Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest

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Member stationRadiotelevisión Española (RTVE)
National selection events
Participation summary
First appearance1961
Best result1st: 1968, 1969
Worst resultLast: 1962, 1965, 1983, 1999, 2017
Nul points1962, 1965, 1983
External links
TVE page
Spain's page at
Song contest current event.png For the most recent participation see
Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest 2020

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 have only twice reached the top 10, with both Pastora Soler (2012) and Ruth Lorenzo (2014) finishing 10th, and have now failed to reach the top 20 in 10 of the last 15 contests, including for five consecutive years (2015–19). As of 2019, Spain is the current participating country with more years without a victory, with a total of 50 years.

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 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 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.[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 will select the Spanish entry internally.[12]

Spain and the "Big Five"[edit]

Since 1999, four particular countries have automatically qualified for the Eurovision final, regardless of their positions on the scoreboard in previous Contests.[13] 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".[14] Despite everything, Spain with its overall success is the weakest participant of the Big-5.

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 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.


Table key
Second place
Third place
Last place
Year Artist Language Title Final Points Semi Points
1961 Conchita Bautista Spanish "Estando contigo" 9 8 No semi-finals
1962 Victor Balaguer Spanish "Llámame" 13 ◁ 0
1963 José Guardiola Spanish "Algo prodigioso" 12 2
1964 Nelly, Tim & Tony Spanish "Caracola" 12 1
1965 Conchita Bautista Spanish "Qué bueno, qué bueno" 15 ◁ 0
1966 Raphael Spanish "Yo soy aquél" 7 9
1967 Raphael Spanish "Hablemos del amor" 6 9
1968 Massiel Spanish "La, la, la" 1 29
1969 Salomé Spanish "Vivo cantando" 1 18
1970 Julio Iglesias Spanish "Gwendolyne" 4 8
1971 Karina Spanish "En un mundo nuevo" 2 116
1972 Jaime Morey Spanish "Amanece" 10 83
1973 Mocedades Spanish "Eres tú" 2 125
1974 Peret Spanish "Canta y sé feliz" 9 10
1975 Sergio y Estíbaliz Spanish "Tú volverás" 10 53
1976 Braulio Spanish "Sobran las palabras" 16 11
1977 Micky Spanish "Enséñame a cantar" 9 52
1978 José Vélez Spanish, French "Bailemos un vals" 9 65
1979 Betty Missiego Spanish "Su canción" 2 116
1980 Trigo Limpio Spanish "Quédate esta noche" 12 38
1981 Bacchelli Spanish "Y sólo tú" 14 38
1982 Lucía Spanish "Él" 10 52
1983 Remedios Amaya Spanish "¿Quién maneja mi barca?" 19 ◁ 0
1984 Bravo Spanish "Lady, Lady" 3 106
1985 Paloma San Basilio Spanish "La fiesta terminó" 14 36
1986 Cadillac Spanish "Valentino" 10 51
1987 Patricia Kraus Spanish "No estás solo" 19 10
1988 La Década Prodigiosa Spanish "La chica que yo quiero" 11 58
1989 Nina Spanish "Nacida para amar" 6 88
1990 Azúcar Moreno Spanish "Bandido" 5 96
1991 Sergio Dalma Spanish "Bailar pegados" 4 119
1992 Serafín Zubiri Spanish "Todo esto es la música" 14 37
1993 Eva Santamaría Spanish "Hombres" 11 58
1994 Alejandro Abad Spanish "Ella no es ella" 18 17
1995 Anabel Conde Spanish "Vuelve conmigo" 2 119
1996 Antonio Carbonell Spanish "¡Ay, qué deseo!" 20 17 14 43
1997 Marcos Llunas Spanish "Sin rencor" 6 96 No semi-finals
1998 Mikel Herzog Spanish "¿Qué voy a hacer sin ti?" 16 21
1999 Lydia Spanish "No quiero escuchar" 23 ◁ 1
2000 Serafín Zubiri Spanish "Colgado de un sueño" 18 18
2001 David Civera Spanish "Dile que la quiero" 6 76
2002 Rosa Spanish, English "Europe's Living a Celebration" 7 81
2003 Beth Spanish "Dime" 8 81
2004 Ramón Spanish "Para llenarme de ti" 10 87 Member of the "Big 4"
2005 Son de Sol Spanish "Brujería" 21 28
2006 Las Ketchup Spanish "Un Blodymary" 21 18
2007 D'NASH Spanish, English "I Love You Mi Vida" 20 43
2008 Rodolfo Chikilicuatre Spanish, English "Baila el Chiki-chiki" 16 55
2009 Soraya Arnelas Spanish, English "La noche es para mí" 24 23
2010 Daniel Diges Spanish "Algo pequeñito" 15 68
2011 Lucía Pérez Spanish "Que me quiten lo bailao" 23 50 Member of the "Big 5"
2012 Pastora Soler Spanish "Quédate conmigo" 10 97
2013 El Sueño de Morfeo Spanish "Contigo hasta el final" 25 8
2014 Ruth Lorenzo English, Spanish "Dancing in the Rain" 10 74
2015 Edurne Spanish "Amanecer" 21 15
2016 Barei English "Say Yay!" 22 77
2017 Manel Navarro Spanish, English "Do It for Your Lover" 26 ◁ 5
2018 Amaia y Alfred Spanish "Tu canción" 23 61
2019 Miki Spanish "La venda" 22 54
2020 Blas Cantó "Universo"

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

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
Final Points Semi Points Year Place Points
Mocedades Spanish "Eres tú" 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]

Heads of delegation[edit]

Year Head of delegation Ref.
20022016 Federico Llano
20172019 Ana María Bordas

Commentators and spokespersons[edit]

Year Commentator Spokesperson Ref.
1961 Federico Gallo Diego Ramírez Pastor
1963 Julio Rico
1965 Pepe Palau
1966 Blanca Álvarez
1968 Joaquín Prat
1969 José Luis Uribarri
1971 Joaquín Prat No spokesperson
1972 Julio Rico
1974 José Luis Uribarri Antolín García
1975 José María Íñigo
1977 Miguel de los Santos Isabel Tenaille
1978 Matías Prats Luque
1979 Manuel Almendros
1980 Alfonso Lapeña
1981 Isabel Tenaille
1982 Marisa Naranjo
1983 José-Miguel Ullán Rosa Campano
1984 Matilde Jarrín
1985 Antonio Gómez
1987 Beatriz Pécker
1989 Tomás Fernando Flores
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
2002 Anne Igartiburu
2004 Beatriz Pécker
2005 Ainhoa Arbizu
2006 Sonia Ferrer
2007 Ainhoa Arbizu
2008 José Luis Uribarri
2009 Joaquín Guzmán Iñaki del Moral
2010 José Luis Uribarri Ainhoa Arbizu
2011 José María Íñigo Elena S. Sánchez
2013 Inés Paz
2014 Carolina Casado
2015 José María Íñigo and Julia Varela Lara Siscar
2016 Jota Abril
2017 Nieves Álvarez
2018 Tony Aguilar and Julia Varela


All conductors are Spanish except those marked with a flag.[30]

  • Rafael Ferrer (1961)
  • Luxembourg Jean Roderes (1962)
  • Rafael Ibarbia (1963–64, 1966, 1968, 1974, 1977)
  • Adolfo Ventas (1965)
  • Manuel Alejandro (1967)
  • Augusto Algueró (1969–1970, 1972) (musical director in 1969)
  • Argentina Waldo de los Ríos (1971)
  • Juan Carlos Calderón (1973, 1975, 1985, 1989)
  • Juan Barcons (1976, 1981)
  • Ramón Arcusa (1978)
  • José Luis Navarro (1979)
  • Javier Iturralde (1980)
  • Miguel Ángel Varona (1982)
  • José Miguel Évora (1983)
  • Eddy Guerin (1984)
  • Eduardo Leiva (1986–87, 1990–91, 1993, 1995–96)
  • Javier de Juan (1988)
  • Javier Losada (1992)
  • Josep Llobell (1994)
  • Toni Xuclà (1997)
  • Alberto Estébanez (1998)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ del Amor Caballero, Reyes (4 May 2004). "Preselecciones españolas para Eurovisión, primera parte". (in Spanish).
  2. ^ del Amor Caballero, Reyes (20 May 2004). "Segunda parte de las preselecciones españolas, 1970–2004". (in Spanish). Retrieved 1 March 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Eurovisión pierde más de 4 millones de espectadores" (in Spanish). 18 May 2009.
  4. ^ "TVE comienza este lunes la selección para Eurovisión". (in Spanish). 20 November 2008. Archived from the original on 21 May 2009.
  5. ^ M. Escudero, Victor (27 November 2009). "Spain: TVE calls for entries for Oslo". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
  6. ^ "Pastora Soler representará a España en Eurovisión 2012 en Bakú". (in Spanish). RTVE. 21 December 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  7. ^ "Las claves de la derrota de España en Eurovisión". EuropaPress. 20 May 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  8. ^ 'Operación Triunfo' vuelve a La 1, 16 años después de su estreno en TVE
  9. ^ "La representación de España en Eurovisión 2018 saldrá de 'Operación Triunfo'". 5 December 2017. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  10. ^ "Alfred & Amaia admit "the final result is shite"…as Spain achieves highest Eurovision ratings since 2008". 15 May 2018. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  11. ^ "Spain: TVE confirms participation in Eurovision 2019". 14 September 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  12. ^ "Spain: TVE confirms participation in Eurovision 2020". Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani. 18 September 2019. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  13. ^ O'Connor, John Kennedy (2005). The Eurovision Song Contest 50 Years The Official History. London: Carlton Books Limited. ISBN 1-84442-586-X.
  14. ^ Fulton, Rick (14 May 2007). "The East V West Song Contest". Daily Record. Retrieved 24 May 2009.
  15. ^ "Marcel Bezençon Awards". Archived from the original on 16 July 2019. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  16. ^ Adams, William Lee (9 July 2015). "Poll: Who was the worst dressed Barbara Dex Award winner?". Wiwibloggs. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  17. ^ García Hernández, José (25 February 2017). "Federico Llano no estará en Kiev como jefe de la delegación española". (in Spanish). Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  18. ^ "Ana María Bordas, jefa de la delegación para Eurovisión, nueva vicepresidenta del Comité de TV de la UER". (in Spanish). 29 May 2019. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  19. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (Sergio) (29 May 2019). "EBU: New TV Committee elected at TV Assembly in Porto". Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am 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.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak Jiménez, Roberto (23 May 2015). "¿Quiénes han dado mayor número de veces los puntos de España?". (in Spanish). Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r García Hernández, José; Mahía, Manu (23 July 2011). "Fallece Uribarri, se apaga la voz de Eurovisión en España". (in Spanish). Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  23. ^ a b c d "José María Íñigo será el comentarista de Eurovisión 2014 por cuarto año consecutivo" (in Spanish). FormulaTV. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  24. ^ a b "José María Íñigo comentará Eurovisión por segundo año consecutivo". (in Spanish). 30 April 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 2014: ecco l'elenco degli spokesperson" (in Italian). Eurofestival News. 8 May 2014. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  27. ^ a b c d "Tony Aguilar comentará junto a Julia Varela Eurovisión 2018" (in Spanish). RTVE. 14 March 2018.
  28. ^ "Xuso Jones, Salvador Beltrán, Electric Nana, Maverick y Coral Segovia, jurado profesional de TVE para Eurovisión". RTVE (in Spanish). 29 April 2016. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  29. ^ "Tony Aguilar y Julia Varela comentarán Eurovisión 2019 y Nieves Álvarez será la portavoz del jurado español" (in Spanish). RTVE. 25 March 2019.
  30. ^

External links[edit]