Cover photo: Andres Putting (EBU)


This editorial is written from the opinion of the author and does not represent the views of the other editors, the EBU or escYOUnited as a whole.

After fantastic Top 10 results in 2012 and 2014 for Spain and its national broadcaster, RTVE, recent results in Eurovision has fallen short of expectations.  Such results culminated with Spain’s last place finish at this year’s song contest.  Spain was saved from the dreaded “nil point” finish thanks to 5 points from the Portuguese televoters.

Typically, a host broadcaster, regardless of results, will send warm thanks and congratulations to their artist.  This year, RTVE chose to do the opposite with one Twitter post following Saturday’s final.

Translated, it reads: “Spain, last in Eurovision after Manel Navarro’s squawk”.  In other words, RTVE, in jest, is blaming their last place finish on a bad note in Manel’s Saturday performance.  Let us not forget that 50% of the vote was based upon the jury votes from a performance on Friday evening in which Manel did NOT botch that note.  One botched note does not equate to a last place finish; simply put, the song was not enjoyed by jurors and televoters alike. And RTVE is to blame as the broadcaster in charge of the selection and the method of selection.

What is disturbing about this one Twitter post is that rather than standing behind their artist, RTVE has made a conscious decision to turn its back on him.  For the sake of a few retweets and likes, they chose to follow the social media trend of mocking an artist that already was facing so much visceral reaction from a National Final that used the jury vote as a tie-breaker.  Manel was already in a tough position and to have the one entity that should have provided support when he needed it the most reveals the disturbing and disheartening approach to Eurovision that RTVE is currently taking.

When we think about possible future directions for RTVE, one recommendation is obvious: support your artist from start to finish.  This one small Twitter post can have huge consequences for future Spanish entrants.  What future artist would be able to see this post and not consider that the same could happen to them?  Regardless of if RTVE wanted to be a part of the “let’s make fun of Manel” bandwagon, they should have taken the higher road and simply congratulated him.

What do you think? Let us know on the forums.

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  1. Good Riddance

    May 17, 2017 at 22:29

    Very good post/point! How diplomatic of them. As a professional broadcast they should’ve taken the higher road. It’s unsportsmanlike, and above all immature. They selected him themselves, so if there’s anyone to blame, it’s themselves indeed! But, unfortunately, you see this all the time. Not necessarily bullying the artist after failing in Eurovision, but morely blaming other factors that got nothing to do with it (that everyone is to blame for the bad result, but themselves) while they (whether the public when it involves a national final, or the broadcast when they internally selected the artist) chosen the artist and song themselves… so if anyone is to “blame” it’s themselves! But always when it fails other external factors are to blame (so-called political voting, the artist disappointing live performance, whatever) while they choose the entry themselves to begin with! That’s too ironically for words. You just should have chosen a better song, period. People are, evidently, just bad losers.

    But that would mean the consistent failures in Eurovision are (whether the broadcast, or the people who voted) (co-)fault itself indirectly, and that’s just something we can’t stand, since everyone is always to blame but ourselves. When it fails maybe people should blame what’s really to blame: the bad (monotonous) boring song to begin with (or in this case, him getting selected in the national final thanks to the jury vote, while there were better songs I understood) the broadcast should rather blame that instead of putting him down like that.

    But you see this all the time (on social media, in tv-talkshows) people blaming the artist (after failing in Eurovision) instead of blaming the song or their own national method selection-procedure. After failing for so many years (consistently) maybe they should do some objective reflection that the selection procedure (they as a broadcast created themselves…) is lacking quality (quality songs) to begin with. That not many good songs are send in, and the public only gets to choose between crap/boring songs? (As we had in the Netherlands in the national final days, now they internally select the artists.) Not only broadcasts but also people always blame politican voting, politics in Eurovision etc (when an entry “fails”) instead of acknowledging the song just wasn’t good enough. Start making better songs instead of blaming other (external) factors that, frankly, often got nothing to do with it. Just send in better songs for gods sake. (I hope my country will, since I didn’t like our entry/the song we send in for years now. Except for 2014.)

  2. Mark Butler

    May 17, 2017 at 10:43

    I completely agree with you. It’s simply bad form to say something like that, particularly about your own act. Not even the BBC would do that – though sadly they have sneered at other countries, as with Francesco Gabbani this year. With their actions, RTVE have surely alienated some future possible contenders. As someone who can remember watching live TV pictures of Spain’s last victory in the contest, I think it will be a long time before they ever win again.

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