We continue our series looking at the participating countries of Eurovision and the reasons why we love them so very much. Next up is Spain. And while we let you feel the warmth of this nation, we will be looking today at the land of Latin fire and genuine passion. ¡Vámonos!
Spain’s path in the contest first started back in 1961, in neighbouring France’s beloved Cannes. And since that year, Spain has never missed any edition of the contest — becoming the only nation to record the most number of entries in a row since its debut. But what makes Spain really special? Let’s take a look at 10 reasons why we love Spain at the Eurovision Song Contest!
1. The Spanish language
From Conchita Bautista to this year’s Amaia and Alfred, Spain has consistently sung in their own language setting a record of 57 times out of 58 total appearances. Only Barei‘s 2016 entry “Say Yay” has been the only time Spain has sung entirely in English.
And by keeping this tradition, the Iberian nation has properly gifted us with fiery and emotional hits throughout its history. From Azúcar Moreno‘s beloved “Bandido” to powerhouse Pastora Soler‘s “Quédate Conmigo”, the language of Cervantes means passion… ¡y olé!
2. Queens of ballads
Spain hasn’t just sent one, or two or three… but 24 ballads throughout its history in the contest. And before 2015, it was the most used genre for Spanish entries. But the genre has also gifted us with truly powerful pieces that have become some of the most famous — and beloved — Spanish songs in Eurovision.
From Anabel Conde to Sergio Dalma to Pastora Soler; Spain does have a powerhouse of vocal mastery and proper passion.
3. They vary their selection processes
The truth is that you never know how will Spain decide their act for Eurovision. And has there been a format the Iberian nation hasn’t already used? In the last four editions of the contest, Spain has used up to four different selection methods in a row that included an internal selection, a national final, an online voting selection process and Operación Triunfo‘s TV Show.
But it can get more creative than that. Spain has also explored options that included selecting the artist internally and the song in a national final. Or an online vote where the top-10 most-voted contestants advance to a national final.
And they never stick with one national final format. In the past decade, we’ve seen Misión Eurovisión, Salvemos Eurovisión, Eurovisión 2009: el retorno, Tu país te necesita! 2010 Destino Oslo, Destino Eurovisión, Mira quien va a Eurovisión and Objetivo Eurovisión.
4. We have to talk about #Eurodrama
Spain’s Eurodrama chapters are worthy of being featured in a real telenovela. But without Spain’s dramatic waves, there wouldn’t be Eurofans taking their cup of tea while checking Twitter’s madness tragedy. Chocolate cookies are a plus!
Some of the most dramatic events with a Spanish origin include Barei’s technical and staging issues, Objetivo Eurovision‘s turbulent voting, Mirela not winning Objetivo Eurovision, and this year’s unfortunate words from Tinet Rubira. But without any doubt, the Objetivo Eurovision 2017 voting might still top the chapter list. The intensity of that episode not only hit the nation and appeared in the Spanish newscasts and on most famous talk shows — it even ended up being discussed in the Spanish Parliament.
5. Spain has a strong meme-hilarious fan community
When Eurovision hits, Spanish fans are ready to react. And that means a huge wave of memes, gifs and even video creations. From Cristina Cifuentes — the Madrid Community president who has been recently involved in a hilarious lotion shoplifting scandal — to Eleni Foureira’s remake with Spanish legend Belen Esteban; laughs are served!
May these memes be admired until the end of times!
Cifuentes en el supermercado pic.twitter.com/pSFd3rYCcI
— ?Chinito? (@roberponte) May 12, 2018
— Usuario Arroba (@Mongolear) May 12, 2018
— Aureal (@Aureal) May 12, 2018
— Manuelesky (@Manuelesky_) May 13, 2018
6. Operación Triunfo
The show that once moved Spain and gave the nation a new golden era at Eurovision, returned last autumn — and slayed again. Sixteen years after its first edition, the show finally came back on prime-time Spanish TV and served a brutal revolution viewers were not expecting.
A renovated Academy maintained its essence and 16 talented and charismatic contestants brought the music, the passion and the glam back to Iberia. With millions of viewers each night, top daily trending topics on Spanish social media and millions of song streams, Operación Triunfo was a major success.
From this platform has given us many familiar Eurovision faces, such as Rosa, Beth, Ramón, Soraya and Edurne, and of course this year’s beloved couple Amaia & Alfred. Let the OT family grow!
7. Soraya’s magic trick
Spain and staging have an awkward relationship that sometimes doesn’t really work — or just fails. But some years, it uses iconic ideas. Soraya’s magic trick during her 2009 performance still remains unforgotten. Soraya trusted a famous Spanish magician who crafted the idea for her performance. While the trick might look easy-peasy, for Soraya it turned into a nightmare. In order to disappear, she had to move roll for five metres, while being poked in the legs with the sharp Swarovski crystals from her dress. Don’t try this at home!
8. Oit points gó tú…
9. Strike a pose: diva!
Spain and divas, divas and Spain. Since its debut, the Iberian nation has truly gifted us with strong Latin songstresses. From Salomé to Ruth Lorenzo, the list includes joyful Massiel and fiery Latin Son de Sol, Las Ketchup, Azúcar Moreno or Nina and Pastora Soler. But as well, we’ve seen some equally glam divos, such as Raphael, Julio Iglesias, Sergio Dalma or Serafín Zubiri. Wake and slay!
10. Spain’s hilarious outfits and gimmicks
Similar to staging, Spain’s outfits do clearly go hard or go home. From Lydia‘s rainbow-striped Pirulo ice-cream Barbara Dex winner to Remedio‘s distinctive blue and white striped dress; that’s inspiring fashion in all ways and the rest is nonsense.
But Spain also has worthy novelty performances that serve proper attitude all-about laughing but don’t care quality. While everyone pretty much can remember Rodolfo Chikilicuatre‘s “Baila el Chiki Chiki” and his four steps (1. El brikindans; 2. El crusai’to; 3. El maiquelyason; 4. El robocop), Spain has also in its record other gems such as Las Ketchup‘s glamorous “Bloody Mary” and their red office chairs or Son de Sol‘s joyful “Brujería” and their un-desired rapper.
¡Un Bloody Mary por favor! Chico Martini, perverso!
Bonus: Ruth Lorenzo’s diva hair flips
What are your favourite moments from Spain at Eurovision? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!