The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the reviewer and do not necessarily represent the views of escYOUnited as a whole, and do not represent those of the EBU or Eurovision.


Tonight will see the culmination of a long-running contest in Spain as the final show of the latest Operación Triunfo cycle concludes and, while the winner of the main competition is already known to be the 19 year old Famous Oberogo from Bormujos, the small matter of Spain’s Eurovision 2019 entry needs to be resolved.

Ten songs have been chosen – three by the public, seven by the committee selected by TVÉ – and as eager fans of the contest it is our duty to pass judgement on all of the available options.

So here we go once again with our reviews, as this time James, Jordan and Sean peruse the ten options for Spain’s entry in Tel Aviv…

Carlos Right – Se te nota

James – 5 – “A slight and unremarkable acoustic guitar driven song. Carlos Right has the ability to craft a great vocal melody, but the chord progression underneath is too basic. The song’s pleasant, yet forgettable.”

Jordan – 9 – “I live for music like this! I am a sucker for a guy with an acoustic guitar delivering a feel-good song. Se Te Nota although generic has its own identity and I really enjoy it. I’ve seen people comparing it to Manel Navarro and Do It for Your Lover and I see why, but I loved that song too, haha. I’m not expecting this to do particularly well in the Eurovisión Gala, but I would personally have this as one of the contenders.”

Sean – 6 – “A nice Latino pop number from Carlos Right, and surely something stereotypically expected from Spain. That might be part of the problem for international audiences hoping for something different, but this kind of sound is in at the moment so who knows? The song is well-produced with a richly populated backing track and he has a suitably breathy voice for a guitar-driven song like this. If nothing spectacular, it’s at least a decent listen.”

Total – 20

Famous – No puedo más

James – 7 – “This one’s a little different than what one would expect from Spain. American gospel is the last inspiration you would expect to hear on a Spanish song, but here we are. It works, for the most part, but despite Famous being a great singer capable of range and power, the song lacks heft. If you’re going the American gospel route you need the spiritual euphoria and exuberance that sub-genre demands. As it stands, “No puedo más” is the 1982 Chevrolet Camaro 2.5 litre Iron Duke – a muscle car with an underpowered engine. However, this has potential to blow the roof off with a rework.”

Jordan – 10 – “When I heard the snippet, I liked what I heard. Now with the full song and the revamp I love this! The chorus has so much power and gives the Spanish language another dimension than just traditional Latina pop. I love the gospel feel and the bridge is just amazing in my opinion. This is by far my favourite in this selection and would be so pleased to see this represent Spain.”

Sean – 4 – “The actual winner of Operación Triunfo appears to have been thrown slightly under the bus here with a generic empty pop song. The verses show some promise for a well-crafted modern track, but the hark-back chorus reminds me of the inoffensive soft pop that personified the 90s charts. Sorry, but this doesn’t interest me too much.”

Total – 21

Julia – Qué quieres que haga

James – 4 – “The modern pop effects thrown in cheapen this ballad. There’s a faint “yeah” here and there and other obnoxious staple sound effects of modern pop such as randomly inserted beats and echoes that fart all over the decent acoustic guitar driven ballad underneath. Julia is a decent singer, there’s a core of a good song here, but the production team can’t help themselves and ruin it.”

Jordan – 4 – “This is similar to Sabela for me. It’s very nice and pleasant but very forgettable. Her brilliant voice earns her a few points from me but other than that this song is just another middle of the road ballad that would go nowhere in Eurovision. Sorry if that sounds harsh but I have to say what I feel.”

Sean – 7 – “This is the only song where I really can feel the singer is into the track. It’s lovingly crafted, with the clock-like rhythm driving the song forward. Julia has a big, versatile voice that can also shrink down to a whisper when the quiet moments require it, and of the slower options in this selection I’d certainly go for this one.”

Total – 15

María – Muérdeme

James – 8 – “Another Latin American influenced number, this one is of note as it was written by two of El Sueno de Morfeo, who represented Spain at Eurovision 2013 with a Celtic influenced acoustic number “Contiga Hasta El Final.” “Meurdeme” sounds nothing like that, with more reggaetón vibes. It’s unusual that an indie-rock singer and folk-pop fusion collaborated on this one and produced neither, but it’s actually great. I feel Miki’s party more than this one, but if this one brings a Latin party vibe to Tel Aviv instead, I wouldn’t mind.”

Jordan – 4 – “I’ve seen a lot of people say that this song has got worse since the revamp… Personally I think it’s got better. But I will not sit here and pretend I like it to please its fans. I don’t and I don’t think it should represent Spain. Plus, María has made it abundantly clear she doesn’t want to go to Eurovision, and I don’t want attitudes like that in this contest. Spain should pick someone who is genuinely happy to do it and that is not María.”

Sean – 6 – “So if I understand it correctly this was one of the bigger favourites with public when all of the snippets were originally posted, but to be honest I’m not sure why. It’s very local in its appeal which might help to explain it, but whether this modern take with traditional elements will translate to the public abroad I remain unconvinced.”

Total – 18

Marilia – Todo bien

James – 6 – “There’s a bit more bombast to this acoustic guitar driven Latin pop number than some of the others on display. It’s fun, if a little generic. It lacks a wow factor to take it over the top.”

Jordan – 4 – “I’m not going win any fans for saying this but I’m not a fan of traditional Spanish Latina pop songs and this one although fine to listen to does nothing for my taste personally. Marilia has a nice voice but overall it just does nothing for me. Sorry!”

Sean – 7 – “Now this is more like it. The clicky, clappy sounds and Spanish guitar mixed with a bombastic big room chorus is an intriguing mix which definitely works in this case. It’s about time Spain had something that showed off their rich culture in an up-to-date way. Perhaps Europe as a whole may not appreciate this but this is a very decent option for Spain in 2019.”

Total – 17

Miki – La venda

James – 9 – “Miki’s bringing Latin America to Spain here with this Latin bass driven dance number. Percussion instruments get short shrift at Eurovision, so nice to see excellent deployment of drums and the rarely-heard marimba (especially on the bridge), as well as trumpets. I am not sure how this will go down on the Eastern side of the Atlantic, but this would go down a treat on the Western side.”

Jordan – 8 – “No other country could send this song other than Spain. This really shows off the country it’s trying to represent, and I really like that. It stands out massively among the other songs in this selection but it’s also mainstream enough to appeal to a mass market audience. I really really enjoy this one and wouldn’t be against Spain sending this to Tel Aviv.”

Sean – 8 – “The intro makes me think this is what’d happen if Of Monsters And Men went on holiday to Mexico, and Miki will have a job on his hands to portray this fast-paced anthem. This could be really fun on stage in Tel Aviv, but could also fall flat on its arse, so the live performance of this one will be key.”

Total – 25

Miki & Natalia – Nadie se salva

James – 6 – “This song is less than the sum of its parts, unfortunately. It lacks the hook of either of their individual efforts. It’s a pleasant Latin club track, but its chorus is weak, and it lacks distinctiveness and falls flat as a duet. I’d rather Spain pick one of Miki or Natalia than their joint effort.”

Jordan – 3 – “The revamp has ruined this one for me. I did really enjoy the snippet for this but the chorus is now way too electronic and it’s just ruined the whole feel of the chorus for me. I liked the attitude and sass in the original, but I can’t focus on that here because of the horrible electro sounds. I’m sorry but this should not be in contention to represent Spain.”

Sean – 6 – “The only duet of this year’s Gala sees Miki & Natalie join forces on this strange hybrid of a song. Part reggaeton, part rap, part bossanova, I’m not really sure how to pigeonhole this one. Perhaps that’s a good thing as it’s certainly interesting, but this is no “Lo malo” for sure. Could certainly make Spain stand out in Tel Aviv though!”

Total – 15

Natalia – La clave

James – 7 – “Natalia’s solo effort tonight is a pleasant, modern pop number, incorporating hip hop with Spanish pop. It is a fun, live in the moment kind of song that Latin pop is known for, and “La clave” would be a great showcase for Spanish and Latin pop at Eurovision, even if originality is not its strong suit. It also needs a more powerful closure as it plateaus after the bridge where you’d expect a ramp up.”

Jordan – 4 – “Like I’ve said before, this style of music does nothing for me what so ever. I like her voice but other than that this song is a non-starter. I wouldn’t pick this for Tel Aviv. Also, her attitude towards Eurovision is similar to María’s and I have no time for that. This is fine but nothing spectacular.”

Sean – 7 – “My worry with this one is how well it’ll stand out against the rest of the songs in the selection. I think it would be noticed in Tel Aviv more than Spanish entries have been in general lately, but it has to get there first and there are probably stronger options available. As it is though it’s a unique piece of pop music with a very distinct local flavour.”

Total – 18

Noelia – Hoy vuelvo a reír otra vez

James – 6 – “I got excited seeing the name Noelia, but alas she is not the Puerto Rican Noelia. Noelia’s 1999 smash hit “Tu” is fantastic. Noelia from Malaga’s song is a decent adult contemporary ballad. If she can hold the note like she does on the produced version in a live setting, that will produce the “wow” moment this song needs live. But other than that moment and Noelia being a decent singer, not too much memorable going on here.”

Jordan – 7 – “This is a traditional Spanish diva ballad done right. Noelia reminds me massively of Pastora Soler in many ways. However, I think Quédate Conmigo had a bit more power than this one does. Hoy Vuelvo A Reir Otra Vez has a lot of potential and it’s a lovely song but I feel it needs that one final push of power to make it a stand out entry for me personally.”

Sean – 3 – “Spain does well with the big female voices and Noelia certainly has a set of pipes on her to (attempt to) carry this song, but it’s very similar in inoffensiveness to ESDM in 2013 for me. Where’s the passion, the fire? Lazy option for such a great voice when something more dramatic and unique would be fantastic.”

Total – 16

Sabela – Hoy soñare

James – 7 – “Great vocal performance, and a slow pop ballad that builds nicely as it moves along and has some neat flourishes to it. Stands out from some of the more generic Spanish pop on display here, and though the song has a powerful ending, it may be a little too restrained and too Céline Dion-esque to make it to Tel Aviv out of this selection.”

Jordan – 4 – “I think Sabela has a great voice but other than that this is not a contender whatsoever. This is forgettable as anything and I feel this is probably going to come last on the night. There is just nothing special about this. It’s pleasant, it’s fine but nothing I’m going to remember in an hour’s time.”

Sean – 5 – “Ireland, come through! Didn’t expect such a Celtic feeling entry in the Spanish selection, but considering where Sabela is from in Spain perhaps this shouldn’t be a major shock. Far too old fashioned for modern Eurovision I think but it does lend itself well for a spine-tingling performance if staged right.”

Total – 16

Now let’s see how all of the acts compare once we tot up the scores…

  1. Miki – La venda – 25
  2. Famous – No puedo más – 21
  3. Carlos Right – Se te nota – 20
  4. María – Muérdeme – 18
  5. Natalia – La clave – 18
  6. Marilia – Todo bien – 17
  7. Noelia – Hoy vuelvo a reír otra vez – 16
  8. Sabela – Hoy soñare – 16
  9. Julia – Qué quieres que haga – 15
  10. Miki & Natalia – Nadie se salva – 15

So it seems that by quite a way our favourite was Miki with “La venda”, earning 25 out of a possible 30 points from our jury. Second place goes to the OT champion Famous, with Carlos Right in third. But, will this be the choice for Spain later this evening? You’ll have to wait and see from 22:05 CET to find out…

Who do #YOU want to represent Spain in Eurovision 2019? Share your thoughts with us on our forum HERE or join the discussion below and on social media!

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