PREVIEW: Eurovision: You Decide

WHEN: 26/2 7.30pm BBC4

WHERE: O2 Forum Kentish Town

It feels like a rare privilege to be choosing both the UK entrant for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest on Friday – and their song.

In fact the last time the UK was permitted to do both we backed singing dustman and X Factor runner-up Andy Abraham who finished 25th in Belgrade in 2008 with Even If. We were in the arena cheering him on that night, it was clear we’d been outclassed and proved Terry Wogan’s (RIP) last Eurovision.

The UK public’s probably had more success picking (in)credible entries than those chosen internally by our esteemed leading broadcaster though. We were in the audience at the old Television Centre when this former Pop Idol contestant got the nod before we joined her in Estonia when she bagged third in 2002, the UK’s best result since we hosted the whole shebang in 1998, finishing runner-up.

And what of this year’s songs ahead of Eurovision: You Decide hosted by Mel Giedroyc (pictured above) and featuring former winners Conchita, Mans Zelmerlow and a tribute to Terry Wogan? Well, haven’t the representatives of OGAE UK done a great job in helping to select the songs which we can all see flying the flag for the UK come 14/5?

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We’ll be rating the songs based on where we think they’ll finish in the Eurovision final. It’s an inexact science because we don’t know many of the other songs that will join them yet.

1. Bianca: Shine A Little Light (top left in pic above)

Writers include Leona Lewis and the team behind the Spice Girls, with a title that’s evoking memories of the last time we won Europe’s premier song competition a mere 19 years ago. It begins a bit spooky reggae and ends crowd pleasing anthem. Our favourite to win Friday. Our prediction for the Eurovision final: 11th – 15th

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2. Dulcima When You Go

What an odd mixture of styles. We can’t work out why it bursts into an instrumental break sounding like the Queer As Folk theme tune immediately after the 1st chorus. Our least favourite and the night’s biggest outsider we’d wager. Our prediction: 21st – 26th

3. Karl William Lund Miracle

This gay model has penned a decent tune but it’s sounding more whiny and nasal than Will Young to these ears. Could monopolise the gay vote (which shouldn’t be underestimated) but we’re not much looking forward to the live rendition. Our prediction: 16th – 20th

4. Joe & JakeYou’re Not Alone

These young former candidates on The Voice are our own personal favourites and we’re loving the Coldplay vibe of the song but we think it will neither be in the running Friday nor promise our best finish in the final in May. Our prediction: 16th – 20th

5. Matthew James A Better Man

The song we think will give us our best Eurovision result since Jade Ewen’s 2009 Andrew Lloyd Webber-penned effort. Matthew James was the singer in 90s pop turns Bad Boys Inc. We could do without the Robbie Williams apeing title but this is a little touch of class. It’s co-written by Peter Kvint who’s penned some fine Melodifestivalen entries and also worked with Morten Harket. Our prediction: 6th – 10th

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6. Darline Until Tomorrow (bottom right)

This Country’n’Western duo probably has the most contemporary song and it wouldn’t be out of place in Swedish selection and greatest show on earth Melodifestivalen. However, it’s not a style we’re particularly keen on as it sounds too Dawson’s Creek to us. Prediction: 11-15th

Dear BBC, well done on giving the public a shot at choosing their Eurovision entry and selecting a fine crop of songs. The live performances could, of course, change everything but we can’t see a winner in this bunch. Melodifestivalen however …

  • Tickets here. Picture via Facebook courtesy BBC Eurovision.
  • Enjoyed this preview? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham

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