The 2018 Spanish national final for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 will be held tonight, with a total of 9 songs battling for the ticket to Lisbon. In this liveblog, we will keep you up to date on everything that is happening in Spain.
The 2018 Spanish Eurovision entry and act will be determined on a 100% public televoting basis. In the first round, all 9 songs will be in the running and the public will select their 3 favorites. In the second round these three acts will take the stage again and then the public will pick their winner.
After France picked their act last Saturday, Spain will become the second Big 5 country to select its Eurovision act for Lisbon. You can watch the show along with us here from 22:35 CET. In the liveblog below, Neil MacInnes guides you through the evening. His most recent comments appear on top, as you refresh this post.
01:25 – The Results
Manel Navarro delivers the envelope with the results and the act going to Eurovision for Spain is…
Alfred & Amaia
01:20 – J Balvin
After a recap of the top three performances, Spanish superstar J Balvin performs worldwide hit “Mi Gente”.
01:13 – Conchita Wurst
Conchita is back to perform her Eurovision winning song “Rise Like A Phoenix”.
01:03 – Aitana & Ana Guerra – Lo Malo
The sassy Spanish duo have done it. Top three. The girls give the same soul, fierceness and personality that they gave in their earlier performance but this time they’re really fighting for their lives. There’s so much fire behind this song and so much energy that it can not be ignored and it will be a travesty if these girls don’t take the title tonight.
00:56 – Alfred & Almaia – Tu Cancion
Alfred & Amaia perform “Tu Cancion” for the second time and the buzz is still there. If this competition was judged on media presence, they would win hands down. The story behind the song seems to have captured the audience and this sleepy love song is a serious contender for the win tonight.
00:52 – Aitana – Arde
As predicted earlier, Aitana has received the most votes for a solo artist. It’s very disappointing that she’s going up against the favourites Amaia & Alfred, as she may not get the ticket to Lisbon. The second performance of the song is again full of emotion and the vocal is absolutely stellar. The crowd love Aitana however could she be falling flat on the Eurovision ticket?
00:47 – Results
The top three are now revealed as “Arde” by Aitana, “Lo Malo” by Aitana and Ana Guerra, and “Tu Cancion” by Alfred and Amaia. It’s going to be a close race to the finish line but the televoting lines have been reopened for the Spanish public to vote for their favourite.
00:39 – Conchita Wurst
Conchita Wurst is then interviewed by Roberto Leal and gives advice to the candidates on preparation for Eurovision.
00:27 – The Academy
The students of the Academy who have been expelled from the show return to perform group performances of Spain’s two winning Eurovision songs.
00:20 – Luisa Sorbal
After all of the songs have been performed we’re treated to a recap of this year’s potential Spanish entries and Luisa Sorbal performs a new original song.
00:00 – Alfred & Amaia – Tu Cancion
The big favourite to win tonight Alfred & Amaia are last to perform the song “Tu Cancion”. “Tu Cancion” is a love song which the two singers perform to each other and the emotion in the song is really strong. It’s a New York Loft style song, very similar to Salvador Sorbral’s winning entry from 2017. The couple start at separate pianos, one black and one white, they gradually come together and sing to each other. Alfred is wearing a black suit and Amaia is wearing a grey suit, whoever chose her outfits tonight has really missed a trick as both of them have been terrible. The crowd go wild for this song and this will really be the one to beat. The Spanish press have hyped this couple throughout the competition so winning the ticket to Eurovision for Spain would really be the icing on the cake for this pair. The vocals are spot on but there is the slight feeling that the song is overproduced and it would work better as an acoustic piano song, which we saw in rehearsals.
23:52 – Ana Guerra – El Remedio
Ana Guerra is back to perform her solo entry “El Remedio” and this song is the show of the night ladies and gentlemen. Ana Guerra is the Latinpop diva and she is bringing it. “El Remedio” is a modern uptempo latinpop song, there is energy, passion, dancers, a dance break, and every Spanish influence you could imagine. Ana brings her signature sexy style to the performance and completely owns the stage. The whole package is there with this entry; it’s high energy and the judges and the audience go wild for this.
23:41 – Miriam – “Lejos de tu piel”
Miriam is next with the song “Lejos de tu piel” and she’s been traditionally known as the “rock chick” of the competition and the song “Lejos de tu piel” really plays to her strengths and suits her vocal range exceptionally well. The song is a rock ballad and Miriam really manages to sell it well. She is standing centre stage and a band are playing behind her, as opposed to Alfred, who was accompanied by brass and bass, Miriam is accompanied by strings and piano and has a more classical feel. The song is not catchy per se, however it is memorable and is very easy listening. Miriam nails the vocal and receives high praises from the judges.
23:30 – Amaia – Al Cantar
The fan favourite Amaia is next with the song “Al Cantar” and there’s a lot of hype surrounding this girl. She’s been the favourite to win Operacion Triunfo for weeks now and her vocal performances have stolen the show throughout the Galas. “Al Cantar” unfortunately sounds very old fashioned. Earlier in the week Amaia performed a stripped back version in front of the piano which really stood out as a groundbreaking performance, however the backing track has added further production to the song and it detracts from the raw emotion that her vocal performance provides. Amaia is wearing a striped skirt and a black top and stands alone on stage to perform this traditional waltz song, she’s accompanied by backing dancers doing the waltz and her vocals are actually slightly shakier than usual, she seems nervous which is unlike her. Nevertheless she receives high praises from the judges.
23:21 – Aitana & Ana Guerra – Lo Malo
Aitana & Ana Guerra, or as her fans call her, Ana War, are next to perform “Lo Malo”. The song is an uptempo sexy reggaeton entry which is very 2018 and would not sound out of place in any club anywhere in the world. These girls are fierce, they have chemistry, energy, and sass. The song is about an evil man and is about female empowerment. Aitana and Ana Guerra compliment each other so well as the girls are so similar yet strikingly different. Ana Guerra has this sexy, untameable, wild vibe, whereas Aitana is polished, precise, and high energy. Both girls exude confidence and sass and this song has by far the most personality of the entries on offer tonight. The girls are dressed in black lace and denim and there’s a group of male backing dancers interacting with the girls throughout. This one has performed exceptionally well on the Spotify charts and could be a contender for the win tonight.
23:11 – Alfred – Que nos sigan las luces
Entry number four is “Que nos sigan las luces” by Alfred. Objectively it can be said that Alfred is the least remarkable candidate left in the competition however his relationship with fan favourite Amaia has kept him at the forefront of this competition. Alfred is a clean cut young man with no discernible style or sound, his style is similar to many other Spanish singers and there’s nothing paticularly “groundbreaking” about him. The song is a mid tempo guitar heavy Latin pop song. Alfred is standing at the front of the stage playing guitar and singing into a lit microphone while a band accompany him. There are industrial lights on the floor of the stage, for some reason, other than that the backdrop is dark and green. He puts in a good vocal performance however the song is just remarkably ordinary for a Spanish pop song.
23:03 – Miriam & Agoney – Magia
Next up is “Magia”, performed by the first duet of the night: Miriam & Agoney. “Magia” is a fun song and Miriam and Agoney are close friends and have great chemistry together. The verses of the song are uptempo and bouncy, however there is a change in the tempo when the chorus hits, the song slows down and it becomes more anthemic. The performers are singing to each other and are accompanied by dancers dressed in white circus costumes as a backdrop of a circus theme is displayed on the LED wall. The performance is solid and the vocals are good but the song isn’t particularly memorable and it may get lost in the competition to other entries which have more power behind them.
22:52 – Aitana – Arde
Next up is Aitana, the first of tonight’s solo performers and she will sing the song “Arde”. Aitana is a pint sized diva with an incredible vocal range and lightning precision when it comes to vocals. Her history in the competition has seen her tackle the uptempo diva anthems as well as the stripped back acoustic vocal performances and she never misses a trick. “Arde” is arguably the best solo entry of the night, she’s taken on the Spotify charts in the last 24 hours and done incredibly well. Unfortunately it appears as though Aitana may have been stitched up as the duets seem to be stealing the limelight in this competition and, had the competition featured only soloists, “Arde” would really be the strongest entry. She is standing alone on stage in an elegant floor length red dress upon a staircase, the stage is dark and the focus is on the vocals of this sleepy yet emotional entry. Every note is precise and she conveys the emotion of the song exceptionally well, receiving praise from the judges and the songwriters alike. “Arde” is slow and has jazz elements and really gives Aitana the best chance to showcase her vocal abilities.
22:46 – We’re introduced to the songwriters.
The candidates then take their place on the very sofa and are thereafter joined by the songwriters responsible for this year’s Spanish Eurovision contenders, some popular names in the line up including popular Spanish singers Alba Reig and Nabalez. A short video is then shown of the candidates in the academy this week learning and rehearsing their new songs.
22:35 – Show is underway.
We’re straight into the entries, first up is “Camina” which is the group performance featuring all five of this year’s OT finalists. The song is well known in the competition already but has been rewritten as one of this year’s nine potential Eurovision entries. Aitana, Ana Guerra, Alfred, Amaia, and Miriam put their best foot forward however this feels more like an opening number to the show and not a serious contender to represent the country at Eurovision. The song title translates to “walking” and it’s an uplifting mid tempo song, there’s little vocal ability required here and it’s a very easy song to sing. Unfortunately it feels slightly underwhelming compared to the other offerings on the table tonight. A strong opening to the show though and the crowd are all cheering for their favourite singers.
We have begun in Spain. Miriam, Alfres, Aitana, Ana Guerra and Amaia are the five candidates that made it to the final. They will all sing a solo song, a group song and a duet. Agoney, the candidate that nearly missed a place in the final, will take part after all in one of the duets.