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?
??¡¡¡La Academia de @OT_Oficial volverá a abrir sus puertas!!! ???
— RTVE Comunicación (@RTVE_Com) June 11, 2019
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.
Spain Eurovision 2019: OT Gala - 17 songs reactionWe react to the 17 song snippets in Spain's #Eurotemazo2019. Who should win the OT Eurovision gala and sing at Eurovision?
1:26 "A tu lado" - Joan Garrido y Marilia
2:49 "Dímelo de frente" - Sabela
4:11 "El equilibrio" - Miki
5:18 "Hoy soñaré"- Sabela
6:50 "Hoy vuelvo a reír otra vez" - Noelia
8:23 "La Clave" - Natalia
9:30 "La venda" - Miki
10:47 "Muérdeme" - María
12:25 "Nadie se salva" - Miki y Natalia
13:48 "No puedo más" - Famous
15:22 "Nunca Fui" - Carlos Right
16:30 "Qué quieres qué haga" - Julia
18:00 "Qué será luego" - Alba Reche
19:07 "Sale" - Damion
20:38 "Se te nota" - Carlos Right
21:59 "Todo bien" - Marilia
23:23 "Vuelve" - Marta
William - https://twitter.com/willyleeadams and https://instagram.com/williamleeadams
Deban - https://twitter.com/DebanAderemi and https://instagram.com/deban_deban
Ron - https://www.youtube.com/ronkesc
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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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