi. Apparently I was there, but I suspect on listening to it back that at the time I was trying to find a drink, the toilet or my will to live.
I mean it must be pretty tricky to find talent when your population is less than a tenth of Swindon’s but even taking that into account, since that 2008 debut San Marino have entered some dross – most notably the year they tried to enter a song about Facebook but were made by the EBU to remove the word Facebook from the chorus, leaving the panicked San Marinese delegation to instruct 39 year old Valentina Moretta to just sing “Hello, oh oh oh” instead. “If you wanna come to my house, click me with your mouse”.
This year’s pay to play entrant is Achille Lauro, who is described by Rtv as an eclectic singer, songwriter and rapper. He’s been in the San Remo festival a few times and did oddly well with this novelty song, but looks like his career has hit the buffers – so it wouldn’t be surprising if his appearance as San Marino’s hopeful isn’t the usual suitcase of cash to get some profile in front of 200m viewers.
The song is a piss poor bit of glam rock that sounds oddly similar to Doctorin’ the Tardis by The Timelords to these ears, but it’s the performance you want to watch out for on Thursday night. There’s big gaudy graphics, a cowboy hat, a fur boa and a sheer bodysuit, two of the band are trapped writhing around in cages, Achille grinds his crotch against one of them, and then for the final chorus he mounts a red velvet bucking bronco, cementing his entry in the Eurovision clips montages for many years to come.