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  • Tim Everingham

Megara's Eurovision 2024 journey from Spain to San Marino

San Marino is this year being represented by Megara, a Spanish punk rock band from Madrid. But as eagle-eyed Eurovision fans will know, this isn't Megara's first crack at Eurovision!

Yesterday, we looked at Spain's Nebulossa, who previously tried out for San Marino before eventually making it to the Contest this year by winning Spain's Benidorm Fest. Today, though, in a bizarre twist of fate, we look at the opposite situation, with Megara making the same journey in the opposite direction!

Read on to find out more.

Fan Favourites: Megara at Benidorm Fest 2023

In 2023, Megara competed in Spain's national final, Benidorm Fest with the song 'Arcadia'. With their distinctive visual style and a complex cyberpunk-inspired stage performance to back them up, they became a fan favourite among the acts participating in Benidorm Fest that year.

In the semi-final, the band qualified in the fourth and final slot from a competitive field. Reaching the final, the band then managed to reach an identical result of fourth place (behind eventual Spanish representative Blanca Paloma and her song 'Eaea'). Interestingly, though, by achieving this result Megara ultimately finished ahead of several acts which qualified ahead of them in the semifinal, showing how their support grew across the Benidorm Fest show week.

Following their success at Benidorm Fest 2023, the band applied to participate for a second time in Benidorm 2024 with the song '11:11'. Unfortunately, this year they were knocked back from the competition in the sunny Spanish city.

As an enterprising young musical act keen to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest, then, the band did what any of us would do and looked to Eurovision Song Contest's smallest participating country for a second chance...

Winning the Eurovision ticket: Megara at Una Voce per San Marino 2024

San Marino are the much-loved underdogs of the Eurovision Song Contest. With a population of just 33,000 people (that's about the same size as the town of Gladstone in Queensland, for anyone looking for a comparison) they have participated almost every year since 2008 and, despite often struggling to qualify, have brought some of the Contest's most memorable acts, including Serhat, Valentina Monetta, Senhit, Achille Lauro and Flo Rida.

In recent years, San Marino has even established an annual national final, 'Una Voce per San Marino', which is open to participants of all nationalities (although there is a category for local Sammarinese artists as well). Hopefuls must make it through two gruelling audition rounds featuring literal hundreds of acts, before facing off in a live final which often features massive stars pitched in at the last minute (including Italian legends Achille Lauro and Loredana Berte).

In recent years, Une Voce per San Marino has begun to offer a second chance to artists who have missed out on representing their home countries. Eurovision and national final acts trying out for a second chance have include Jalisse (Italy 1997), Ronela Hajati (Albani 2022) and Australia's own Alfie Arcuri (Australia Decides 2019).

Not wanting to waste a great song, Megara decided to join this list by trying their luck in 'Una voce per San Marino 2024'. They were announced as participating in the national final on 30 January 2024.

Megara performed in the second semifinal, where they were twenty-third in the running order. Standing out from the crowd, they were selected to progress to the second chance round, from which they were one of three acts to progress to the final. There, they found themselves competing against a grab-bag of names, including the aforementioned Jalisse and Loredana Berte, 90s Eurodance icon Corona ('Rhythm of the Night') as well as a song about a polar bear written by an AI!

In the final, Megara were placed to perform 17th and last in the running order. After some tense competition with Italian icon Loredana Berte (who was hotly favoured to take out the competition), Megara were announced as finishing in first and were given the right to represent San Marino at Eurovision in Malmo.

Eurovision 2024

After two years of not qualifying, San Marino will be keen to make the final for the first time since 2021. This would be the first time that a winner of Una Voce per San Marino makes the Eurovision grand final since its establishment.

Megara will be performing in the second semifinal, where they have been drawn to perform in 10th (before Georgia and after Latvia).

In a very competitive semifinal, it will come right down to the wire to see who will make it to the Eurovision grand final.... but as shown in this article, Megara know all about beating the odds!

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