Albania was the first country to have their national final (just before Christmas) and Spain provides us with the second national final of the season. Typically, there has been a bit of a drama, with a couple of the favourites suggesting people vote for someone else as they are not so committed to going to Eurovision (though they are contracted to do so). I’ll stick to just looking at a couple of the contenders and my favourites…
The contestants all come from the most recent season of Operación Triunfo and a list of seventeen songs was shortlisted to ten for this final (3 from an online vote and the remainder selected by a panel). In terms of what we’ve got, I wouldn’t say there any stinkers, but equally few rise above bland but there are at least a couple I’d like to see in Tel Aviv.
Fan favourite: María Villar “Muérdeme”
Currently the big fan favourite, I can understand why – it’s a bit of a Spanish mix of last year’s huge hit “Fuego” and a bit of Asanda’s “Legends”. The final full version doesn’t feel quite as good as the 1 minute snippet we’d heard before but this could still be the song to beat. I am not against it but it wouldn’t be my top choice to go (and María herself sounds less than keen to go to Eurovision!). I also think this would lead to a low placing in the contest if it were to go to Tel Aviv.
My favourite: Miki “La Venda”
Easily my favourite (and currently second favourite in most fan polls) is Miki with a very upbeat, catchy and distinctly Spanish pop song. It’s the sort of thing I love to hear at Eurovision and it’s been a while since we had something like this from Spain, so my vote definitely goes to Miki! (I also think this is more likely to do well for Spain than “Muérdeme” at the contest).
My second favourite: Natalia and Miki “Nadie se salva”
Miki also features in my second favourite (and this also is doing quite well in fan polls) with this duet which again has a bit of a “Fuego” feel but with a strong Spanish flavour and Miki’s male vocals. Also definitely one that deserves wiggling your hips and bum to on the dancefloor…
Another contender: Noelia “Hoy vuelvo a reír otra vez”
Fitting very much into the big female solo Spanish ballad that has had success at Eurovision before, this particular song isn’t bad but it’s no “Dancing in the Rain” or “Quédate conmigo”. It’s not picked to win, but it’s one of the contenders but if it were to go, I can’t see this doing that well in the contest.
Listen to “Hoy vuelvo a reír otra vez”
So where will the Spanish voting public go? There will be a panel on hand to comment on the songs and performances but the vote will be 100% for the general public. I really think Spain should pick Miki and “La Venda” but I suspect, even if the performance is not great, that María will be taking “Muérdeme” to Israel.
The show begins at 9.05pm (UK time) on Sunday 20 January and is available to watch online.