Spain, as one of the Big 5 nations hasn’t had a very successful run over the recent years. I feel the nation has great intentions of bringing something exciting to the table, but just never really hits that mark. This year, a slightly confusing format of national final was used to select the next Spanish Eurovision act, and of course, controversy was quick to follow. Although there were some concerns about the legitimacy of the voting, Manel Navarro won the competition after a jury-broken tie over the fan favourite of the national final, Mirela. Did the Spanish Jury select the right act?
Short answer, no, I don’t think this was the right choice. Out of the average line-up that Spain ended up with, I do think Mirela would have been a better match for Eurovision with her upbeat, Spanish influenced pop song. Regardless of my personal preferences, we’ve ended up with Manel and his song Do It for Your Lover, so we’ve just gotta go with it. If I had the ability to change one thing about this song to improve it, I would cut the song after the first verse and chorus. The opening of the song is laid back, its inviting and in Spanish, and those three things together start the song well. The chorus switches over to English, where the same lyrics are repeated for the entirety of the chorus – bearable enough for the first chorus, however after that, we’re listening to the exact same sequence, and it’s at that point where I begin to lose interest in the song.
The song overall just doesn’t give enough to be a successful Eurovision song. It has a time and place, and I do think it’s possibly too casual to find its place in the contest – in other words, it’s just not a competition song, regardless of whether you’re a fan or not of the song. If Manel didn’t provide that variation in his voice towards the end of the song to give some intensity, this would be three minutes of just ‘do it for your lover, do it for your lover’ and that equates to disinterest and three minutes of tedious listening. His voice is fine for the song that it is, and I don’t really have too many concerns or thoughts about his vocals.
The staging of this song I feel will play on the summery feel that this song has, and just like in the national final, some sort of beachy, relaxed feel to the staging is what I would expect. I think this song has a niche audience in the context of the stereotypical Eurovision audience, and that’s the younger viewers, specifically girls. I think they will probably play on Manel’s youthfulness to gain a few teeny bopper votes, as I feel this song would mostly appeal to that demographic.
Unfortunately, I’ve well grown out of that teeny bopper phase and I’m not really making much of a connection to this song for the previously mentioned reasons. Having a bit more diversity within the 3 minutes of the song really could have made this a song I could view as a contender, but for me, this is going to give Spain their ‘usual’ result, which isn’t all that great.
Overall, when thinking about rating this song, I’m a bit torn because upon further listen I do enjoy the first minute of the song with the first verse and chorus, but in reality, hearing this, for example on Spotify, I’d want to skip it after that first minute. In that sense, it actually makes me think of Blackbird from Finland, which I do feel the same about in that sense, so I think I’ll rate this song on par with their entry, and give it a 4/10 – potentially a point too generous, but I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.