Finally after months of waiting (well, on nutleyone’s part anyway) the United Kingdom yesterday finally announced their Eurovision entry.
UK’s hope for 2014 – Molly Smitten-Downes
Taken from BBC Introducing, ‘Children of the Universe’ sung by Molly Smitten-Downes – will fly the flag for the UK on Saturday, May 10th in Copenhagen as the BBC try to improve on previous lacklustre performances that have seen stars of yesteryear represent the country with little success.
A smart track with a contemporary sound, the track is a distinct change from ‘Believe in Me’ (2013) and ‘Love Will Set You Free’ (2012) featuring a gospel choir, a catchy hook and someone who is eager to make her own way in the world. Whilst we can only hope that Molly will beat our last performance in Copenhagen (No Dream Impossible, 15th, 2001), let’s take a moment to reflect on better days by running down nutleyone’s top 10 UK entries from the past 58 years.
10. Sing Little Birdie (1959)
A cute little ditty sung by Pearl Carr and Teddy Johnson came 2nd in the UK’s second attempt at the contest. They don’t make them like this anymore…
9. Long Live Love (1974)
The year ABBA won with ‘Waterloo’, the UK sent Olivia Newton-John with Terry Wogan commenting that if she didn’t win that would potentially be the end of her career. She came 4th, and 4 years later was performing with John Travolta in ‘Grease’!
8. I Can (2011)
The boys from Blue came 11th with this song just 3 years ago in what was possibly the UK’s most serious attempt since today – unfortunately they might have been better off doing ‘The Big Reunion’ instead.
7. Love City Groove (1995)
Rapping their way to the top 10 in 1995 came this contemporary tune from 1995. Not exactly Britpop, and Deuce sang a far better song in the national final with ‘I Need You’ but given the song that won only having 24 words, the rest made up by a violin intermezzo they deserved their 10th place.
6. My Time (2009)
You have to hand Andrew Lloyd Webber 10 out of 10 for originality with this entry that played on the UK love of musical theatre. Another sparse attempt at trying to improve the UK’s position in Eurovision in recent years, this song saw the UK rise to 5th in a year where Norway swept the board with a ‘Fairytale’. A solid basis for future entries… until they got Pete Waterman to write the next one.
5. One Step Out Of Time (1992)
The first Eurovision nutleyone watched. How different things could have been had I been a year earlier and listened to Samantha Janus (yes… the one that plays Ronnie Mitchell in EastEnders) screech her way through ‘Message to Your Heart’. Second only to Ireland, Michael Ball sang his heart out. Still have a soft spot for the tune, even if Michael Ball said he’d rather stick needles in his eyes than compete again.
4. Making Your Mind Up (1981)
They ripped their skirts off! ‘Nuff said.
3. Love Shine A Light (1997)
The last UK winner was now 17 years ago. Described as a ‘Coca-Cola, like to teach the world to sing’ type track, this romped home with 227 points on the night giving the UK a 70 point lead over it’s nearest rival, Ireland. The song also achieved the rare (at the time) distinction of being awarded points from every other country.
2. Just A Little Bit (1996)
Late 1990s were a great time to be a UK supporter in Eurovision. Gina G swept to number 1 across Europe with this track, and it was the biggest shock to most people when she didn’t win, losing out to ‘The Voice’ from Ireland and stumbling home in 8th place. Widely reported to be one of the main reasons the EBU introduced televoting the following year. And finally…
1. Where Are You? (1998)
Truly contemporary and of its time, the song is widely regarded as being better than the previous year’s entry (the winning ‘Love Shine A Light). It also nearly gave the BBC a heart attack as Immani put on a strong showing to come 2nd by just a few points in Birmingham. Imagine the license fee if they’d had to do that again in 1999?!