Spain’s Controversial “Do It For Your Lover”

Eurovision selection season lacked drama until this past Saturday, when Spain's selection of "Do It for Your Lover" caused all sorts of controversy.

Manel Navarro was selected to represent Spain at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest with Manel Navarro was selected to represent Spain at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest with "Do It for Your Lover." (Photo: Manel Navarro Facebook Page)

Spain has never been one of my favorite countries at Eurovision. A big part of it is a difference in taste, in that what the Spanish public responds to doesn’t line up with what I respond to musically, and that’s fine—not everyone likes broccoli. However, when it comes to process, Spain could try to avoid being ass-backwards in how they administer their Eurovision entries.

Case in point: this past weekend’s Objetivo Eurovision. As is often the case when Spain decides to do a national final, there is a split between the jury vote and the audience vote. Each juror is responsible for ⅙ of the scores (three jurors means half of the final score is determined by the jury). The televote has a pool of points equal to the total pool of jury points. These points are divvied on a share basis, where an act that receives 10% of the vote will receive 10% of the pool. It’s an improvement over the jury as a whole and the audience each giving a 12-10-8 score, but it could be better.

In the event of a tie, the customary mechanism is to defer to the public vote as the tie-breaker. However, Objetivo Eurovision determined that the jury should break the tie between audience favorite Mirela and jury point-leader Manel Navarro. Here are their tracks:

Mirela – “Contigo”

Manel Navarro – “Do It for Your Lover”

Spoiler: the Jury stuck with their original choice. You know who wasn’t happy with that? Well, the studio audience for one:

By the way, that’s the broadcaster who posted that tweet. The folks over at WiWiBlogs has a thorough rundown of the full Spanish selection controversy.

Unfortunately, it’s this context that provides the first impression for Spain’s Eurovision selection “Do It for Your Lover” by Manel Navarro. This performance is perfectly pleasant, but not anything extraordinary. The chorus doesn’t have much of a hook and the stage performance is rather blah, so I’m doubtful this song as is will make much of an impact in Kyiv.

This is yet another example of Spain coasting on its Big Five status to get to the final with a song that would not make it out of the semis. Sigh.

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