The song submission period in Spain hasn’t yet ended, and RTVE confirmed that up until two days ago they received a total of 336 songs for Eurovision 2019. According to the Spanish news portal Bluper,the Head of Entertainment at the Spanish broadcaster, Toni Prieto, has now announced that the deadline is going to be extended, and that there will be changes in the song selection process.
The reason behind the deadline extension is “to have more time to find better songs for Eurovision”, but also to invite well-known authors to submit their entries for the Competition. The original plan was also that a preselection jury would listen through all the submitted songs, and select the best 10 to enter the Spanish Final, but this number now seems to have been extended to 20.
According to Bluper, Toni Prieto’s worry is that an unknown composer might “win it all”, and wants to make sure that the well-known and established composers are given a chance. According to the new rules, all songs submitted by unknown authors will be judged by a five member jury panel, consisting of two OGAE members, one member of RTVE Digital and two music industry professionals, who will then select the best 10 songs. Apart from this, another jury panel of five – consisting of two members from the RTVE Management, one member of RTVE Digital, and two professors of the OT Academy will listen through all the songs submitted by well-known composers, and select additional 10 songs. It is worth noting that this sudden change comes shortly after two composers have been invited as the fourth judge in the previous two Galas – Carlos Jean and Brisa Fenoy (who also co-wrote “Lo Malo”), both of who expressed their interest in submitting songs to the competition.
These 20 songs will then be recorded by various participants of Operacion Triunfo, and will be put on a vote on RTVE.es for a period of two weeks. The three most voted songs will then make it to the Eurovision Final of Operacion Triunfo, whilst the remaining 17 songs will be judged once again by a preselection panel (the same panel which is selecting the songs of well-known composers in the previous round), who will then select additional 7 songs, making it a Final of 10.
Toni Prieto had a lot of explaining to do in the past two years, since Manel Navarro won the Spanish Eurovision selection in 2017 with “Do It For Your Lover” over Mirela and her hit “Contigo”, after the last-minute rule change. She appeared in the Spanish Court for this matter, as well as for claims of fraud of millions of Euros over claims in the case of collection of copyrights for musical pieces broadcast on television.
Whether there will be additional last minute changes in the rules, we are yet to find out.