Martyn Hett looks at our chances tonight and asks whether Molly could be the one to bring Eurovision back to the UK.
One of the most important days in the homosexual calendar has finally arrived! Yes ladies and gents, tonight the BBC will be playing host to the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest. A wonderful display of Europe’s eccentricity, the contest is the highlight of the year for some people. However, for others in the UK the contest is simply a waste of time and money.
It’s not surprising that people have this opinion, particularly with the United Kingdom’s recent track record (we have finished below 20th place six times in the past decade!) but the problem lies with the UK, not the rest of Europe. Brits are the worst for making crap excuses, and I’m here to tell you to shut up, stop moaning and get behind the UK this evening.
The “It’s all political!” argument
A thinly veiled attempt at justifying our terrible song choices, this argument is the most popular amongst Eurovision naysayers. Despite the fact Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Norway have all won the contest over the past few years, British people will continue to insist that the Eastern countries dominate the contest. The reality is, neighbouring countries like similar music.
The Brits and the Irish exchange high marks just as frequently as any other neighbouring country! And let’s be honest, we may think that the song representing the Former Slovenic Republic Of Ardova sounds weird, but I’m sure they were equally as weirded out by Engelbert frigging Humperdinck. Also, let’s not forget that a panel of music industry insiders now account for 50% of the vote, so this excuse is at least 50% void, even if you are an old sceptic!
So why do we always do so badly?
Well generally, we don’t. Statistically, we have the best track record out of any country having won the contest 5 times and coming second place 15 times! But that was back in the day… where have we gone so wrong since? It’s simple! WE’VE BEEN SENDING SHITE.
Eurovision is more vibrant than ever, with most countries using it as an opportunity to showcase their biggest talent. From Ukraine’s choreography-heavy ‘Wild Dances’ in 2004, to Sweden’s floor-filling ‘Euphoria’ in 2012, the winners of Eurovision have had one thing in common: they are contemporary and exciting.
Eurovision isn’t the OTT, camp novelty-fest it once was, and sending acts such as Scooch in 2007 showed how out of touch the UK had become with the contest. Switch to 2012 and 2013, and we’ve popped down to the Happy Days Retirement Village to wheel out Humperdinck and Bonnie Tyler. Radio 2 listeners may have been over the moon, but at Eurovision, it was the equivalent of recruiting Bruce Forsyth to be the 6th member of One Direction.
So what’s different this year?
It seems the BBC has finally decided to take the contest seriously. Instead of relying on reality TV stars, defunct boy bands or ‘seasoned’ singers, they have used the resource that has been under their noses the entire time: BBC Introducing. Responsible for the likes of Jake Bugg and Florence & The Machine, the programme houses some of the best emerging talent in the UK.
Our entrant, Molly Smitten-Downes, has penned the song especially for Eurovision and it looks set to improve our track record, with some bookies predicting a win for the UK. ‘Children of the Universe’ is both catchy and credible and Molly has the vocal talent to blow the crowd away on the night.
Whether we win or not is yet to be seen, but at least this year, if we do come out with a bad result it will be because Europe hates us and not just because we’re shit.