At the end of this month of January, the third edition of the Benidorm Fest will begin, the RTVE musical competition that serves, in addition to discovering new musical talents and receiving other established ones, as a national preselection for Eurovision.

This Tuesday, the public presented a digital image of what the new set will look like, which will have 1,056 square meters between stage and spaces for presenters, jury and Green Room and a total of 17 cameras. With just over two weeks left until the starting signal, the structure is already under construction at the Palau d’Esports l’Illa in Benidorm.

For the conduct of the galas, the new trio of presenters has also been announced: if last year they were Mónica Naranjo, Rodrigo Vázquez and Inés Hernand, this year the chosen ones are Ruth Lorenzo, Marc Calderó and Ana Prada.

“This year I am especially excited to be part of the Benidorm Fest; a year that marks ten years since my time at Eurovision,” said the Dancing in the Rain singer, who already presented at La 1Cover Night and highlights that the festival “it is consolidating and growing so much” and that “I consider it my home.”

Ruth Lorenzo will share the task of presenting with Marc Calderó, who jumped from Mediaset to RTVE and whom we have seen in The El Conquistador debate. “I face it with great enthusiasm and responsibility. We will have to endure the nerves of that crucial moment that is the voting,” she said.

Ana Prada, for her part, has been a reporter for España Directo and currently for Mañaneros, and at the Benidorm Fest she will be in charge of transmitting the nerves and sensations of the artists: “I am very happy and excited. Last year I experienced it at the backstage and I saw that magic that is being created around the festival. This year I am going to be in the Green Room, which is where the salsa is,” he commented.

Likewise, RTVE has made public who will be the members of the jury that will evaluate the proposals and will be divided into two groups. The national jury is made up of four singers and musicians: Beatriz Luengo, best known for Un Paso Ahead, who will also be spokesperson; the veteran Ángela Carrasco, Carlos Baute and Guille Milkyway from The Blue House (who years ago chose to go to Eurovision with The Sexual Revolution).

On the international side we will find Lee Smithurst, head of the United Kingdom Eurovision delegation and producer of the contest last year in Liverpool; David Tserunyan, head of the Armenian delegation at Junior Eurovision; Twan van de Nieuwenhuijzen, head of the Netherlands delegation; and Nicoline Refsing, creative director of the 2014 Eurovison festival in Copenhagen and responsible for staging Spain with the theme Mars for Junior.

This edition of the Benidorm Fest will begin next Tuesday, January 30, with the first semi-final, in which eight artists will perform. We will see the other half make their debut on stage on Thursday, February 1, when they will try to get their ticket to the final, which will take place on Saturday, February 3.

A total of eight candidates will arrive at the final gala and will repeat their proposal at the Palau d’Esports l’Illa in Benidorm on the night in which we will discover which of them will emerge as the winner and represent Spain at Eurovision in May.

At the moment, the cast of artists in the semifinals or the order of performance is unknown, but since December 14, all the proposals can be heard on different digital platforms. Among the participants, there are recognized names from the industry, such as Miss Caffeina, Lérica, Marlena or María Peláe, the latter known for her time on Your face sounds to me, a program in which two of her colleagues also participated: Jorge González and Angy Fernández .

We also find lesser-known artists who, thanks to the Benidorm Fest, are gaining popularity, such as Almácor, st. Pedro and Noan, or the group Nebulossa that has surpassed one million listens to their song Zorra between Spotify and YouTube. Completing the list are Dellacruz, Mantra, Quique Niza, Roger Padrós, Sofia Coll and Yoly Saa.

Whoever wins the Benidorm Fest will automatically become the Spanish representative in Eurovision, the preparation of which has been preceded by controversy over Israel’s participation in the escalation of the war in Gaza. Asked by this newspaper about RTVE’s position on this matter, Ana María Bordás, head of the Spanish Eurovision delegation, referred to the official position: “It is a music festival. We neither enter nor leave here, we are going to participate “This has been discussed in the reference group. There has not been any country that has said that they are not going to present themselves because of the terrible circumstances that are happening in the Middle East.”

It is worth remembering that in the last edition of Eurovision, Russia was expelled due to the war in Ukraine. In the first hours since the start of the conflict, several Eurovision delegations threatened the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) with withdrawing from the contest if they did not take action. In less than a day the determination was made that Russia could not participate, with a statement explaining that “the decision reflects concerns that, in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine, the inclusion of Russian participation in the this year’s contest would discredit the competition.

This year, however, there will be no response at Eurovision to the conflict. There has also been no threat from any delegation.