It’s been just over a week since Spanish broadcaster RTVE revealed the 17 songs vying for the ten places in the Operación Triunfo Eurovision Gala in January. Since the clips were uploaded online, fans have weighed in with their favourites, but there’s another way to tell which songs have been getting the most attention — YouTube view counts.

Fans are able to listen to one-minute snippets of the 17 entries and vote for their favourites. The top three from the fan vote will qualify for the Eurovision Gala, with the remaining seven places selected by an expert panel.

But with only a week left in the online voting, do the early YouTube view counts give any indication of who might have the upper hand for the opportunity to slay the stage for Spain in Tel Aviv? Let’s take a look!

Leading the pack at this point is María‘s tropical dance bop, “Muérdeme” (Bite me), nearing more than a massive 752,000 hits in just one week. Though she was eliminated in OT Gala ten in eighth place, the upbeat vibe of the song, coupled with fun lyrics and María’s trademark sultry and smoky voice, seems to have struck a chord with fans.

The song is both for inherently catchy and has an amazing ability to straddle the line between authentic and traditional sounds in Spanish music and more modern rhythms found in popular music today. Does María’s ability to draw from both elements, while staying authentic to herself, give her an extra leg up against the competition?

In second place, currently with just over 252,000 views, is Natalia with “La clave” (The key). Finishing a solid third place in OT and delivering mostly solid performances week to week has seemed to build a loyal fanbase for Natalia.

Reception of her song seems to be decidedly more mixed, however. Some have praised its rhythmic beats and cool vibe, while others seem to think it is just too boring for the Eurovision stage. Can Natalia’s staging and delivery next month push her over the top?

Rounding out the top three is OT 2019 winner Famous and his modern pop song, “No puedo más” (I can’t take it anymore), with just over 228,000 views. While Famous built his win in OT 2018 on performances that grabbed fans’ attention and highlighted his own unique voice, style, and attitude, some fans seem to think the song does anything but bring any of those traits to the fore.

Instead fans say the potential Eurovision song covers up what made him stand out, and gives him a more mainstream sound. While that may potentially make him more palatable to some, it also fails to show off what Famous has proved he can do best. Will his energy and delivery that won him OT 2018 be able to give the song life to win over the public’s votes?

OT 2018 runner-up Alba Reche seems to also have her name in the race. She’s currently in fourth place, with over 220,000 YouTube hits for her song “Qué será luego?” (What will be next?). Can she — or anyone else — get enough support in the remaining week to leap into the top three for the chance to sing for Spain in Tel Aviv?

Views of Operación Triunfo 2018 competing acts on RTVE’s YouTube channel:

Views are rounded down to the nearest thousand.

  1. Maria – “Muérdeme” (752,000 views)
  2. Natalia – “La Clave” (252,000 views)
  3. Famous – “No Puedo Más” (228,000 views)
  4. Alba Reche – “Qué Será Luego (220,000 views)
  5. Noelia – “Hoy Vuelvo A Reír Otra Vez” (209,000 views)
  6. Miki – “La Venda” (196,000 views)
  7. Miki/Natalia – “Nadie Se Salva” (191,000 views)
  8. Marilia – “Todo Bien” (156,000 views)
  9. Marta – “Vuelve” (151,000 views)
  10.  Sabela – “Hoy Soñaré” (137,000 views)
  11.  Julia – “Qué Quieres Qué Haga” (132,000 views)
  12. Damion – “Sale” (120,000 views)
  13. Carlos Right – “Se Te Nota” (116,000 views)
  14. Sabela – “Dímelo De Frente” (109,000 views)
  15. Miki – “El Equílíbrio (94,000 views)
  16. Juan Garido/Marilia – “A Tu Lado” (91,000 views)
  17. Carlos Right – “Nunca Fui” (90,000 views)

What do you think? Do YouTube views predict the three qualifiers? Who should the jury pick? Let us know in the comments below!

Read more Spain Eurovision news here

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Dregan
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Dregan

Muerdeme is like despacito o.o

wiwiblogg
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wiwiblogg

it’s possible, but I do not think it has the global impact that song

Eyal
Guest
Eyal

If she wins and comes to TLV she might get the strongest boo ever heard in Eurovision history.
Spain should send someone who really wanna go. Seriously.
No one wants a guest who urinates on them and then enters the party all smiling.

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

For me, Famous has to go to Eurovision. Radio friendly, solid song and a good voice. I can easily see him on the Eurovision stage. I really like him.
“Muerdeme” is the best among the up beat songs here. However, I have to see it live.
I’d also add “Vuelve” to the list, as a very good solid ballad and a stunning voice.

NoGeoblocks
Guest
NoGeoblocks

EBU – Disqualify Maria from participating in this years Operación Triunfo Eurovision. She should not be able to compete, as she declared she is unwilling to participate in Eurovision in Israel. If she’s elected, she will turn her selection into a political event, and will be disqualified anyways, so don’t give her the chance!

Ogie
Guest
Ogie

The best choice will be famous.
I hope his song wii have revamp.
If not noelia or sabela

JustAnotherFan
Guest
JustAnotherFan

The songs’ production are low quality, that’s, probably, a fact, but “Muérdeme” seems to be the one which Spaniards like the most, I just hope they don’t regret their final decision once it’d be done…

But, in my opinion, we can bet for something different, we don’t have nothing to lose at this point.

Colin
Guest
Colin

I see that OT final is 100% televote, which means that Maria’s chances are big. She is winning the online vote by far, which means that if her performance is good, she probably wins. If not, Noelia, Natalia and Famous are second in line. I’d to see Sabela’s Hoy Sonare do well, but it’s merely tenth in online voting. Juries will probably save it for live, but the chances of overperforming nine other songs after a revamp are slim.

Lar
Guest
Lar

I’ve seen videos of this girl seeing and for the most part, it’s not bad at all. The criticism is mostly from spanish people, as you can see down below. I’m getting fed up of this obsession with big voices, i love her tone, it’s different and beautiful. She has imperfections which make her perfect, has stage presence and bad ass personality. Come on, we had a screaming monster winning the contest once. We had ruslana who was out of breath. Do people really think that you gotta have a powerful voice to reach top 5?

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

Why did they have to give probably the most decent song in the selection to the most average performer in all of OT2018 and one who obviously doesn’t give any f**ks about Eurovision? Like, seriously, RTVE?

Miki’s “La Venda” could be another option but he’s another average performer and his song doesn’t compare to “Muérdeme” in being a bop. Honestly, I could definitely see María pulling an Asanda.

Mizna
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Mizna

María’s father is a composer and has connections in the industry. That’s how she really got on OT. This is clearly why she has the best song.

Rose
Guest
Rose

This is the most ridiculous comment I’ve read this week. Her father co-wrote one song in the 1980s and that’s it.

Lar
Guest
Lar

sigh

Lar
Guest
Lar

First of all, why, in EUROVISION, does this prejudice against different/not so powerful voices still exist? We have seen EVERYTHING in this contest, we have seen terrible singers win eurovision or even reach top 5. It’s getting tiring to see such opinions, i wonder if you really follow eurovision. And María cant pull an Asandra because the song is totally different and María has a different presence/charisma on stage.

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

So she should win the ticket to Eurovision because of her killer song but can’t get one single note? Get out of here!

And well, Asanda also had a great personality and her performance was put a lot of effort yet she came out of breath during the first chorus. And SuRie got the ticket to Lisbon.

beardphrodite
Guest
beardphrodite

Average performer, hum, that reminds me to Lena and she won Eurovision, her charisma was outstanding, not her vocals. It’s a song contest, not a singing contest.

Yellowman96
Guest

The only option at this point :/

vansp
Guest
vansp

It’s their only option. Catchy song.

PP77
Guest
PP77

Only with Damion – “Sale” , Spain have some chance to be on left side in points score, even to be in TOP 10 with help of televote

Dave
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Dave

You can’t be serious lol. That song is super cheap. Who would vote for that?? Jury would destroy that entry? 😀

PP77
Guest
PP77

Jury also this year destroyed Italy, Czech Republic, Denmark but with help of televote they finished in TOP 10. Many girls will vote for cute Damion, with latino soud song with memorable refrain. With Maria, Natalia..another flop for Spain from 18 to 26 place like Soraya, Edurne, Barei 8(who are favorites by many eurovision fans from Spain and others countries and strong contenders on betting odds before rehearsals)

Rose
Guest
Rose

Cute Damion? The poor guy looked like a deer in the headlights while performing on the OT stage, which is way smaller than the Eurovision one. He even acknowledged feeling uncomfortable while singing the songs given to him by the show’s producers. And let’s not forget he prefers singing in English.

Rose
Guest
Rose

Damion has the craziest OT 2018 fanbase.

Ogie
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Ogie

Damion’s song is not cheap, it is just not the right song for him.

Marcelo
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Marcelo

His song sucks big time. And there’s no way “Sale” can get more televotes than “Muérdeme” or ” La Clave” from the rest of Europe and Australia.

Ric
Guest
Ric

Definitely my favorite in this selection and personally Ilike it…I’m not sure how well she could do at eurovision if she were selected though…I doubt this could be top 15 but in my opinion all the other competing songs would do way worse

Pasadena
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Pasadena

Let’s see how it sounds live, but for now Muérdeme is the frontrunner.

Sabrina
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Sabrina

It’s obviously the frontrunner, but I think Spain needs to be careful about the “Muérdeme” hype, for two reasons. The first one is that it can easily become the new “Legends”, though I believe María will do a better job than Asanda, who seemed to be much more unexperienced than her. The second is that we’ll for sure have at least a few more bops in Eurovision (Cyprus and Armenia are already pointing this way). This will generate comparisons and maybe the same that are now passionately rooting for the song will end up trashing it.

Ogie
Guest
Ogie

Honestly, I have a weird feeling, that this year we gonna have a lot of women power, maybe famous.
We need in the competition! Add to them Il volo
And ohhh babay….
Muerdeme is the best song.
Her performance will be o.k. average.

PP77
Guest
PP77

Il volo will not go to Eurovision (if they win San Remo music festival ) because they have few concerts in Japan in period of Eurovision.

aliczn
Guest
aliczn

It wont be a new legends because legends was a hard song to sing live, plus maria has way more personality and presence than her. And if what you say is true, no one would send a BOP to eurovision. It has happened before and many have reached top 5. Just like last year everyone was whining about most songs being ballads and nothing happened.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

What made “Legends” difficult to sing live was the fact Asanda had much choreography, which also can happen to María (never trust RTVE to be reasonable). Also, it’s different to sing a party song and a sexy party song. But we’ll have to wait and see how María will handle it. You can’t affirm she’ll nail it, as I can’t affirm she won’t. I hope she delivers it. About the other point, I agree that when you have a good bop, you have to trust what you’ll have. I’m just not that sure that “Muérdeme” is that good. Since Spain… Read more »

aliczn
Guest
aliczn

See, that’s where you fail. Maria had much choreography with her 123 performance and she did a good job. And that’s what i meant, it’s different to sing a latin/reggeaton song than a party rihanna type of song. It’s different and silly to compare two girls that are totally different as artists. I wouldnt even call Marias song sexy, it’s more than that. She’s not your typical sexy pop star, so you better not expect that. Also, You cant put words in my mouth. I never said she will nail it, but i see people (mostly haters that are spanish,… Read more »

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

I haven’t put a single word in your mouth, I’m sorry if you got it wrong. My point was that she hasn’t performed it yet (we haven’t even listened to the whole song!) and so nobody can affirm that she will succeed or fail. Since you seem to be very confident on her skills to defend that song and I’m still on the fence about it, I simply used “you” and “me” as an example. Can’t we disagree without drama and name calling?

Rose
Guest
Rose

Just like a lot of Spaniards were saying early this year that “Lo Malo” was going to be eclipsed by Czech Republic, so instead they chose another ballad.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

It seems clear to me that Spain picked “Tu Canción” because many people fell in love with Almaia. Also, there was a superfinal where Aitana had 2 songs and her supporters were divided by that. So I don’t think having “Lie to Me” as competition played any part on their final decision, even if some people may had used it as a reason. We may not agree with their choice, but they weren’t being strategical about it, it was more like an emotional impulse.

Rose
Guest
Rose

That was one of the nonsense arguments some people were spreading on social media and they’re doing it again with “Muerdeme” after France released their Destination Eurovision snippets. Aitana supporters started a campaign to vote for Arde instead of Lo Malo because neither Ana nor Aitana were comfortable with the song. And still it placed 3rd and went on to become the biggest hit from that Gala. Whilst Alfred and Amaia fans decided to vote for their duet and it showed in the low percentage their solo songs got. Lo Malo would have won the televote if not for Aitana’s… Read more »

Rose
Guest
Rose

Another thing, I’ve been reading tweets and youtube comments from Spanish fans saying Europe conspires against them and that’s why they don’t win Eurovision, when it’s clear to me they are their own worst enemies constantly living in the past ’cause those same fans want to send ballads and powerful voices because they achieved a Top 10 result with Pastora Soler and Ruth Lorenzo.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

I was on Twitter that night and also noticed that Aitana’s fanbase hurt her chances by getting divided. And as you pointed, Almaia’s suporters got right away that the duet was their best chance, their solo songs only had beaten the group one. By the way, this is one of the reasons I don’t like OT being used as a selection, for many people it becomes a fanbase battle, when it should be about the songs. Alfred and Amaia would probably win even if they were singing “Do it for your lover”! (that’s a terrible image, by the way) About… Read more »

AVo
Guest
AVo

A Spanish fan here! I think that the main problem with Spain is that we try to be someone else. I can’t remember any song since Beth’s Dime that really made an impact! None of the songs since 2003 have been radio-friendly or something that I could have on my playlist. We have lots of talented artists and a great culture that’s appreciated by Europe! Instead of sending something like Pablo Alboran, Pablo Lopez, Malú (“flamenco-pop”) we keep making the same mistakes every single year. Pastora Soler was a great chance of showing SPAIN but she was given a mediocre… Read more »

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

I feel the same about Spain’s last entries. It’s not that they’re all bad (I enjoyed Edurne, Barei was fine and I think Alfred and Amaia were very sweet in a lovely innocent way), but all of them lacked impact, they simply couldn’t stand out. I don’t know if the artists you mentioned would like to go to Eurovision, but they could be invited at least to help with the songs. I love national finals, but I guess an internal selection could help in this case, as long RTVE finally pays attention to all the issues you, me and Rose… Read more »

AVo
Guest
AVo

I agree with you Sabrina, but 100% in Spanish is making this kind of music truthful. It’s like Eleni Foureira trying to be successful in Spain, If you keep realeasing songs in english you won’t be able to connect with the latin public, and that’s a fact. So, I’m not worry for either Armenia, Cyprus or even Greece, because they will bring a Fuego-wannabe. I think that after a good revamp (like they did with LoMalo), Muérdeme would have chances to be on the left-side of the scoreboard. Furthermore, I don’t think María is a bad singer (as I read… Read more »

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

I’m worried Cyprus will maybe try too hard to replicate “Fuego”, but after listening to Srbuk’s music, I trust Armenia will surprise us with something that sounds current but also fresh. And I believe this is the challenge “Muérdeme” and all the other bops will face to stand out. Can Spain do it? Of course! As you said, the language makes it already special. I don’t think María is a bad singer at all. She has been very consistent in OT. I just wonder if she has that sparkle this kind of entry requires. Maybe some people understood it as… Read more »

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

They have nothing to lose by sending a Spanish bop. They haven’t done this for a long time.

Logical Person
Guest
Logical Person

Just avoid all the drama and send La Venda..

Ogie
Guest
Ogie

Someone who is authentic performer.
It is not maria who has the best song…..

esc stan
Guest
esc stan

Muerdeme is a BOP!
Spain do the right thing omg give us what your country is best at!

Esc1234
Guest
Esc1234

Apart from muerdeme and la venda, the other songs are completely trash. I was bored even with the 1 minute snippets

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

I love her song, but I already see it falling apart live.

beccaboo1212
Guest

Just wait until Spain’s entry for Tel Aviv is announced. Who knows what the live performances will be like?

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Im Dutch, why would you assume Im Spanish because im critical of her. People are crazy. But Spain has had Some pretty terrible staging in recent years so Im not hopeful For this one, especially given the kind of song this is. The staging For songs like this is easy to mess up by making the stage too empty.

Rose
Guest
Rose

They’re going to messed up the staging regardless of the song, at least they could choose one that won’t put people to sleep.

It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's
Guest
It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's

If this was the case, Bilal Hassani would win DE. Why take part in OT when you don’t agree with it being hosted in Israel?

Ogie
Guest
Ogie

MONEY. She sales “agenda” for her gateway

It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's
Guest
It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's

Completely different scenario, but ok!

Mizna
Guest
Mizna

People outside of Spain fail to realize that OT is first and foremost OT. It also happens to be Spain’s selection for Eurovision. Nobody who auditions for OT does it to go to Eurovision. OT is an experience in itself; in which most contestants don’t even care about the opportunity to go to ESC.

Rose
Guest
Rose

^ This

Rose
Guest
Rose

Because OT and Eurovision are two different things.

Eastman
Guest
Eastman

Applications for OT 2018 opened early in the year, long before Israel had won Eurovision 2018.

OT2017 put a big focus on Eurovision, former Spanish acts came on to talk about the experience. This year – no-one. Unless you count Alfred and Amaia, but they didn’t even talk about Eurovision.

The OT2018 contestants were more excited about the fame and success that would await them, assuming they’d follow the same path as the 2017 acts. Everyone wants to be Aitana at the Latin Grammys, not Alfred y Amaia at Eurovision.

Colin
Guest
Colin

I don’t know if she’s going to win (is it 100% televote?), but she is certainly crushing the online voting. Soon, we will hear the full version of Muerdeme. It’s a catchy tune, for sure, but depending on the rest of it and the performance, it can turn out to be the new Fuego or a cheap song. All the best to Maria, though.

Roma
Guest
Roma

I have a feeling that they will have Germany’s 2015 National final moment. She will win the selection and then she will reject going to Eurovision. And most probably we will get to hear some anti-Israeli speech from her.

Ogie
Guest
Ogie

The way they used the boycotting card they lost the legitmicy to speak thier mind. She is biased and prejudice. A publicity p.r. stunt. She used democratic state like israel/spain to promote an anti democrat approach and action. Boycotting is a dangerous wepon in life!!! In general. You don’t like or disagree or refuse to make a conversation, That is boycotting. She is public figure Her politics can hurt the spanish fan. She doesn’t care. Otherwise, no matter her opinions, she needs to know There are two sides for everything. Back to music – maria’s song is the best song.… Read more »

Ogie
Guest
Ogie

Only rich people who live in ivory tower acting like how alba and natalia and maria. Shame on them.