Eurovision 2016 Entry: San Marino — Serhat — “I Didn’t Know”

San Marino (and Serhat) are pulling a Eurovision joke on us, but it won’t get them a win.

Country: San Marino
Song Title: “I Didn’t Know”
Artist: Serhat
First Semi-Final: Position 8
Last year’s entry: “Chain of Lights” – Michele Perniola and Anita Simoncini (DNQ – 16th Place, SF2)

Okay, after sitting through 5 years of WTF entries from San Marino, I have a theory. San Marino is a small island country1. They do not have the resources to host/provide a venue for a theoretical Eurovision that would be held there. They do not want to host the ESC. Therefore, they are seeing how ridiculous an entry they can send without getting called out on it. They are trying to pull a Producers here. As further evidence, the updated version of this year’s entry, Serhat’s “I Didn’t Know”:

Let’s ignore for a moment that even though this is a “live” performance, this is clearly being lip-synced. After releasing the initial version of the song2, San Marino got a bunch of attention. It was the wrong kind of attention, but attention is attention, so there you go. San Marino interpreted this as “hey, everyone’s looking at the disco remix of our terrible Eurovision song! WE SHOULD MAKE THAT VERSION THE FINAL VERSION”. Which is how we now have this. At least this live performance is not just the audio from the disco version (which sounds like you slapped the vocal track from the original version over “Disco Backbeat 7” in GarageBand) slapped over some previous Serhat performance like a piece of Dadaist performance art.

This was not a great song to begin with – Serhat’s gravelly voice feels like a half-step up from when Rex Reed would talk-sing his way through My Fair Lady/Doctor Doolittle, and the lyrics are generic. The disco instrumentation peps things up a bit, but also feels artificial and tacked on. If this is a preview of the staging we’ll see in Stockholm, San Marino seems to be taking the right tack, which is LOOK AT THE DANCING GIRLS! This is a “Springtime for Hitler” situation, folks. I think San Marino thinks if they make things bad enough, they will succeed. However, as long as there’s no monocle headstrap in the final performance, it gets nul points from this reviewer.3

Eurovision Song Contest First Semi-Final
May 10, 2016

ArmeniaAustriaAzerbaijanBosnia & HerzegovinaCroatiaCyprusCzech RepublicEstoniaFinlandGreeceHungaryIcelandMaltaMoldovaMontenegroNetherlandsRussia
San Marino

  1. so small, I’ve joked that their selection process is deciding which of the 20 or so people who live there is going to represent them while the rest watch from home  
  2. with its AMAZING monocle headstrap and crazy-ass video  
  3. Please discard the fact that this reviewer lives in Boston and cannot, therefore, vote in the Eurovision semifinals. MONOCLE HEADSTRAP FOREVER  
About the Author
Ben has been writing about TV, music, and pop culture in some form or another since 2009, including stints at Mental Floss and Temporary Obsession. When not solving puzzles of some sort or consuming pop culture at a frightening pace, he can be found collecting shiny pieces of the internet at E-mail: