Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Why I feel sorry for Valentina Monetta

You know, there's a lot of reasons to feel bad for this perky 37-year-old (I know!) from San Marino. First and foremost, she has to stand and sing 'Facebook The Social Network Song (Uh Oh Uh Oh Oh)' on a stage in front of millions of people. The poor girl also has to spend a lot of time with Ralph Siegel. It doesn't seem like a fun experience for anyone.

It's bad enough that a talented jazz singer has been shoe-horned into a song completely unsuitabed to her. It's a song for a 17-year old girl, though Monetta pulls off a pretty convincing impression of one in the video and in her performance. But it's the way that the campaign has seemingly overtaken her entire existence that makes me feel sorry for her.

Of course, all promotional campaigns involve creating an image for an artist, dictating where they go and who they talk to. But Monetta's has been taken to the next level. Even before the song was unveiled, a personal Facebook account had been set up in her name and started friending Eurovision fans and over the past few months has posted as if it were Valentina herself behind it. And throughout her promotional campaign, she's worn variations on the same clothes (always white and light blue, to reflect her country's flag) and always has to be pictured at a moment's notice on flights and in foreign cities allegedly 'on Facebook' or making friends.

We know nothing about her personally outside of 'The Social Network Song'. All of her interviews are about how much she loves to use Facebook and how cool social networking and the internet are, and nothing about her as a person (oh, except she loves kitesurfing, of all things!). Valentina Monetta just does not seem to exist outside of this song.

It's almost like this Valentina Monetta who we've got to know over the last few months and been friended by on Facebook is nothing but a character created by Siegel and the Sammarinese delegation to sell this song. It's as if 'Valentina Monetta' is just a creation in the way that Silvia Night was just a creation. But in this case, while she's just playing a role, there is a real person with a real career behind it, who is going to lose out.

But the reason I feel most sorry for her is that all of this effort is likely to be for about 8 points next Tuesday, and an early flight back to San Marino, and back down to earth to a bump, with nothing to show for it except for lots of blue clothes and a Facebook profile full of friends she doesn't even like.

She's Lolly for the 21st century.


  1. Personally, I would extend this unnecessary compassion to every single entrant into Eurovision...

  2. i also feel sorry for her, but hey - that comparison to lolly is totally unfair! to lolly, i mean!! i love me some lolly on a lonely friday night!