The United Kingdom used to be very good at Eurovision. Five wins, a record 15 second places and a consistent presence in the top five for decades.
Eurovision season is in full swing. National finals aplenty and internal selections underway: fans are ready for a fabulous few months.
This Saturday is the final of Lithuania’s National selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2020. Lithuania has a fairly patchy and unpredictable record at the contest, with their debut entry in 1994 not scoring a single point, and their best result being 6th place. This came from LT United at the 2006 contest. This was met with an onslaught of boos from the Athens crowd, I did however vote for it and have a huge soft spot for the song.
Since 2000, France, Germany, Spain and the UK have all directly qualified for the final (with Italy joining this notorious group in 2011) . This is regardless of whether their entries soared to the top of the leader-board or been given a "wooden spoon" so massive that even Mary Berry is jealous.
Eurovision as of late has been a somewhat tumultuous affair for the United Kingdom. We have had sprinkles of good results, and then fallen flat on our faces with some questionable internal selections and horrific choices via the public vote. Last year we selected the angelic Lucie Jones with the song "I Will Never Give Up On You," with a song that deserved a much better placing than it was given (which is not usually something I say at our Eurovision hopefuls) at a respectable 15th place. We have been showing some improvement at the contest, but will this year’s crop of entrants take the Eurovision crown, or make the rest of Europe frown?
Oh, Eurovision: a guilty pleasure to some, a complete indulgence to others. Arguably (and most definitely in my eyes) the biggest music contest in the world, it is an enigma of sorts. It exists in its own bubble, one that’s both enjoyed and sneered at simultaneously. To some regions, it is the highlight of the year and entrants are mega stars. In my country, it’s an excuse to get plastered on cheap gin, generally make a mockery of other nationss ideas of musical taste, and wonder why nobody is giving us the famous 12 points (who wouldn’t vote for Engelbert Humberdinck?).