So here we are. If you’ve been following this blog the last few days, you’ll have seen that I’ve reviewed 39 of the 40 Eurovision entries heading to Vienna in just over three weeks time. Those of you who haven’t can locate these in the four parts previous to this by clicking the links below:
The only entry left for me to share my thoughts on is our very own, and as a huge Eurovision fan myself I felt our entry didn’t deserve the standard two paragraph review most of the others received. It’s not just the song itself I want to discuss but the UK and Eurovision as a whole.
I’m sure you all remember last year’s entry, that girl Molly (no surname) who nobody had heard of before with her song ‘Children of the Universe‘. I wasn’t convinced when I first heard it but it grew on me quite a lot in the weeks leading up to the final. I even remember her being one of the favourites to win, but no. As you can see from her performance she clearly enjoyed herself but she finished in a disappointing 17th. Perhaps partly due to being drawn last in the running order, but I’m done with excuses now.
Disappointment is what UK Eurovision fans have come to consider orthodox now. Since the turn of the century we’ve managed just two top 5 finishes, whilst we’ve come last three times. We’ve tried national selection, and in recent years the BBC have handpicked the acts who will will disappoint us further, and nothing is working for us.
It’s all political many say. Yes our only neighbours are Ireland really and we struggle to get 12 points off them most years but Europe knows a good song when they hear it, most of the time. And not many of the songs that we have picked in recent years have been good.
Go back two years, the BBC just couldn’t be arsed so we got Bonnie Tyler to butcher up one of her album tracks. While the original is great, the ‘Eurovision edit’ is a complete mess. 2012, Engelbert Humperdinck, the less said about that the better. Fair play to the Beeb in 2011, trying to help revive Blue’s career, but ‘I Can‘ couldn’t, and finished 11th.
If you go back even further, we only have ourselves to blame as before 2011 we had national selection, known as ‘Making Your Mind Up’. The last one saw Josh Dubovie voted, as our representative and we came last. 2009 was a fluke as Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber penned future Sugababe Jade Ewen’s ‘It’s My Time‘ which got fifth. 2008, last again, but we were hard done by in 2007.
In 2007 we picked an amazing song, truly representative of what Eurovision stands for. That year I do blame politics. Our entry was fun, camper than a row of tents, name-dropped half the countries in Europe but it still flopped. I’m not saying Scooch should have won that year, but they should have come second to Verka Serduchka. ‘Flying the Flag (For You)‘ was and remains our best entry of the 21st century. Shoutout to Daz Sampson too who changed the rap game forever and paved the way for your Drakes and co. in 2006.
One thing that has contributed to our demise is definitely the rule brought in 1999 where acts no longer had to sing in one of their countries native languages, and you look today, only six of the 40 songs aren’t sung at least in parts in English. But nevertheless, this country has produced some of the biggest artists the world has ever seen. The Beatles, The Spice Girls, more recently Adele, One Direction. Surely we have no excuse to under perform in a singing competition?
Back in the day we sent the likes of Cliff Richard, Olivia Newton John, Lulu, admittedly the majority only made it big afterwards, but ask yourself where the likes of Javine, Precious or even Molly a year on. You’d have thought she’d have capitalised on her national spotlight.
I’m not sure what it’d take for us, the general public and those in the music industry to respect the competition again for what it was, or even the rest of Europe, because I don’t think a good song can always save you if your reputation in recent years is dire. If the BBC want to pick and choose, there are many great acts out there. They have the best radio service in the country, approach a bigger name, aim high. Blue proved bringing in a relatively recent and decent act improved our position a bit. Artists with a solid fan base also, as it’s those who often do well. Promo is mightily important for Eurovision and having a head start there will work wonders.
Given internal selection hasn’t worked for us recently I think it’d be better if we got to pick again. As one of the ‘Big Five’ the UK qualify automatically to the final, and they’re one of the biggest financial contributors to the concert. That money coming from us, the TV Licence payers. It’s only fair that we should have some sort of say. At least then if we send something awful we only have ourselves to blame.
Which leads me on nicely to the official United Kingdom entry for Eurovision and the last, and by all means least, to be reviewed for this Complete(ly Irrelevant) Guide 2015.
40. United Kingdom
Electro Velvet – Still In Love With You
And there you have it. You’ve heard all 40 songs and I hope you’ve enjoyed the guide this year. Three weeks to go until it all starts. Can’t wait. Thanks for reading…
In all seriousness. It’s really, really bad. Worse than Jemini. And I mean that.
Firstly Electro Velvet sounds like something you’d find at the back of Ann Summers, and the two members Alex Larke and Bianca Nicholas both come across, in the video at least, as really stuck up, and you don’t even want to back them because of their personalities, never mind them having the worst song at Eurovision this year. I remember them, the bloke especially not taking to well the copious amounts of criticism this received when it arrived into our lives on March 9th (on the Red Button because clearly Eurovision isn’t that important anymore)
I promised myself that night that I would never listen to this song again, including the performance in Vienna next month, if I could help it. I had to break that promise in order to review it here, but it’s still abysmal. I’m more accepting of it, but if we finished with nul point this year I genuinely wouldn’t care. I’d probably be pleased a song so awful had got what it deserved.
The song has no structure to it. Where is the chorus? The lyrics are poor: “You’re bound to get sneezes, or nasty diseases” Sorry what? The genre ‘electro swing’ as they call it, is really not in right now, and it has never been. And the video has so much going on which is totally stupid because in Vienna they’ll only be allowed four other people on stage with them. I can’t see that working at all.
It’s as if the BBC don’t want us to win. Which is silly because if you’re pumping so much money into the event then you might as well make the effort to do well. I was far too young when we last won in 1997, and we hosted it the following year in my local city Birmingham. I’d love to be able to attend a Contest in the UK, at some point in my life but at this rate that’s going to be a long time coming. Maybe this year they’re hoping Australia do the business and persuade them to host it here in 2016? I’m not sure, but something needs to change.
Still, bookmakers are intent of tricking us into thinking we have a chance with the odds they’ve set for us. It was the same last year, thinking Molly would do better than originally believing given her odds. I’m not having it this time. Don’t waste your money.
The BBC need to make changes next year, regardless of how this shower performs. Sod it, I might write a song and apply myself. If this is the standard…
Best Bet: 50/1 888sports outright, 40/1 Stan James, Bet 365, SkyBet
So now we really have come to the end of my guide to Eurovision 2015. Just 22 days until it all kicks off in Vienna with the first semi final. No doubt you’ll have your favourites and I’d love to know who they are. Comment below or tweet me your thoughts, and any general feedback will be welcomed. Whether you’ve read all five parts or just this one I appreciate the time you’ve taken to do so!
Might do another one next year if I’ve got as much time on my hands then! Until then, whatever you’re doing, have a great time watching and vote for the Netherlands!