Rating UK’s contenders for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest
Talent shows like X Factor and The Voice have given us plenty of entertainment over the past few years, but they still can’t match the Eurovision Song Contest for being the pinnacle of “
Past successes have included legends like ABBA, Bucks Fizz and Celine Dion, although it’s always the weirder entrants who seem to provide the biggest laughs. This year the celebration of bad taste takes place in Tel Aviv, Israel on 18 May, and there’s plenty of intrigue about who can follow up Netta’s winning performance of ‘Toy’ the previous year.
Hopes will be high that the UK can win their first Eurovision title since Katrina and the Waves’, ‘Love Shine A Light’, beat the competition all the way back in 1997. But before we get that far, we have the chance to vote for our favourite UK singers to represent our country in the song contest.
Eurovision You Decide
The BBC just posted their shortlist of the hopefuls who will be taking a shot at Eurovision glory and you can vote for your favourite on Friday 8 February. These include many familiar faces that you will probably know from reality TV shows, and the competition format includes the unusual feature of putting each of the six singers through the task of sharing three specially picked songs.
So who will face the unenviable task of trying to beat the UK’s dismal 2018 entrant, SuRie, who finished an embarrassing 24th place out of 26? Here’s a look at who will be hoping to avoid the much-feared ‘nil points’ in Israel in May.
You will probably remember Holly Tandy from X Factor in 2017 where she earned plenty of kind words from Nicole Scherzinger for her vocal abilities. Despite the early promise, it seems that the Barnsley native struggled in the live shows and was dumped out after a seventh-place finish. For a long time it looked like Holly would be on the reality TV scrapheap, but thankfully the bosses at Eurovision have given her a second chance with the ‘It’s Bigger Than Us’ song.
With a song that has plenty of tastefully fingerpicked guitar and waffly lyrics about ‘never being alone’, Holly Tandy seems to have a song that plays to those Eurovision-approved themes of inclusivity. Whilst the song includes a fairly obvious four-to-the-floor beat and a few squiggles of Bieber-inspired electronic noise, it feels remarkably formulaic and will do little to stand apart from the competition. Thankfully it seems that Holly Tandy has a pretty big voice, but whether it’s enough to see off the competition remains to be seen.
The Hartlepool-based busker, Michael Rice, has also been given the ‘It’s Bigger Than Us’ song to sing. Michael Rice transforms the song into a typically maudlin piano-laden ballad and tries his hardest to make a fairly whimsical song heartfelt. With some cheesy finger-snaps and some ‘soulful’ vocals, it feels like Westlife have been given a second chance. But as Eurovision seems to
Michael Rice has been given his shot at Eurovision Glory thanks to a winning performance at the All Together Now singing contest in 2018. But seeing as Geri Halliwell was one of the judges, we don’t think that this bodes too well for the future.
Anybody who watched series seven of Britain’s Got Talent will probably remember Jordan Clarke from his appearance with the band, Luminites. The aspiring pop star has been given the challenge of turning the song ‘Freaks’ into Eurovision gold, which is somewhat ironic as Clarke looks like he is one of the most normal-looking humans in existence.
But what about the song? Well on first listen, Freaks sounds like something that even Gary Barlow would think twice about submitting as its descending chords and mid-tempo pace manage to sound even more banal than a Take That album track. However, it’s worth remembering that lyrics about ‘being different’ are very popular in Eurovision-land at the moment, and so this could save one of the most forgettable songs of recent times.
Maid are an aspiring girl-group who learned their craft whilst working on stage shows like Starlight Express. Such career endeavours could have set them up well to perform at a cheese-fest like Eurovision, but as they have been lumped with the ‘Freaks’ song, it seems as though Maid are going to have to try something a little different.
This means that they have attempted an ‘edgy’ take on the song with spooky backwards noises and weird vocal harmonies. Unfortunately, this can’t disguise the fact that ‘Freaks’ still sounds like a rejected M&S advert soundtrack.
Kerrie-Anne is another X-Factor reject who has decided to go for broke by entering Eurovision. Whilst she had the dubious distinction of being mentored by Simon Cowell, there is no arguing with her vocal talents.
For the Eurovision qualifiers, Kerrie-Anne has transformed the fairly bland ‘Sweet Lies’ song into a club-friendly dancefloor banger. Despite this, the writers of ‘Sweet Lies’ seem to have forgotten to include anything in terms of a vocal melody and so Kerrie-Anne will probably have to look elsewhere for her next career move.
Anisa is one of the few entrants to actually have something of a musical pedigree outside of reality TV and stage shows. And it’s something that Anisa wants to prove by turning ‘Sweet Lies’ into yet another fairly mawkish piano ballad.
What starts blandly gradually builds to promise yet another Eurovision-friendly climax, but unfortunately the whole thing falls down before it really gets going. All of which suggests that the UK might have another year to forget at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.
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