It looks like La Academia is back. Operación Triunfo’s official Twitter has just hinted that a new edition of the talent show is in the works. And with that will, no doubt, come the livestream, the drama in the galas, the nominees and the constant social media buzz.

OT has been used as the Eurovision national final for Spain over the last two years. And while we live for the show and its personalities, after two disappointing results in the contest we have to ask a very important question: Should Spain keep using the talent show as their Eurovision selection?

Let’s get to the figures: in 2018 and 2019 Spain finished 23rd and 22nd. Both Amaia & Alfred and Miki were somewhere between 10th and 15th in the betting odds before arriving at the contest. But then, (mainly) staging let them down and that led to those discouraging results.

Results aside, there was plenty of upside. The show helped to invigorate the Spanish fandom, and even put a larger audience outside of it under the spell of ESC.

In both 2018 and 2019 the contest rewarded RTVE with higher audiences than usual, and both of them were above average in Spain. Moreover, the Lisbon edition was the most-watched edition of Eurovision in Spain since 2008, when Rodolfo Chilikicuatre took the stage in Belgrade. It was also the fourth most-watched in history.

This may not say anything to fans, but it’s actually something RTVE has to take into account. As a public service broadcaster it must serve the public — and high ratings are a direct indication of whether the audience feels served by a particular programme.

In years when Spain picked a relatively unknown act in a national selection, as in 2016 or 2017, the Eurovision viewing figures fell significantly. For example, the 2018 contest almost doubled the number of viewers over 2017 when Manel Navarro sang for the country.

What if the OT contestants don’t want to go to Eurovision… again?

We have to point to the situation we had this year: the contestants in OT had close to zero interest in going to Eurovision, and they weren’t particularly enthusiastic about the idea, even in the live show. (Miki, of course, was an exception and approached the entire process with an enthusiasm we simply love).

The song selection method has also been a bit off over the last two years, with the singers having very little time to prepare their performance. And next to no chance of tweaking the songs to make it theirs and to make it fit their style (besides Alfred, that is).

Spain’s broadcaster hasn’t officially confirmed their plans for 2020. They’ll be there, but who knows who will be flying the Spanish flag and how he or she will earn that honour.

What’s your take on this issue? Do you think Spain should scrap OT and go for a new selection method? Would you go for an internal selection? Should RTVE do like Israel or Malta and get the winner of OT a song after the contest has ended? Tell us in the comment section below!

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ESCFan2009Eurovision fanGuillle77ÁlexUna Recent comment authors
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Eurovision fan
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Eurovision fan

I don’t know I really liked the songs Spain sent these two years and they were really good. The problem is that they make some stupid steps during Eurovision. The stage of Alfred&Amaia was kinda boring (+running order killed them) and they made two big mistakes with La Venda. Firstly revamp killed song a very little bit. It lost its real fiesta feeling and sounds from brass instruments. Secondly the stage was really… ough weird. The action of that doll or whatever it is looked stupid and generally the stage was too polished. If they remained the same stage concept… Read more »

Álex
Guest
Álex

Maybe the next season won’t be with new artists. Last year people in TVE were talking about choosing former contestants that weren’t lucky in the past when there wasn’t any social media and put them again into contest.

Una
Guest
Una

I think the mainstream music market is saturated with very good quality songs in Spanish. No doubt there are very good Spanish artists but Eurovision is not necessarily the best stage for them. Operacion Triunfo seems to be a show for upcoming young artists that try to find their footing in the industry. I haven’t followed closely it but it looks like their brand is mainly dance, energetic songs in Spanish. In a market that is already crowded with Latino artists for which labels invest a lot of money. Yes, English is mainstream in Eurovision, but it is more appealing… Read more »

EUROFAN MEXICO
Guest
EUROFAN MEXICO

YA DEBERIA DE CREARSE UN FESTIVAL DE LA CANCION ESPAÑOLA Y DEJARSE DE COSAS, EL TALENTO ESPAÑOL NO ES CUESTIONABLE QUE ESPERAN PARA DAR TODO LO QUE TIENEN

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

I think you said “create a Spanish song contest (=national final) with Spanish talents and not questionable newcomers who aren’t known”. Is this right? 😀

Guillle77
Guest
Guillle77

The comment says: “It’s already time to create a Spanish Song Contest and stop fooling around. The Spanish talent is unquestionable, what are they waiting to give all they got?”

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

Thanks a lot!

Peters
Guest
Peters

It doesn’t matter. It’s all about the songs.

Stardust
Guest
Stardust

I think they could definitely use OT again, but it needs to be done differently. After the regular season is over, RTVE should actually see which of the contestants are interested. Aside from contestant interest, they should also change the song writing/selection system. Once they have the artists secured, they should give the artist some more free reign to work with producers so they’ll get a song that is truly theirs.

This way we won’t get a Famous (Wants to go, didn’t like his song) orMaría (Didn’t want to go, good song) situation.

Paule
Guest
Paule

This year’s Eurovision gala was a mess. Bad songs, unwilling singers. I have a clue for you, Spain: Just send Rosalía and be the winner of 2020.

Guillle77
Guest
Guillle77

Spain won’t send Rosalía for the same reason the UK won’t send Coldplay, Adele, Dua Lipa…

Thiago
Guest
Thiago

No. People go on reality shows to get famous not to win Eurovision.

James
Guest
James

Unless the show in question is revamped where they can be both of those things.

Much like what happened with X-Factor Malta and Michela Pace.

Thiago
Guest
Thiago

I wouldn’t consider X Factor a reality show like OT. I’d say XF is a talent show (which can be good for Eurovision).

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Assuming that local stars aren’t interested, I would pick a former OT contestant (one that really wants to do it, like Famous) and pair them with promising songwriters until they find the right song. But if they want to stick to the current formula, they need to work on a proper timeline. Last year, they selected during the reality, making the public choice about the singers and not the songs. This year it was after the season ended, but the performers had just a couple of weeks working on their tracks. They should stop seeing Eurovision as a “performance of… Read more »

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

But aside of the OT thing, what’s the issue with Spanish entries 2015-2019?

James
Guest
James

I’m not sure with 2015. But their recent non-OT national selections were never short of drama. 2017 was the height of it when there was clear conflict of interest when they brought in a juror who have already been playing Manel Navarro’s song in his show in Los40. The actual live show, which took place on the same night as the final of Sanremo, was quite chaotic, at least towards the end. Mirela won the televote and was tied in a deadlock with Manel., with the jury serving as a tie-breaker Two out of the three jurors voted in favor… Read more »

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

Spain and Eurovision 2017 was a MESS. So much drama

American ESC FAN
Guest
American ESC FAN

The problem with using OT when selecting Eurovision comes in three dilemas First, it has come by the fact that most viewers fall in love with the contestants so by the time Eurovision gala is on, people vote for the singers rather than the songs (for me, either Carlos Right, María, or Miki/Natalia should’ve gone to Eurovision) Second, many OT contestants are in the competition to be the next David Bisbal/Pablo Lopez/Aitana so Eurovision is just an alternative option. As seen in the latest edition, where Natalia, Alba, and Maria all didn’t wanna go to Eurovision up to the point… Read more »

Safiyaa
Guest
Safiyaa

Personally I don’t like the idea to choose the artist first and then write a song for them. I know that it works sometimes (look at Netta) but I feel that songs written especially for Eurovision often feel overproduced and not very genuine. As a Eurovision fan, I think that talent shows like Operacion Triunfo are far less interesting than contests when we actually get to hear different songs. Choosing and artist is important but it’s the song that counts. Most of Eurovision participants are talented singers. But it’s not enough. No one can win without a great song.

Phil
Guest
Phil

1. They should have sent Lo Malo
2.The stagings for both entries were awful
3. Bring back Ruth Lorenzo

Kesha
Guest
Kesha

No. The songs coming from the OT have proved to be a failure.
By the way, the OT contest belongs to the past.
They should follow the portuguese lessons given by the innovative portuguese Festival da Cançao.

Christopher
Guest
Christopher

How successful has that been? The fluke win, a last place as host and complete non qualification.

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

Putting aside their success, FdC is the most trustful national final ever in the contest.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

I wish more countries tried FdC’s approach. First because it makes more sense for a songwriter to find the right person to defend their track (sometimes, they do it themselves) than to pick a singer and then try to find a song for them. Second before talented people are much more inclined to participate if they were invited to write something than if a broadcaster does an open selection where their songs could just be ignored.

Chess
Guest
Chess

Mind you. Salvador Sobral is by no means a fluke win – he has swept the Contest.
And O Jardim and Telemóveis were SABOTAGED

gilad
Guest
gilad

No this selection so messy and dont make a lot of sense, yes i like Tu Cancion ay nd La Venda but this clearly dont work, 2 almost button 5 result, Spain need to come back with a strong entry and show us what they can do like they did in 2010-2014!

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

NO. this method clearly doesn’t work, pairing singers with songs they have little to zero control on seldom works. spain’s broadcaster should make an open call to artists, and set up a national final with at least ten diverse songs. this ain’t the 00s anymore, people would rather hear something with substance and personality.

Justice
Guest
Justice

Barei! Spanish TV managed to screw it up anyway, so it’s kinda whatever…

Africavision
Guest
Africavision

I don’t think the selection method is the issue. OT was used in 2018 and 2019, and both entries failed to make the top 20. Objetivo Eurovision was used in 2016 and 2017, and both entries failed to make the top 20. An internal selection was made in 2015, which failed to get Spain into the top 20. Four of those five entries were fan-favorites, and were expected to get Spain into the top 10. They’ve sent a range of entries, from ballads to bops, in Spanish and in English. And the fact that their highest position in the last… Read more »

jessy
Guest

I think spain should go with a internalselection spain got such a good music indrustie

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

As long as they have gems like aitana then yes. It’s a better option than having a low quality separate eurovision selection.

Justice
Guest
Justice

Yes. I like the drama and the spectacularly wrong decisions.

Jack
Guest
Jack

There is an issue with Spanish songs and how the broadcaster chooses the songs. Lo Malo has more than 80 millions views but the public chose the fake romantic love story.

James
Guest
James

Unless you were watching the live feeds.

Efraim
Guest
Efraim

I wouldn’t be surprised if TVE goes with it again in the name of ratings (because theirs are currently at an all-time low), but let’s keep it real: it shouldn’t. The results just aren’t there, and it wouldn’t be smart to risk the possibility of having another talent pool plagued with contenders who don’t actually want to win. It’s time to let OT contestants move on with their careers and either have a national final with people who actually want to go and allow them to have a say in what they are performing, or just go internal again.

Geo
Guest
Geo

What would be the point? Instead of sending Famous (a great voice) and OT winner, they’ve picked Miki with that awful gimmick song. Well then, Spain deserves last spot in the final… literally

Paul
Guest
Paul

When was the last time that Spain did well? Was it 2012?

Efraim
Guest
Efraim

Ruth Lorenzo finished 10th in 2014 and it’s all downhill from there.

Queeno
Guest
Queeno

Just send Aitana 🙂

Katariina
Guest
Katariina

Stop selecting the song via OT. Very often, people will vote based on the person they like most instead of the best song. I don’t really know what went wrong with Miki (although the giant robot was definitely a bad decision), but this is exactly what happened with Amaia & Alfred. OT was a step in the right direction — they have mainstream attention for Eurovision now, but they must capitalise on it. Stage a new national final entirely or pick the winner of OT and then develop their entry as an internal selection with their input like they did… Read more »

beccaboo1212
Guest

I don’t know. Of course Operación Triunfo is back for season 11, but I don’t know if La 1 should continue to use that show as the national selection or if RTVE should use a different selection format while Operación Triunfo continues as it was whenever it didn’t serve as the Eurovision selection.

Rose
Guest
Rose

Maybe send a fairly mainstream star, like Rosalia. Experience, will have the song, just need to get the vocals and staging right. My 2c.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

she’d never do eurovision, she’s too huge in latin america now (and she’s sold out to commercial music)

Paule
Guest
Paule

Rosalía sold out? Have you heard her last album? It’s one of the best of the decade…

James
Guest
James

The best approach as far using it as a song/artist selection show would be to have the contestants get their hands dirty in songwriting. Cast those who are singer-songwriters so they’ll be able to have a say in getting involved in the whole process of putting their creations out there for people to enjoy. I know it’s important for TVE to not necessarily shift the focus of OT as a totally expanded Eurovision national selection, hence having its own separate live show to select a song/artist. They did the first step by airing it after the second season ended. Now,… Read more »

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

Yas! Last year, we had a small group of fans on our German fanblog who watched OT every week and chatted about it. This was SO MUCH FUN to have a music event every week and talking about it – even if I don’t know a single word in Spain XD I wanna do this again this year 😀

navsegda
Guest
navsegda

This year they should just send the winner (famous) with a decent song. Miki who didn’t make the finale got 3 songs and famous who’s dream is to go to Eurovision got 1. Just let the rightful winner go or separate Eurovision from OT.

Also OT is an extremely intense selection so maybe they should let us (and the production) breath for a year or two. Don’t overdo it like drag race.

OohHoney
Guest
OohHoney

Maybe they should go back to using established artists who know what they’re doing..not maybe, 100% they should.

dan
Guest
dan

I love Miki, and he was robbed, but OT is very limitative. Big stars like Pastora Soler maybe want to go to esc, but they will not go to OT.

bella
Guest
bella

They should ask Eleni Foureira to represent them.She is a big star now in Spain and Spain has many decades to win.Spain can host and Eleni will win if she participates again.

Katariina
Guest
Katariina

Except she doesn’t even speak Spanish so no

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

Actually, her boyfriend is Spanish…so there’s a bit of a connection.

Pancake
Guest
Pancake

I’m pretty sure she’s learning. She was on a YT video by Netflix España.

Herr Frau
Guest
Herr Frau

Just because it worked for you in the early 2000s, doesn’t mean that fate will return.

I think Spain should just go back choosing internally like with Pastora and Edurne