Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest
|Member station||Radiotelevisión Española (RTVE)|
|National selection events|
|Best result||1st: 1968, 1969|
|Nul points||1962, 1965, 1983|
|Spain's page at Eurovision.tv|
| For the most recent participation see|
Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest 2021
Spain has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 59 times since making its debut in 1961, where they finished ninth. Since 1999, Spain has been one of the "Big Five", along with France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, who are automatically allowed to participate in the final because they are the five biggest financial contributors to the European Broadcasting Union. Spain has competed in the contest continuously since the country's debut in 1961. The only country with a longer run of uninterrupted Eurovision appearances is the United Kingdom, ever-present since 1959.
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. Spain has also finished second in the contest four times, with Karina in 1971, Mocedades in 1973, Betty Missiego in 1979 and Anabel Conde in 1995, and third in 1984 with Bravo. The country finished last with "Nul points" three times: in 1962, 1965 and 1983, and also finished last in 1999 and 2017.
Since 2005, Spain has only twice reached the top 10, with both Pastora Soler (2012) and Ruth Lorenzo (2014) finishing 10th, and has now failed to reach the top 20 in 10 of the last 15 contests, including for five consecutive years (2015–19). As of 2021, Spain is the current participating country with longest active victory drought, with a total of 52 years.
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 TVE. Before that, internal selections and national contests, like Pasaporte a Dublín (Passport to Dublin) in 1971, were alternated.
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. 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 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. 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. 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).
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. 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. 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 13 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. The result was disappointing (23rd out of 26 entries), but the 2018 Eurovision final was the most-watched in Spain since 2008. A further season of the talent show chose the Spanish entry for the 2019 contest with another disappointing result (22nd out of 26 entries).
For the 2020 contest, TVE selected the Spanish entry internally, with the artist being Blas Cantó. 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 next edition with the same artist who would participate for 2020, in this case Blas Cantó.
Spain and the "Big Five"
Since 1999, four particular countries have automatically qualified for the Eurovision final, regardless of their positions on the scoreboard in previous Contests. They earned this special status by being the four biggest financial contributors to the EBU. These countries are the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Spain. Due to their untouchable status in the Contest, these countries became known as the "Big Four". Italy returned to the contest in 2011, thus becoming part of a "Big Five". Despite everything, Spain with its overall success is the weakest participant of the Big-5.
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 playback 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 singer Daniel Diges's performance of "Algo pequeñito" was disturbed by notorious 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 spectators at the Telenor Arena. After the exhibition of Serbia, 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.
|Entry selected but did not compete|
Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest
Spain was represented in the 50th aniversay of Eurovision, Congratulations, by their 1973 entry Mocedades, with the song "Eres tú". The group had made it into the top 14 for the special event after being selected in an online vote by the voting public across Europe.
|Artist||Language||Title||At Congratulations||At Eurovision|
|Mocedades||Spanish||"Eres tú"||Failed to qualify||11||90||1973||2||125|
|1969||Madrid||Teatro Real||Laura Valenzuela|
Marcel Bezençon Awards
Barbara Dex Award
|1971||Waldo de los Rios||[e]|
|1973||Juan Carlos Calderón|
|1975||Juan Carlos Calderón|
|1979||José Luis Navarro|
|1982||Miguel Ángel Varona|
|1983||José Miguel Évora|
|1985||Juan Carlos Calderón|
|1988||Javier de Juan|
|1989||Juan Carlos Calderón|
Heads of delegation
|Year||Head of delegation||Ref.|
|2017–2020||Ana María Bordas|
Commentators and spokespersons
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|1961||Federico Gallo||Diego Ramírez Pastor|
|1969||José Luis Uribarri|
|1971||Joaquín Prat||No spokesperson|
|1974||José Luis Uribarri||Antolín García|
|1975||José María Íñigo|
|1977||Miguel de los Santos||Isabel Tenaille|
|1978||Matías Prats Luque|
|1983||José-Miguel Ullán||Rosa Campano|
|1989||Tomás Fernando Flores|
|1991||Tomás Fernando Flores||María Ángeles Balañac|
|1992||José Luis Uribarri|
|1995||Belén Fernández de Henestrosa|
|1999||Hugo de Campos|
|2008||José Luis Uribarri|
|2009||Joaquín Guzmán||Iñaki del Moral|
|2010||José Luis Uribarri||Ainhoa Arbizu|
|2011||José María Íñigo||Elena S. Sánchez|
|2015||José María Íñigo and Julia Varela||Lara Siscar|
|2018||Tony Aguilar and Julia Varela|
|2016||Niccolò Piccardi and Florian Boje|
- Spain in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest – Junior version of the Eurovision Song Contest.
- Spain in the Eurovision Dance Contest – Dance version of the Eurovision Song Contest.
- Spain in the Eurovision Young Dancers – A competition organised by the EBU for younger dancers aged between 16 and 21.
- Spain in the Eurovision Young Musicians – A competition organised by the EBU for musicians aged 18 years and younger.
- Spain in the OTI Festival – A competition organised by the OTI (Iberoamerican Telecommunications Organisation) Between 1972 and 2000
Notes and references
- The 2020 contest was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- All conductors are of Spanish nationality unless otherwise noted.
- Host conductor
- Host conductor; also conducted the Luxembourgish entry
- Only South American conductor in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest.
- Originally intended to be conducted by Juan Carlos Calderón; he fell ill prior to the contest and was replaced by Ibarbia.
- del Amor Caballero, Reyes (4 May 2004). "Preselecciones españolas para Eurovisión, primera parte". eurovision-spain.com (in Spanish).
- del Amor Caballero, Reyes (20 May 2004). "Segunda parte de las preselecciones españolas, 1970–2004". eurovision-spain.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 1 March 2008.
- "Eurovisión pierde más de 4 millones de espectadores" (in Spanish). FormulaTV.com. 18 May 2009.
- "TVE comienza este lunes la selección para Eurovisión". vertele.com (in Spanish). 20 November 2008. Archived from the original on 21 May 2009.
- M. Escudero, Victor (27 November 2009). "Spain: TVE calls for entries for Oslo". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
- "Pastora Soler representará a España en Eurovisión 2012 en Bakú". RTVE.es (in Spanish). RTVE. 21 December 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
- "Las claves de la derrota de España en Eurovisión". EuropaPress. 20 May 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- 'Operación Triunfo' vuelve a La 1, 16 años después de su estreno en TVE
- "La representación de España en Eurovisión 2018 saldrá de 'Operación Triunfo'". RTVE.es. 5 December 2017. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
- "Alfred & Amaia admit "the final result is shite"…as Spain achieves highest Eurovision ratings since 2008". wiwibloggs.com. 15 May 2018. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
- "Spain: TVE confirms participation in Eurovision 2019". esctoday.com. 14 September 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- "Spain: TVE confirms participation in Eurovision 2020". Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani. esctoday.com. 18 September 2019. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
- Jiandani, Sanjay (Sergio) (18 March 2020). "Spain: RTVE confirms Blas Cantó as Eurovision 2021 Spanish act". EscToday.
- O'Connor, John Kennedy (2005). The Eurovision Song Contest 50 Years The Official History. London: Carlton Books Limited. ISBN 1-84442-586-X.
- Fulton, Rick (14 May 2007). "The East V West Song Contest". Daily Record. Retrieved 24 May 2009.
- "Marcel Bezençon Awards". eurovision.tv. Archived from the original on 16 July 2019. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
- Adams, William Lee (9 July 2015). "Poll: Who was the worst dressed Barbara Dex Award winner?". Wiwibloggs. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
- Roxburgh, Gordon (2012). Songs for Europe: The United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest. Volume One: The 1950s and 1960s. Prestatyn: Telos Publishing. pp. 93–101. ISBN 978-1-84583-065-6.
|volume=has extra text (help)
- Roxburgh, Gordon (2014). Songs for Europe: The United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest. Volume Two: The 1970s. Prestatyn: Telos Publishing. pp. 142–168. ISBN 978-1-84583-093-9.
|volume=has extra text (help)
- Roxburgh, Gordon (2016). Songs for Europe: The United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest. Volume Three: The 1980s. Prestatyn: Telos Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84583-118-9.
|volume=has extra text (help)
- García Hernández, José (25 February 2017). "Federico Llano no estará en Kiev como jefe de la delegación española". eurovision-spain.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- "Ana María Bordas, jefa de la delegación para Eurovisión, nueva vicepresidenta del Comité de TV de la UER". eldiario.es (in Spanish). 29 May 2019. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- Jiandani, Sanjay (Sergio) (29 May 2019). "EBU: New TV Committee elected at TV Assembly in Porto". esctoday.com. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- HerGar, Paula (27 March 2018). "Todos los comentaristas de la historia de España en Eurovisión (y una única mujer en solitario)". Los 40 (in Spanish). Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- Jiménez, Roberto (23 May 2015). "¿Quiénes han dado mayor número de veces los puntos de España?". ElTelevisero.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- García Hernández, José; Mahía, Manu (23 July 2011). "Fallece Uribarri, se apaga la voz de Eurovisión en España". Eurovision-Spain.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- "José María Íñigo será el comentarista de Eurovisión 2014 por cuarto año consecutivo" (in Spanish). FormulaTV. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- "José María Íñigo comentará Eurovisión por segundo año consecutivo". eldiario.es (in Spanish). 30 April 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- Álvarez, José (7 May 2013). "Inés Paz ('La mañana de La 1') dará los votos de España en Eurovisión". Formula TV (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 22 August 2018. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- "Eurovision Song Contest 2014: ecco l'elenco degli spokesperson" (in Italian). Eurofestival News. 8 May 2014. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- "Tony Aguilar comentará junto a Julia Varela Eurovisión 2018" (in Spanish). RTVE. 14 March 2018.
- "Xuso Jones, Salvador Beltrán, Electric Nana, Maverick y Coral Segovia, jurado profesional de TVE para Eurovisión". rtve.es. RTVE (in Spanish). 29 April 2016. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- "Tony Aguilar y Julia Varela comentarán Eurovisión 2019 y Nieves Álvarez será la portavoz del jurado español" (in Spanish). RTVE. 25 March 2019.
- "Tinet Rubira liderará la puesta en escena de Edurne en el Festival de Eurovisión". www.rtve.es. El Periódico de Catalunya. 10 April 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
- "Niccolò Piccardi nos explica cómo se ideó la puesta en escena de "Say yay!" de Barei". rtve.es (in Spanish). RTVE. 9 May 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
- "El belga Hans Pannecoucke es el director artístico de la puesta en escena de Manel Navarro" [The Belgian Hans Pannecoucke is the artistic director of Manel Navarro's stage performance]. rtve.es (in Spanish). RTVE. 8 March 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
- Macías, Fernando (7 March 2018). "Alfred y Amaia: "La puesta en escena de "Tu canción" habla sobre un amor universal"". www.rtve.es. RTVE. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
- Jiandani, Sanjay (Sergio) (16 February 2019). "Spain: Fokas Evangelinos will be responsible for Miki's staging in Tel Aviv". esctoday.com. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
- Points to and from Spain eurovisioncovers.co.uk