God knows we all love something new and innovative at Eurovision. You only have to look back on the last ten years and you can see the great variety from the bearded lady Conchita Wurst, to the elderly Russian Grannies in 2012, scary mask wearing rockers Lordi and Ireland’s Dustin the Turkey puppet. For some of these acts the risk has paid off and saw them walking away with the Eurovision crown, others however failed to qualify.
And so we look at the UK. They have had mixed success in the past ten years and have had a variety of different tactics to try and get back to a winning standard. In the mid-late 00s, the UK had a say in who they choose to represent them at Eurovision and this usually ended up being ex X-Factor/Popstars contestants (Javine, Andy Abraham etc.). In the early 2010s however, the UK have gone in for an internal selection and has saw them slip even further down the rankings with acts like Bonnie Tyler and Englebert Humperdink. The BBC tried something new last year when they choose unknown Molly’s ‘Children of the Universe’ as its entry and again this year they are trying another tactic- forming group Electro Velvet from two unknown performers.
The band is made up of a singer who failed to make it past the Blind Auditions (first round) of The Voice and a Mick Jagger impersonator. The genre the duo have chosen is electro-swing. You know that really popular genre of music? No me either, but the two of them spoke so emphatically about it when they debuted the song on the BBC’s Red Button Channel in March, that they had me almost believing in it. Almost.
Although the BBC have tried something new, it doesn’t quite work. While the poppy chorus will stand out in a field of dull ballads this year, the duo are at best irritating and the scat solo from the male singer is borderline racist. The song reminds me a little bit of Mika’s ‘Big Girls (You Are Beautiful)’ and has all the theatrics of a Mika song in their video which accompanies the song. The video is quite a spectacle with a burlesque show style video but again borders on the racist when the scat solo is darkly lit with neon coloured faces that could remind viewers of the Black and White Minstrel Show of the 50s and 60s.
When the song debuted, many Eurovision fans took to social media to complain, saying that the song was hideously awful. Others were disappointed when because some press outlets had suggested the rumour that the UK’s choice might be Alexandra Burke or Geri Halliwell. Even James Blunt had expressed his interest. I think the song will perform moderately well at Eurovision and may even crack the top 15.
What do you make of the UK’s entry? Does it stand a chance of winning? Would you have preferred a different act? Comment below and if it’s your favourite vote for it in our poll.