Last year when Pastora Soler returned to Barajas Airport after Eurovision, fans greeted her with bouquets of flowers and flashing cameras. Spanish television captured the excitement, which was later looped on national TV.
Apparently when Pastora sang “Quedate Conmigo” (Stay with Me) all of the fans and journalists listened. They were nowhere to be seen when this year’s contestants ESDM returned from Eurovision in May. The “Contigo hasta el final” singers were received by only two journalists, who chose to ask them about their poor result in the final. The members of the band answered their questions, even when journalists got hostile over the group’s 25th place finish. The following day the newspapers just talked about the antipathy the band showed toward the “huge group of journalists” that was awaiting their arrival. Hmmm.
All of that criticism prompted lead singer Raquel de Rosario to sound off on her blog for Elle magazine. “Eurovision has been a necessary cure for my ego,” she wrote, adding that her band would participate in the contest again next year.
Spanish Eurovision commentator Jose Maria Inigo attributed the failure partly to bad p.r. “You cannot go to Eurovision with a tune and no promotion,” he said. “Almost all the singers who have participated already issued versions [of their song] in English, French, German, and Spanish, and have been promoting the song throughout Europe.” He also said ESDM gave “a bad performance.”
Such controversy isn’t good for the future of Eurovision in Spain. The budget for the contest—only 300,000 euros—is now being debated in the Spanish Congress, just as it was in 2009 when Soraya finished in the same place as ESDM. Some politicians have stated that if Spain can win the World Cup in football but can’t get a decent result at Eurovision then some serious action needs to be taken.
Surely ESDM now see how fickle the public can be. The group may have sung “Contigo hasta el final” (With You Until the End) at Eurovision, but everyone seems to have deserted them anyway.
Sergi Ibor contributed this report from Spain. Follow him on Twitter at @SergiIbor.
Photo: Elle Spain