Tonight, for the first time in five years, the British public were able to choose the singer and song, who will represent the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest. After a fairly long run of poor results at Eurovision, the BBC hosted the Eurovision – You Decide competition, featuring six acts. The viewers chose to send Joe and Jake to Sweden in May.
Hopes are high that Joe and Jake will change the United Kingdoms’ fortunes and return them to the upper half of the scoreboard.
Dulcima – When You Go
Dulcima opened the show and revealed they used to be buskers. The male/female duo were accompanied by a four piece backing band, and the song had a real street feel about it. Male solo vocals started the song, but it wasn’t long before everyone was singing along to the rousing number. A nice toe tapping, foot banging tune. The band were criticized for being a bit light weight by Carrie, who received the first boos of the night.
Matthew James – A Better Man
The lead vocalist from Bad Boys Inc, who had six top forty hits in the nineties was on next. Looking a little less like what a boy band member should, Matthew stood and sang his well constructed, ballad without any frills. Four backing singers lifted the chorus. The panel enjoyed the song and the lyrics, but pondered if it was right for Eurovision.
Darline – Until Tomorrow
Country duo, who have been touring with The Shires, offered a throw back to the Common Linnets. The vocals started of a bit child-like but when the two ladies sang together the harmony got a little better, but there were some ropier moments. The song is a nice bouncy spring or summer song, but they will need al little practice if they got to Stockholm. It was contentious with the judges, as to whether the girls worked well together.
Karl William Lund – Miracle
Karl was very smartly dressed, as he sang his song which has personal meaning to him. This was another good bouncy pop song, that wouldn’t be out of place in the Top 40 charts. The song had a memorable enough chorus while being performed. The issue will be if it can be remembered afterwards. Four backing vocalists accompanied the song. The judges liked that the song had a personal meaning.
Bianca – Shine a Little Light
Co-written by Leona Lewis and you can hear a bit of her influence behind it. A big strong ballad which builds as the song proceeds. The song starts as if it’s going to be a reggae number but that doesn’t last long. Bianca shone in her dazzling red dress, with a four piece backing band. The song ends on a high note, which helps to make it more memorable. Mel mentioned the wind machine, which immediately brought out visions of Edurne. Bianca was praised for her power house vocals.
Joe and Jake – You’re Not Alone
The two ex-Voice contestants, Joe Woolford and Jake Shakeshaft, have a really good song and a One Direction sound in places. A piano starts the song before the drums and vocals kick in and vocal wise they are not too far away from Liam and Harry.The chemistry between the two guys worked well and their stage presence was complimented. The judges all agreed that they enjoyed this performance.
Mel Giedroyc hosted the show from the O2 Forum venue in Kentish Town, London. She began by bringing the six hopefuls on stage, to huge howls from the audience. This was followed by the first of many Terry Wogan quips to feature throughout the show. Right up next came Måns Zelmerlöw, singing last year’s winning song, Heroes. Måns gave the standard advise to the hopefuls, to just be themselves.
The panel was introduced next, Katrina Leskanich, Carrie Grant, member of Sweet Dreams and, vocal coach,Jay Revell.
During the interval, a video montage was shown of some of Eurovision’s recent highlights and was very complimentary to the songs. Perhaps a change of attitude is in the air over in the United Kingdom.
To really bring home how long it is since the U.K won, when Love Shine A Light won, the Spice Girls, East 17 and Mr Blobby were the big names in the news at the time. Katrina then came on and sang Love Shine A Light. Her Waves were different people, from those who won back in the Dublin hey-day.
A special tribute was paid to Sir Terry Wogan, and his greatest barbs were shown. He is already missed.
A final montage showed parts of last years 60th celebration.
You can listen to the winning song below.
The United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest
Five wins and fifteen second places make the United Kingdom, one of, if not the most successful country ever in the Eurovision Song Contest. The United Kingdom have appeared in fifty eight contests and between 1959-1965 came second, five times.
Sandie Shaw’s Puppet On A String in 1967 gave them their first ever win and went on to be a multi million seller around the world. The following year’ entry, despite placing second, Congratulations by Cliff Richard is still being sung today.
The second win, Lulu with Boom Bang A Bang in 1969, had to be shared with three others, then followed the glory years of Mary Hopkin, Clodagh Rodgers, The New Seekers, Cliff again, Olivia Newton-John and The Shadows, all placing in the top four.
Brotherhood of Man, and Save Your Kisses Me, gave Blighty it’s third win and again, became a multi million seller. Only five years later Bucks Fizz won with Making Your Mind Up, a chart topper all over Europe. A few fallow years followed before returning to second place in 1988 with Scott Fitzgerald and Go, then Live Report 1990, Michael Ball 1992 and Sonia 1993 also just missed winning by one place.
The last win to date came in 1997 with Katrina and The Waves with Love Shine A Light.
The unthinkable happened in 2003 when Jemini scored the dreaded nil points with Cry Baby, and in the same decade, the country finished last, two more times.
Ask anyone under eighteen years of age, and they will hardly ever have heard The United Kingdom’s name being announced by the jury. Nowadays it’s is assumed the U.K will finish near the bottom of the pack. Enjoy the highlight video below of recent entries, where only Blue landed on the left hand side of the table in 11th place. Wishing the United Kingdom better luck this year.