Objetivo Eurovisión: Of Spain’s select six, who should stay (at home) and who should go (to Stockholm)?

It’s the last day of January, and you know what that means!

Well, I’m assuming you know what that means.

Just in case you don’t, it means that national final season is about to take over all of our lives, and cause us to suffer from hair loss and heart palpitations as we struggle endlessly to keep up with all of the pan-European (and Australian) action on the calendar – particularly on Saturday nights.

We wouldn’t want it any other way, would we?

February’s first NF will be brought to us courtesy of Spain – on the first, fittingly. Tomorrow night, three guys and three girls will fight, matador-style (that’s how it works, right?) for their right to represent their country at Eurovision. Once there, the winner will have to pull off a performance that makes everyone forget the so-OTT-it-was-laughable stage show we witnessed in Vienna via Edurne. It’s a tough task, but somebody has to undertake it.

Mark my words where this final is concerned: it’s going to be pretty awesome. This is Objetivo Eurovisión!

 

oes

For once, I can say ‘VIVA LA SPAGNA!’ with genuine enthusiasm, because this six-strong national final is packed with potential ESC success. There isn’t a bad song in the bunch – although some, in my opinion, are better than others (I’ll specify which in a second).

Here are the entries Spain has to select from, in running order:

  1. Un Mundo Mas Feliz by Maverick
  2. Say Yay! by Barei
  3. Victorious by Xuso Jones
  4. Días de Alegria by Salvador Beltrán
  5. La Vida Sólo Es Una by María Isabel
  6. Now by Electric Nana

It’s quite the variety show, with traditionally Spanish tracks sitting alongside electro-pop, pop-rock, and a dance-banger or two. The most talked-about names initially were those associated with the latter genre – Xuso Jones, who’s backed by a Swedish songwriting superpower; and María Isabel, who has a Junior Eurovision victory to her name, and has many wondering if she could do the double if sent to the adult contest. But it’s Barei who has risen in the ranks of the Spanish iTunes charts, topping them a few days ago. Does that tell us everything we need to know re: tomorrow’s results? Are underdogs Maverick, Salvador and Electric Nana completely out of contention? Time, as always will tell.

Something I can tell you in the meantime is what I think of the six songs. Quick, prepare yourselves for a mini-ranking!

  • #1 La Vida Sólo Es Una It could be my unconditional love for her Junior winner Antes Muerta Que Sencilla talking…or my eternal excitement at the possibility of another former JESC participant graduating to the ESC. Either (or neither) way, I love this! It’s quintessentially Spanish without perpetuating a stereotype, and fulfils all of the ethno-pop fantasies I’ve had during the last few Eurovisions sans a significant amount of said ethno-pop. Oh, and it’s very catchy. That’s often all I ask for in a Eurovision entry.
2015111515551628633

I’m not just pretending to love Maria’s song so she doesn’t strangle me with all eight of her arms, I promise.

  • #2 Un Mundo Mas Feliz This one is a bit more stereotypically Spanish – but what’s wrong with that *says the Australian*? I don’t think anybody else is as big of a fan of Maverick as I am in this context, music-wise or aesthetics-wise (though at 24, I can’t seem to fancy his 19-year-old self without feeling like a creepy cougar). Un Mundo makes me feel good, and that can’t be bad. It’s sunny and trumpety and tropical, and I want to flamenco my ass off to it. Anyone who wants to join me is welcome. Olé!
  • #3 Victorious As someone who frowns upon countries conducting their ESC entry shopping in the Cookie Cutter aisle of the Swedish Songs Sure To Succeed In Certain Contests Supermarket (*takes much needed breath*) I should hate Victorious, which is as derivative as heck and was co-penned by Peter Böstrom of Euphoria (and Amanecer) fame. The token Spanish lyrics, enforced in this NF, also annoy me. But…THIS IS BRILLIANT. The chorus is killer, and no other song in this comp has one so instant. If Xuso was victorious, I wouldn’t mind at all.
  • #4 Say Yay! Though it’s far from being my favourite, the only thing I dislike about this song is its title, which makes it sound like it belongs on a Best of Hi-5 album (if you’re Australian, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If not, good luck). That aside, it’s verging on being something special. Barei has a cool, Sia-like catch in her voice which adds interest to an already interesting, multi-faceted song that’s unlike anything Spain has ever sent to Eurovision before. I’d be curious to see what transpired if they did so in 2016.
  • #5 Días de Alegria I desperately wanted to see Pablo Alborán in this NF, and obviously, my wish wasn’t granted. But Salvador, who appears to be the love child of Pablo and Christos Mylordos, is a semi-decent substitute. I’m undecided on the formulaic beginning of Días de Alegria – do I like it? Is it too predictable? I don’t know. But then things ramp up, the chorus kicks in and I know I’m enjoying what I’m listening to.
  • #6 Now My least favourite of the lot is still a perfectly competent, well-written number. It’s just that pop-rock isn’t usually a genre I enjoy, even when it’s in such a contemporary form. I think this is too much of a plateau song to give Spain a good chance of hitting any Eurovision heights, but it would still be an entry they could be proud of.

So, sí. Those are my thoughts. All in all, this is the strongest Spanish final I’ve been around to experience, and I’m psyched that Spain will end up with what I perceive to be a very good (worst case) or epic (best case) entry for Eurovision 2016, no matter what.

But what do I actually think is going to go down? I know you’re ridiculously keen to find out.

Right?

Guys?

Is anyone there?

Who WILL win Barei. Or Xuso. Or María. Just…one of those three, okay?!? I don’t want to call Barei as an obvious winner based purely on Spain’s iTunes stats, especially because the Spanish public only has a 40% say in the outcome of Objetivo (a jury and a panel of experts share the remaining 60%). Still, the people have clearly staked a claim on her entry as one they prefer. And Say Yay! does give off triumphant vibes (not to be confused with Un Mundo Mas Feliz’ trumpet vibes). But…so does Victorious. Xuso would be a safer, more secure choice than Barei, but I’m not sure how willing Spain is to be represented by something so un-Spanish – mandatory Espanol pre-chorus aside (TVE are clearly NOT willing to toss all Spanish-ness in the trash). I do think María has a decent shot here too, due in part to her status as a previous Eurovision event winner. But again, wishful thinking might be clouding my judgment on this one. Much of what happens across the board depends on the live performances we witness from the six, so we’ll have to wait and see who’s truly winning material, I guess.

Who SHOULD win This depends on what Spain want to achieve in Stockholm. If they’d rather send something relatively safe, that has the goods to get them out of the gutter (i.e. as far from the bottom of the scoreboard as possible), then Xuso is probably their best bet. If they want to take a risk that may or may not pay off (following in Belgium and Latvia’s 2015 footsteps) they should send Barei. If they don’t want to upset me – and let’s face it, that’s the population of Spain’s first priority – they should send María or Maverick. So which is it, amigos?

 

As Electric Nana might say, Now it’s time for you to have your say. But I’m not going to ask you to pick your predicted or personal winner. Instead, I want to know:

 

There. All you can do now is sit back, relax, and see if your advice is taken.

However, if you’re itching to reveal your Objetivo rankings or predictions, head south to the comments section and reveal away! While you’re doing that, I’ll be Googling churro recipes, determining if eighteen different tapas dishes is too many for one person, and finding the most comfortable viewing position for tomorrow night (if you’re reading this on Sunday)/tonight (if you’re reading this on Monday)/tomorrow morning (if you’re in an Aussie-esque time zone).

 

Adiós!

 

2015sig

 

PS – I have to take a moment to say farewell to the legend that is Mr. Eurovision (no, not that one…the OTHER Mr. Eurovision). Sir Terry Wogan passed away today aged 77, in what is the latest in a string of famous deaths none of us saw coming. He didn’t always take the ESC as seriously as some of us do, but that was part of his charm. Also appealing was his unwavering loyalty towards the contest – his voice eventually becoming synonymous with the BBC broadcast of the show. For that, and for so much more, I salute him. RIP, Terry.

 

 

About Jaz

I'm Jaz, I'm 25, and I'm 110% Eurovision-OBSESSED. The contest is one big party, and I like to keep it going 365 days a year - that's why I write about anything and everything ESC on my blog. Come join the fun, and I promise you'll never have a nul-point experience! www.eurovisionbyjaz.com/

Posted on January 31, 2016, in Eurovision 2016 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Hiya Jaz, loving how our opinions on all things Eurovision seem to be so out of synch!

    You think it’s a great year for Spain – I think it’s a mediocre one…

    When I listened to them all, my worst score was 5.5, best was 6.5 (out of 10). No-one was awful but then again no-one made me think that any would reach the top ten in the Final. Maybe their live performances will wow me – Lena sung ‘Satellite’ better on stage in Oslo than the studio version ever sounded.

    If I had to choose one though, I would agree with you in sending Maria Isabel, just purely for the total Spanish experience. 🙂

    I thought that covering this tomorrow would have been my next blog post but a certain Eurovision host/commentator passing away today meant a swift write of a tribute to him. I suspect that there will be some sort of tribute too to Terry Wogan at our NF and probably in Stockholm too…

    Like

    • As they say, one person’s trash is another’s treasure! No doubt there’ll be an NF line-up that I find abhorrent and you rather enjoy at some point (what do you think of the Norwegian snippets? That could be the one, because I was not impressed by them at all). I’m very keen to check out the lives from all of the Spanish six – Barei’s could bring her down, Maria’s could secure her victory…who knows what else could happen. I’m just bummed I can’t watch live thanks to an early morning tomorrow (#australianescfanproblems).

      Beautiful tribute post to Sir Terry, by the way. Planet Eurovision is missing an important piece now. I hope the televised tributes you mentioned (because they HAVE to happen) pay due respect to such a legend.

      Like

      • I’ve not listened to the Norwegian efforts yet, I’ve changed tack this season by having a listen to the studio versions first (if available) – speeds up the blogging process!

        Thank you for the tribute praise, glad you enjoyed reading it. 🙂

        Like

  2. Hola Jaz!

    so tonight we’re getting the next Eurovision entry for Stockholm! I’m actually not too overwhelmed by the Spanish pre-selection of their six songs. I’m sorry, but I also think that it will be a very mediocre Eurovision year for Spain.

    Not that there is anything wrong with their six songs, they are all nice, pleasing and inoffensive, for sure! But they all lack that ‘something special’ it needs for Eurovision. In my opinion, there is no winning song among them, not even one that would come anywhere near the top 10 of the scoreboard. So from my personal point of view Spain won’t be a danger this year!

    What I like about this pre-selection is that there are quite a few traditional Spanish songs among them which I always prefer to the international-sound-alikes. As I am a fan of the Spanish traditional sound, I would also agree to Pablo Alborán (you mentioned) or Alejandro Sanz, who I’d like much to rock the Eurovision stage.

    So here’s my personal choice for Spain 2016:

    1. Maverick: nice song with a positive message that reminds me much of Spain 2001 & 2004, two entries that belong to my list of favourite ESC songs.
    2. Salvador Beltrán: Salva would be a good choice, as he stands for the Spanish traditional sound! If only the song would be more appealing?!
    3. María Isabel: that’s a nice song too, but also one that I would have forgotten again right after its performance!
    4. Barei: she reminds me of ‘Pink’ which I think can be an advantage internationally. But her song really isn’t a masterpiece and sooo repetitive!
    5. Xuso Jones: I am still wondering if this is the ‘Euphoria 4.0’ or the ‘Glooorious 3.0’?!? Or a mixture of both? It sounds too much like a Swedish entry which makes it exchangeable for Spain, IMO! And: is it a coincidence that both, Loreen and Edurne (and both of their ESC songs by Peter Boström!), join the in-studio jury this year? I can almost see where their votes will go to!
    6. Electric Nana: ‘Now’ is the only song of the six I don’t get warm with. So it’s my least favourite among them, and I’m also not sure if Nana is able to bring the live vocals on stage.

    So my personal picks for Eurovision would be Maverick or Salva, but my prediction for tonight looks a bit different:

    1. Barei, 2. Xuso Jones, 3. María Isabel, 4, Salvador Beltrán, 5. Maverick, 6. Electric Nana

    Hopefully there will be a good show tonight with great live vocals and some convincing stage performances. At least Loreen and Edurne will be worth it watching tonight. 🙂

    Buenas tardes y muchos saludos!

    Wolf 😉

    Like

Thinking it? Say it!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: