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¿Eurovision? ....... Mañana

Scandal in Spain.

Spanish TV (TVE) has broken the Eurovision rules. They showed last night's semi-final, in which the Spanish public was due to vote, with an hour's delay, preferring to continue with a tennis match from the Madrid Masters instead. Consequently, it was impossible to have a televote, so Spain's points (still a secret until early Sunday morning) were determined by the five music biz people who made up the Spanish jury.

No one bats an eyelid when a country like Andorra has a televote that's too small and the back-up jury vote is used instead, but for one of Eurovision's Big 4 to do this intentionally, with a population of forty million people represented by five, because of a tennis match, this is scandalous. Spanish Eurovision fans are furious!

It's even worse than it sounds, because Spain had originally been due to vote in Tuesday's semi-final, with Germany and the UK. Only two weeks ago, they asked for permission to vote in the second semi-final instead, so that Spanish TV could show a political debate. This raised a few eyebrows, as it was the first case of a country choosing which show to vote on when the competing songs were already known. It also left Portugal and Andorra in despair, stranded without their usual points from Spain. (Portugal survived and made the final. Andorra didn't.) Nevertheless, the EBU consented to TVE's request but now it has been a complete waste of time as they didn't bother to show last night's semi-final in real time.

Spain has broken the rules, which oblige any voting country to show the programme live, but will anything happen? Will the EBU dare to punish one of the Big 4? It would be unfair to punish Soraya, who closes the Eurovision final on Saturday, with one of Spain's best songs for years. Maybe they should be forced into the semi-finals next year? Or maybe Spain should be replaced in the Big 4 by Russia (or Sweden!) Maybe that's what Spanish TV is trying to achieve anyway?

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