Have you ever watched a national selection and been convinced that the public and expert judges have got it all wrong!? In this series, we have a look at the songs that should have won their respective national selections but for various reasons were beaten and never got to represent their country at Eurovision! Today we look at the UK.
The UK in Eurovision
The UK last won The Eurovision Song Contest in 1997 with Katrina and the Waves’ Love Shine a Light. Luckily UK entries go straight to the final because recent efforts from the UK may have resulted in elimination at the semis. Some final place finishes and the infamous nil points for Jemini’s Cry Baby at the 2003 Eurivision Song Contest hosted in Riga, Latvia has officially cemented the UK a position in the lower echelons of Eurovision success.
Eurovision: You Decide
I love the fact that the BBC has brought back the national UK selection show, Eurovision: You Decide. Compared to some of the more successful national talent searches like Sweden’s infamous, Melodifestivalen and the popular Finnish, UMK, the BBC’s attempt seems half-arsed and lacklustre. However I appreciate the BBC breathing new life into the UK’s selection process and not just relying on internal selections. Let’s involve the fans, eh guys!!?
Six talented ex-X-Factor artists were selected to sing six pre-selected songs (only one each though – unlike Germany’s Unser Song. What happened there!!?) The ‘selling point’ of the show was that half the votes would come from the public and half from a jury of ‘experts’, Bruno Tolioni being one of them (OK…right). Unfortunately we never got to see the final breakdown of results! (FYI BBC: The voting is by far my favourite part of Eurovision – Let us see the votes!)
I’m hoping the revamp of the BBC’s Eurovision: You Decide over the last two years is a signal that in the future they will be dedicated to improving the show a great deal. Why not save money on things like ‘The Voice’ and have a massive talent show for Eurovision!? It’s not a novel concept. Look at the most successful countries at Eurovision – they do it every year! Anyway, I digress!
The Winner of Eurovision: You Decide
The winning song Never Give Up On You performed by Lucie Jones was actually one of my favourite performances on the night and with Lucie’s voice and emotional performance, she truly makes the simple, clichéd lyrics a little more bearable. The song itself is a real grower. The more I listen to the story telling in the song the more I like it. Disappointingly though, all the songs in the UK selection may as well have been written by ten year old children. A plethora of the most basic of rhymes, and lyrics that made little sense. Never Give Up on You is lyrically sophisticated and performed well.
What Should Have Won?
As with many national selections, an outstanding performance of an OK song can overshadow a weaker performance of a better song. Salena Mastroianni’s performance of I don’t Wanna Fight really disappointed on the night. The failure of this song came from Salena’s inability to sing ‘why, oh why, oh why?’ in tune each time it left her lips! In her defence, I imagine it’s tricky to get it right live!
The chorus is really strong and the song builds throughout. The studio version is much stronger than the live attempt and with a bit of practice or a more confident, accomplished singer I feel this song would have seen the UK on the left hand side of the score board at Eurovision for the first time in a good few years. I think the staging of this up-beat tune could have really excited a Eurovision audience. Disappointingly, this is yet another song that will speedily disappear from the public conscience…even though it comfortably remains on my playlist!