Two shows down, two to go. Your Country Needs You is halfway through and so far, it’s all positive. The show looks fresher than the UK selection show of previous years, there’s a new frontman (hurrah!) in Graham Norton and, more importantly, there is genuine optimism about the end result.
When Andrew Lloyd Webber was announced as the composer of the United Kingdom’s Eurovision entry for Moscow, the reaction was generally positive. Naturally, there were a few cynics. “It won’t make any difference,” they bleated, “Europe hates us. We’ll still finish last.” Only time will tell, but can we at least hear the song before pouring scorn on our chances? The format used to find the singer can be compared to X-Factor, but it has a lot more class than that. X-Factor tries to find a recording artist. Your Country Needs You is trying to find a singer to perform on the biggest of international stages. A much more difficult task. It’s proved successful in the past, finding leads for Lloyd Webber musicals, so fingers crossed it will be successful this time.
Wait a second, I hear the cynics again, “Not another talent show, the winner will never be heard of again and he/she/they will probably mess up anyway.” Unlikely, all the acts are a cut above the norm for this type of show. Damien would have lasted weeks in X-Factor. The winner is likely to be a worthy one. Note the use of the word ‘likely’, the British public are involved and readers of my previous blogs will know my views on that subject.
So what of the remaining acts? The Twins have been criticised by the cynics (bless ‘em. The cynics, not The Twins) for swearing at a football match. Shock, horror!! Football crowds can be moronic so if they dished out what they were taking then good, it shows they’ve got spirit. I would ask though, girls, that you stop crying. It won’t work and it’s very, very irritating. Emperors of Soul are competent singers, but they need to perform by themselves to see how they really look and sound. Backing dancers are all very well but won’t be allowed in Moscow. Mark is an experienced live performer and it shows. Saturday showed what a great voice he has. While the likes of Simon Cowell seem to look down on such performers, the fact is that doing it live night after night requires a lot more ability than someone whose inadequacies can be hidden by technology in a recording studio. Finally Jade, who some say is a plant and she’s certainly growing on me! She has already shown her versatility and it look like a two horse race between herself and Mark at this stage.
So, the composer has a first class pedigree and it looks virtually certain his song will be given a first class performance. All we need now is a lyricist. Enter Diane Warren, multi award winning songwriter. Of course, not everyone is happy with this. “But she’s not British” voiced the chorus of disapproval. True, she’s not, but speaking as a patriot (and a bit of a lyricist myself), it would have been nice to have a Brit, but ultimately I’m not that bothered. She’s written worldwide hits and will be a valuable asset if ALW decides to go for something more contemporary.
Whenever the song is revealed, and it seems that could be on the last show in two seeks time, I for one am looking forward to it. Composer – Andrew Lloyd Webber, Lyrics – Diane Warren, Performer – Mark or Jade. Sounds good, doesn’t it? How about Performer – Mark and Jade? Now there’s an idea.