Meet Manel Navarro: Spain’s Eurovision hopeful for 2017

Fiona Govan
Fiona Govan - [email protected]
Meet Manel Navarro: Spain’s Eurovision hopeful for 2017
Credit: Eurovision / RTVE

Spain is hoping for a score above nul points in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest by presenting a youthful surfer dude who writes his own music and plays guitar.


Who is he?

This year, Spain will be represented by Manel Navarro, a 20-year-old singer who was born just outside Barcelona in 1996. He shot to fame (sort of) when he won a televised Catalan talent show as a freshfaced 17-year-old before signing a record contract with Sony.

He was chosen as this year’s entry after competing in Objecto Eurovision on RTVE with the song Do it for your Lover broadcast in February.

But the win was controversial. In a public vote the songstress Mirela and her upbeat Spanish pop entry Contigo garnered the most support and put Manel in third place, but the final say was given to a panel of judges who put Manel ahead.

Want to sing along?

The verses of the song are in Spanish but the catchy chorus is in English and it won't take you long to learn the words.

The refrain "do it for your lover" is repeated almost 30 times interspersed with "clap your hands" and "just do it" (Although you'll be forgiven for thinking he's singing "just suet")

Such repetition has served Spain well in the past. Massiel famously won the Eurovision song contest for Spain in 1968 – beating none other than British crooner Cliff Richard at London’s Royal Albert Hall -  with a song in which she repeated the word 'la' no less than 138 times (Although that win has since been revealed to have been rigged by dictator Francisco Franco).

READ MORE: Five fantastic facts about Spain in Eurovision

So what are the odds on Spain winning this year?

Bookmakers are predicting a win for Italy and currently placing Spain in 36th (out of 42) countries taking part. Bet365 is offering odds of 250/1 on a win for Spain.

Spain hasn’t fared well in the competition, winning only twice in its history and one of those wins was secured by Franco buying votes. But Spain does have the dubious honour of being one of the countries to receive the most nul points in the history of Eurovision.

Can surfer dude Manel be the one to break the curse when he goes to Kiev next week for the competition?

The competition will be broadcast from Kiev on 9th-11th with the final broadcast on Saturday May 13th.


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