Anyone fancy a trip to Benidorm in early February? Spanish fans have decided which 100 artists they think should be clearing their agendas for it. One hundred is a lot. But I’ve taken a comb, pulled out some gems and can now introduce you to some of Spain’s favourites to succeed Chanel.
All of this comes courtesy of “La Elección Interna“, an annual survey held by our friends at Eurovision-Spain. “Is just another fan survey?” you may ask. No. It may be fan-powered, but it has proven to be quite influential.
Tanxugueiras won it last year and that’s where they got the idea to take part in Benidorm Fest. Rigoberta Bandini also made the top three and… Ay Mamá what happened later.
This year, 12 artists have made the finals and María José Llergo has come out on top. If you liked Blanca Paloma at Benidorm 2022, then you have to meet her.
María José Llergo – “Te espera el mar”
María José Llergo is an up and coming voice in the flamenco scene. She’s known for her deep and meaningful ballads.
She has sung about social issues, mainly the refugee crisis and the dangerous crossing many attempt across Mediterranean. That led her to a Goya award (Spain’s Baftas) for best soundtrack this year for her song “Te espera el mar”.
After her victory, María José commented in an interview that she is up for the challenge, although she didn’t make clear if she will enter Benidorm Fest this year or in the future.
Riding the SloMo wave
María José Llergo would be a complete departure from Chanel’s entry this year. However, Spain has several options to ride that wave. If something works, why change it?
Second place in the survey went to Ana Mena, whom you may remember from Sanremo 2022. Ana is a rising star in both Spain and Italy and was already heavily tipped for Benidorm last year. However, she has said that Eurovision is not currently in her plans.
Lola Índigo also made the top 10 at La Elección Interna. She may have come last in OT 2017 (yes, the year of Amaia and Alfred), but she’s gone on to have one of the most successful careers of any contestant. She’s been scoring Summer hit after Summer hit for the last four years. Her latest song, An1mal, came sixth in the survey.
A surprise to many, Barcelona’s Catalan speaking main pop girl Julieta also made the top 10. Her single “A les fosques” came pretty much out of nowhere and became a fan favourite.
They’re not sending Rosalía… are they?
It doesn’t really look like it. Although she’s by far Spain’s best-selling artist at the moment, Rosalía has not come on top of the survey. She got 22nd place with Motomami’s lead single Saoko. Probably Spanish fans know she’ll just not enter, but there are several other options who could do the job and are also getting high numbers.
One of them is Nathy Peluso. Born in Argentina but relocated in Spain since childhood, several of her music videos have tens of millions of views. Praised for her unique style and well known for her hard to understand lyrics, the fandom placed her 17th in the survey.
Ptazeta has been also heavily tipped to try Benidorm Fest. She’s a young rapper from Canarias who rose to fame after the success of her Bizarrap session. The Spanish fandom placed her 10th in the survey, and she was the biggest grower compared to last year.
If you know nothing about Spanish language music these days, Bizarrap is the one producer you have to know — every session he publishes finds instant success in Latin America and Spain, and the artists who collaborate with him gain massive attention. Ptazeta’s has been praised as one of the better ones.
Male singers? Here you go
Just like Sweden, Spain had a streak of sending male singers to Eurovision, which ended this year. However, if they were to go back to sending men to the contest, there’s quite a few options. Guitarricadelafuente was the fans favourite. I see you read that in fear, but it’s not complicated to pronunce, I swear.
He came third on the survey. He offers Spanish language pop and has also proven to be a good balladeer.
Mo, mo, mo? Go check La Casa Azul. He who came third in Spain’s disastrous national selection in 2008, but keeps releasing indie music…and now his concerts are full. His Eurovision entry “La revolución sexual” is now an anthem. He’s like the “Ay mamá” of 2008.
We had Galician last year, Julieta sings in Catalan… but how about Basque? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Bulego are a Basque-speaking band who specialise in (you got it) indie pop.
A bit of everything else
Spain went bananas for folk last year. As you’ll recall Tanxugueiras got 70% of the public vote, and nowadays they’re touring the whole country. If you were team Terra last year, meet Neomak. You’ll love them.
There’s some rock in the mix as well. This band called Megara also made the top 10, with their song with a witchy title. And don’t ‘hyde’ your enthusiasm for Hydn, another finalist who also became a fan favourite with her song “Drowning Fire“.
And let’s face it. At some point, María Peláe will be involved with Eurovision. It kind of feels like a matter of time. She’s one of Spain’s most authentic artists, who carries with pride Andalusian music and mixes it with a bit of everything.
In 2021 she was part of Spain’s jury at Eurovision, and last year she competed in Your Face Sounds Familiar. Just go watch.
The full list features 100 names, which I won’t go through right now. However, let me recommend some. If I were you, I’d keep an eye on La Fúmiga, Belén Aguilera (nothing to do with Xtina as far as I know), Delaporte, Amatria, Tatiana Delalvz or Niña Polaca. You know, something tells me some of them will be spotted in Benidorm next year.
Who should represent Spain at Eurovision 2023? Who can match or improve on Chanel’s result? Who would you like to see in Benidorm Fest? Let us know in the comment section below!