Earlier this week Ken Bruce unveiled the six contenders that will compete to be UK’s Eurovision 2017 pick on friday night. We have had a listen to all the songs and share our views and rank them below.
It appears to be ex X-Factor contestants galore for the UK this year with not one, not two or three but four former contestants on the shortlist. This includes Series six contestants Danyl Johnson and Lucie Jones and two contestants from this year’s series Olivia Garcia and Nate Simpson. Lucie’s track is co-written by 2013 winner Emmelie de Forest. Completing the line up is Robbie Williams’ backing singer Salena Mastroianni and singer and pianist Holly Brewer. Having listened to all the songs, we have ranked them in order of our favourites.
6. Nate Simpson- ‘What Are We Made Of?’
Nate Simpson has tapped into the indie ballads that have been hugely successful over the past few years. One only has to look to the likes of Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and John Legend to see how Nate has been influenced with this song. The song however is just a little bit bland. There is no wow moment and at times, especially at the chorus he verges on sounding like a dated crooner. Maybe it’s unkind to make the comparison but I thought of Andy Abraham when he belts out the lyrics as the music changes key.
5. Danyl Johnson- ‘Light Up the World’
The lyrics of ‘Light Up the World’ are standard Eurovision fare. Singing about uniting the world, Danyl sounds a little bit like Ronan Keating with elements of Australia’s first ever Eurovision attempt Guy Sebastian’s ‘Tonight Again’. There is a good mix of instruments in the song from memorable drum beats to an interesting brass section. The highlight of the song is when the harmonies come in that give the distinct feeling of a Gospel choir.
4. Lucie Jones- ‘Never Give Up On You’
Welsh songstress Lucie Jones will be familiar to X-Factor fans as she finished in eighth place of the sixth series. For her Eurovision song she has been teamed up with songwriter and Danish Eurovision winner Emmelie de Forest. The song is a powerful ballad with a message of hope and perseverance. The strings tie in nicely with Lucie’s vocal and the overall result is pleasant.
3. Holly Brewer- ‘I Wished I Loved You More’
Holly Brewer is one of the few acts this year not to have competed in X-Factor. Her song ‘I Wished I Loved You More’ is written by a team of writers from Sweden and it shows. The song is a solid effort reminiscent of some of the recent Melfest entries, most notably ‘YOUniverse’ by Molly Sanden from last year. Holly’s voice is almost angelic as she trills her way through the three minute song.
2. Olivia Garcia- ‘Freedom Hearts’
Olivia Garcia’s song was the first to be revealed on the Ken Bruce Show on Monday and it set the bar pretty high. The song has a current pop vibe (think Little Mix) and would sit along nicely with some of the songs that have graced the Eurovision stage in recent years. At the same time it is anthemic and up beat which will set it apart from the ballads that have been chosen for the Contest so far.
1. Salena Mastroianni- ‘I Don’t Wanna Fight’
‘I Don’t Wanna Fight’ has everything you want from a pop song: a memorable chorus, a good dance beat, a great vocal, lyrics that are generic but not cliched. Salena Mastroianni is definitely on to a winner with this song. The song is easily our favourite and we think it could be the one to turn around the UK’s recent string of bad results at Eurovision in the past few years.
Do you agree with our ranking? Which of the six contenders is your favourite? Vote in our poll!