A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Friday, May 10, 2013

Fallen favourites: Spain 1985

As the participants rehearse in Malmö and most people - including myself - are busy predicting how the contest will end this year, maybe it's about time reminding ourselves how hard it can be to foresee what will work with the voters and not.

It doesn't matter how many people believe in you in advance - it is the grand total of points you manage to accumulate on the scoreboard that decides your fate, nothing else.

Paloma San Basilio knows this, for instance.

Being a celebrated star - not least after singing the lead role in the Spanish production of "Evita" - she was chosen to sing a grand ballad composed by Juan Carlos Calderon, who had almost won the contest in 1973, scoring a worldwide hit with "Eres tú".

"La fiesta terminó" had everything needed to win: passion, intensity, an strong chorus and an exquisite performer. I think it is safe to say most people assumed the Spanish entry to be the ballad of the evening, cemented in the final top five.

Paloma San Basilio - La fiesta terminó (Spain 1985)

I doubt I will ever understand what went wrong, but the juries heard or saw nothing of greater value in Paloma's performance. Spain had to content themselves with a shared 14th place out of 19 participants. A result that remains a mystery.

I sometimes wonder who these people in the jury were. They voted for pleasant but light-weight entries from United Kingdom, Ireland, France and Switzerland but paid no attention to grand ballads?

If it is any consolation to Paloma and her fans, Spain was not the most badly treated ballad of the night. The press on location in Gothenburg had taken not of the classy performance by Adelaide and considered Portugal to be a bit of a dark horse.

This particular dark horse had to go back home with a total of nine points and a second last place.

A number of songs in Malmö are also going to disappoint before the final is over. We just don't know who they are as yet.

Adelaide - Penso em ti, eu sei (Portugal 1985)

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