|Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest|
|Participating broadcaster||Radiotelevisión Española (RTVE)|
|Highest placement||1st: 1968, 1969|
|Spain's page at Eurovision.tv|
| 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).
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.
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 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. 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 Blas Cantó and the song "Universo" chosen. 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. 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. The broadcaster signed a contract with the regional government of the Valencian Community to hold the event for four editions. 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.
Spain and the "Big Five"
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. 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".
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.
|X||Entry selected but did not compete|
Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest
|Artist||Song||Language||At Congratulations||At Eurovision|
|Mocedades||"Eres tú"||Spanish||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||[g]|
|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.|
|1991–2001||María Teresa Segura|
|2017–2021, 2024||Ana María Bordas|
Commentators and spokespersons
This section needs additional citations for verification. (December 2019)
Stage directors and costume designers
|Year||Stage director(s)||Costume designer(s)||Ref.|
|1985||José Ramón de Aguirre|
|1988||Francis Montesinos and Antonio Alvarado|
|1993||Victorio & Lucchino|
|1999||Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada|
|2002||Poty Castillo||Jorge Pérez[l]|
|2003||Marieta Calderón||Etxart & Panno|
|2005||Poty Castillo||Amparo Macías|
|2009||Juan Pedro López|
|2011||Lola González||Sara Lage and Maru Calderón|
|2015||Tinet Rubira||José Fuentes|
|2016||Niccolò Piccardi and Florian Boje||Raúl Amor[l]|
|2018||Tinet Rubira||Teresa Helbig and Paco Varela|
|2019||Fokas Evangelinos||Armani, Ana Margo and Guillermo Villanueva|
|2021||Marvin Dietmann||Jaime Álvarez|
|2022||Kyle Hanagami||Palomo Spain|
|2023||Bentor Albelo and Javier Rojo||Paola de Diego|
- 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 sixteen and twenty-one.
- Spain in the Eurovision Young Musicians – A competition organised by the EBU for musicians aged eighteen years and younger.
- Spain in the OTI Festival – A competition organised by the OTI (Iberoamerican Telecommunications Organisation) Between 1972 and 2000
Notes and references
- Contains phrases in French
- Contains phrases in English
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Stylist of the performance, not designer of the outfit.
- 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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