Benidorm Fest 2023 Blanca Paloma flies high to the final of the Benidorm Fest after an unmitigated victory

The second time was the charm, and in what way

Benidorm Fest 2023 Blanca Paloma flies high to the final of the Benidorm Fest after an unmitigated victory

The second time was the charm, and in what way. With 167 points and an agreement that is not always evident between the professional jury and the popular votes, Blanca Paloma has been proclaimed the great winner of the second semifinal of the Benidorm Fest.

Vicco (135), Karmento (112) and José Otero (105) will accompany her to the final, and Alfred García, Siderland, Famous, E'Femme and Rakky Rypper are left out of the competition.

The second semifinal, which RTVE has advanced 10 minutes by surprise, has been a parade of video clips. Not suitable for unskilled editors, the scenery has included complete rooms with everything and its bookstore, dressers, cars and reminiscences of the former Benidorm Song Festival. From the 60s, in black and white.

Less fiery than in the first round, the staging of the four new chosen have entered the final shrouded in smoke.

Blanca Paloma's was a round performance, perfectly square for television production, with a combination of steady cam turns and overhead shots that her flamenco nanny, tremendously Spanish but without clichés, dressed in red. Not surprisingly, she is a set designer and theater costume designer, and the tables were noticed.

The woman from Elche has dedicated her song to her grandmother Carmen, who never heard her sing. "She would be very proud," she recalled. His is "a trance por bulerías, a new flamenco hybridized with electronic music", and above all a chorus suitable for Eurofans: who doesn't know how to sing Eaea? "Packaged for Eurovision", the experts already thought from the rehearsals.

"I am shocked at how calm I am, it is that I am at home", confessed a radiant Blanca Paloma at the press conference after the gala, "I was very focused, very connected with the moment and with those women who accompanied me ". Her staging reproduces "a rite of connection with our ancestors," she explained, and reproduces the fringes of her grandmother's shawl. "I believe that she has seen it, that she was not very far away."

A sweet and somewhat naive Vicco danced her Nocheentera between disco balls and vanity mirrors. He came to music thanks to Alejandro Sanz, and to the Benidorm Fest wanting to have fun. Disco balls, vanity lights and a striking electric blue look for catchy radio formula lyrics with easy rhymes that have won over the professional jury and the poll vote, not so much the viewers, who have left it in fourth place.

José Otero started as a betting favorite for this second semifinal. The canary who triumphed in Mexico had been dreaming of Eurovision for years, but he did not appear until he was ready. His melodic Winters on Mars have combined red and black on a circular podium in which Otero has displayed all his vocal potential that, perhaps, could take him to Eurovision.

Mercedes, Karmento's mother, received the public at the foot of the stands with a large white flag. It was also her birthday. She could not have had a better gift. The Castilian-Manchegan woman has displayed her barefoot folk proposal together with an intergenerational choir in the middle of a stage full of symbols of her land and with the silhouette of her grandparents in the background against a hanging sheet. "I'm not afraid of judgment, not at all," she assured.

The five artists who will not go to the final have presented very diverse proposals, which have not convinced. A common point has been the drowning in some voices, perhaps with too much choreography for a live performance.

Famous has sung to his Lola with a choreography full of sensuality and stripper reminiscences that at times reminded of those magical movements of the Backstreet Boys. However, so much fluctuation has taken its toll on his voice live, and he could tell a certain amount of suffocation.

Alfred García has captured the spirit of that original Benidorm Festival and has been accompanied on stage by The Spanish King, a nearly 91-year-old model and influencer in a performance that started with a purely television set design to evolve into a live show with touches of yesteryear that has not conquered the demoscopic vote, which has left it out of the competition.

Rakky Ripper has bet so much on the transgression in his wardrobe that could have happened to him. His very high white platforms were hardly compatible with getting on a moving walkway, and after several falls in rehearsals, the last one a few hours before the final, heralded a thorny performance. However, he has saved the tackle with great skill.

The four E'Femme have danced more than sung, a complicated combination of the live voice with a three-minute choreography without pauses. The result has not convinced even the public applause meter.

The Catalans Siderland have destroyed a fictitious salon with their Que esclati tot, surrounded by chroma men with a poorly defined role in the show as a whole. They wanted it to become "the crash party."

According to the criteria of The Trust Project