Eurovision (ESC) Thursday – the UK πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§

Preface:

As I mentioned in a previous post (Random Thoughts Thursday: Eurovision), I’m going to start reviewing and making my predictions for ESC2022 as countries begin to name their artists and release their songs. While these songs will be performed at Eurovision, countries have some time to revamp the song (mainly to fit it into the 3-minute window) and staging.

In addition to making comments about the current entry, I’ll provide information about the country’s entry from last year’s Eurovision just as a comparison.

Now that the intense national selections season is over, I can backtrack and discuss some of the countries that have made internal selections.

Sam Ryder – Space Man

Thoughts:

I think that the UK, which has had a very rough history in Eurovision, may crack the top ten with this one. Sam pretty much has a lot of the qualities that will (well, should) do well in Eurovision – charisma, a nice song in English, pretty strong vocals, and an interesting look. Overall, I really enjoy the message and some of the vocal acrobatics in this song. However, I am a bit worried about if he can pull off his higher octaves during his live performances.

If Sam has a flawless (or near flawless) performance in ESC2022, I think this will prove whether or not politics (or geopolitical voting) has a significant role in Eurovision voting. What do I mean by politics in Eurovision? It’s no secret that many countries tend to vote in geographical/cultural/political blocks. For example ex-Soviet, Scandanavian, Western European countries (eg Spain, Portugal, and France), Greece <-> Cyrups, etc tend to vote for each other. If the UK does not receive a decent amount of points from the national juries (ie the professionals), then we’ll know that some political BS is happening behind the scenes. AKA: Europe is still pissed over Brexit.

Some have mentioned that the UK’s bad performance is partially due to the BBC not giving a damn about the contest and not promoting their ESC candidates. Also, the talent pool of available ESC singers might be weak. If your country consistently performed poorly in a song contest, would you want to sign up to represent it? Probably not. This year, I think the BBC was pretty smart in selecting Sam because he has close 12M followers on TikTok and over 95M likes for his videos. Even popular singers such as Adele, Sia, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga have given him props for his covers of their songs. In this case, the BBC really does not have to do anything (besides providing money for decent staging in the contest) to promote Sam.

Let’s see if Sam has what it takes to put the UK in the top 10 in this year’s contest. FYI: The last time the UK was in the top 10 was back in 2009 with Jade Ewen coming in 5th. Hell, she did a good job even after accidentally getting hit by one of the violinists (@1:06). Random question: I wonder if Jade has a background in musical theater? The way she projects gives me Broadway vibes (I guess that should be West End vibes since I’m talking about the UK).

The UK in last year’s Eurovision:

 James Newman – Embers

  • Semi-final results: Since the UK is part of the Big 5, they automatically advance to the final.
  • Final results: 26th place out of 26 performances (0 total points – 0 national juries and 0 public votes)

Video from an ESC21 attendee

What a rough ESC for James Newman. Receiving no points from the national juries and the public had to sting a little bit. However, I think James did a great job in putting up a nice front especially when the public votes were announced. To be perfectly honest, I probably would have flipped over a table. πŸ˜‰ Actually, all of the artists who received 0 points (the UK, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands) from the televote did a great job hiding their disappointment. It was quite a historic event.

Ok, while receiving 0 points does not mean that no one in Europe, Australia, or Israel voted for him. It just means that he was not in the national juries’ top ten in the countries’ rankings (I hope that I have this correct). While I can understand the public’s low ranking because of Brexit, I would hope that members of the national juries are not doing the same thing.

Since this is my first year following the entire cycle of ESC, I have noticed that the ESC fandom is quite toxic. Hell, I think that fans of the contests are more competitive than the artists that actually compete in the contest. Essentially, members of the national juries are music industry professionals individuals (eg songwriters, producers, singers, DJs, etc) that are supposed to judge the vocals, performance, and composition of the ESC entrants. I did not find anything saying that the juries must vote based on a country’s politics or actions.

Keeping it real:

Ok, so James Newman’s performance and staging were not the strongest, but they definitely were not the worst (IMO). I kinda feel the same way about Spain in ESC2021 – another country that typically performs poorly with moderate talent. While it was not the worst performance for ESC2021, I also think ESC2021 was an exceptional year because the pool of performers in the final was very strong and competitive. Some countries/artists really took advantage of ESC2020 being canceled and really upped their game for ESC2021. And . . . others . . . . well submitted the same type of song for ESC2021 that they would have sent in ESC2020.

Social Media Plug:

4 comments

  1. You’re correct that you get 0 once the jury etc have nominated their top 10 countries and you’re not among them, yes. Europe hate hate hate hates us (hell, I am not keen on the UK and I live here) so don’t get excited about any points. We’re being shitty about taking Ukrainian refugees while rowing with France over the poor sods from other countries trying to get here by ship over the Channel, so don’t think anyone likes us any more now. Sorry to be so negative, I do actually like watching Eurovision and scoring everyone on home-made sheets!

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL. We’ll you have one non-UKer, European (my hubby) who loves the UK. He lived in London and
      Edinburgh for a bit. In fact, I think we have more UK-related knick knacks in our home than Spain-related ones.

      Hey, all forms of ranting are accepted here at Run There, Drink That. πŸ˜‰

      I’ll be sure to ask you for your top ten once you start watching ESC2022. I use the My Eurovision Scoreboard app to rank my songs. Judging by folks freaking out on Twitter, I guess today was the 1st day to buy tickets.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well that’s good to know: we’re not popular generally! What knick-knacks have you got? I’m imagining models of London buses and telephone boxes but perhaps you’re more sophisticated than that! I have quite a lot of olive wood bowls and a couple of Indalo Man figures, though that’s more to do with the islands, I know.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nothing that fancy. A couple of UK-inspired coffee mugs, flags, and posters. Actually, I am long overdue for a London trip. Last time I visited family in London was back in 2005 or 2006 (about two passports ago).

        Like

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