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.”

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.”

“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.

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, 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).

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!

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!

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drag kvinna
Guest

boring song and authistic performance

fugu
Guest
fugu

Pyro during that song would have just been stupid.

But how about they roll out a park bench and a few fake plants and recreate a romantic stroll in the park – far more appropriate and easy to achieve in the 40 seconds setup time. And it would fit the mood of the song.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

After last year’s acrimony, I thought heads had already rolled. If they can’t even break out of the bottom 6 (4 years in a row now), let alone come close to a top-10 finish (I scored this performance 9th in the final), then maybe they should disband the entire selection organization and create a new one, with new criteria and new rules; and of course, without any of the people who were part of the operation that led to this slump that is now 4 years running.

AMOR
Guest
AMOR

For a few years TVE has been full of inept people, handpicked by the current government, censorship prevails and only what they want to be done is done. They are not interested in winning because they are not interested in anything or organize the contest or music in general. This is what is currently happening on TVE, we have very valid people. Ruth Lorenzo has personally offered several times to return to represent Spain in Eurovision but nobody pays attention to her. With it at least we have assured quality and we lose the fear of ridicule. She is not… Read more »

Rush
Guest
Rush

I don’t think Tu Cancion was a bad song at all…So let’s see Austria and Germany were considered middle of the pack and then with their staging they went up to very top positions. Same for Ireland it was 39 or so in the odds and when they saw it on stage suddenly went up to top 10. Bulgaria was top 2 before everybody saw that very dark and unspiring staging…down to top 10-15. Tu Canción was around top 10 (should’ve been top 5 but nobody was being confident about Spain bringing a good performance) and with their first rehearsals… Read more »

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

I’m not so sure the stage setup was the only problem. Let’s not forget the troubles that the Big 5 (with the exception of Italy) had in recent years when it comes to selling their performances. On top of that, Spain was singing second; and I imagine that, by the time the rest of the roster finished singing, their ballad was mostly forgotten by the juries and voters.

Rush
Guest
Rush

Don’t get confused about your problems spanish fans thinking you send bad songs. 2017 was the only song that was low par. The rest of your 4 straight bottom 5 were songs contending for top positions. Spain clearly has STAGING issues compared to the countries that aspire for top positions every year. I can’t recall any decent staging from Spain up to the levels this competition is demanding lately. You have to tell a story on stage. Show creativity and innovate with something that catches the viewers attention. Eurovision has become a visual show, something your current delegation is far… Read more »

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

I liked Edurne’s staging, but I think it was just too dramatic and too much for a Eurovision performance. On the other hand, Almaia’s performance was minimal. There are things they could have done. I’m sad for Spain because they can do better. Nevertheless, I believe they’ll find their way as several other countries did!

Tony Memory
Guest
Tony Memory

No idea why Spain does so badly other than the staging. I think the artists need to decide. IS it true they have no input? I was shocked by the position this year…I have looked at the performance again and again. Nothing wrong with the singing of the song…so who knows…..but love Spain as always….time for freshness? This was a good song…does someone else know what didn’t go right for Spain? Love and hug to all.

Gin
Guest
Gin

I feel your pain, Spanish fans. We in Finland are doing the same thing, always the wrong song.
<3

diony
Guest
diony

If they want to place higher in ESC they should hire some swedes . What do Greece, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Russia have in common? They have all been using swedish songwriters and composers and been very successful doing so.

Caliope
Guest
Caliope

Let’s not. Belgium, Italy and Netherlands do just fine too as well and I appreciate Eurovision for that

Efraim
Guest
Efraim

We already tried that in 2015 and finished 21st.

Jordi
Guest
Jordi

Tu canción is a very a good song, a little bit cheesy, but here most of the people agree that it didnt deserve such a bad result. I had never watched Eurovision until the last Saturday and some of the songs that scored more points than the Spanish one were terrible. Slovenia, Serbia, Moldova… really? Anyone who knows something about music knows that these songs are worse. The problem is that Eurovision is a spectacle not a song contest and that is what the Spanish people has to understand. The year we sent Chikilicuatre I have read that we got… Read more »

Caliope
Guest
Caliope

Perrea Perrea lol – one of the best troll acts haha

I agree with you, horrible songs did end up higher then better entries. Spain deserved better and from the public you expect that, but the juries should know better

allexo
Guest
allexo

So Spanish eurofans,
If you even try and overhype your entries as much as this year ever again, we’ll come and slap you in the face
By the majority of eurofans from other countries

Efraim
Guest
Efraim

Does Tinet have a point with that last comment? Well… yes and no. Entering and broadcasting Eurovision costs TVE about €400,000, and the budget per episode of some of TVE’s original series (which hardly ever even come close to the ratings of the Eurovision finals) sometimes doubles that amount. However, since 2010 TVE theoretically doesn’t get any money from advertising (allow me to emphasize “theoretically” because the ‘culture sponsorship’ formula is terribly abused these days), so measuring a show’s profitability from its ratings might not be the way to go here.

Ric
Guest
Ric

I Think the main problem was that there were 2 songs(Ireland and Lithuania) having better stagings and conveying the emotions more effectively

GazilionPT
Guest
GazilionPT

Good point.

Daniela
Guest
Daniela

A good song for Portugal and Spain is not enough.
Have to have a 20 star song to have a top 10 result

Kalin S.
Guest
Kalin S.

The simplistic, bare staging coupled with the poor running order killed their chances tbh.

vf99
Guest
vf99

Cheesy song + boring staging = bad result. Why is anyone even surprised?

Izhar Levy
Member

Such a shame as they have had a really good song. Sadly they were put 2nd which is a very bad running order. On a general note – if we look at the statistics since semi finals had emerged (2004 onward) none of the big5 won (except Germany in 2010).
I think that the EBU should abolish this arrangement and that the big5 understand that this is NOT an advantage, rather a big detriment.

beccaboo1212
Guest

Yikes! I expected España to break their string of poor results…I’m so mad! 🙁

Charli Cheer Up
Guest
Charli Cheer Up

Seems like the stage director got inspired by Salvador’s win last year with a simple staging. However Tu canción no where near the level of Amar pelos Dois. It needed a lot more than a lovely couple to sell the song to the European viewers who will only know them for 3 minutes

Giedre
Guest
Giedre

Do you really think that’s only the matter of staging?? I mean come on, let’s remember Pastora Soler – she didn’t do ANYTHING apart from singing and she got good results. So maybe just focus on the right song and good singers, because, obviously, Amaia and Alfred are cute and lovely, but they could send some stronger performers..

TheDrMistery
Guest
TheDrMistery

I still remember Pastora’s movements, lighting at the stage (and how it changed during her big note) and backing vocalists doing their job so it was better staging than you suggest.

Talentina Monetta
Guest
Talentina Monetta

It’s what they deserve for snubbing Aitana & Ana Guerra’s double platinum smash “Lo Malo”

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Why are Spanish fans going crazy when it’s clear that ithey flopped because their song was AWFUL? We’ve been telling y’all for months.

Mauri
Guest
Mauri

I’m Spanish and I couldn’t be more agree with you. They are dull, the song is boring and they did a terrible job. I don’t know why they sent them to the contest (actually we send worse and worse “singers” each year!). I must confess that I’m not a big fan of Eurovision but I watched it this year because Alexander Rybak were going to be in it (I love his music) and I ended voting for Denmark and the viking song (so epic, so powerful! I became a fan immediately). Unfortunately none of them achieved a better result 🙁… Read more »

Lila
Guest
Lila

Agreed. I recently got into Eurovision and was appaled by the contrast between Spain’s usual fare and the quality of other countries… no wonder we are getting those results! They had zero chemistry, zero staging and everything was uber conservative. And as France has showed us, all of that can be laid nearly squarely on the feet of the delegation, not necesarily the singers.
-I loved Denmark too, was my #2

Denis
Guest
Denis

The staging was bad yes but also the song itself wasn’t that good. Spain makes the mistake of sending soemthing they love and adore but is virtually chanceless in the coontest. Like they voted for them because of thier love story but and because they had time to get to know them. But no one in Europé knew them
I Think introducing an international jury could help them getting back to the left side.

Danny
Guest
Danny

Spanish fans were going crazy all over again, building up enormous unrealistic expectations and ending up at the bottom again. You guys should really learn a lesson here. Also Ukrainians were going crazy (and still are) about their absolutely mediocre entry. Try harder next time, it’s not like you never won this contest, it just can’t happen with every sh*tty entry you send.

Goodnightmoon
Guest
Goodnightmoon

Dude, most spanish fans were hoping for a top 10 not a win, they were not being that unrealistic. Also yes they won Eurovision before, but the last time was in 1969, loooong time ago.

Danny
Guest
Danny

Well, other “big 5” countries are doing well from time to time. Italy, France and Germany received high scores in recent years. I don’t know why people hate Spain and the UK, maybe they need to send something more special.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

It always looked a tough job to sell their love story in just 3 minutes for people who weren’t already in love with them like the Operación Triunfo’s audience. The staging succeeded on avoiding it getting cheesy, but failed on making it enchanting. To make things worst, Lithuania and Ireland both qualified with romantic songs much better staged. The terrible running order was the final touch. It’s clear that RTVE needs to shake things up. But at least the return of OT was a success. They’re in a better position now than a year ago.

GazilionPT
Guest
GazilionPT

I thing you hinted on a key factor: selection processes like “Operación Triunfo” are inherently bad because they create a “sentimental connection” between the audience and the singers that hinders objectivity: people like *them*, not their *song*. And then they go to ESC and are left there, stranded and “naked”, with a meh song among an unfamiliar audience.

EscAU
Guest
EscAU

lol now can spanish fans admit that their local tv show couple doesn’t translate to viewers europe wide?
boring song and salvad- i mean alfredo sounds like he has a frog in his throat

Velvet
Guest
Velvet

The only year where rtve didnt create the staging was in 2014 and they still gave her issues about it, the whole delegation needs to change like France did and results will eventually come 🙂

Princess Peregrine
Guest
Princess Peregrine

“turning Spain into today’s worst scoring country of the Big 5 since 2015.”

ochi chernye
Guest
ochi chernye

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYmd4xwP3To 4 different Eurovision acts loved their songs, many people accross Europe sang the heart our of their song. They should be proud!

Geo
Guest
Geo

It was a weak song, let’s face it! Europe didn’t care about their faux romance. Spain had a gem this year, Aitana’s song was uptempo and well sung, but the Spanish voters preferred the bland duo. Well, there you have! Next year Spain should send something like Cyprus this year…

Caliope
Guest
Caliope

Hope they won’t. Cyprus song has expired in 2000

Geo
Guest
Geo

Yet, it ended up on 2nd place! The best result ever for Cyprus! Think again!!!

Cookie Nation
Guest
Cookie Nation

I’m afraid we don’t have any singer as talented as Eleni. Music in Spain nowadays is either reggaeton/trap, very bland pop or very unoriginal ballads. Some singers could sing a song like Fuego but they are actually nobodies and they dont have a fraction of Foureiras talent and charisma, so i guess there’s no way we could do that.

Kiwicelt
Guest
Kiwicelt

I still don’t understand how Spain managed to so successfully sabotage Barei, they couldn’t have done it better if they tried, was in my Top 3 and I was sure would be a Eurovision fave on the night. As for A&A, lovely ballad, beautifully presented but a bad running order and poor staging was a big problem – look at Ireland and Lithuania simple songs beautifully staged.

Hada
Guest
Hada

I agree. RTVE had a great song sung by two phenomenal artists and managed to ruin it with staging. Pyros weren’t necessary and you don’t have to have a big production, but they needed a better way to convey the story, that has nothing to do with budget or tricks. Hope they learn their lesson.

EmmelieDarlineFrancescoFan
Guest
EmmelieDarlineFrancescoFan

I don’t know what you’re talking about – it’s a beautiful song!

crush
Guest
crush

Unfair. Pastora soler, for example. Europe did not vote for her she was best… never forget. Fire spanish delegation.

Diego from Spain
Guest
Diego from Spain

If RTVE doesn’t change their structure, Spain won’t improve their marks.
Tu cancion is a good song, but if the performance doesn’t exist, it is impossible to get a Top 20. Lo Malo is also a good song, but with the Spanish team it would be finished the last one.
Salvador Sobral didn’t need anything to win but in Eurovision this isn’t the normal situation.
I am 28 and I want to watch Spain winning Eurovision at least once, but I don’t know if it will be possible.

Mauri
Guest
Mauri

Para que España gane Eurovisión lo primero que tiene que hacer es re-acomodar su economía y sobre todo deshacerse de los políticos que le roban su dinero. ¿Sabes por qué España no ha ganado un festival desde el 69? Por la misma razón por la que no ha vuelto a organizar unos JJOO desde el 92: porque si no hay dinero para pensionistas, personas con discapacidad, trabajadores, etc., TAMPOCO LO HAY PARA ESTO. Tienes 28 años y yo 38 y nos queda aún mucha vida por delante, así que es posible que veamos a España ganar Eurovisión por una vez.… Read more »

SKW
Guest
SKW

It was an okay, but mostly tacky song, with two okay singers and a not very convincing staging. And what’s more , it seems to me that Spain have a very good talent of missing Europe’s music taste with their entry each and every year. I mean, Operación Triunfo might work fabulously within Spain, but not for the rest of Europe maybe? They might want to bring in an international jury like other countries do (Sweden, Germany etc.), in order to place anywhere near the top 10. Otherwise, I don’t see anything changing

EmmelieDarlineFrancescoFan
Guest
EmmelieDarlineFrancescoFan

They were brilliant – can’t believe they didn’t finish higher.

Kelly
Guest
Kelly

I thought it was a beautiful song. I am disappointed by their low place and think they definitely deserved to rank higher. The competition this year was pretty strong, however (not the strongest in several years, but definitely good), and it’s understandable that they placed where they did. I agree with one of the comments stating that the song is “old fashioned”—absolutely, but it has charm! The performers did very well and should not receive any backlash whatsoever.

florin
Guest
florin

if sweden had this song they will be first at the jury… because sweden

Sara
Guest
Sara

Stop moaning. If your own country started sending great songs then you might stop throwing tantrums

Caliope
Guest
Caliope

Sara, you keep commenting that on every post about Sweden. Let it go

Kiwicelt
Guest
Kiwicelt

Caliope couldn’t agree more!

Dan
Guest
Dan

Why don’t you guys stop bashing Sweden then? Jealous much, lol?

123
Guest
123

what great song did Sweden send in last few years?

Dan
Guest
Dan

Could you be more unoriginal with this comment? Don’t be jealous of Sweden :p

Alex
Guest
Alex

Do not hesitate, let’s all remember, the performance of Frans (Sweden) in 2016. Can there be a more boring, more bland song ?, and there is its result, a 5th place for a mise-en-scène that can not be more minimalist, almost as much as your voice, but Sweden will always be Sweden.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Spain is kind of trying different styles at ESC. The problem is that they are not the best on what you’re doing.
Edurne sang a theatrical powerful ballad…Italy and Russia outsold
Barei presented a poorly-staged uptempo song…Russia and Lithuania did better
Manel had nothing
Alfred & Amaia had a romantic ballad…Lithuania and Ireland had that too.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

*they’re doing.

JUANITO
Guest
JUANITO

Do not forget that Spain took the best song and best voice with Pastora Soler, the countries in general did not want to give their votes, still managed to be placed in a tenth place thanks to the professional jury. This is a real feat.

Crazy
Guest
Crazy

Honestly… this was a weak ballad. Most of the people praising this song were the ones that had an OT history with the couple and the ones that got engaged in it during the pre-contest days. But guys, most of the people only have 3 minutes to “feel” them and honestly… the whole thing was based on a hype created by the fans in Spain. Got it?
Was it good? It was.
Was it extremely good? Hardly so.
Was it enough to people remember after 20 something songs? Definitely not.

HighHopes
Guest
HighHopes

They should’ve kissed on stage. The performance wasn”t as magical as it was on OT. But “Lo Malo” would’ve had better result. They were robbed..

yellowman96
Guest

I’ve always felt that Lo Malo was the song that should’ve been sent to Eurovision instead, it had an international appeal and with both Ana and Aitana with four male back up dancers a-la OT they would have had given Netta and Eleni a run for their money

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

I wasn’t a fan of his voice. I thought hers was lovely, and together as a duet they were quite good. It was a song that deserved to place in the mid-teens, not nearly as low as it did. But the staging was quite poor. It seems like the whole Spanish eurovision team needs to be overhauled. Three times in the last four years they have sent an entry that deserved FAR better than it got (Edurne, Barei, and now Almaia). Each time, it had pretty much everything to do with the staging and presentation, not the song or vocals.… Read more »

Truth Teller
Guest
Truth Teller

This train wreck result was forseeable. They completely drowned and the staging was never Spain’s forte (poor Barei, that was a good song). to put it mildly. But hey, if you got real love, such as it was, what does it matter? I’d rather walk away with a cute dude than with a good result that doesn’t mean anything unless it’s first place.

Caliope
Guest
Caliope

Second in running order didn’t help much.

Nate
Guest
Nate

Actually, the worst Big Five country was UK (24th position, right behind them). But yeah I agree with them. It seems like the Spanish delegation is always involved in some kind of disagreement with the artists Spain sends, and it is becoming a tradition. A tradition that they should avoid and put an end to. Anyway, they were great (much better Amaia than Alfred, to say the truth), I just think the staging and coming 2nd to act didn’t help them.

Dino
Guest
Dino

I think people remember a song if it sings 1-13. I did and all my friends did to. There were 3 recaps to. So Spain cant complain about that. 3 recaps is very much + the jury did not need a recap and still didnt like it.

Nate
Guest
Nate

I don’t think so. Actually, manny people are not at home when the contest start, so they tend to miss the first songs. Plus recaps show only a very small part of the song. Anyway, I just say my opinion, I’m represented by Ireland 😛

Dino
Guest
Dino

ofc you can have that opinion:) no one i know is late for the start so i dont know about that:)

Dino
Guest
Dino

When i watched Eurovosion with my 8 friends they said Spain would come low because it was the most
old-fashioned of all the 26 entrys and they thought it was one of the most forgetable to. So thats my analysis. Good luck 2019 Spain 🙂

Crazy
Guest
Crazy

That’s it. We kept bashing Iceland song but honestly this spanish entry was the same. Old fashioned.

Milan
Guest
Milan

Last year’s winner was also quite old-fashioned, so that’s not necessarily a drawback.

GazilionPT
Guest
GazilionPT

There is good old-fashioned, meh old-fashioned, and bad old-fashioned.
Just as there is good uptempo, meh uptempo, and…

Joe
Guest
Joe

Huh. Screw him, and kudos to Alfred and Amaia for a great performance let down by bad staging.

sevzch
Guest
sevzch

The staging was incredibly bad…. fire rain… camera effects and etc could have bought them top 15!