Post Mortem – In our next look at the countries that did not make it through to the grand final this year, Eurovision Times contributor Jane looks at the fortunes of San Marino’s Serhat…
Serhat’s ‘I Didn’t Know’ had music by Olcayto Ahmet Tuğsuz and lyrics by Nektarios Tyrakis.
When ‘I Didn’t Know’ was first presented to the public, Turkish singer Serhat’s Leonard Cohen style growl stood out, in part because he hardly seemed to sing the song at all. The last minute change to a disco mix didn’t alter his vocal approach and the whole staging concept – older suave man seduces much younger disco girls on the dance floor – bordered on the absurd if not the sleazy. San Marino was considered totally out of the running and borderline desperate.
Widely predicted to bomb, ‘I Didn’t Know’ went on to achieve a creditable 12th place with 68 points for San Marino. Although he didn’t qualify for the Grand Final, Serhat stayed well clear of the bottom of the table. Responses along the lines of ‘how come Estonia and Iceland did worse than San Marino?’ could be heard throughout the Eurovision bubble.
Serhat’s distinctive growl and the retro-kitsch disco staging may not have pleased the juries, but it did appeal to a broad spectrum of viewers across Europe, who picked up the phone and voted.
Here’s a run down of how ‘I Didn’t Know’ fared.
- In summary, the majority of jurors, and juries, slated San Marino, placing Serhat in their bottom 3. However, around a quarter of the jurors ranked ‘I Didn’t Know’ in their top 10, and in a handful of countries this was enough to offset the extreme low marks and give it a useful 19 points. It seems this was a song that divided the experts.
- San Marino was awarded a total of 19 points from 3 juries, and finished 17th (out of 18) in the jury vote.
- All 5 jurors in Hungary placed San Marino last, Montenegro and Spain were almost as harsh.
- The only juries awarding points to San Marino were Malta, Azerbaijan, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, who placed San Marino 2nd with a very handy 10 points.
- In summary, Serhat connected far better with the public than with the juries, but not well enough to pass through his Semi Final.
- San Marino was ranked 11th out of 18 countries in the televote, and received points from 11 countries.
- In almost every country the televote ranking was higher than the jury ranking, so it is fair to say that Serhat was more appealing to the popular vote than to juries.
- In some countries the discrepancy between jury ranking and televote ranking was quite extreme. In Hungary every juror ranked Serhat last, but the public gave him 6th place. Greece, Estonia, Austria, Moldova and Montenegro also followed this pattern of stern jury combined with public love.
Before the Semi Final
As pre-shows and rehearsals progressed Serhat came across as charming and professional, relaxed and determined to have fun at the delegation parties. Although never considered a serious contender for qualification, he gained many friends during Eurovision fortnight.
During the Semi Final
Here are some sample tweets:
- Oh gawd #SMR #SanMarino – this is like a set on Blake’s 7, Not sure what else to say…
- I love San Marino’s retro styling! Not sure about the song, but the vibe is killer. #SMR #Eurovision
- I’d have gone into my overdraft to ensure that won and it didn’t even qualify for the frigging final.
- #Eurovision Please let this be the next Bond movie’s theme tune!! #SMR
- I’m really trying to keep a straight face but I can’t 😂 #SMR #Eurovision
- San Marino qu’elle horreur c’était quoi cette chanson ? #SMR #Eurovision
No doubt about it, the disco staging, and Serhat’s stylish performance, was noticed and got a reaction, and that is the first step to picking up the phone and voting.
Review: Jane Taylor