OT 2017 — Spain’s wildly popular singing show — gave Eurovision fans hope that Spain could break its streak of poor finishes at Eurovision. After all, the show produced a stellar duo in Alfred & Amaia with a quality song in “Tu canción”.
Alas, the Iberian nation came 23rd and finds itself near the bottom again, adding insult to injury following its 21st place in 2015, 22nd place in 2016 and 26th place last year – turning Spain into today’s worst scoring country of the Big 5 since 2015.
This year’s fourth-from-last performance now marks a record of poor results in a row. The last time Spain suffered a similar tendency was more than a decade ago — between 2005 and 2007 — went it failed to go higher than 20th.
“This is Eurovision, things are like that”
Both Amaia and Alfred seem happy with their work — and rightly so, they sounded great. Meanwhile the Spanish delegation hasn’t highlighted or harped on the recent string of poor results.
Both singers and Spain’s Head of Delegation have faced the press and fielded the expected questions.
“The final result is shite, but we are happy,” Amaia says. “No problem at all. We felt satisfied with our performance. It was difficult, so it’s okay.”
Alfred reminded reporters that they weren’t measuring success by rankings. He said: “In our interviews, we have been saying that the final position would not matter much to us.”
— wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) May 12, 2018
When asked about this year’s winner, both congratulated Israel’s Netta for her victory.
“We couldn’t see any of the performances well due to the number of people standing and covering the TVs,” Amaia said. “But I loved SuRie. I loved her reaction. We heard a voice and told each other ‘gosh, what happened?’ and then we saw it. She even finished stronger than ever”.
Alfred screamed: “¡Olé ella!”
Ana María Bordas — Spain’s HoD — didn’t say too much. She thanked both talented artists for their work and love for Eurovision, but her sadness was palpable. “We are — of course — disappointed with the result. We would have loved to have obtained a better result. But in any case, it’s not their fault. They’re amazing artists that sung mesmerisingly well”.
“We are thankful for the support received. This is Eurovision, and things are like that.”
— William Lee Adams (@willyleeadams) May 12, 2018
“After experiencing [Eurovision], I feel Eurovision is very much like a ‘poser'”, she says jokingly. “In Eurovision more attention is paid to things alien to the contest.”
Both also clarified that it’s been an amazing experience, but they don’t seem keen to live it again. They also send their successors — whoever they may be — their warm regards and encourage them to encounter new cultures and people. “Just take it easy,” Alfred said.
The staging: unfinished business
Spain doesn’t have the best track record with staging. In fact, it’s generally considered the main thing holding back its artists, who are frequently fan favourites prior to rehearsals. From Edurne to Barei to this year’s Amaia and Alfred, it’s never been a matter of the song being bad. It’s been more about the staging not meeting the song’s high standard. The struggle with staging is huge.
This year was no different. As we pointed out in our first rehearsal review, there was a lack of lights, no pyro and no close camera shots, which reduced the intimacy of their performance. And while things came together during the grand final and they delivered a lovely show, with better planning from RTVE the pair could have climbed so much higher.
One thing is certain. Tinet Rubira — he who was behind Edurne’s staging and Alfred & Amaia’s — is no longer interested in working on Eurovision.
Hasta aquí mi participación e implicación personal y profesional con Eurovisión. No habrá otra vez. Gracias a todos y suerte!
— Tinet Rubira (@tinetr) May 12, 2018
And here ends my personal and professional participation in Eurovision. There will not be another time. Thank you everyone and good luck.
Clearly keen to go out with a bang, he proceeded to insult all of the evening’s participants.
Salvador Sobral lo mejor ee la noche!
— Tinet Rubira (@tinetr) May 12, 2018
Salvador Sobral, the best of tonight
That might serve as a reminder of this year’s Spanish drama that hit the nation days before the Grand Final.
Fan reaction and audience record
Fans are not happy with the Eurovision result and have taken to social media to lash out at RTVE (but, importantly, not the singers who did not have a say in the stage show).
he intentado hacer algo bonito pero me ha salido un poco mal con los marcos esos que salen pero no pasa nada?? nunca lo digo por redes sociales y ahora me apetece? ha sido una experiencia increible! y todo gracias a @Alfred_ot2017 !! un petonet ruru??? pic.twitter.com/sMeAscTAVp
— Amaia (@Amaia_ot2017) May 13, 2018
From claiming that changes to the Spanish Delegation are essential to highlighting the non-interest of the Eurovision team, social media is just boiling over with material. Bon appetit baby!
— Tinet Rubira (@tinetr) May 13, 2018
User: Tinet, is it really necessary going to Eurovision every year for 500K of public money to lose in a 23rd result and laugh about it? I wouldn’t take it next year…
Tinet: Have you seen the ratings? Is a very cheap product, one of the best investments RTVE makes every year.
But, actually, it’s true, it’s been a sensational year for RTVE. Operación Triunfo has been a massive success and will hit the nation again next fall. And the Eurovision 2018 final was the most-watched since Rodolfo Chikilicuatre’s appearance in 2008.
More than 7 million Spaniards watched the show — or 7,170,000 to be more precise — representing a total share of 43.5%. Manel Navarro only managed 3,918,000 viewers (a 27.2% share), while Barei pulled 4,292,000 viewers and a 29.8% share.
What do you think about Spain’s 23rd place? Does Spain need to make some internal changes? And did the staging adversely affect Spain’s chances? Tell us in the comment section below!