X Factor star to represent Spain at Eurovision

Former X Factor star Ruth Lorenzo will represent Spain at the 2014 edition of the massively popular Eurovision Song Contest after beating out four other hopefuls at the national finals with her song Dancing in the Rain.

X Factor star to represent Spain at Eurovision
Ruth Lorenzo sings Dancing in the Rain during the national finals to select a Spanish Eurovision representative. Photo: Screen grab: YouTube

Lorenzo, born in Murcia in Spain's south east, will join representatives from 37 European countries at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest. 

The singer discovered her love for music at a young age and began imitating opera singers to improve her pitch. She lived in the US briefly then later returned to Spain. In 2008, she appeared on the UK series X Factor but was eliminated in the eighth week.

In the national final, Lorenzo tied with fellow contestant Brequette but was declared the winner because she earned a higher number of audience votes. 

National broadcaster TVE began broadcasting the final selection of the Spanish Eurovision representative in 2000 to increase interest in the contest.

Lorenzo’s power ballad Dancing in the Rain debuted on February 18th and became the number one song on iTunes Spain. 

Spain has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest since 1961 and is considered one of the "Big Five" due to its significant financial contribution. Spain has not won the contest since 1969.

Last year’s representative, El Sueño de Morfeo, came in a disappointing 25th place with their song Contigo hasta el final. 

The Grand Final for the Eurovision Song Contest this year will take place on Saturday, May 10th At the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen. 

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Five fantastic facts about Spain in Eurovision

As the Eurovision final approaches it's time to swot up on some facts about Spain's history in the most celebrated singing contest in the world. From false starts to Franco, here is The Local's list:

Five fantastic facts about Spain in Eurovision
Arguably Spain's feakiest Eurovision act, Rodolfo Chikilicuatre, dancing the Chiki Chiki. Screen grab: YouTube

1) False starts

Only three times in the 60 year history of Eurovision has an act been allowed to start their performance again and two of these were Spanish. 

In 1990 Spanish sisters Azucar Moreno (Brown Sugar) opened the show and it was memorable for all the wrong reasons. The backing track was not started in time so the sisters came out onto the stage only to look at each other in confusion before storming off stage. They did eventually reemerge and managed a respectable fifth place with their flamenco-inspired song, Bandido. 

Ten years later another Spanish act had to perform again after his performance was disrupted by a notorious Spanish streaker. Daniel Dignes was halfway through his song Algo Pequeñito when Jaume Marquet Cot, better known as Jimmy Jump, stormed the stage.

2) A little help from Franco

Massiel, who beat none other than British crooner Cliff Richard to win the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest with her snappily titled hit La, la, la in which she repeated the word 'la' no less than 138 times.

But suspicions arose that Massiel had received support from a rather unlikely Eurovision fan, none other than Spanish dictator, General Francisco Franco.  A 2008 Spanish documentary claimed Franco bought votes so Spain could win Eurovision, thus improving the country’s image abroad. He promised to buy other countries’ television programmes if they voted for Spain. The claims were rubbished by Massiel, who said she won because her song was better. 

3) One hit wonders fail to make a comeback

Remember The Ketchup Song? The nauseatingly unforgettable hit played none stop during the summer of 2002 and went on to be, amazingly, one of the biggest selling singles of all time. Well, the group behind the hit, Spanish sisters Las Ketchup, decided to enter Eurovision in 2006 hoping to replicate the success of their earlier condiment-based tune. Unfortunately, by 2006 European audiences preferred masked Finnish trolls (Lorde) than Europop stars and Las Ketchup came in 21st place with their song Un Blodymary. 

4) Champions of nul points

Spain has the dubious honour of being one of the countries to receive the most nul points in the history of Eurovision.

Nul points hall of fame: 

1962: Victor Balaguer – Llámame (Call me) 

1965: Conchita Bautista – Que bueno, que bueno (How good, how good) 

1983: Remedios Amaya – ¿Quién maneja mi barca? (Who is sailing my boat?) 

1999: Lydia – No quiero escuchar (I don't want to listen) 

5) Freaks and gimmicks

Every country occassionally disregards singing ability and submits a “comedy” entry and Spain is definitely no exception. 

Baila el Chiki Chiki from a man toting a fake Elvis quiff, lenseless glasses and a kiddie's plastic guitar, has to be one of the strangest songs in Spain's, if not Europe's, Eurovision history.