psoe spain collage

When we look at Spain’s recent Eurovision results, they neither did it for their lovers nor made Europe say yay yay yay. The lacklustre results come despite singing in English in an effort to gain broader European appeal. As a result of Barei and Manel Navarro falling outside of the Top 20, Eurovision’s image has taken a beating in the Iberian nation.

Now the PSOE — the country’s main opposition party — is calling on RTVE to ditch English at Eurovision in favour of the country’s four national languages. They’ve tabled a Parliamentary motion — which you can read in Spanish — that would require the broadcaster to choose songs in Spanish, Catalan, Basque or Galician.

The centre-left party frames its argument by nodding to Spain’s recent results. “It’s questionable that singing in English makes an act more likely to succeed,” they write.

Manel Navarro at Eurovision 2017

The proposal points out that Eurovision is a cultural event organised by public television. As such, the Spanish representative should maintain a certain standard.

“We don’t want to exagerate the importance of this year’s bad result,” they write, “but we’re worried as to how this affects the way that Spain is perceived abroad.” Cue the rooster.

Moreover, the party believes there’s a “disorientation” in the selection criteria and urges the Ministry of Culture to get involved, to “ensure a minimum level of quality”.

Because politicians getting directly involved in Eurovision is just so sexy…

Barei at Eurovision in Concert 2016

When Barei announced her intention of singing entirely in English in Stockholm, she unleashed a wave of euro-drama. The Real Academia de la Lengua and 1968 winner Massiel were among those who spoke against her decision.

A number of former Eurovision stars have claimed that Spain should only sing in Spanish. And while that may be a bit extreme, we do support the idea that RTVE ought to at least consider the other official languages, which are heard far too infrequently on the international stage. We have an entire list of Catalan speaking artists who could handle the gig.

It seems that Salvador Sobral’s victory in Kyiv has made a real impact. Slovenia has already introduced a new language rule for EMA 2018, which requires acts to perform (at least in early rounds) in a national language. If Spain’s parliament passes the PSOE’s proposed legislation, then Spain will also say nay to English.

What do you make of this? Do you think Spain will be more successful if they sing in their national languages? Or has the real problem been the songs? Let us know in the comments box below. 

READ MORE SPAIN NEWS HERE

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Zach
Zach
2 years ago

I love to see them singing in Spanish again, it just has to be the right song, totally a song like Despacito or Chantaje for Spain in Spanish would be good, love when I get to sing the Spanish Eurovision in Spanish and not English although English is my mother tongue. I would also like to see them sing in Catalan or Galician one day.

Richardinho
Richardinho
2 years ago

No offence to Spain, but they’re going to lose anyway, so they might as well do it singing in Spanish.

Mark
Mark
2 years ago

Ruth Lorenzo came 10th singing in English. Stop blaming your bad songs on the English language.

Mirai
Mirai
2 years ago

I think the problem isn’t the language, but the entry itself. I usually find our entries being bad, (but IMO, 2012, 2014 and 2016 were exceptions). The national final, when it’s made, is messy (2017’s final was embarrasing, and not just due to Manel’s song and 2016’s final had technical problems) and the staging at Eurovision… no comment. I’m freakin’ out with PSOE’s reaction about our flops at Eurovision. I guess RTVE should really concern about it and taking actions to revert this problem and not political parties, even when RTVE is a public TV channel and it’s financed with… Read more »

Vale
Vale
2 years ago

Well guess what, Contigo is entirely in Spanish. 🙂

AngieP
AngieP
2 years ago

When politicians talk about Eurovision and get involved in this discussion it’s serious. I know Spanish are passionate about the contest but this is weird to me. Nevertheless, as a “native language” supporter but without rejecting english, I believe Spain should get back to Spanish. First, it’s a broadly spoken and beautiful language. Then, it’s a big 5, and at least the Big 5 should use their language in ESC, as all the rest use english. And lastly, Spanish has worked for them and they’ve sent some really good entries. Also, the language should fit the song. The songwriters who… Read more »

Charles
Charles
2 years ago

Does anybody see Denmark or Finland complaining and yelling every time they can’t go through to the final? Do the governments of such countries scream radical measured to assure no more failings? NO … because it’s a song contest … not the end of the world to the existence of any nation within competition. The difference between how chilled the nordics deal with their own failures and how the south of europe seems to be embarrassed by such failures as if those ruined their reputation and sense of national pride it’s a mexican soap opera comparable to an episode of… Read more »

Charles
Charles
2 years ago

The influence Portugal has printed in the more conservative minds of a Spain that not long ago still wanted to be so proudly ethnocentric to the point where expressing anything in other language than spanish was deemed offensive especially to the older generations that breathed the during and the aftermath of the Franco regime … but the Spanish government can’t turn back the hands of time and for the younger generations who have embraced English a non-threatening language to their sense of ethnocentric-pride such conservative views make no sense … speaking English does not prevent a Spanish citizen of not… Read more »

oggy
oggy
2 years ago

I want Sweden,Denmark,& Caucasian Country (Russia,Azerbaijan,Armenia,& Georgia) send National Language, Not English.

beccaboo1212
2 years ago
Reply to  oggy

Hey Oggy, you know that Armenian singer Lidushik? (I think she’s probably 17 or 18 by now) She could represent Armenia next year in Portugal. ALL of her songs are performed in Armenian! If so, whatever song Lidushik performs in Lisbon might lead to Yerevan 2019! 😉

oggy
oggy
2 years ago
Reply to  beccaboo1212

Its good if Armenia send Armenian song next year. Good Luck 🙂

Ella Komiya
Ella Komiya
2 years ago

What about Dancing in the Rain? That was sung partly in English? And it did very well.

Charles
Charles
2 years ago
Reply to  Ella Komiya

The Spanish government only says these things when the results are embarrassing to the image of the country … when Dancing In The Rain reached top 10 nobody said a thing. See how political this contest can be? When governments and public opinion are way too concerned with their national image in international contests and competitions … and this is just a song contest … yet we have allowed ourselves to let it be about everything else that is not musically related. We have ourselves to blame …

beccaboo1212
2 years ago
Reply to  Charles

“Dancing in the Rain” mixes both Spanish AND English lyrics.

DenizNL
DenizNL
2 years ago

I would love a fully Spanish song again, or in some of their other languages. But the most important thing is a good song.

Denis
Denis
2 years ago

Nice to see that the parties have nothing else to care about than language in a contest:)
And if anyone thinks the lack of Spanish is the reason they flopped think again!
Language isn’t correlated with success, don’t assume you will do better because you sing in native language. That only works if the song is a product of the local area. If not then stick to English!

James
James
2 years ago
Reply to  Denis

Why does it have to be English though, exactly?

Denis
Denis
2 years ago

It’s concerning when politicians start to meddle in ESC. Leave it out! Arent there more pressing isssues to care about than language in a contest?

And if anyone thinks the lack of Spanish is the reason they flopped think again! Language isn’t correlated with success, don’t assume you will do better because you sing in native language. That only works if the song is a product of the local culture. If not then stick to English!

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
2 years ago

Spanish is a great language for singing, they don’t need to turn to English–especially when their accent is so thick. Still, all they need is an outstandingly good entry to do well.

oli
oli
2 years ago

I totally understand. They have so many official languages, why pick english? Portugal has won in portuguese, maybe it’s time for other countries to proudly show their languages to the rest of Europe

azaad
azaad
2 years ago
Reply to  oli

Portugal doesn’t have an entire region with separatist sentiment running high, and never have sung in English- it makes sense for them to sing in Portuguese when they use a long running traditional music festival for their national selection. Spain has used a mix of stuff specifically with the goal of choosing an Eurovision song, has to deal with support for Catalan calls for independence that they will aggravate by sending a Castilian song. I’m someone who’d like more languages at Eurovision, but the style of Do It For Your Lover was probably better suited to being fully English. Don’t… Read more »

omg123
omg123
2 years ago

what about that girl singing in the rain wasn’t that partly in english she didn;t do too badly 😛

azaad
azaad
2 years ago

Also, for a country that has a lot of separatist sentiment, you could make the point that singing in English nullifies that and ironically presents a sense of national unity- Catalans, especially those who want independence, may not identify with a song sung in Castilian Spanish.

Belgium only sends songs in English for a similar reason.

James
James
2 years ago
Reply to  azaad

I wish for the day Belgium would send out a singer from its German-speaking region.

oli
oli
2 years ago
Reply to  James

Verka Serduchka was using German, I don’t know why Germans can’t find the formula.

Stan
Stan
2 years ago
Reply to  azaad

What Spain needs is not a song in Castilian, Catalan, Basque or Galician. But a good song, that doesn’t get boring after 30 seconds… add a singer that doesn’t look like a lamp shade on bad hair day… drop the over the top choreographies that go nowhere. And sing it in whatever language you like… Or make one up!

oggy
oggy
2 years ago
Reply to  azaad

I want Belgium & Netherland send Dutch song. Not English

azaad
azaad
2 years ago

I’m all for countries wanting to show off culture at Eurovision….but to get politicians involved (especially in a parliamentary democracy like Spain) is nothing short of ridiculous. The opposition party should focus on trying to win the next election and being good MPs for their constituents, not on Eurovision! Also, Spain’s last good result was a bilingual effort- like 2017- so language has very little correlation with success. Salvador would’ve still done well if the song had been in English. The only time it makes sense to sing in a native language is when the song is very much a… Read more »

Miguel
Miguel
2 years ago
Reply to  azaad

O sea el idioma nativo no tiene sentido (salvo como folclore) . ? eres una persona culta sin duda

Hada
Hada
2 years ago

The Spanish people’s tax dollars at work.

Daggu
Daggu
2 years ago

How about they actually start to care about the entry itself? The Language doesn’t matter. What matters, is the song, and how they present it. Say yay is a really good song, however the performence was just… empty. Barei needed some dancers with her to make it stand out. Do it for your lover was just horrible, and everyone knows this. Heck, Manel couldn’t even hit those notes in the final. They need to get their stuff together, cause they can’t blame the language on Jury corruption in Objectivo Eurovision. And even if they actually want to pin it on… Read more »

James
James
2 years ago
Reply to  Daggu

On the plus side, Operacion Triunfo is coming back in Spain I hear so perhaps a different set of hands will help give them a stronger entry come next year.

Pant7
Pant7
2 years ago

I would love to see Spain going with Basque, Galician or Catalonian language. Celebrate diversity!

Flynn
Flynn
2 years ago

The language isn’t the problem with Spain, it’s more the performers, they send a hair flipping diva almost every year and it’s just tired out, I honestly think that was part of the reason the jury was so intent of stopping Mirela and LeKlein this year but the other artists in that final weren’t much better.

Spain should really consider internal selection provided they can find better artists than this years finalists because the Spanish voters think their voting gold but they’re just sabotaging themselves.

beccaboo1212
2 years ago

I dunno about this, España. I mean, I like foreign languages, but for some reason a number of people are complaining about the jury supposedly “punishing” English songs at one point or another.

D
D
2 years ago

You’d think politicians have more important business than mandating what language their country sings in during a TV singing competition. I don’t think the language change will do much about changing results, they just need better songs. It might help as we won’t have to hear terrible English lyrics. I do think Spain’s Spanish songs are better anyways though.

Ann
Ann
2 years ago

In Spain’s case, the focus may not be on the language of the song, but on the entry itself. When a song moves you, it doesn’t matter whether it is in Spanish, Basque, English or Finnish, it just touches you.

James
James
2 years ago

“Do It For Your Lover” probably works more as an English song anyway.

As a bilingual track competing in an international song contest with the main English chorus serving as the main hook? Well, not so much.

El pollo loco indeed.

xup
xup
2 years ago
Reply to  James

Do It For Your Lover doesn’t work in any language. The song is terrible. Among the worst songs in Eurovision history.

Colin
Colin
2 years ago

I appreciate the effort to include more language diversity, but if anyone believes that being in English is among top 10 reasons why “Do it for Your Lover” flopped, they are seriously mistaken.

mad-professor
mad-professor
2 years ago
Reply to  Colin

Wasn’t Do it for Your Lover bilingual anyway?

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
2 years ago
Reply to  mad-professor

Sí. Or, Yes. 🙂

goprake
goprake
2 years ago

By the way, I hate the fact of how they ignore the other two languages spoken in Spain, Asturian and Aragonese. They’ve been always ignoring them, so it’s not a surprise, they’re just a big assholes.

Jo
Jo
2 years ago

How predictable.

Gorilla716
Gorilla716
2 years ago

The most important thing is the song and not the language. While linguistic diversity is a good thing, I think it is a mistake to think that singing in a native language will improve a country’s fortunes simply because of Portugal’s victory. (For example, Finland 2015 was completely in their native language and yet that song was absolutely awful.) Regarding Spain, only singing in Spanish is not going to help Spain at Eurovision because Edurne in 2015, ESDM in 2013, and Lucia Perez in 2011 all sang completely in Spanish and they did poorly as well. Also, I think a… Read more »

Josh
Josh
2 years ago
Reply to  Gorilla716

If the song is trash, the language wont make any difference. The thing is, most spaniards are not good at english, it’s better if they sing in spanish.

Jo
Jo
2 years ago

“ensure a minimum level of quality”. lol

goprake
goprake
2 years ago

Not gonna happen, sorry.
-a Spaniard