I love to watch the national selection shows and this year I’ve watched more than I probably should have! But sometimes I just think that the winning song isn’t the best. Looking to Twitter, my opinions are (sometimes) clearly justified. Please see previous articles in this series discussing the choices made by the national selections of Finland and UK . Today, however, it is time to look at Television Espanola’s (TVE) Objetivo Eurovisión – Spain’s national selection show.
Spain in Eurovision
Spain is one of the ‘Big five’ countries which means their chosen tune goes directly to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest. Being a member of the ‘Big 5’ has been nothing of an advantage for the Spanish selections over their 56 years of competing in Eurovision. This is evidenced by their surprisingly mediocre results. Spain hasn’t won the competition since the 1960’s and, apart from Ruth Lorenzo’s Dancing in the Rain, which came tenth in Copenhagen in 2014 , Spain has barely scraped the top 10 within the last decade.
Objetivo Eurovisión 2017
In all honesty, this year was the first time I have watched Spain choose their Eurovision entrant. Like many countries Spain has relied on both national and internal selections over the years. I’m so happy that TVE decided to bring back the national final format after a brief hiatus in 2015 when Amanecer by Edurne was selected internally. The decision may be reconsidered after the subsequent public outcry regarding this years results though! The 2016 Objetivo Eurovisión winner, Barei with Say Yay! was well deserved, even if her performance in the Eurovision final in Stockholm did not translate to many points on the night!
The controversy surrounding Objetivo Eurovisión 2017 reminds me of a Telenovela. The night culminated in a deadlock between two acts. With the in-house jury voting for one act and the public televote preferring a different act. The stalemate was broken by the jury opting for Manel’s Do It For Your Lover. This was despite the audible disappointment of the studio audience and the Twitter rage of those at home. The controversy was widely reported as the latest Eurovision ‘Eurodrama’. But shouldn’t Eurofans just get behind the winner ‘cos after all, ‘them’s the rules’!!!
The Winner of Objetivo Eurovisión 2017
The catchy, laid-back, summer beats of Do It For Your Lover performed competently by Manel Navarro at Objetivo Eurovisión 2017 cannot be dismissed. This is a song I would actually listen to on holiday. It’s reminiscent of Jack Johnson in it’s style and relaxed vibe. In its favour, the song is decidedly different from the ballads that have been selected so far by competing countries. It’ll no doubt be a nice change of pace on the night of the Eurovision final. This said, I don’t think the artist, Manel, has a strong enough voice to make this song a success in a large arena. His look and staging seem pretty spot on for the song but the performance is flat and the chorus repetitive.
What Should Have Won?
Mirela Segunda’s Contigo made me sit up in my seat during her performance at Objetivo Eurovisión 2017. OK, so this song is a bit cheesy and it is by far the most Spanish thing I’ve heard in a while. I do think countries are more successful when they play on stereotypes a little bit. This song sounds like a traditional Spanish pop song while managing to breathe new life into the genre. Listening to this song, I don’t feel I’m on a generic summer holiday, I feel like I’m on a Spanish holiday!
This is an upbeat song that had the potential to wow a Eurovision audience. Mirela’s powerful voice was shamefully pitchey in places during her live performance. But this would’ve undoubtedly been ironed out by the time she competed in the Eurovision final. Unfortunately it was not meant to be and the song becomes a mere footnote in the Eurovision history Wikipedia pages.
Ultimately, I don’t think either song is a Eurovision winner. This song though, would’ve seen a marginally better score than the annoyingly repetitive Do It For Your Lover. Watch the performance below and tell me you don’t agree.