It seems like an eternity ago, but in fact, today’s National Final throwback comes from the 2019 national final season. We’re heading to Spain, a nation that bounces between national finals and internal selections year after year. For the 2019 season, Spain selected their Eurovision act through a special ‘gala’ show of Operación Triunfo. One of the hot favourites to win the Eurovision gala was María and her song Muérdeme, but is it as good as I remember?
I remember this national selection well, and considering Spain hasn’t had the best results at Eurovision in recent years, I thought that the competing national final songs had the potential to give Spain the much-needed morale booster. I remember a number of the songs fondly, and there was a good mix of upbeat pop numbers and ballads. Regardless of the genre, it seemed that things were looking up for Spain.
María was a hot favourite to take out the competition, and it was clear why. Muérdeme was the most contemporary song in the selection, and certainly had Eurovision potential. The beat is incredibly catchy, and María’s flirty vocals really suited the lyrics. The chorus was memorable, and you can really imagine this song with strong choreography at Eurovision. As much as it feels like a cliché to use this comparison, but this song has that same appeal as Fuego. While Fuego had a bit more punch, both songs had that same televote appeal – or in the case of Muérdeme, the potential for a strong televote.
As we know, Muérdeme was not the chosen song on the night, and despite the praise for the song, it was probably a blessing. It was (allegedly) stated before the Eurovision gala that María did not want to win, and thus did not want to go to Eurovision. Whether that’s true or not, what is clear is that she did not put her best foot forward in the Eurovision gala. Vocally, this was completely flat, not due to ability, but due to effort. Backing vocals were the forefront of the performance, and even the choreography on stage was performed with the bare minimum effort.
Beyond the lack of effort, the performance also rang some other alarm bells. For a song such as this, I’m baffled at the staging. This was doing too much. The props? They weren’t needed. This needed to be stripped back to choreography alone. For so much potential, it seems that none of it was reached in the live performance.
Overall, this was a strong studio song that completely lacked in the live performance. The stark contrast makes it hard to rate, but with all things in mind, I’ll give this song a 7.5.