Into the top 3 and we have the penultimate member of the big 5, matching last year’s position in the preview countdown, and ever present at Eurovision since they first entered in 1961 – Spain. It’s no surprise to find them occupying the upper echelons of these charts, though often they flatter to deceive. Edurne came third in last year’s chart yet on the night finished a lowly 21st. I can’t see that poor performance being repeated this year, not least because Barei can actually sing well live! Can she take Spain into the top 5 or higher though?
Spain has competed in the contest continuously since the country’s first appearance in 1961. The only country with a longer run of uninterrupted Eurovision appearances is the United Kingdom, ever-present since 1959. Yet in that time, they have only won twice, and the second of those victories was shared in a four-way tie. Despite that, they have provided Eurovision with many iconic and memorable songs. Recent years have been tough for Spain and in the last decade they’ve often found themselves in the bottom 5, though they did achieve 10th place in both 2012 and 2014 (and in my view they should have finished top 3 in 2012).
Barei won the Spanish national final pretty comfortably – she’s a strong singer and her song is a very up-tempo, catchy number with its own little special dance. Definitely is a toe tapper and a bit of an earworm which helps at Eurovision. I think expectations of it by Spanish fans might (as usual) be somewhat overoptimistic but I think it should finish top 15, maybe it can squeeze into the top 10 depending on where it goes in the running order. A curious fact about “Say Yay!” – it’s the first Spanish Eurovision entry to be sung fully in English, with no Spanish in it all. It caused more than a little controversy with a Member of the Royal Academy of Spanish Languages saying that it was “unpresentable, senseless and stupid” for Spain to present a song at Eurovision without any Spanish lyrics! Somewhat of an overreaction methinks…
Live at London Eurovision Preview Party:
Spain at the Eurovision Song Contest:
First entered: 1961
Appearances (excluding this year): 55
Best result: Winner 1968, 1969
Last year’s result: 21st