ESC 2017 Review: Spain – Clap Your Hands if You’re Confused about Your Lover

Now that we have all the Eurovision songs I’ll be reviewing them in the reverse order from ones I like the least to the ones I like the most.  This is completely subjective and you can fight me but it’s probably not worth it.

These are my own PERSONAL rankings of what I think of 2017’s Eurovision songs but I’m also going to make some bold predictions about the eventual fate of the song. These will probably be very wrong for a variety of reasons including I have no idea what almost half the artists sound like live or what type of staging and song changes could be made. There’s plenty of songs that have been let down by their staging (2016 Spain for example) so in the end they’re just guesses in the dark.

But let’s get a start on our dashing #43.

Country: Spain
Artist: Manel Navarro
Song Title: Do It For Your Lover
My Ranking: 43rd (out of 43)
Semi Final: Auto qualified for the final as part of the Big 5
Final placement prediction: 26 of 26 (maybe the dreaded nul points though that’s hard to do with the current scoring system)

Spain hasn’t had a ton of success in the near past with their last win coming in 1969 and their last top 5 showing way back in 1995. As part of the Big 5 countries they are auto-qualified for the final and it’s lucky for them or they’d be knocked out right away. So what do they have this year? Manel Navarro is 21 years old and has been “chosen” to represent Spain. He, like many contestants ,gained most of his fame from winning a reality singing show. In his case this was “Catalunya Teen Star” which sounds awful honestly but I’ve never been a reality singing contest fan so maybe that’s extra bias on my part. In a more interesting twist than usual, he is not just the singer of this years Spanish entry but also the song writer. This would be more impressive except after listening to the song you realize, it is in fact not all that impressive. Manel “won” Objetivo Eurovision in what appeared to be the world’s shittest rigging and when the audience did not share in his joy, he promptly flipped them off. I don’t think this is Spain’s big moment and they’ll be lucky to get any points from the jury against some of this years writing AND vocal talents. Manel has an okay voice but there’s nothing difficult about singing this song and the song doesn’t lend itself to vocal flourishes for the judges either. The off-canter slow tempo, confusing lyrics, and repetitiveness also mean that this song has been universally panned as a hot mess.

You may think the national final controversy is why I put this song in last place but even without that I’m fairly positive it would have landed there for me.  This last place is deserved in full due to the repetition of the phrase “do it for your lover” which appears in this song a whopping 26 times and I’m not even counting the echoed chorus OR any snippets of that phrase – just the full “do it for your lover”s that Manel himself sings! The song is only 180 seconds long, he’s singing about 130 seconds so if my math is right that is one “do it for your lover” per five seconds! That’s a frankly staggering and ridiculously rate folks.

The song itself seems like a bad rip off of Bruno Mars’s “The Lazy Song” – which I’ve never been a fan of in the first place. The sins of this song are not just sounding like a radio hit that was released nearly a decade ago but also that the song is nonsense. In all that “doing it for your lover” he seems to have forgotten to tell us what we should be doing for our lover. At first blush you might have said sex but the fact that doing it for your lover also comes with clapping your hands for your lover and doing it for all the people you love also makes me really question either how young people have sex these days or what exactly we are supposed to do for our lovers. Just to be very methodical here, the Spanish verses do not help to clarify nor does the English only version of the song. A Euro mystery for the ages.

It’s hard to imagine what the staging for this might look like. The Spanish delegation TV studio [RTVE] usually sends their songs with $12 and a dream but since Manel’s national final stage was nothing to write home about to begin with, containing just him and some beach images, it probably won’t cost more than that and they’ll be happy not to have to put any more money or effort in to the show. I don’t think we’re going to see Spain pull a rabbit out of a hat and turn this mess around. For all those reasons Spain gets the honor of my last place pick.

Good luck Spain. But next time, don’t rig your national selection.

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