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Spain: Barei – Say Yay!

In a national final void of variety with songs lacking commercial viability, the Spanish public, aided by the jury, opted to send early favourite, Barei with the song Say Yay! This is new territory for Spain: English lyrics and no 'Corazon' is indeed a significant break from tradition. However, from the limited lineup of songs, Barei's Say Yay! always stood out as the potential winner, and for us gamblers, the key to some fantastic in-running rehearsal lays in Stockholm. This bold step into unfamiliar territory doesn't guarantee success for Spain, even though the bar for success is set very low. Let's face…
Song Appeal
Vocal Strength
Staging Potential
Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
Cohesiveness of Package

Say No!

The live performance of Say Yay! was distinctly amateurish with a catalogue of vocal and presentational issues

User Rating: 2.71 ( 28 votes)

In a national final void of variety with songs lacking commercial viability, the Spanish public, aided by the jury, opted to send early favourite, Barei with the song Say Yay!

This is new territory for Spain: English lyrics and no ‘Corazon‘ is indeed a significant break from tradition. However, from the limited lineup of songs, Barei’s Say Yay! always stood out as the potential winner, and for us gamblers, the key to some fantastic in-running rehearsal lays in Stockholm.

This bold step into unfamiliar territory doesn’t guarantee success for Spain, even though the bar for success is set very low. Let’s face it, the live performance of Say Yay! was distinctly amateurish with a catalogue of vocal and presentational issues.

Looking at the presentational side things, the performance lacked the positive, fun energy of the studio version. Barei also appeared too fierce dressed in black and diva-ish signals were seeping out. Additionally, the Kurt Calleja shuffle looked clumsy and poorly choreographed. Given Barei is an unsigned artist, it’s likely she needs help in this area, so for now, let’s not get too hung up on these matters. Going forward, though, Spain will need a bright, carnival of colour to accompany this song.

Vocally, there’s far more for the Eurovision juries to punish, and last night showed Barei and her backing singers have a long way to go to achieve anywhere near a passable standard. Let’s look at some recent fun comparables:

Greece finished an average of 12th place with the juries in 2013. Alcohol Is Free had a much stronger identity than Say Yay!, in addition better vocals. Add Spain’s typical voting lag to the mix and another circa 20th place is on the cards.

Anggun in 2012 is another example, albeit non-English lyrics, but equally incomprehensible. France finished 13th with the juries and last in the televote.

Then we come to Spain 2009 and Soraya, which was another overhyped entry that finished a dismal 24th. La Noche Es Para Mi is streets ahead of Say Yay! and benefits from a more memorable hook.

Despite the hyperbole spewing out of the Eurovision bubble, there are sufficient grounds to dispute this song doing well that can be summed up in a simple sentence: Say Yay! lacks a hook, a hummable melody and it’s from Spain.

Are Spain aiming for another 20+ finish?

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25 comments

  1. I had high hopes for this…but not any more after tonight. But they still have potential to do something at ESC if they just make the staging more colourful and learn some proper choreography.

  2. Oh, another overhyped spanish fan-pleaser. Bottom 5 televote, 15-20 jury. NEXT

  3. The fans will love this and all the fan sites are sure to be sucking up to Barei.I would point them to a likely other big 5 act, Jamie-Lee Kriewitz to compare what contemporary looks like.Say Yay,more like Say Lay.No reason to pick up the phone and the jury will hate it.

  4. You lot suck all the fun out sometimes. 😛 I like the song. It’s not winning or getting close to the top, but I think there’s a possibility it might get a very subtle scrub up and I think the staging will be better in May than it was tonight. I think Barei’s a good live singer and knows how to work a stage, and I think this can get Spain to about 15th.

  5. Has the Objetivo market settled yet? Hasn’t when I logged on.

  6. The right song won. Barei did well to stand out amidst the madness. The whole show felt like a mess, with poor production (Acoustics especially) a dinky little stage and an audience that just came back from a carnival in Rio!

    In honesty Say Yay! doesn’t sound all that bad, which to my mind is precisely it’s problem. We’ve seen from previous years at the contest how to come last in the final, the song/performance doesn’t need to be bad, all it has to be is unremarkable, and I worry that could be where Spain is headed with this song. Hopefully Barei and her team can work to extract the best from their package.

  7. On second thought, Spain are overdue a last place. So maybe this year they will come unstuck?

  8. The 90’s kid in me really likes the song, but I can see where you’re coming from. It’s a bit like musical candyfloss, it’s a great treat but it’s not going to serve as a good meal.

    She looks like she’s having a lot of fun though.

  9. I also think the review has been a bit unnecessarily hard on Spain and a little bit biased. I wasn’t expecting anything close to the finished product or a TV show with production values worth much more than what we’re getting in Lithuania. TVE are a bit lax like that. It means nothing when we get to Stockholm.

    I think Barei did look like she was having a lot of fun, and I thought she sang well. Her energy was infectious. I don’t think much choreographing went into any of the contestants, the sound levels were all over the place for everyone. I wouldn’t be surprised if Barei says she just did what felt natural on stage in a rather cheap and rushed production by TVE.

    Say Yay as a song does lack substance but I disagree that it lacks a hook, it’s in the backing singers’ parts. Personally I’d compare the song to acts like Lasgo, Inna or Alexandra Stan. The comparisons to Anggun and Soraya make no sense to me. I only feel the need to be defensive because I don’t think this is going to finish 20th or lower. I think televoters will quite like it, juries much less so. If Spain enters new territory as this review admits it has, then this mythical Spanish voting lag shouldn’t be applied until proven true to this new type of Spanish entry.

    • They will need to pull a Golden Boy staging to have any hope of a respectable finish In my mind.

    • Without a stage show it’s difficult to predict many things, but here I think I’m justified. This maybe new territory for Spain, but Say Yay! isn’t a commercial earworm of a song and it won’t storm i-tunes outside of the Spain/fan bubble.

      If you were to listen to this song just once, I doubt you’d be able to remember anything more than ‘yay yay yay’. The melody also lacks the simple clarity of recent successful songs in the Contest. It doesn’t elicit an emotional response. The reason I picked France 2012 was because the two are similar in that way: there’s little for the listener to take away. Soraya was also an example of Spain’s traditional voting lag, which shouldn’t be overlooked.

      If this Spanish entry was inserted into any of the last few Contests, where do you think it would finish? Again, going on song alone, I hear nothing deserving of 20th or better, though 24th-26th is more likely.

      • If Barei were inserted into last year’s contest, I would think she would have finished 15th, below Maraaya and above Voltaj. If put into 2014, I’d put her in 18th, below Molly but above Elaiza.

      • And in my mind Soraya came last as they got a 12 point from Andorra which is always guarteneed (baring 2007 for some unknown reason) ill let the 7 points from Portugal slide though as they aren’t as certain.

  10. If you want a Eurovision comparison from me I’ll throw in Allez Ola Ole (France 2010), but I don’t expect quite as bombastic a show from Barei so subtract a couple of scoreboard places for that.

  11. Good news for you staging experts! Barei’s team are asking for staging tips! Send them in to this email: sayyay.sugerencias@gmail.com

    They’re also asking for suggestions for a possible revamp. There’s an email for that here: ruben@estudioroyalsound.com

  12. I am very confused by this entry, but I also believe that after 17 cups of coffee I would totally get it!!!

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