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Spain to take part in Junior Eurovision after 13-year break
By thinkSPAIN Team Wed, Jun 26, 2019
SPAIN has decided to take part in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest once again – for the first time since 2006.
National radio and television company RTVE is responsible for selecting and entering candidates, who must be aged between nine and 14, and Spain's entry in the next contest on November 24 this year will be one of 18 from as many countries.
The forthcoming Junior Eurovision will be hosted by Poland, in Gliwice in the Silesia region after the 2018 edition was won by Polish candidate Roksana Wegiel.
Since the contest was launched in 2003, Spain has entered four times and – unlike in the mainstream Eurovision – has always achieved excellent results, with the lowest position being a highly-creditable fourth place, netted by Dani in 2006 with Te Doy Mi Voz ('I Give You My Voice').
Spain came second in 2003 and 2005, with Sergio and Desde el Cielo ('From Heaven') and Antonio José with Te Traigo Flores ('I Bring You Flowers'), respectively.
Few Spanish pop fans of any age will forget the catchy Antes Muerta Que Sencilla ('Rather Dead Than Simple') sung by María Isabel in 2004, which won Spain the Junior Eurovision for the first and only time and almost immediately became a number one hit in the national charts.
The cute, precocious little artist from Ayamonte (Huelva province, Andalucía) was just nine when she won the Junior Eurovision, and she presented the trophy to the 2005 winner, Ksenia Sifnik, from Belarus, when it was held in Spain that year.
María Isabel López Rodríguez, as is her full name, also got to nominate Spain's 2005 contestant, who turned out to be Antonio José.
Ayamonte made her 'Adoptive Daughter' of the town and named a children's play park after her.
An actress, model, solo singer and TV presenter, María Isabel is now 24 – and narrowly missed representing Spain in the main Eurovision in 2016.
Her La Vida es Sólo Una ('Life is But One') netted 36 votes from the general public, but only came third, with Barei's fast-paced, catchy English-language street-pop number, Say yay!, being chosen instead.
María Isabel's last studio album, Yo Decido ('I'll Decide'), released that same year when she was 21, was sponsored by the international fashion design house Macarena Castro and played in its shops after the singer became a model for the firm.
RTVE pulled out of the Junior Eurovision after the 2006 contest, since its then manager, Javier Pons, claimed it 'promoted stereotypes' the broadcasting company 'did not approve of', and 'encouraged child exploitation'.
New bosses have decided otherwise, and the race is now on to find a young candidate to take part this autumn.
The first photograph, by RTVE, shows María Isabel on stage at the 2004 Junior Eurovision, and the second photograph is one of the most recent of her in public, five years ago, aged 19, just ahead of the release of her penultimate studio album and on the verge of opening a shoe shop in Ayamonte.
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