Debut – 1961
Current Broadcaster – RTVE
Best Result – Winner (1968, 1969*) *Joint winner
Highest Score – 125 points (1973)
Worst Result – 23rd, last (1999 – 1 point)
SSpain have competed in the Eurovision Song Contest every year since their debut in 1961. They have won Eurovision twice and hosted it once in 1969.
They traditionally send their Eurovision entries in Spanish, although there have been a couple of occasions in the 2000’s where they sent bilingual Spanish/English songs.
Spain is also one of the “Big Five” nations in Eurovision, meaning that they have an automatic place in the Final every year.
Spain’s debut entry was Conchita Bautista performing “Estando contigo”, finishing 9th. Their results in the first few years of their participation were rather poor, including two last place results in 1962 and 1965, both scoring the infamous ‘nul points’.
After their 1965 result however, their fortunes began to improve, culminating in their first victory in 1968 with the song “La, la, la” (performed by Massiel). Interestingly, Spain originally planned to have male singer Joan Manuel Serrat perform the song, but he was replaced when he demanded to perform it in Catalan, a regional language which was being suppressed by the Franco regime at the time.
In 1969, they were one of the four countries who were joint winners in 1969 along with France, the UK, and the Netherlands. Spain’s entry that year was “Vivo cantando” (performed by Salomé).
Spain continued a good run of form in the early 1970’s. In 1971 they finished 2nd with “En un mundo nuevo” (performed by Karina). Then in 1973 they finished 2nd again after a close run battle with Mocedades performing “Eres tú”, an entry that is considered a classic to this day.
After their 1973 result however, Spain slumped to a run of midtable results, although they capped off the decade with another 2nd place result in 1979, this time with the song “Su canción” (performed by Betty Missiego).
The 1980’s saw mostly middling results for Spain, including another ‘nul points’ result in 1983. The following year they scored 3rd with the song “Lady, Lady” (performed by Bravo).
Spain also finished in the top 10 on three other occasions during the decade: in 1982 with “Él” (performed by Lucía) finishing 10th, in 1986 with “Valentino” (performed by Cadillac) also finishing 10th, and finally in 1989 with “Nacida para amar” (performed by Nina) finishing 6th.
Spain started the 1990’s with two top 5 results, although in 1990 the performance of their entry “Bandido” (performed by Azúcar Moreno) suffered a technical mishap when the backing track and the orchestra started out of sync, causing the singers to miss their cue. They eventually were allowed to start again, and thankfully the juries had voted on their performance in the dress rehearsals, so the mishap didn’t affect their result and they finished 5th. The following year in 1991 they came 4th with “Bailar pegados” (performed by Sergio Dalma).
For the rest of the decade they had a mixed bag of results, peaking in 1995 when they finished 2nd with the song “Vuelve conmigo” (performed by Anabel Conde), which would be Spain’s last top 5 result to date. They finished off the decade however with a last place result in 1999.
The early 2000’s saw Spain earn four consecutive top 10 results: in 2001 with “Dile que la quiero” (performed by David Civera) finishing 6th, in 2002 with “Europe’s Living a Celebration” (performed by Rosa) finishing 7th, in 2003 with “Dime” (performed by Beth) finishing 8th, then finally in 2004 with “Para llenarme de ti” (performed by Ramón) finishing 10th.
However they have since sunk to a bad run of results where they’ve hung around the lower half of the scoreboard, and would not reach the top 10 again until 2012 when Pastora Soler came 10th with the ballad “Quédate conmigo”.