Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest

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Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest
Participating broadcasterRadiotelevisión Española (RTVE)
Participation summary
First appearance1961
Highest placement1st: 1968, 1969
Related articles
External links
RTVE page
Spain's page at Edit this at Wikidata
For the most recent participation see
Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023

Spain has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in every edition since 1961, in total 62 times. Since 1999, Spain has been one of the "Big Five" countries, along with France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, that are automatically prequalified for the final each year as they are the biggest financial contributors to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

Spain has won the contest twice, first in 1968 with the song "La La La" sung by Massiel and again in 1969, when Salomé's "Vivo cantando" was involved in a four-way tie with France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The 1969 contest in Madrid is the only time Spain has hosted the event, since lots were drawn after 1969's four-way tie and the 1970 contest was hosted by the Netherlands. Other good results in the 20th century were four second places with Karina in 1971, Mocedades in 1973, Betty Missiego in 1979 and Anabel Conde in 1995, and a third place with Bravo in 1984. The country finished last with nul points three times: in 1962, 1965 and 1983, and also finished last in 1999 and 2017.

Since the start of the 21st century, Spain has reached the top ten seven times, with David Civera (2001) finishing sixth, Rosa (2002) finishing seventh, Beth (2003) finishing eighth, Ramón (2004) finishing tenth, both Pastora Soler (2012) and Ruth Lorenzo (2014) also finishing tenth, and Chanel (2022) finishing third. Spain has also failed to reach the top twenty in ten of the last eighteen contests, including for six consecutive contests (2015–21). Spain is the current participating country with the longest active victory drought, with a total of 55 years (1969–2023).

Selection process[edit]

Spain has regularly changed the selection process used in order to find the country's entry for the contest, either a national final or internal selection (sometimes a combination of both formats) has been held by the broadcaster at the time. Between 1977 and 1999, Spain's entries were selected internally by Televisión Española (TVE). Before that, internal selections and national contests, like Pasaporte a Dublín (Passport to Dublin) in 1971, were alternated.[1]

From 2000, Spain has used various selection formats with different results. In 2000 and 2001, TVE organised a national final called Eurocanción (Eurosong), where the Spanish representative was selected for the contest.[2] From 2002 to 2004, the reality television talent competition Operación Triunfo (the Spanish version of Star Academy) was used to select the entry, a format that renewed the Spanish audience's interest in the contest[3] and brought three top 10 results in a row, until TVE decided not to host any further editions of the series. In 2005, the national final Eurovisión 2005: Elige nuestra canción (Eurovision 2005: Choose Our Song) was organised, where the audience chose their favourite song among a pre-selection made by TVE of unknown artists submitted to them by record labels. The result in the Eurovision final was not good and for 2006, the selection was made internally for the first time since 1999, with a similar result. In 2007, Spain's entry was decided through the Misión Eurovisión 2007 show, with a disappointing result once again.

From 2008 to 2010, the Internet was the key element of the competitions used by TVE to select the Spanish entry. In 2008, the social networking website MySpace was involved in the national final Salvemos Eurovisión (Let's Save Eurovision). A website was created to make it possible for anyone to upload a song and proceed to a televised final if chosen by online voters or an expert jury. The result improved a little, but not much; nevertheless the interest of the Spanish audience was revived again.[3] For 2009, MySpace was still involved in the selection process Eurovisión 2009: El retorno (Eurovision 2009: The Return), although some changes were introduced in the format.[4] The result was the worst in the 2000s (decade): 24th place. In 2010, a similar format, Eurovisión: Destino Oslo, selected the Spanish entry, with the best result since 2004 (15th).[5]

In 2011, Internet voting was scrapped from the new selection method Destino Eurovisión. After a further disappointing result (23rd), for 2012, TVE decided to approach an established act, Pastora Soler, and organise a national final to select her song.[6] A top ten result was achieved for the first time since 2004. The same procedure was repeated in 2013, with El Sueño de Morfeo as the established act, which turned out one of the most disappointing results (25th out of 26 entries) in the country's Eurovision history; some critics, however, blamed a less-than-stellar performance of an otherwise solid song.[7] In 2014, TVE decided to return to a multi-artist national final procedure, called Mira quién va a Eurovisión (Look who's going to Eurovision); five artists were invited to participate by TVE. A top ten result was achieved for the second time in three years.

In 2015, for the first time since 2006, both the artist, Edurne, and the song were selected internally by TVE. On 18 December 2015, TVE announced that it would organise a national final in order to select the Spanish entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. Six acts competed in the national final named Objetivo Eurovisión, and Barei won the selection process. The same format was used in 2017, and Manel Navarro won the selection process; it turned out Spain's first last-place result since 1999.

In 2017, TVE commissioned a new season of Operación Triunfo, which returned to TVE after thirteen years, and the series served for the fourth time (after 2002, 2003 and 2004) as the platform to select the Spanish entry for the 2018 contest.[8][9] The result was disappointing (23rd out of 26 entries), but the 2018 Eurovision final was the most-watched in Spain since 2008.[10] A further season of the talent show chose the Spanish entry for the 2019 contest with another disappointing result (22nd out of 26 entries).[11]

For the 2020 contest, TVE selected the Spanish entry internally, with Blas Cantó and the song "Universo" chosen.[12] Following the cancellation of the contest due to the COVID-19 pandemic, TVE was one of the first four broadcasters (the other were Greece's ERT, Netherlands' AVROTROS and Ukraine's UA:PBC) that confirmed its participation for the 2021 edition with the same artist who would have participated for 2020, in this case Cantó.[13] His 2021 entry "Voy a quedarme" went on to finish in 24th place with six points, marking the sixth time in a row that Spain has finished outside of the top twenty.

For the 2022 contest, it was announced that TVE would use Benidorm Fest, a revamped version of the Benidorm International Song Festival to select the nation's entry among thirteen candidates.[14][15][16] The broadcaster signed a contract with the regional government of the Valencian Community to hold the event for four editions.[17] The first Benidorm Fest was won by Chanel with "SloMo", which finished in third place at Eurovision with 459 points, thereby achieving Spain's best Eurovision result since 1995.[18]

Spain and the "Big Five"[edit]

Since 1999, Spain, along with France, Germany and the United Kingdom, have automatically qualified for the Eurovision final regardless of their results in previous contests.[19] These countries earned this special status by being the four biggest financial contributors to the EBU, and subsequently became known as the "Big Four". Italy returned to the contest in 2011, thus upgrading the countries to members of a "Big Five".[20]

Interrupted performances[edit]

Only three times in the contest's history has a non-winning entry been allowed to perform again, and in two of these instances, the entries in question were Spanish representatives (the other one being the Italian entry in 1958, "Nel blu dipinto di blu" by Domenico Modugno). The first time this happened to a Spanish representative was in the 1990 contest in Zagreb, when Azúcar Moreno opened the contest with the song "Bandido". The orchestra and the recorded backing track began the song out of sync, which caused the singers to miss their cue. The singers left the stage after a few seconds, and no explanation was given at the time. After a few uneasy moments, the music began correctly and the song was performed in full. Azúcar Moreno and "Bandido" went on to place fifth in the final vote tally, though the juries at the time actually awarded their points after watching the dress rehearsal performances, so the restart did not affect Spain's overall result either positively or negatively.

Twenty years later, at the 2010 contest in Oslo, Spain was drawn to perform second in the running order, and Daniel Diges's performance of "Algo pequeñito" was disturbed by Catalan pitch invader Jimmy Jump. However, Diges performed the song in full, despite the invader's intrusion and subsequent removal from the stage by security personnel, receiving warm applause for continuing from the audience at the Telenor Arena. After Serbia's performance, co-presenter Nadia Hasnaoui announced that, according to the rules, Diges would be given a second chance once all the remaining countries had performed. Nonetheless, the juries ranked the dress-rehearsal performance of "Algo pequeñito" 20th out of 25 with 43 points, whereas the televoting results ranked Spain 12th, with 106 points. The combination of jury and televote results gave Spain a 15th-place finish.

Participation overview[edit]

Table key
1 First place
2 Second place
3 Third place
Last place
X Entry selected but did not compete
Upcoming event
Year Artist Song Language Final Points Semi Points
1961 Conchita Bautista "Estando contigo" Spanish 9 8 No semi-finals
1962 Víctor Balaguer "Llámame" Spanish 13 ◁ 0
1963 José Guardiola "Algo prodigioso" Spanish 12 2
1964 Nelly with Tim and Tony "Caracola" Spanish 12 1
1965 Conchita Bautista "Qué bueno, qué bueno" Spanish 15 ◁ 0
1966 Raphael "Yo soy aquél" Spanish 7 9
1967 Raphael "Hablemos del amor" Spanish 6 9
1968 Massiel "La La La" Spanish 1 29
1969 Salomé "Vivo cantando" Spanish 1 18
1970 Julio Iglesias "Gwendolyne" Spanish 4 8
1971 Karina "En un mundo nuevo" Spanish 2 116
1972 Jaime Morey "Amanece" Spanish 10 83
1973 Mocedades "Eres tú" Spanish 2 125
1974 Peret "Canta y sé feliz" Spanish 9 10
1975 Sergio and Estíbaliz "Tú volverás" Spanish 10 53
1976 Braulio "Sobran las palabras" Spanish 16 11
1977 Micky "Enséñame a cantar" Spanish 9 52
1978 José Vélez "Bailemos un vals" Spanish[a] 9 65
1979 Betty Missiego "Su canción" Spanish 2 116
1980 Trigo Limpio "Quédate esta noche" Spanish 12 38
1981 Bacchelli "Y sólo tú" Spanish 14 38
1982 Lucía "Él" Spanish 10 52
1983 Remedios Amaya "Quién maneja mi barca" Spanish 19 ◁ 0
1984 Bravo "Lady, Lady" Spanish 3 106
1985 Paloma San Basilio "La fiesta terminó" Spanish 14 36
1986 Cadillac "Valentino" Spanish 10 51
1987 Patricia Kraus "No estás solo" Spanish 19 10
1988 La Década "La chica que yo quiero (Made in Spain)" Spanish[b] 11 58
1989 Nina "Nacida para amar" Spanish 6 88
1990 Azúcar Moreno "Bandido" Spanish 5 96
1991 Sergio Dalma "Bailar pegados" Spanish 4 119
1992 Serafín "Todo esto es la música" Spanish 14 37
1993 Eva Santamaría "Hombres" Spanish 11 58 Kvalifikacija za Millstreet
1994 Alejandro Abad "Ella no es ella" Spanish 18 17 No semi-finals
1995 Anabel Conde "Vuelve conmigo" Spanish 2 119
1996 Antonio Carbonell "Ay, qué deseo" Spanish 20 17 14 43
1997 Marcos Llunas "Sin rencor" Spanish 6 96 No semi-finals
1998 Mikel Herzog "¿Qué voy a hacer sin ti?" Spanish 16 21
1999 Lydia "No quiero escuchar" Spanish 23 ◁ 1
2000 Serafín Zubiri "Colgado de un sueño" Spanish 18 18
2001 David Civera "Dile que la quiero" Spanish 6 76
2002 Rosa "Europe's Living a Celebration" Spanish[b] 7 81
2003 Beth "Dime" Spanish 8 81
2004 Ramón "Para llenarme de ti" Spanish 10 87 Member of the "Big Four"
2005 Son de Sol "Brujería" Spanish 21 28
2006 Las Ketchup "Bloody Mary" Spanish 21 18
2007 D'Nash "I Love You Mi Vida" Spanish[b] 20 43
2008 Rodolfo Chikilicuatre "Baila el Chiki Chiki" Spanish, English 16 55
2009 Soraya Arnelas "La noche es para mí" Spanish[b] 24 23
2010 Daniel Diges "Algo pequeñito" Spanish 15 68
2011 Lucía Pérez "Que me quiten lo bailao" Spanish 23 50 Member of the "Big Five"
2012 Pastora Soler "Quédate conmigo" Spanish 10 97
2013 ESDM "Contigo hasta el final" Spanish[b] 25 8
2014 Ruth Lorenzo "Dancing in the Rain" English, Spanish 10 74
2015 Edurne "Amanecer" Spanish 21 15
2016 Barei "Say Yay!" English 22 77
2017 Manel Navarro "Do It for Your Lover" Spanish, English 26 ◁ 5
2018 Amaia and Alfred "Tu canción" Spanish 23 61
2019 Miki "La venda" Spanish 22 54
2020 Blas Cantó "Universo" Spanish Contest cancelled[c] X
2021 Blas Cantó "Voy a quedarme" Spanish 24 6
2022 Chanel "SloMo" Spanish, English 3 459
2023 Blanca Paloma "Eaea" Spanish 17 100
2024 TBD 3 February 2024 [21] TBD 11 May 2024

Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest[edit]

Artist Song Language At Congratulations At Eurovision
Final Points Semi Points Year Place Points
Mocedades "Eres tú" Spanish Failed to qualify 11 90 1973 2 125


Year Location Venue Presenter
1969 Madrid Teatro Real Laura Valenzuela


Marcel Bezençon Awards[edit]

Year Category Performer Song Final Points Host city Ref.
2003 Fan Award Beth "Dime" 8 81 Latvia Riga

Barbara Dex Award[edit]

Year Performer Host city Ref.
1999 Lydia Israel Jerusalem

Related involvement[edit]


Year Conductor[d] Notes Ref.
1961 Rafael Ferrer [24]
1962 Luxembourg Jean Roderes [e]
1963 Rafael Ibarbia [es]
1965 Adolfo Ventas
1966 Rafael Ibarbia
1967 Manuel Alejandro
1968 Rafael Ibarbia
1969 Augusto Algueró [f]
1970 [25]
1971 Argentina Waldo de los Rios [g]
1972 Augusto Algueró
1973 Juan Carlos Calderón
1974 Rafael Ibarbia [h]
1975 Juan Carlos Calderón
1976 Joan Barcons
1977 Rafael Ibarbia
1978 Ramón Arcusa [es]
1979 José Luis Navarro
1980 Javier Iturraide [26]
1981 Joan Barcons
1982 Miguel Ángel Varona
1983 José Miguel Évora
1984 Eddy Guerin
1985 Juan Carlos Calderón
1986 Eduardo Leiva
1988 Javier de Juan
1989 Juan Carlos Calderón
1990 Eduardo Leiva
1992 Javier Losada
1993 Eduardo Leiva
1994 Josep Llobell
1995 Eduardo Leiva
1997 Toni Xuclà
1998 Alberto Estébanez

Heads of delegation[edit]

Year Head of delegation Ref.
19912001 María Teresa Segura
20022016 Federico Llano [es]
20172021, 2024 Ana María Bordas [es]
20222023 Eva Mora [es]

Commentators and spokespersons[edit]

Year Television commentator Radio commentator Spokesperson Ref.
1961 Federico Gallo [es] Unknown Diego Ramírez Pastor [es]
1962 Luis Marsillach [es]
1963 Julio Rico
1965 Pepe Palau [es]
1966 Blanca Álvarez Mantilla
1968 José María Íñigo Joaquín Prat
1969 José Luis Uribarri Unknown
1971 Joaquín Prat No spokesperson
1972 Julio Rico
1974 José Luis Uribarri Antolín García
1975 No radio commentary José María Íñigo
1977 Miguel de los Santos [es] Isabel Tenaille [es]
1978 Matías Prats Luque
1979 Manuel Almendros [es]
1980 Alfonso Lapeña
1981 Isabel Tenaille
1982 Marisa Naranjo [es]
1983 José-Miguel Ullán Rosa Campano
1984 Matilde Jarrín
1985 Antonio Gómez [es]
1987 Beatriz Pécker [es]
1989 Tomás Fernando Flores [es]
1990 Luis Cobos
1991 Tomás Fernando Flores María Ángeles Balañac
1992 José Luis Uribarri
1995 Belén Fernández de Henestrosa
1999 Hugo de Campos
2001 Jennifer Rope [es]
2002 Nieves Herrero and José María de Juana Anne Igartiburu
2003 No radio commentary
2004 Beatriz Pécker
2005 Ainhoa Arbizu [es]
2006 Sonia Ferrer
2007 Ainhoa Arbizu
2008 José Luis Uribarri
2009 Joaquín Guzmán [es] Iñaki del Moral [es]
2010 José Luis Uribarri Ainhoa Arbizu
2011 José María Íñigo Elena S. Sánchez
2013 Inés Paz
2014 Spanish: Paco González and Tiempo de juego [es] team
Catalan: Sergi Mas [es]
Carolina Casado [es]
2015 José María Íñigo and Julia Varela No radio commentary Lara Siscar [es]
2016 Jota Abril [es]
2017 Nieves Álvarez
2018 Tony Aguilar and Julia Varela
2019 Daniel Galindo
2021 Imanol Durán
2022 Imanol Durán, Sara Calvo and David Asensio
2023 David Asensio, Imanol Durán, Irene Vaquero and Ángela Fernández Ruth Lorenzo

Stage directors and costume designers[edit]

Year Stage director(s) Costume designer(s) Ref.
1968 Unknown André Courrèges
1969 Manuel Pertegaz
1971 Antonio Nieto
1979 Undisclosed
1983 Undisclosed[i]
1985 José Ramón de Aguirre
1988 Francis Montesinos [es] and Antonio Alvarado [es]
1989 Mercedes Salazar
1990 Undisclosed[j]
1993 Victorio & Lucchino [es]
1999 Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada
2001 Zara[k]
2002 Poty Castillo Jorge Pérez[l]
2003 Marieta Calderón Etxart & Panno
2005 Poty Castillo Amparo Macías
2008 Mayte Marcos Undisclosed
2009 Juan Pedro López
2010 Carlo Pignatelli [it]
2011 Lola González Sara Lage and Maru Calderón
2012 Francis Viñolo Cañavate
2013 Unknown Yolancris
2014 Karim Design[m]
2015 Tinet Rubira [es] José Fuentes
2016 Niccolò Piccardi and Florian Boje Raúl Amor[l]
2017 Hans Pannecoucke
2018 Tinet Rubira Teresa Helbig [es] and Paco Varela
2019 Fokas Evangelinos Armani, Ana Margo and Guillermo Villanueva
2020 Nicoline Refsing Victoria Nogales[l]
2021 Marvin Dietmann Jaime Álvarez
2022 Kyle Hanagami Palomo Spain [es]
2023 Bentor Albelo and Javier Rojo Paola de Diego


See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ Contains phrases in French
  2. ^ a b c d e Contains phrases in English
  3. ^ The 2020 contest was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  4. ^ All conductors are of Spanish nationality unless otherwise noted.
  5. ^ Host conductor
  6. ^ Host conductor; also conducted the Luxembourgish entry
  7. ^ Only South American conductor in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest.
  8. ^ Originally intended to be conducted by Juan Carlos Calderón; he fell ill prior to the contest and was replaced by Ibarbia.
  9. ^ Because the dress designed by Tony Benítez that Amaya was going to wear was not suitable for the stage, she had to wear the dress used in the video clip, and since she did not have matching shoes, she performed barefoot.
  10. ^ Because the costumes designed by Francis Montesinos that Azúcar Moreno were going to wear broke during rehearsals, they had to wear their own dresses bought at El Rastro flea market.
  11. ^ Because the suitcase with the outfit designed by Jean Paul Gaultier that Civera was going to wear was lost and never recovered, he had to wear the Zara outfit intended for rehearsals.
  12. ^ a b c Stylist of the performance, not designer of the outfit.
  13. ^ Because the dress designed by Anmargo that Lorenzo was going to wear was not suitable for the stage lights, she had to borrow a dress from the Danish firm Karim Design.


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