For the last two years, Spain has been using reality show Operación Triunfo as their Eurovision selection. Yet, in 2018 and 2019, the way of picking the Spanish representative stirred discrepancies among fans. In 2020, that clash may be bigger: the OT dates will, most likely, not fit the Eurovision schedule.
Shortly after Operación Triunfo 2018 finished, the producers announced they were going to give the program a break. Some thought they were talking about a blank year or two, but it’s actually not going to be that long.
Indeed, the first auditions for the show will begin in Barcelona in October. Then, the OT casting crew will tour Spain in the search of the new contestants until November.
— OT 2018 (@OT_Oficial) July 18, 2019
That is actually way later in the year than both 2017 and 2018: the edition that Amaia won began its live gala shows in October 2017, while Miki’s series started in September 2018. In fact, there may not be Operación Triunfo 2019, as the new edition will possibly kick off in 2020.
Is there time to pick a Operación Triunfo singer for Eurovision 2020?
Considering OT 2019/2020 will have the same format as its two predecessors, the show will consist of 13/14 gala nights. Given there’s always been almost two months between the end of the auditions and the first live gala show, it’s likely that the next series will begin early in January. If that’s the case, we would not have a series winner until April.
Hence using OT as a Eurovision selection — which must be decided by mid-March at the very latest — may not be possible. At least not how it has traditionally been done.
However, if RTVE really wanted to use OT as their selection method, there would be time for it. For example, if Operación Triunfo began the first week of December and had the same structure as OT 2017, the Eurovision night would happen in the week of the Melodifestivalen final.
Yes, but… does RTVE really want to use OT as their selection method?
The answer is… who knows. In a recent interview with our friends at Eurovision-spain.com, Head of Delegation Ana Bordas explained that the broadcaster is still deciding on their method for Eurovision 2020.
“We’ve been working on our entry since the end of May. There have been several reunions with the RTVE direction and we’re about to take a decision on how our participation will be. Hopefully, we’ll be able to explain more soon,” she says.
Ms Bordas also mentions RTVE is open to take a well known artist to Eurovision. Yet she believes it’s hard that a renowned act wants to enter, as the contest requires a lot of work for a long time and it doesn’t have an economic benefit.
Nevertheless, she appears to be optimistic: “our most important job is to twist the image that has been created about Eurovision and make well known artists want to participate”.
This is how things stand as of July 19. Given Spain’s track record at Eurovision, with years when nothing about its entry was known until January, having the HoD talking about it this early is actually something.
Meet the new hopefuls
To spark interest in the new series, a special event called #OTFest was held. Filmed in the courtyard outside the OT Academy, #OTFest featured performances from a number of singers who auditioned for the new series via social media.
They performed along with stars from the previous two series of OT, including Eurovision Gala winner Miki and runner-up Maria Escamiento. Could Spain’s act for Eurovision 2020 be one of these singers?
How do you think Spain will pick its Eurovision 2020 entry? Should RTVE use Operación Triunfo again? Or should they try to convince a well known act? Who would you like to see representing Spain in The Netherlands? Tell us in the comment section below!