How to solve the problem like the UK song selection at Eurovision

Catchy title, you think?

I am not a happy bunny this morning. I heard for the first time, as did probably all of you reading this, the song that the UK have “selected” to represent us at the Eurovision Song Contest this year. I say “selected” because it wasn’t selected as such, it was forced upon us. Yes, the BBC who are in charge of the UK selection every year have deemed it necessary to not give the UK public an ear in to proceedings and have a vote in what song gets to represent us at Eurovision.

Therefore, we are left with this pile of s**t…

No matter how much you beat around the bush, this is an awful choice and is a really poor song. Was this really the best song out of the hundreds that we were led to believe were submitted to the BBC to review? Don’t even get me started on the act (one The Voice reject and some dodgy pub tribute band rocker) either.

It’s not even the electro-swing genre that I have a problem with, as there are numerous songs in a similar genre out there that are done so much better. Caro Emerald, that “We No Speak Americano” song and this song which is very similar to our entry but was in fact a song that attempted to represent Austria in the contest in 2012.

Anyway, I will try to stop slagging off this song so much and give some constructive thoughts on how the UK entry should be handled going forward. I know many people before me may have said the same or similar things but it is clear the message isn’t getting through to the BBC.

First of all, a selection of some sort where the public gets a say is the first thing the BBC should implement. Who in their right mind would have voted for this pile of stinking garbage to win if it was up against some of the songs that were in the recent Irish national final for example? I am not exactly asking for a really expensive national final like the ones we find up north in Scandinavia. However, there really needs to be a chance for people to have their say before a final decision is made.

The second thing that needs to happen is a change of attitude from the record companies in the UK. I agree, this mess is not totally the BBC’s fault. If we look at certain other European countries, the record companies use Eurovision as a tool or platform to get their songs or artists more exposure to a wider audience. This works well to a degree, depending on whether the song that is entered is a hit. Classic example of this, The Netherlands last year who came second in Copenhagen. The Common Linnets with the song “Calm After The Storm” became a huge European hit in the months following the contest, and that is down to the exposure it received to millions of homes throughout the continent. Italy have also used this formula in recent years as well as Australia who are literally debuting this year. They will be sending Guy Sebastian (which is like the equivalent of the UK sending Robbie Williams) and his record company are making a big push for Guy to promote his current album. In the UK, there seems to be zero record company support which needs to change, but what exactly is the catalyst to make this happen?

The third thing that could happen is taking a leaf out of the book from the Dutch. I see a lot of similarities between the UK and The Netherlands in Eurovision. Granted, the UK always qualifies for the final but if they didn’t, we all know full well that we would struggle to reach past the semi-finals. Anyway, so my point is that maybe a big artist who is well known throughout the UK will take charge and say I will take part in Eurovision if I can set the rules and submit my own song. Of course, this is what Anouk did for the Netherlands in 2013. After a string of poor results and disastrous entries, the Netherlands were tired of their resources. It took somebody else to come in and literally dictate that they will enter their own song and see what happens. Maybe one day this will happen for the UK too, it is a bit dis-heartening to constantly see the UK on the lower right hand side of the scoreboard and maybe somebody with a competitive streak will want to take matters in to their own hands. Since Anouk entered in 2013, the Netherlands have seen a complete overhaul of their results and also a host of big names in their native land wanting to get involved. Just imagine if the likes of Olly Murs, Jessie J and Ella Henderson were scrapping to want to represent their home country in a massive contest.

Maybe the fourth thing is the attitude of the fans themselves. I say fans, not like the die-hard fans, but the general fans who tune in each year for one show per year to see the contest. Those fans have a much bigger impact on what the BBC do for their entry. You see, if more and more people tune in then this is great news for the BBC as it means that they have succeeded in getting a massive interest in their channel. What tends to happen is the casual fan at home will tune in, laugh at the entries, see the UK not doing so well, have a moan about it and then the next day it is all forgotten. Why can’t they push to get something done about it, get themselves involved and turn things around so that the next year we go further and push ourselves to do better. The classic example of this in recent years is observed in Hungary. Hungary had a huge amount of bad results in the 2000’s but since coming back in 2011 there has been a lot of renewed interest from the public of all people. The public got more and more into each contest and even when they initially didn’t do so well, they encouraged a better result the following year. Needless to say, Hungary have kept improving and only last year they came 5th with a decent song that was also a hit throughout mainland Europe at the time. A similar outlook on things needs to be adopted here, somehow.

I hope (and predict) that after the 2015 contest is over, there will be a lot of changes coming in to play. I have no crystal ball of course, but I can safely say the UK will not win let alone come anywhere near the top of the scoreboard this year. From what I have seen, a lot of people are not happy with the way our entry has been handled and after such a great step forward last year with our entry it now looks like we have taken 10 steps back. I really hope that a lot of people make a lot of noise about how there needs to be changes and maybe, just maybe next year we can see some positive changes come into play.

This years contest looks like it will be a very modern contest, with a lot of entries that sound fresh from the radio. That is of course, until you stumble upon our entry. It is going to look so outdated and cheesy compared to the rest of the bunch and I really hope it comes last and sends a strong message to the BBC that this is not on.

I guess we will have to wait and see what happens but for me, I will not be supporting the UK entry at all this year and I have had enough of being made to support rubbish entries that we have not been given the chance to choose. I say it time and time again but the BBC needs to be daring and send something completely unexpected and out there (in a good way).

On a side note, I am so glad that the BBC didn’t choose this “entry” to send to Vienna. I imagine it was a very hardย decision to make so I am at least partly thankful for the BBC having a slight taste in music.

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