Eurovision You Decide; Reviewing Our UK Hopefuls for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018
Have the UK got what it takes to finally win after a 20 year drought?
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?
This article will review each of the six songs vying for a place at the Grand Final in Lisbon on the 12th May; have we got what it takes to finally win?
Song #1: Goldstone- "I Feel The Love"
Girl group Goldstone have entered the fresh, if middle of the road, song "I Feel The Love." It’s upbeat and fun, but I can’t help but feel like it sounds like a Little Mix b-side. To me it sounds very similar to GRL’s "Ugly Heart," vocally it sounds like a livelier OGNE’3 (Netherlands 2017). The hall in Lisbon would have a lot of fun listening to this song, but is it too pedestrian? The staging for this song will be crucial in whether it will sink or swim.
How would it do at Eurovision? Depending on the staging and draw position, it could potentially be a top 14, however it does not stand out massively to me. The jury might be a bit harsh on the song and its content; the televote would be this song's saving grace in the final.
Song #2: Asanda- "Legends"
"Legend"’ is an absolute bop, the beat drop into the trumpets and the pop-big band mix flow extremely well with her vocals. I absolutely love this song and this would certainly wake up the audience, especially if we see "ballad overkill" from other countries like we have in previous years. It’s different and would stand out, but not for the wrong reasons like Electro Velvet did in 2015.
How would it do at Eurovision? Personally if it was tweaked slightly to make it a little bit livelier at some sections of the song, it could be a top 10 contender; currently, I see it around mid-table.
Song #3: RAYA- "Crazy"
One of the co-writers of this song is actually the Icelandic Eurovision 2012 (with Jónsi) and 2016 contestant Greta Salóme; which given Greta’s experience, could mean the song is well seasoned and Eurovision ready, right? Unfortunately, this is not the case. The song is by no means bad, but it just sounds like any other middle of the road soft-house song; something that would be in the UK top 40 for a week then disappear.
How would it do at Eurovision? It a nice song, but forgettable, it would get lost in the 26 strong final and wouldn’t make an impact on the jury or televote.
Song #4: Liam Tamne- "Astronaut"
In the first 30 seconds, I thought we were in for a boring acoustic ballad, but the emotion in the song really makes it stand out. This is the first song so far where I got "goosebumps." I feel this is quintessential UK Eurovision song, but would Europe maybe see it as too plain?
How would it do at Eurovision? If staged correctly, I could see this doing well. The one mistake that many countries will make is copying last year’s winner Portugal by making the stage TOO simplistic. It’s a common thing to copy the winner, and I’ve yet to see someone win the following year by doing this. If the draw is right, this could scrape the top 10.
Song #5: Jaz Ellington- "You"
Jaz really shows his vocal prowess in this song, and I could really see this at a chilled, dimly lit bohemian bar, but definitely not at the Eurovision Song Contest I’m afraid. It would be a refreshing addition to the Eurovision line-up, but I can’t see it attracting televoters throughout Europe.
How would this do at Eurovision? Unfortunately and most definitely undeservedly, this would tank at Eurovision. In terms of song quality it is strong and I enjoyed listening to it, but it didn’t make me want to pick up and vote; it made me want to continue with my housework. Jurys would appreciate it, but it wouldn’t register on televoters' radars.
Song #6: SuRie- "Storm"
This initially gave me "Only Teardrops" (Denmark 2013) vibes, the song has the classic strings in the backing track to give that "classic" vibe, an old Eurovision tactic. It’s catchy, but its missing something, maybe it’ll give me more performed live, but overall; not bad.
How would this do at Eurovision? This one for me is the hardest to place, because the song is good, but not impressive. There are songs which sound better on recording than performed live and vice versa, but I’m unsure where this song lies in this sense (or if it lies anywhere at all). One thing is for sure, it’s not particularly ground breaking.
My opinions may change when I see the songs live, and it may seem like I’m placing the songs in harsh positions; but a good pre-recorded song does not always translate to the stage (e.g. FYR Macedonia 2017), so at this point I will be overly critical. Having said this, the overall song quality is strong, there isn’t a song I dislike by any means, just some are not as appropriate for the contest than others. I personally would love to see Asanda fly the UK flag, but wouldn’t be mad if Goldstone or Liam Tamne were selected either. I don’t see 2018 being our year, but we can certainly make progress on the leader board with the right song and the right presentation.
My opinions may change when I see the songs live, and it may seem like I’m placing the songs in harsh positions, but a good pre-recorded song does not always translate to the stage (e.g. FYR Macedonia 2017), so at this point I will be overly critical. Having said this, the overall song quality is strong, there isn’t a song I dislike by any means, just some are not as appropriate for the contest than others. I personally would love to see Asanda fly the UK flag, but wouldn’t be mad if Goldstone or Liam Tamne were selected either. I don’t see 2018 being our year, but we can certainly make progress on the leader board with the right song and the right presentation.