UK Eurovision National Final 2017

This morning, BBC Radio 2 revealed the six British Eurovision hopefuls going forward to Friday’s national final. You can play the songs here.

The BBC have gone to greater lengths to find a good entry this year. As well as having another national final, they preceded it with a songwriting camp in Copenhagen. Hopes were raised when it was announced the final was to be held on BBC2 rather than BBC4, and as early as late January.

On first listen, the finalists (all of whom are X Factor alumni) offer up pretty generic material from what seems like a Eurovision song factory. Musically, there’s little that’s distinctive; lyrically, a lot of it is pretty close to “Love, Love, Peace, Peace“. My initial reaction was disappointment.

At this stage I would favour Lucie Jones with ‘Never Give Up On You’, which has staging potential, and is the most distinctive song. But we don’t yet fully know how Friday’s vote will work (there is a panel, and a 50/50 split between a jury and televote). Meanwhile the BBC is well versed in the dark arts of talent shows, knowing just how much the British public love a pimp slot and respond to “expert” opinion.

Let us know your thoughts below.

104 comments to UK Eurovision National Final 2017

  • Black n Blue

    BBC have provided a *slightly* better batch of songs than last year, a more contemporary bunch anyway, which is encouraging. There’s at least three reasonably good singers, and as for the songs, I think we’re looking at two, possibly three contenders for Friday, although none seem to have the firepower needed to finish top ten in Kyiv.

    My pick would be Holly. Was very impressed by this. Ken Bruce said that she had toured with Jess Glynne, and you can really hear her influence coming through with vocals and the arrangement. It’s got a good build, the choruses pack a punch and the crescendo is probably the strongest out of any song here. I think this has a lot of potential, the sort of song that Sweden could stage into the Top 5 at Eurovision, although I can’t trust the BBC to tap into it’s potential knowing how badly they’ve squandered opportunities to do well before.

    Olivia is another entrant that has something going for her. When I jotted down my notes on this, I thought it sounded decent enough, and better than the lat two UK entries, but being song 1, I sort of dismissed it thinking the true contenders would be revealed later only for the last three to turn out to be duds. It’s a bit too stop start, but the song works on some levels, and overall could be a solid choice for the Bri’ish entry as Ben’s said.

    Lucy’s number is very underwhelming and it’ll be interesting to see how much Beeb push this with Emmelie on the writing credits. It’s just very plodding, and doesn’t quite have the emotional pull you’d expect from a ballad. Perhaps, the live performance will lift it more than others, and the jury may latch on to it by virtue of being stylistically standalone.

    Overall, the format seems to be going in the right direction. We can’t You Decide to give the UK a winner in it’s second year, but I’d expect whatever’s chosen to finish in the top 20.

  • James Martin

    Thanks for giving this its’ own thread this year, its a good show to follow for us Eurovision fans who also do X Factor.

    Selina seems to be picking up the most traction on Social Media and I won’t be surprised if she’s favourite when Betfair get a market up. The song however is appalling – it’s like a Latino remix of Love Love Peace Peace with more Eurovision clichés than said interval act.

    Holly for me has the best all-round package but I fear the BBC Two viewing public will go for the slightly novelty cheese fest that is Selina

    Have to say though that most of the entries are shocking this year. It’s very sad that this is the best the UK Music Industry can do. Or course commentators left right and centre are already playing the “there’s no point because of Brexit” card. I can feel this is going to wind me the fuck up between now and May.

  • Ben Cook

    Oh it’s definitely between the two guys. Danyl’s song is a bit cheesy but I have a feeling it will come alive on stage because he is a great performer. I think people will remember him from TXF as well. It’d be foolish to rule him out. Also the gender mix goes in his favour.

    The safest choice would probably be Nate though. A classy ballad with simple staging probably is our best choice in the absence of a true contender.

    Overall quality is slightly better than last year.. baby steps.

    Lucie’s song is completely forgettable and I think Olivia’s lack of experience will count against her on the night.

    Holly’s got pipes and the song is a respectable enough Azerbaijan entry but it’s not the one. }

    Salena is actually my favourite of the girls but I fear she won’t be able to cut it live.

  • johnkef

    Just heard the songs. None of them is Top10 material for the night of the final. Personally i like Olivia Garcia and Lucie Jones, but my gut says UK will send either Danyl or Nate and a bottom 5 result is guaranteed.

    Another tough year for the UK. The only positive thing is that BBC is trying to upgrade the national selection process, but not in a very effective way.

  • James Martin

    Danyl will probably pick up the gay vote. Do we know how much weight the jury have?

  • I can see why some people are going for Holly’s song but something’s just a bit off about it for me.

    It’s got a “Bri’ish” sound that will bring in some televotes, coupled with more impact than Olivia’s song… but it doesn’t have that slightly boring familiarity to pass an ardent music lover like me by, that the less fussy general public latch onto. It’s more brash, has a forgettable melody and some odd choices of instrumentation. By trying to grab the attention with its impact, it’s lost radio-friendliness, become unfamiliar and not very catchy.

    For the benefit of any non-Brits reading and considering a bet – Danyl and Lucie will be the most immediately familiar to the public because they were in the XF live shows for a number of weeks each, even though it was several years ago now. I’m not exactly an XF fan but today I immediately remembered them both by name and face alone. Holly, Nate and Salena are totally new to me though.

    Having watched how Olivia Garcia fared on XF 2016, I’m concerned about her nerves and her voice often catching a bit on the high notes. Here’s hoping she’s learned to control her instrument a bit more, she’s only 16 or 17.

    I think once we hear the songs live on Friday, the mist will clear a bit more, judges comments notwithstanding. I expect the less immediately impacting studio songs to come alive while others disappoint.

    The biggest question is, with such an early NF, is there a plan for a slight revamp? Lucie needs one badly, and I agree that she is really our only shot at escaping the bottom 10, but the song literally sounds Scandie-written. There’s a certain hint of heart and soul in British music that.. shall we say cleaner, crisper Scandinavian songs just doesn’t have. Brits know their sort of music when they hear it and I think Olivia’s song could pull them in more if she delivers it live.

    • Then again, Holly just passed the Mum Test with Nate coming a “quite nice” 2nd, so yet again I prove I can write paragraph after paragraph on this site and have nothing to show for it. 😀 #QuestioningMyLife

      I get why she didn’t go for Olivia and Lucie. They’re both a bit underwhelming in studio form so I’m counting on them to deliver live. What sounds best to Brits and what would get the votes at ESC is gonna be different, so it’s good we have a jury really. The BBC should consider making it an international one if they want to develop this format further in the future. Belgium did it while keeping things light, doesn’t have to be on such a huge scale like Sweden.

      • I agree we should have international juries as what the UK votes for and what Europe votes for are two very different things. Remember though, although Joe & Jake were relatively popular with the juries, they bombed in the televote.

  • Just had a listen. It’s all very generic and bland, to the extent that they all kind of blur into one. I don’t feel like I can predict a winner out of the various shades of beige.

    Oh well, we’ve got Brexit coming up, so the excuses for yet another poor UK score are ready-made this year.

  • Danyl’s song HAS to be the OGAE pick, just as Lund was last year. Good looking slightly edgy lad, and if I remember rightly had his homosexuality bought up in public by Dannii Minogue on the XF lives.

  • My favourite is Freedom Hearts, not just because it sounds like a Trump-era breakfast cereal (one bowl of Freedom Hearts every morning keeps you patriotic and regular) but also because it has the most to it – it doesn’t feel anywhere near as insipid and cynical as the others, like some care and passion/musicality was actually put into its creation rather than it being an all-purpose factory product for sale to any given artist or NF – though the chorus could lift a little more for my liking. Lucie would be my second choice because of the way the song defies expectation by counterintuitively staying low-key instead of going for some big climax, though the vocal sounded overprocessed(?) in the studio version they played on the radio. The other 3 are much of a muchness and What Are We Made Of? is the worst of the bunch lyrically and musically.

  • Try to think less in Eurovision tropes, and more in terms what the Brits would send as their best pop entry. In the tradition of Imaani and Seal. But also try to listen to recent albums from Taio Cruz, Tinchy Stryder, Estelle and Leona Lewis.

    Although I think Holly Brewer has the best produced song, has this Swedish vibe, and feels utterly contemporary, I think Nate Simpson’s entry is the most pure and sincere effort. It’s emotional, touches some of today’s geopolitical shit we’re living in (opening with “We build these walls, we watch them fall”).

    On top of that Nate is vocally top-notch. He has this big vocal reach, in the lower and higher parts. And, most importantly, he has got charisma.

    Nate Silver with “What Are We Made Of” could outperform Jade Ewen’s 5th place from 2009. It’s what I see as a damn good British entry, and not as some Swedish copy-paste stuff.

    • James Martin

      Like many in the field it’s too cynical. It’s like the writing camp watched last year’s interval act and took it to the fucking letter.

    • Chris Bellis

      Entertaining review. I couldn’t agree more about the egregious Mel Gedroyc. I disliked her when, jointly with John Barrowman (say no more) she judged the Scooch song as “absolutely perfect for Eurovision”, thus showing she was even more out of touch than the sainted Terry himself. Don’t forget, the previous year Lordi had won Eurovision so full marks to Mel for not noticing how behind the curve she was.

      Nothing she has done since has changed my mind, except that she has become even more irritating. Hanoi Hannah has died, unfortunately, but she must have some relatives who could do a better job than Mel Gedroyc. The BBC should try to find them and give them an audition.

      • Oh come on, Mel’s fine… live TV isn’t easy and she’s very capable. I’m not a fan of the UK opt-outs/inserts during the contest but she does the NF fine. I remember the days when the UK NF was buried on a Sunday afternoon and hosted by Katy Hill off Blue Peter, so people should be thankful it’s on Friday night primetime with a big-name host and in a major venue…


        • James Martin

          I wouldn’t mind but she claims to be a super fan but made at least two glaring factual errors during Stockholm’s opt outs. And I didn’t even watch them all because I used the world feed to watch the SVT produced stuff.

          I understand they might need the opt outs for some productions, the upcoming one being one of them. I expect NTU to have all the humour of a Germanwings pilot. But when it’s SVT, you know they’re going to have the filler sorted to a very very high standard.

          I worry that if the UK do win soon (or coproduce with SBS) the BBC will put her out as host.

          Sorry but she’s more Olly than Petra.

      • James Martin

        If I had my way I’d drop Graham, Mel and Scott and bring Paddy back to do all three shows. The BBC were so careless dropping him.

        • I’d love to see Paddy back too but he made it clear at Eurobash in Manchester last October that he would never go back, he’s happy with his radio career as it is now. When I interviewed him he felt that the presenting duties should be given to a younger pair of hands than Graham, Scott and Mel, to try to encourage a younger audience…

        • Chris Bellis

          James – you must have cringed as I did at the “eurovishes” tonight. Every time she does that I feel like killing her. EV – is she a relation of yours that you have dropped your usual waspishness?

  • Phil

    Love Nate’s song. A hint of John Legend, which is by no means a bad thing. I think he presents our best chance if selected.

  • James Martin

    One thing that I think lets the WHOLE Big 5 down is only having one play of the song, not two. SVT tried to mitigate this but the scoreboard suggests it didn’t go far enough.

    I’d like to see the interval acts at the semi finals replaced by full performances of the three countries voting in that Semi. It would also bring the cost down of having to produce three interval acts rather than one. That would give a comfortable 12 minutes to count and verify the votes.

    And it would fuck up the BBC’s stupid opt outs. I’m fairly right wing on immigration and even I thought that their pre-emption of Grey People was utterly unforgiveable.

    • Hippo

      It’s a disadvantage but a small one. Lena and Il Volo both did incredibly well and others like Marco Mengoni wouldn’t have done much better. Wouldn’t have lifted Engelbert or Electro Velvet or any others off the floor either.
      I don’t think the big five or hosts can complain about any of their results.
      I also like the principle they shouldn’t get the same benefits of added exposure without the risk of a non qualification. The ratings they guarantee is worth whatever they pay and then some.

      The bbc do make a complete mess with the semis though. Any reason to see and hear less from Scott and Mel is worth considering I suppose.

  • Lucie would get my vote but I see lower right side of scoreboard again in Kiev I am afraid.

    • Chris Bellis

      Just re-listened and Lucie is the only one with a slight chance in the actual Eurovision contest, but knowing that the great British public voted for Matt Terry over Saara Alto doesn’t give me confidence that they’ll choose her. All on this site are being too generous. This is a piss-poor set of songs to choose from, and let’s not forget that we’ve not seen the live performances. Just getting a load of scandie writers in isn’t the whole story. The Belgian entry got lot of stick on this site last year but it’s head and shoulders above any of this lot. Didn’t anybody notice the change of zeitgeist last year? None of this bore-fest would qualify if they had to go through the semis.

      • Hey, I said you were all wrong about What’s The Pressure but none of you listened to me! 😉

        • Chris Bellis

          “What’s The Pressure” won me a fair bit for a top ten, as did Sweden for a top five. Both songs were attacked as rubbish by many on this site. Probably the Belgian one was rubbish, but I still think it had something – an irritatingly catchy sound, excellent delivery, whatever. My cat liked it, and that’s good enough for me.

  • Ben Cook

    From reading various forums it really seems like nobody has a clue who is actually going to win. You could make a case for any of the 6.

    The universally negative response on Danyl is making me reconsider. I think the verses are good and you know he’s going to perform it well, but the chorus is underdeveloped and the whole thing comes across a bit desperate.

    The only one I’m actually enjoying listening to is Salena. (I don’t really see the big problem with the “weapons” lyric?) But a shame one of the stronger singers like Holly isn’t singing it.

    I remember how shocked I was that Joe & Jake were the ones that pulled it out the bag last year so really it’s probably one to just judge on the night.

  • After a bit more consideration I’ve warmed a bit to Nate’s song, though I absolutely have no idea who will win on Friday.

    At this early point in the contest Albania, Georgia and potentially also UK are sending miserablist oh-my-God-the-world-is-screwed anthems. Seriously, STOP JAMALING, you lot!

    And yes, I am claiming “Jamaling” as a verb.

    • Chris Bellis

      “Jamaling” works. It gets my vote. The modern equivalent of the miserabilist ethnic folk song, sung in an overly dramatic fashion. It’s worth saying that one of Leonard Cohen’s biggest influences was his mother singing folk songs in Russian about deprivation and suffering. It will certainly change Eurovision if all the songs are like that.

      • Why do I get the feeling we’re going to see even more Jamaling over the next few weeks of national finals?

        • It’s a shame because the rest of Jamala’s work isn’t like that. But yeah. The trend of “defiance in the face of victimhood” songs goes back to 2015 at least – “we’re mentally handicapped yet we rock”, “I’m morbidly obese but can disco”, “we got genocided by Turkey but have come back dressed like the villains from Superman 2”, “I’m in a wheelchair now but here’s some old video of me dancing” etc. Not to mention 2014’s winner. I’ve no objection to these types of songs if they’re well-written and staged, as Austria 2014 and Serbia 2015 certainly were. But the more cynical ones risk becoming something like performative victimhood. Pretty sure I’ve written something on here before about how in the absence of a Syco-style VT before the performance, countries are trying to integrate a sob story into the actual song and performance.

          • Chris bellis

            EV – Nothing to add, but extremely well put.I have to say, BTW I ended up liking and respecting Jamala’s performance, but I still think it was wrong for Eurovision. I will be interested to see what Russia comes up with this year in response. Maybe Serebro singing about Chechen terrorism.

  • Here were my thoughts on first listen – I was underwhelmed with the selection to be honest and I just wonder where the diversity of musical styles that we had in 2016 have gone…

  • James

    It really is a piss poor selection, a step back from last year imo. At least last year we had a variety of genres. It’s like they listened to Love Love Peace Peace and took it as advice rather than parody. The 3 I don’t mind listening to are Holly, Salena and Lucie in no particular order. The rest actively repulse me.

    Do we know why the “songwriting camp” (a stupid concept in itself) was in Copenhagen of all places? It doesn’t exactly scream “We want to attract British talent” does it?

  • Suppose they wanted to get some Scandi writing/production influence in. We have had a run of Scandi wins – Finland, Norway, Sweden (twice), Denmark. It’s this decade’s ethnopop, innit.

  • Betfair Exchange now have a market up BTW. Lucie the favourite by quite a margin.

    • Based on her having an Emelie de Forrest song? I’m not sure how much the casual Friday night viewer is going to care about that to be honest.

      Honestly, this feels like it could go any one of six ways, especially given how unpredictable the UK voting public can be.

      • James Martin

        I just think they’re drunk tonight.

        Seriously though. How can EDF write such a brilliant, heartfelt record that dicks over anything Adele has ever recorded and then write…. that?!

        Acoustic version of DT is one of the best records I’ve ever discovered via Eurovish.

  • James Martin

    Just dusting off my X Factor hat though… last year the instrumental of Only Teardrops was used as a talk over bed for Mel.

    If that’s there this year…

  • fused

    Just on first impressions of the UK song selections, but while none of them are terrible, they’re all a little on the bland side.

    Danyl’s is a bit cheesy, and also I don’t know, it sounds a bit… cheap? Lucie’s is a bit of a slog to get through, a dull ballad type. However, I think both might do well in the public vote as they will probably have some fans out there from being X Factor finalists. I’m not saying either has a large fanbase out there, but probably more than the others who didn’t even make the final have.

    I don’t think Holly’s one is as powerful or energetic as it feels like it wants to be. Nate’s one is OK I suppose, I think he has the nicest voice.

    Olivia’s one is the most interesting track by far. But to be honest, out of all of them the one I like most is Salena’s! I know it’s incredibly cheesy, but out of all 6 of them it’s the one I enjoyed the most. Maybe because it’s more uptempo than the others. I can’t see it being the selection though, as it probably won’t be either the public or the jury favourite.

  • Phil

    A few days after listening to the songs originally – What Are We Made Of and Freedom Hearts are the ones I can still remember. Freedom Hearts has the best in the way of a build-up towards the end, which is always important (and where we often go wrong – our songs tend to go nowhere, a la Lucie Jones’ song). What Are We Made Of tries but doesn’t quite get there.

  • Black n Blue

    I’ve sort of dug myself a hole on betfair with You Decide. After listening through them all twice, I went for a big green on Holly, smaller green on Olivia and left the others red. However I’ve been left slightly agitated the past few days, due to Nate and Lucie’s songs not sounding as bad as I originally thought after two listens. I’ve got more funds on the account to stake, so what do you think I should do? Try and get Lucie and Nate out of the red, or just leave things as they are and hope either of Holly/Olivia pull through?

    • Hippo

      I got some of the early odds with bet365. Large stake on Lucie, small one on Olivia for roughly same winnings. I’ve been tempted to cover Holly as well but for the moment I’m sticking. I don’t think Nate is much of a threat myself, it would take quite some vote splitting to let him through. Odds aren’t great but I think Lucie is a dangerous one to have red.
      What would help is if the Bbc gave us a running order in advance (the only broadcaster not to?) so we could figure which female ballad to choose from.

    • Black n Blue

      Thanks Hippo. My feeling with Lucie, is that if the presentation and live vocal are strong, the juries may band together and give her top points across the board, and push her over the line even if the public think it’s too down in the dumps. The running order would help a lot tbh

  • Chewy Wesker

    My favourite song by far is “Freedom Hearts” my fear is that Olivia will struggle to deliver a good performance, she’s very young and her YouTube clips don’t impress me much, but she has a decent chance of a left hand scoreboard finish if selected. Holly Brewer looks much more confident, and if you visit her web page and hear her singing at the piano you can see she is a true professional, although I think if she’s sent to the final her and her song “I wish I Loved You More” would fail pretty badly. Tonight’s winner I feel will go to Lucie Jones most people I know have liked “I Will Never Give Up On You” and her Twitter followers of over 100k+ may get her over line tonight.

  • annie

    On first listen I found Danyls song the catchiest.
    But I like Lucie.
    Lets see how it will go live.

    They used Satellite in the intro-yay!
    My fav eurovision entry from the last 20 years :)))

    …but I strongly dislike rybak and his fiddle.

    • Chris Bellis

      I love the way Alexander was introduced as Norwegian by the imbecile Mel. He’s Belorusian, but performed for Norway. He was born in Minsk. To be fair, he did study in Oslo and gained his degree in Music there.

  • James Martin

    Olivia gets the pimp slot.

  • annie

    who is this female? (presenter)

  • James Martin

    Oh. Looks like Selina will get the pimp.


  • James Martin

    Olivia Red and Blacked…

  • eurovicious

    Danyl, Freedom Hearts and especially Salena all pretty much bombed on stage… this is between Nate and Lucie, and I think (despite the cheeseball song) Nate may have the edge because of running order, youth/appealingless (NTB) and an outstanding emotional performance of a crowd-friendly song. Though Lucie could still win as BBC Two isn’t exactly a young person’s channel.

    • annie

      Agree with the first part.
      I loved Danyl back in the day… But this just didnt work on stage. His sound mixing was awful. I am not sure if that was the only problem….

      I think that Lucie had the edge ´on ear´, it sounded much more captivating, but she pulled some very weird faces. It may have been very off-putting for some. So Nate ma have the edge..
      I don´t know how their respective fan bases measure up.
      Oh, and I thought Holly worked better than expected. But with her running order ….

    • Edie M

      I hadn’t heard them before and I thought freedoms hearts was the best one. But the critique was classic X factor vote dampener and she is highly unlikely to win. Plus she did look a little awkward. Wonder why they gave the pimp slot to Salena?

  • annie

    I have to say they really have a production/audio mix issue, even these Vamp guys sounded semi-dreaful.

  • Edie M

    how predictable Lucie would win and what a dull song.

    • annie

      well, at least her second go at it is better. i wonder why they didnt reveal the part-results just straight to the winner. It was quite anti-climax this way.

      • Ben Cook

        I think they think it helps them in their struggle to get good people to agree to do the show – you either win it or you don’t, you don’t have to worry about the humiliation of coming last.

  • Ben Cook

    It wasn’t one of my pre-show faves but in the end pleased to see Lucie win. The song is respectable enough and we’ll get some jury love for an EdF song sung by someone photogenic with a great voice.

  • The market called it on Monday as well of course.

    I don’t think that’s a bad shout at all. There were at least 4 worse songs we could have sent. I also wonder if the obsession with over-production/staging might go in our favour now? Keep it simple, focus on the voice and emotion and this might – just might – be our year.

    Also worth noting of course that her Musical Theatre experience will be extremely handy. She’s used to long runs, singing the same song night after night, and keeping the emotion fresh, connecting with the audience every time.

    Certainly the live version outclassed the single version significantly.

  • Chris Bellis

    As I predicted Lucie was the only one with a chance at the real Eurovision, I never thought the British public would go for it, but I’d forgotten that the jury had such a big say (story of my life). I am very disappointed. I voted for Salena, on the basis she was the likeliest to come in the last five. Lucie might just do a bit better.

  • Hippo

    Two complaints first of all –
    1: was the running order decided or random and when.
    Different order released, different order on website, different order introduced, different order singing in. Come on.
    2: The bbc needs to be more transparent with these results. I called it right but for future reference and judging Lucie’s chances it would be nice to know who won which part and by how much.

    However it was reached, definitely the right choice. Potential for a top ten if things are done right and there aren’t too many female ballads. Will be relying heavily on juries but with the new scoring system that’s not a fatal flaw, considering none of the others would have done well with the public either.

    7th-15th my guess for now.

    • Continental promotion will be key. Having selected early, I’m hoping she’ll be on a few national finals on the mainland. Certainly our 2009/11 successes were both helped with a lot of promotion.

  • With the split Jury & Televote system, they could have made SO much more of that. It’s perhaps ironic that a commercial broadcaster like ITV is so transparent, having posted detailed voting stats for X Factor up for about 8 years now, yet the BBC who we pay for is so…. well, shifty.

  • There are more examples of stripped back, somewhat depressing piano ballads doing badly to average in ESC than there are good ones, so the BBC needs to really make sure the presentation of Lucie and her song is just so. A lot of thought needs to go into it.

    Right now I think we’ve entered a “Start a Fire” but with a minor revamp to the song (some strings to counter that depressing cello would be nice) and a bit more of a rousing orchestral build rather than a “bang!” moment, it could become a Silent Storm or A Monster Like Me.

  • Chris Bellis

    The song doesn’t go anywhere. Starts off well and continues in introduction mode until the end. Best of a really boring bunch, but well sung though it might be, don’t kid yourselves. This is one for the last 10 at best. Reminds me of “Black Smoke”, which was a better song, better sung, by the way

    • James Martin

      Chris. Be aware of confirmation bias. You’re a Brit who’s got a vested interest in your country failing.

      You might be right of course. But it’s better than the last two efforts.

      • Chris Bellis

        James – No-one would deny that – but the last two efforts were abysmal almost beyond belief. This winner is the best of a bad bunch. Confirmation bias is an issue I agree, but I’ve haunted this site and other fan sites for long enough to be able to distinguish between fan songs and ones that might have a chance on the night. I said here last year when everyone was for Zoe and everyone against Belgium and Sweden that they were wrong. This UK entry will have some real work to do well. The girl is good, but the song is mediocre. I think it’s possible to improve it, but the UK have such a bad record on this. They need to bring in some people from Ukraine or BG last year to see how a song can be improved by re-working.

  • Black n Blue

    Just like to thank Hippo for the advice. Laid off my stake on Holly yesterday, and was able to limit the damage of the Lucie win that I honestly didn’t expect to happen.

    There was a point Ben made after the Monday reveal, that Lucie would give the Beeb the opportunity to stage something a lot more understated and softer for Kyiv, and I agree. There isn’t really much wrong with this at all. It’s a standard ballad performed very well, with the visual presentation kept to a minimum. I’d also like to see the instrumental build ramped up. I don’t want to speculate on possible placings, but all I’d say is that off of what we saw tonight, the UK could have done a lot worse. The song is bare, like a blank canvas. Now they need to get the brushes out and start painting.

    • James Martin

      I said earlier if you took her shoes off her she’d be a Welsh Emily Middlemas.

      And then Mel confirmed she was indeed bare footed.

      You couldn’t make it up!

      • Chris Bellis

        Nothing much to do with betting, but I’ve always wondered about that practice. From Sandie Shaw onwards it’s a H & S nightmare. I’ve worked with the sort of sparks that act as electricians in studio and concert settings – very few are sober and/or competent.. There’s no guarantee that any cables the acts step on are earthed properly, and bare feet in a hot room are often moist. Moistness and electricity are bad companions. When I worked in such environments I always wore insulated boots. Still, it would be a first in Eurovision if the UK act electrified herself. Or the audience for that matter.

        • James Martin

          Given its in a developed country this year she should be fine.

          • Chris Bellis

            Last time I was in Kyiv it didn’t feel like a “developed” country, at least as far as electrical safety was concerned! I stayed in the best hotels and even when there weren’t power outages, fuses/circuit breakers were always blowing/tripping due to cowboy wiring. Never mind, the Russians will insist their act isn’t electrocuted.

          • James Martin

            That was the joke. I hope the LED floor is PAT tested.

    • The UK entry is indeed a blank canvas. I am expecting a minor revamp by March as we did this with both Jade Ewen and Josh Dubovie, both chosen earlier than usual in the NF season. Why else would they have pushed our selection forward to January this year? I would add some ethereal strings to counter the morose Scandie cello and soften it into more of a Birdy/Gabrielle Aplin type song, (which I’ve wanted us to try for a few years now so I hope they go down this route!)

      I don’t think performing at other countries NFs is even that common for anyone any more is it? It’s certainly proven itself to be a complete waste of time as well. The pre-parties appear to have taken over.

      As for the staging, yes it should be minimal, but minimal does not mean just plonk her on stage under a spotlight and do some unimaginative camera angles. A lot of thought needs to go into this. That’s the difference between minimal and a big lot of nothing.

      The reason The Common Linnets did so well (and Euphoria) was partly because both performances were so meticulously planned. This will be a test for the BBC to prioritise creating a piece of television and forgetting about what is physically on the stage. I would avoid any props like the plague for this year.

      Lucie herself needs to be involved in the meticulous planning of the camera shots and needs to relax her performance. She was too theatrical with the little sideways face-scrunches and squeaky clean vocal. Otherwise she’s perfect and a solid, safe pair of hands.

      I will assess our chances properly in March. As is, the UK is struggling to get out of the bottom 7 or so. Sand off the edges, swell the arrangement more and focus on creating an intimate and moving piece of television above all else and then we could knock on the top 10’s door.

  • One of our better entries of recent years, though that’s clearly not saying much. Could do well(ish) with decent staging. At least we managed not to embarrass ourselves by sending Salena, who was basically Josh Dubovie after reading the Guardian.

    At a guess, I’d place it inside the top 20 but not inside the top 10.

  • Hippo

    Don’t know if anyone’s watching umk but Emma just had a complete car crash. Reports of rehearsals weren’t good but that was terrible. Will do very well to win from here.

  • Pro-masturbation song, 2007 NF season:

    Pro-masturbation song, 2017 NF season:

    Even the wanking songs are in decline…

  • fused

    I know it’s much too late to comment about Eurovision: You Decide, but I felt quite differently about most of the songs after seeing them performed on there than I did when hearing the studio versions.

    For example, I liked ‘I Wish I Loved You More’ a lot better after hearing the live performance than I did after hearing the studio version. In contrast, the performance of ‘I Don’t Wanna Fight’ was terrible.

    I think Nate Simpson gave the best performance, but ‘Freedom Hearts’ was by a long way the best song. I found ‘Light Up The World’ to be a bit forgettable.

    As for the winning song, well Lucie Jones is clearly a good singer, but the song is so boring and goes absolutely nowhere. I agree that it could really do with improvements or additions to make it more interesting before the final.

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