Sunday, 8 March 2015

Some thoughts on the UK entry for 2015

Well the BBC has finally revealed who is representing the UK at Eurovision in Vienna. Alexandra Burke? Lulu? Kylie? Er, no.

It's fair to say that Electro Velvet has received mixed reactions from fans with many loving it and others absolutely hating it. That's Eurovision for you!

The Charleston vibe isn't really my thing but I do quite like this, it's quirky and different. In a year where most of the songs chosen have been a bit of a snoozefest, this stands out. Saying that, I don't know if it will woo the voters. The key is how it'll be staged - with a maximum of six people on stage it won't have the impressive impact of the video. Then there's the slightly trickier issue of the live performance - can they pull it off?

What struck me has been the vitriol directed towards the BBC, Electro Velvet and even some huffy tweets directed at me. If I didn't like the entry I would say so. It's not my favourite but we've sent worse. I imagine it'll come across as fun on the night.

There is a question here about how the UK act is chosen and that's something the BBC should review. I do think we need to be bolder and send more daring choices or even something which is more reflective of the UK music scene.

The UK song might not be everyone's cup of tea but I think a sense of perspective is needed. If another country had entered this song I doubt the criticism would be as prominent. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Eurovision is a TV show, it's not for the fans. It's harsh but true and time we all accepted that.

The BBC have got it wrong in the past. I can understand disappointment and wanting to rally behind the UK entry. I'm a Eurovision fan, unashamedly so, but the fan community also does itself no favours. There's a slightly manic element of our community which leaves me a little uncomfortable - as highlighted in Roy Delaney's excellent article on ESC Insight. When people are dropping the c-bomb on public forums, over a difference of opinion in music, it's time for a reality check.

Now, where did I leave my dancing shoes?


  1. Dancing shoes? You know the Charleston? There may be a space on stage for you in Vienna!

    I have a post to write about the UK's entry on my blog but I have sat back before finishing it - the problems with instancy and social media can lead to people forgetting their social protocols! I read Roy's article and totally got it but I had an idea that it might be taken TOO seriously by some - humour (which is how I read his comments) does not translate across borders as well as music. He needed a huge foot-wide smiley emoticon at the bottom of that one!

  2. I agree with you, Paul, that a sense of perspective needs to be maintained and I completely distance myself from vitriolic abuse. Whatever I think about the song/act (for the record, I really do not like it), the people representing the UK are due polite and constructive criticism. I also agree with you that the BBC needs to change the way our entries are chosen - who actually is on the panel anyway? As for the show not being for the fans ... yes, vastly more people watch it than just the fans; however, in my experience, it's not the fans but those who hate Eurovision/don't watch it who call every year for the UK to withdraw from the event after yet another mediocre entry has not done well in the final. It's about time, as you say, that our entry better represents the type of music that is popular in the UK, which, as far as I can see, hasn't happened for a very long time. BTW, as ever, I look forward to seeing you and hearing your insightful and fun comments at this year's semi-finals!

  3. I'm with you Paul. This is definitely not the worst UK entry. I think all this negativity was born out of failed expectations from media speculation. When rumors of 'big names' participating at the contest are created, there's this hype that builds up and later turns into disappointment after the actual entry premieres. British media should distance themselves from that tradition if they don't want to scare away more people from these opportunities. The job is tough and these representatives just want the support of their fellow countrymen as they fly the flag of their nation.