We are overvaluing St Pedro and undervaluing Almácor

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We are overvaluing St Pedro and undervaluing Almácor

I spent Wednesday greenlighting the Benidorm Fest… and on Thursday I went home running after the Noise Prize to get to see the second semi without spoilers. I don’t know what you give me, what makes me fly, as a former presenter of the format said.

The same mistakes from the first semi-final persisted, leading to another tepid million average audience viewers. Third option of the night: who has seen you and who sees you, Benidorm Fest. Carlos Baute celebrating that the program was a trend in Peru or Venezuela, ignoring that in those countries it was during the day, and until Thursday and not Friday, in fact. The presenter Marc Calderó indicating that “we are going to the nougat” because “we have a lot of iron” instead of having everything already lined up when late-night approaches. The same presenter openly lying about “televoting can turn around the table you are seeing right now”… SPOILER: the final four qualifiers were the same as before adding up all the televoting.

As proof of the extent to which Operación Triunfo has taken the piss out of Benidorm Fest, the spokesperson for the jury, Beatriz Luengo, resorted to imitating Buika when she was booed. “My loves!” She tried to calm down, perhaps biting her tongue so as not to allude to her white breasts. In OT, when they focus on the audience, the kids show their worst face of terror. At Benidorm Fest, when they focus on the audience, they are calmly looking at their cell phones.

The gala, however, left more surprising headlines than the first: Marlena deflated live. The public did not like Almácor as much as Quevedo. The public liked Jorge González more than Chanel. The demoscopic vote continues to hate Catalan. Nobody liked Dellacruz. And what about the winner, St. Peter? Right now he looks like an absolute favorite in the betting houses, but let’s not get carried away by the hype because his performance was far, no, very far from being perfect. No, it wasn’t Chanel. Not even Blanca Paloma.

‘Two strangers’ was one of our favorites to win Benidorm Fest. Whether it looks good or bad at Eurovision, it seems pertinent to try a Latin genre like the bolero in Europe. The melody is beautiful and the video clip is cute. The introduction video for St Pedro was also lovely. Quotes, far from ageism, to Agustín Lara, to Perales, a beautiful smile and knowing how to be… Just because of his talent, so varied as to go from Valeria Castro to Quevedo, passing through yavy, it is as if the Canary Islands had set out to be the most sexy of the season.

But, alas, the performance came, and St Pedro looked more disoriented than spiteful on stage. From the first sentence, he had trouble controlling his breathing. There are words that he couldn’t even finish, confusing emotion with impossibility. He moved on the boards as if without direction, even turning his back to the camera. No one had thought to put makeup on her or move a spotlight to remove that shine from her face. The dancers’ shadows seemed improvised that same afternoon. The song is still beautiful, it is a love, but if this is the best we have for Eurovision, and it may in fact be, the layout of the staging between now and May has to be Beatriz Pinzón size. It is not a matter of four touch-ups like the previous two years.

Speaking of Blanca Paloma, María Pelae gave the best performance of the night when presenting her song ‘Remitente’. Like ‘EAEA’, the song appeals to flamenco roots on a blood red stage and certain surreal elements that can only make us think of Federico García Lorca. María Pelae differentiated herself with a more aggressive choreography, some crosses in the ditches full of meaning, and instilling a strength that had seemed implausible to me for what was not even the best single from her last album. The dead dancers were chilling, and she was great vocally. Without a doubt, she is the artist who can get the most serious, loyal audience, who buys tickets and vinyl, from all this. May she be an incentive for more artists with all this talent to show up at Benidorm Fest and demonstrate it. It’s just that some of us are not prepared for the risks that Europe will once again not understand this genre, but certain symbolisms.

Dellacruz came with a kind of cross between a Quevedo song and a Morat song. It didn’t sound bad on paper, it seemed like one of those proposals to bring the format closer to the general public, but something is not working well in that sense. Perhaps we better understand the performances of St Pedro, Nebulossa or María Pelae in their tribute to the music of the 20th century. But when the artists’ references are so contemporary, the question is why we don’t use the original and current ones instead of the unknown and inexperienced mimesis. If not, and looking at the charts, I can’t explain why Almácor didn’t win the televote or the demoscopic vote.

I had grown fond of ‘Summer Love’ presented in winter by Marlena. I have ended up liking that relaxed, step-by-step, almost traditional tone of that singer who even has the cool last name, Ana Legazpi. Unfortunately, they controlled the live show only in parts. The first half bordered on disaster. Legazpi was unable not only to sing, but at times to blink, and the choreography and editing did not push the duo in any good direction. Things improved after Ana made a comb, a woman’s ass appeared flat just for female enjoyment, and that became a lesbian demand. But it was too late. Ruth Lorenzo’s “straight performer”, who was having such a good time in this “wonder of such a diverse festival”, surely took a little while to get into the situation in this case. The same was true of those who voted for Jorge González.

When he announced a performance that was going to be a “gypsy stew”, we all licked our lips. Those androgynous dancers. That reference to “empoderados” and “empoderadas” that seemed like he was going to add “empoderades” at any moment. That Ricky Martin sound. Juan Sanguino scrupulously counting the number of nipples per shot. But everything collapsed trick by trick, verse by shot, until we reached the most unusual “break” in Benidorm. González had dared to cite Chanel as an influence. After having imitated Helena Paparizou, Terrero, and a little bit of Andrei WRS in the first part of the song, it seemed that the real Jorjazo had arrived. If half of Spain has been on the verge of breaking its neck trying to imitate a tenth of what Chanel did with ‘Slomo’ in four bars, González limited himself to improvising during his some arm movements, some tantrums on the floor, a scream and a look at the camera for endless seconds in which it seemed that something was going to happen, but it was increasingly clear that it was not. The public booed the jury, partly international and very veteran, for not voting for Jorge. I wonder how much they get paid to take this job. I find it very difficult to believe that I compensate them. Poor Angela Carrasco.

As it was, Yoly Saa did not qualify but she did not have the worst performance of the night either. The mystery that she displayed on stage could connect with followers of iamamiwhoami, London Grammar, Ellie Goulding or, in Eurovision terms, Alice Wonder. Maybe she hurt him by competing with her next. Because for some reason the organization had decided to bring together almost all the electropop and naughty proposals in the first semifinal, and almost all the serious and traditional ones, in the second.

Roger Padrós actually gave the most beautiful performance of the night, with the permission of Pelae’s intensity, and would have achieved the classification if it had not been for the punishment of the demoscopic vote, which is not going to listen to reasons in this moment of tension, as to the value and need of the co-official languages ​​of our country. But his modest set had a very clear zenith, the one in which Roger looks at the camera to say in Catalan – but understandable by anyone – “I’ll wait for you here”, nods his head, points to the floor… and then returns to his piano . Somewhere in this was a possible Eurovision winner. Maybe in a few years.

Almácor proved to be good people. The first thing he did when he saw himself classified was get up, walk 10 meters, touch Roger Padrós’ shoulder and give him a hug. It seems that someone in the room did know how to add, and 4th place was being decided between the two of them. Plus, he gave the most underrated performance of the night. We are not talking as much as we should about the commercial potential of ‘Platinum Shines’, about how well the Instagram filter-type visual effects work: it is the 2024 version of Måns Zelmerlöw’s ‘Heroes’, which let’s not forget gave Sweden the victory in 2015.

Almácor used them to portray his love, to show his obsessions, to seduce, to encourage himself, to emulate that he was crying, to put on different clothes, to show the image of who was in his mind. Without effects, when he got on a platform, he sat down, ate the camera or cheered the audience, reminiscent of the audacity of people so beloved here like Pimp Flaco or the first C Tangana. Be careful with the opportunity that we may be losing, size ‘The bad’. He was very fair in his voice, almost an obligation in the genre, but perhaps in some way he could camouflage himself (even more) in these months.

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Simon Müller

Simon Müller is the driving force behind UMusic, embodying a lifelong passion for all things melodious. Born and raised in New York, his love for music took form at an early age and fueled his journey from an avid music enthusiast to the founder of a leading music-centered website. Simon's diverse musical tastes and intrinsic understanding of acoustic elements offer a unique perspective to the UMusic community. Sporting a dedicated commitment to aural enrichment and hearing health, his vision extends beyond just delivering news - he aspires to create a network of informed, appreciative music lovers. Spend a moment in Mueller's company, and you'd find his passion infectious – music isn’t simply his job, it’s his heartbeat.