It’s the time of year when the Post-Eurovision depression is in full swing, but there’s no better cure than to reminisce! Together with ESCDaily Editor, Dennis Van Eersel, we will be discussing each of this year’s competing nations – from their results to how we think they could improve in the future!
Predictions, Personal Scores and Results
Results: 24th, Final
Did Spain live up to expectations?
A: Where do I begin? Prior to Eurovision I was such a huge advocate for this song. Spain offered up one of my favourite ballads of the year, and I am hard to please when it comes to ballads. I really saw this entry as completely undervalued, and sincerely hoped that Blas could really deliver on stage to create a moment similar to Pastora Soler or Ruth Lorenzo. In honesty this song really gave me the same vibes as Pastora Soler’s incredible 2012 ballad, but that live performance….
Talk about butchery. Vocally, it was a bit of a yikes moment. Hearing the song during rehearsals was perhaps one of the, if not the biggest disappointment for me, knowing that I had backed this song from the start. Even beyond the vocals, there was nothing special about this performance. It was bland, and relied so heavily on the prop moon – which to me didn’t feel relevant to the song. This absolutely did not live up to my expectations.
D: The Spanish song grew on me during the Eurovision season but I must say I usually play the studio versions of the song a lot to prepare for the contest. I had big doubts about Blas’ ability to give a good vocal live performance. I hoped he would do well, but we all heard he did not. In a way he lived up to the low expectations, sadly. I think he can be grateful he did not get the same result as the United Kingdom, because based on his performance the few jury points were not even deserved as well.
How do you personally feel about the song for Spain at Eurovision 2021?
A: This was a love at first listen situation for me. I actually really liked both the potential Eurovision songs from Spain this year, but Voy a Quedarme was a better choice for Eurovision. With all the upbeat songs this year, Spain really had a great chance to stand out and create such a special moment with this song. Of course, we know that all that was created was another bottom 5 finish. Regardless, in terms of the studio version, this was easily one of my favourite songs of this year.
D: I thought the composition of ‘Voy a quedarme’ was a bit bland and cliché. Like it was written specifically for Eurovision. A typical ESC-ballad. And they usually don’t do that well in the competition. Perhaps that’s the reason why Spain butchered the song and came up with a loud beat right in the middle. A very wrong choice, even though without that it would also have failed to make enough impact. The song was out of Blas’ league. He is an okay singer, but not exceptional. And at the Olympic Games of Music, you need to send the best you got Spain.
A: Oof. I completely forgot about the Eurovision version with the different beat. What the hell was that? I don’t understand why they would change such a nice, inoffensive song to feature that terrible beat. Yuck. I’m going back into denial.
D: We all try to forget it. Give it a few years 😉
Could Spain have done anything different?
D: Well, for starters, they could have kept the song the way it won their preselection for them? I think this was the biggest mess we have witnessed when it comes to changing a song after it has been selected. And not in a good way. It might have given them just a bit more jury votes. Still a bottom-5 I assume though.
A: Where do you even begin… Spain hit the trifecta of things certain to send them into the bottom 5. First and foremost, vocals. Unfortunately Blas didn’t deliver, and it made for an uncomfortable 3 minutes.
Second of all, the staging was incredibly generic. It didn’t help tell the story of the song, and I think there could have been more focus on creating a visual story to help support the song, similar to how Bulgaria staged their entry. It was possible, considering I believe it was the same stage director? The final straw was how they changed the song for Eurovision. That was a total mess.
A: Let’s say it how it is – Spain has no direction when it comes to Eurovision. They are constantly switching between selection processes, and not investing time and effort into one solid format. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t always think they are deserving of a bad position at Eurovision. I have actually enjoyed some of the Spanish entries in recent years, but even if they manage to pick a decent song, they always seem to butcher the staging at Eurovision. I think Miki is actually a great example, where the song was incredibly uplifting, and Miki was a great performer, but what possessed them to use that staging? And I think it’s worse knowing that they have used renowned stage directors, so how are they getting things so wrong?
D: Spain is one of the worst performing nations in the Eurovision Song Contest in recent years. I think their bad streak of results asks for a radical change of their strategy. Spain is a big country with a very rich cultural heritage. They must have a big pool of acclaimed and successful artists to choose from. I know their results and coverage are not of the level to make it attractive for those big names to take part. But RTVE is a big broadcaster, I’m sure they can work something out. And then we have to hope that they will get a result to boost the confidence of other artists as well. In this sense, especially the failure of Edurne did not help them.
A: There are SO many incredible singers and songwriters in Spain, but it’s proving difficult to recruit. I think for that alone, they need to focus on an internal selection. Of course, they won’t be doing that in 2022, with a planned national final, but let’s hope they invest time in searching for real talent and quality music, so that the public has a solid selection of artists and songs to choose from, rather than picking the best of a bad bunch.
Which was better, the live-on-tape performance or the actual performance?
A: Both performances are just so dark – there is always a big shadow cast on his face, and I don’t understand the approach of the staging, both Rotterdam and back-up tape. With that aside, the vocals were better in the back-up tape, marginally.
D: I really liked the staging at the Spanish final, with the moon blocking the light of the sun, giving the performance the intimate feeling that it needs. They kept it closer to their national final in the back-up tape, whereas in Rotterdam we all saw there was an actual gigantic moon. I liked it more when it was more subtle. Vocally the performance of Blas was also shaky in the back-up tape, but I judge it as a bit better than in Ahoy. So, because of that, Spain is one of the few nations of which I prefer the back-up tape a bit over the actual performance we saw.