Singer Blanca Paloma won the bronze microphone in the second Benidorm Fest on Saturday, and with it a ticket to represent Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023. The public and the professional jury were enthralled with the song Eaea, a lullaby that mixes flamenco with electronics.
In a close final, Blanca eventually won over rival Agoney, achieving a total of 169 points coming first in the televote and the professional vote.
Performing in front of more than 2,000 people and a professional jury made up of eight music professionals in Benidorm's Palau d’Esports L’llla, the winner drew praise for her powerful staging and command of the stage. She was accompanied by five female dancers and surrounded by a red fringe, representing her grandmother Carmen’s shawl. Blanca defined her grandmother, a seamstress from Seville, as the "soul of the family” and to whom she owes her passion for flamenco.
Blanca Paloma had already impressed the judges during the second semi-final of the competition, organised and broadcast by Spain TVE, becoming one of the favourites, and eventually dazzled the judges in the final to win the competition. Defeated finalist Agoney's song choice Quiero Arder and spectacular staging was not enough, in the end, to be crowned the winner.
Thirty-four-year-old Blanca Paloma, who has a degree in Fine Arts, will attempt to take the spirit of flamenco and cante-jondo later this year to Liverpool where Eurovision will be held.
Both Blanca and Agoney had previously tried and failed to be Spain's representative at Eurovision. Agoney lost in 2017 as a contestant with the reality music show Operación Triunfo and Blanca finished fifth last year, in the first Benidorm Fest, with her song Secreto de Agua.
As well as crowning a winner, Saturday's final was filled with memorable performances. The night began with Karmento from Albacete, who opted to bring the folklore of her land to the Benidorm Fest with the theme Quiero y Duelo, going barefoot on stage with a design that represented scenes from her childhood in the countryside with her grandparents.
Other notable performances were Vicco’s Nochentera, one of the most popular songs at the moment, and Megara’s rock show with a striking futuristic and psychedelic staging.
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