In recent years the Spanish Eurovision script has read as follows: Spain does poorly, the nation is disappointed with its results, and the media criticizes the singers. But, in a sensational twist, Eurofans and some Spanish publications like Vanitatis are now placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of Frederico Llano, the head of Spain’s Eurovision delegation since 2002.

Over the last five years Spanish journalists and Eurovision lovers have argued that the country’s stage presentations are weak—and they’ve pointed the finger at Llano. According to Vanitatis, he has a tendency to micromanage the staging. Each country ususally sends the EBU a dossier with the artistic and technical requirements for their performances. Countries like Denmark and Norway frequently replicate their act’s winning performance from the national final. But in Spain the head of delegation tends to radically rework the ideas of the singers.

The most egregious example occurred in 2009 when Soraya was forced to change her choreography. She originally wanted to have a swing which would lower her to the stage from the ceiling. But the delegation only allowed the singer to choose the colour of the dress that they had imposed on her. After the contest Soraya made all of this public. If artists follow in her footsteps, they may face retaliation. This April she said that she felt speaking out had led to a ban on featuring her or her image on Eurovision TV shows. “It’s as if my time at Eurovision doesn’t exist,” she said on Perdonada? on Canal Català.

Another chapter in this story reportedly occured  in 2012 in Baku when the media captured Llano having an outburst on the street. The Vanitatis article claims that when a fan asked one of Pastora Soler’s backing singers to take a photo with her, Llano screamed: “We’re not here on holiday!”

Moreover, the Spanish head of delegation doesn’t seem interested in cultivating international relationships. Unlike Israel, San Marino and other competing nations, Spain never organizes official parties at Eurovision for other delegations, press and fans. Foreign media have also complained that they can never secure time to interview the Spanish contestant. (Perhaps they are too busy learning Llano’s new choreography…)

Some fans have spoken out, albeit anonymously, on the official website of TVE. (They don’t dare use their names for fear of losing their accreditations for the following Eurovision.) They say that with this head of delegation Spain will never win the contest. The lack of publicity and promotion for ESDM certainly suggests that’s true. This year the group had next to no exposure and continued with their Spanish tour in the months before the contest. This despite the fact that Spanish fans cannot vote for Spain at Eurovision. Even the group’s lead singer Raquel del Rosario seemed concerned about the bad promotion from TVE, noting that other contestants had already released their songs in several languages. She thanked her fans for their support creating various promo videos on the Internet.

She can be forgiven if she forgot to thank TVE….

Sergi Ibor contributed this report from Spain. Follow him on Twitter at @SergiIbor and visit his blog Memorias de un eurofan. Then keep up with the latest Eurovision news by liking our Facebook page.

Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)

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takecare
Guest
takecare

i remember i used to like soraya so much, same with turkey romania and azerbaijan that year! but after this performance i completely lost interest! i m still listening to tu ro and azer but no spain! everything was so messy on stage, she couldnt focus on singing etc etc, thats why it placed so bad, not because people ignore spain!

Alex
Guest
Alex

I don’t know if he needs to be fired exactly, but I think someone should make him chill out a little so that he allows the artists more freedom to be who they are.

Alex
Guest
Alex

It sounds like this guy needs to go do something else. There was absolutely no reason somebody with as much energy as Soraya should’ve finished second-to-last, and if they’re ignoring her existence on purpose then that’s a disgrace.

Anthony Ko
Editor

If it’s true, then the UK’s BBC won’t be the only ones that need sorting out then.

Samantha C
Guest
Samantha C

That explains it. Spain is a massive country with truly spectacular talent. Yet the performances always look somehow …. cheap. Even Pastora Soler’s performance was a bit “eww”. Her singing was AMAZING but the act was just “blah.” Fire Mr Llano, bring in someone fresh and watch Spain SOAR!!!

AlvaRito_Spain
Guest
AlvaRito_Spain

I’m Spanish and did not know this story, or this man.
if so, I hope they will leave office soon and another person more qualified and above all want to win, or at least do it right.

ron
Guest

interesting…

David Thielen
Guest

The guy sounds like He’s more hindrance than help. But that’s not the only problem. Last year Pastora Soler was incredible. Arguably she should have had 2nd place. She was in the later part of the running order. And yet she received 18th in the televote.

That’s Europe ignoring Spain. Some of that may be due to Spain not doing any PR leading up to ESC. But part of it should also be laid at Europe ignoring Spain.