If you thought Spain’s strongest national selection in years would be deprived of eurodrama, you know nothing about this country. The popularity of Benidorm Fest brought some unwanted attention, as many are accusing RTVE and the jury of rigging the contest in favour of Chanel.
In response to the growing criticism of the choice (mostly from non-fans of the contest), Spanish eurofans have started a campaign to buttress and support the “SloMo” hitmaker under the hashtag #ChanelTeQueremos (#ChanelWeLoveYou).
In a heartbreaking testament to just how ugly things have gotten, Chanel recently explained to Mejor Contigo that she had to remove Twitter from her phone to disengage with the wave of hate she received after winning Benidorm Fest.
“Art is subjective, everyone has an opinion and it’s totally comprehensible and respectable. What we cannot accept as a society is to lynch someone for their taste.”
?@ChanelTerrero, ganadora del #BenidormFest y representante de España en @eurovision_tve— MejorContigoTVE (@MejorContigoTVE) January 31, 2022
? “@rigobandini tiene una carrera brutal y es un ejemplo para mí. Cuando dieron las votaciones nos miramos a los ojos y no hicieron falta palabras”#MejorContigo
In a day full of interviews, RTVE’s Café d’idees hosted an emotional videocall between Chanel and her grandma.
Spain’s representative received a special gift from Gran.
? Aquest és l'emocionant retrobament entre #Chanel i la seva àvia, després del triomf al #BenidormFest!— RTVE Notícies (@rtvenoticies) January 31, 2022
?? "La meva iaia ho és tot!" | @ChanelTerrero @cafedidees_rtve @RTVECatalunya @radio4_rne #Eurovision pic.twitter.com/wq1naRQBTf
Some of the country’s main media outlets have also got caught up in the issue…and with slightly questionable takes. There’s much talk about long posts in several media criticising Chanel’s victory in which authors allege they already knew the contest was arranged for her.
Surprisingly, though, none of the authors of those posts were actually present in Benidorm. Coincidentally, most of the journalists who were on site have praised Chanel for her victory while still demanding transparency from RTVE.
As we previously explained, the broadcaster has affirmed Chanel’s win and called on people to accept the result.
Benidorm Fest results discussed in Congress
The polemic surrounding Chanel’s victory keeps growing, and it has even reached the Spanish Congress and government.
On Monday, Unidas Podemos (one of the two parties in Spain’s government) and BNG registered questions for RTVE’s president José Manuel Pérez Tornero regarding the issue.
Both questions came from representatives elected from the four Galician provinces. It’s no wonder, as Tanxugueiras‘ participation turned the whole region crazy.
Benidorm Fest’s final was watched by almost 50% of the Galician audience. Many were disappointed after Tanxugueiras won both the demoscopic and the televote, but came fifth in the jury vote.
Despite attempts to belittle Chanel by comparing her to either Tanxugueiras or Rigoberta Bandini, none of the three acts have entered into the orbit of toxicity.
In fact, Rigoberta and Chanel were holding hands during the voting segment and later the “Ay Mamá” singer shared a long post on instagram congratulating the winner. Let there be no doubt: her mother taught her well!
View this post on Instagram
“We’ll hold you by the arms sister — just like we did in our performance. You’re going to smash it,” she wrote.
On Monday, Tanxugueiras shared a TikTok with “SloMo” playing on the background. “We love you Chanel!” they wrote.
Clarification of the jury’s votes
RTVE’s statement on Sunday has had barely any effect in calming down the public, and more and more people are demanding transparency with the voting.
In fact, on Monday, RTVE’s CCOO (one of the country’s main unions) demanded to annul Benidorm Fest’s results and Chanel’s victory.
On Tuesday, PP, the main opposition party, took the issue to the Senate, where they demanded the full breakdown of all votes.
RTVE has, however, kept silent. Many raised their voices on Sunday, when Chanel’s press conference after winning turned into a short photoshoot with short interviews.
On a personal note, and as a journalist who was in Benidorm, I was quite shocked to find out that none of RTVE’s main figures would be present at Sunday’s press conference. That meant Chanel had to face the pack of journalists alone — and after what was surely an exhausting whirlwind of a few days. Following a week of extreme exposure, it’s really not understandable.
It is worth noting how RTVE handled other eurodramas during the week — with efficiency and clarity.
For example, their response to Luna Ki’s withdrawal was quite elegant, as they did not want to cause further controversy. They responded on very short notice, as Luna’s announcement came rather quickly. That made it impossible for another artist to perform instead of them, something RTVE would have liked to see happen.
María Eizaguirre from RTVE did come in the end, and journalists were able to talk to her and ask as much as we wanted, although in an ‘off-the-record’ format. Many of us wanted to know about the split results, and whether the televote figures would be published. At the time of writing this article, those facts remain unpublished.
Con respecto a la transparencia en las votaciones del #BenidormFest, solo diré una cosa: Cuando algo está bien hecho, no cuesta nada explicarlo. Si la explicación es difícil es que algo falla.— Luis Fuster (@luisgfuster) January 31, 2022
Y no, pensar esto no es incompatible con apoyar a Chanel a muerte de aquí a mayo.
What do you make of all this? Are you supporting Chanel as we are? Share some love and let us know in the comment section below!