Eurovision 2023 top 37 countdown: #8 SPAIN – Blanca Paloma – Eaea

The country that has had the longest wait for a Eurovision win (since its previous one) is Spain – 1969, the year of the moon landings, and 9 years before even I was born, was the last time the Iberian nation took the trophy. The 21st century has been very mixed for Spain, but as we recall, last year Chanel gave a stunning performance and finished third, Spain’s best result since 1995. Big shoes then for Blanca Paloma to fill, who will be bringing something very different than Chanel, yet it is undeniably and unmistakeably Spanish.

Benidorm Fest returned for 2023, and in a high quality final with a good variety of Spanish music, Blanca’s distinctive song won. This had was her second attempt to go the contest – she entered the national final last year finishing fifth. “Eaea” is an extremely Spanish entry – no other country could enter something like this. I’ve seen this described as “new flamenco” but I had also heard it’s even more specific than that – I will leave that to be corrected by someone who knows more than me! Either way, Blanca gives us what will be an atypical entry, not following the verse-chorus-bridge structure. As well as being a singer, she’s a set designer and a costume designer and I’m sure she’s either led or had heavy input into those latter aspects to her performance and staging.

I think this is a really bold song and unapologetic in representing a genre of Spain’s music and an aspect of Spanish culture that many might not otherwise see. She gives a really mesmerising performance and is never less than stunning vocally. For that reason, I’ve embedded the national final performance rather than the official music video as I think that is more impactful. As someone who has watched her perform live, it really transports you. I’m very pleased that Spain are once again sending a song that is bold, representative of their culture and music, and is not safe and generic.

It’s hard to determine just how this will do. The general consensus is that this should do well with juries – given the overall performance and the vocal ability on display. Potentially if it does chime with a lot of juries, it could challenge to be top 3 with juries, though I’m not sure it will get top marks from across all countries. More difficult to predict is the televote. Will this be too niche for people in other countries and a Saturday evening mainstream audience? Certainly “Eaea” is polarising with me and another of my Eurovision gang really liking it, and two others, having it near the bottom of their rankings. Polarising is not necessarily bad as long as it connects strongly with enough people – at the moment, I’ve no idea what sort of televote will come of it. There’s definitely potential for this to be another top 5 result for Spain though, we’ll just have to see how the Saturday night goes!

Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest

First entered: 1961

Appearances (excluding this year): 61

Best result: Winner 1968, 1969

Last year’s result: 3rd

Flag of Spain

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.