United Kingdom’s Eurovision 2015 Entry

The BBC has fulfilled its contractual obligation to provide the EBU with a Eurovision entry. Here’s Electro Velvet’s “Still In Love With You”:

Electro Velvet pairs up Alex Larke, the lead singer of a Rolling Stones cover band, with Bianca Nicholas, whose primary claim to fame is she auditioned for The Voice UK but didn’t get picked by any of the mentors. “Still In Love With You” was penned by David Mindel, an established songwriter of commercial jingles and theme songs, and Adrian Bax White, a songsmith who was also a member of the Tony Evans Orchestra, the self-proclaimed “Worlds No.1 Dance & Concert Orchestra.”

Here is the internet’s reaction to the United Kingdom’s entry:

This type of upbeat retro swing song shows up in national finals from time to time: Just this year we had MUZZART’s “Only Dance” (Belarus), The Su’sis’ “This & That” (Austria), and Bálint Gájer’s “That’s How It Goes” (Hungary). MUZZART and Natalia Barbu’s “Let’s jazz” (Moldova preselection 2011) are examples of the specific electro-swing sound that Electro Velvet embraces. None of these songs mustered enough support to make it out of their respective national finals. And “Still In Love With You” isn’t as good as any of these songs.

Remember BBC producer Guy Freeman’s manifesto for Eurovision last year? Particularly the part where he wrote, “Yes, novelty songs and acts do still turn up in the show, provide great entertainment and make good press – but they don’t tend to win?” We remember, but the BBC clearly doesn’t.

What angers us most about this year’s UK entry is how fast the BBC abandoned what could have been a good long-term strategy to find talent. Last year, BBC looked for a new singer-songwriter on its BBC Introducing site. Sure, that act fizzled on the big stage last May, but that doesn’t mean the strategy was bad.

This year, they still hired unknown talents to perform their song, but they selected a pair of singers with no history of working together and gave those singers a song co-written by the guy who composed the Jim’ll Fix It theme. It’s almost like they were so busy planning for the Eurovision’s Greatest Hits concert that they lost sight of the main event.

4 thoughts on “United Kingdom’s Eurovision 2015 Entry”

  1. So the UK continues its tradition of reinvigorating its selection strategy, experiencing some success, and then attempting to replicate it while completely failing to understand why the strategy worked the first time.

    Put Andrew Lloyd Webber in charge and ended 5th? Let’s put Pete Waterman in control of our entry!

    Had some success with an established boyband popular in Europe? Let’s send a lounge singer who hasn’t been relevant for the last thirty years!

    Sent a new artist singing a contemporary song which was well received (even if it didn’t set the scoreboard on fire)? Let’s send a novelty entry with a retro sound!

    Last year felt like a major step forward. At this stage, I don’t know what the problem is. It could well be that, given the perception of Eurovision in this country, no-one wants to do it unless they’re at the end of their career or are never going to break into the music industry otherwise.

  2. Ashamed UK resident here. You guys put it beautifully.

    Once I’d got over my stunned shock, I was more annoyed by how there’s a good idea in here. But it’s horribly, horribly botched. It’s an outwardly cheerful duet in which the guy tells the girl (who’s going on vacation) to behave herself while they’re apart, and he jealously imagines all kinds of trouble she could get into. In the hands of a better, wittier songwriter this could have been a wonderfully twisted comedy song, with the fast-paced rhyming scheme uncovering ever increasing levels of imagined misbehaviour – and perhaps a final verse in which the girl confirms all the guy’s suspicions. Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy’s written songs like this before – heck, even Victoria Wood or Bill Bailey could pull it off.

    But the leaden, phoned-in, frankly amateurish song we have is so lacking in actual, recognisable jokes that the lyrics actually come across as creepy and misogynistic. “That pretty face can’t be replaced” is a *chilling* line when it’s expressed so blandly, as is “You’re so gorgeous / You need to be cautious.”

    This song is horrible!

  3. Okay, as a counter to all the bile thrown at this song: how exactly does this qualify as “novelty”? I’ve seen this compared to Scooch’s “Flying the Flag” from 2007, which I can’t get my head around at all – this song does appear to be tongue-in-cheek, but it’s certainly not a fully blown comedy song. And have you listened to the other entries this year? I’m happy for every single halfway uptempo song we get, even if it is as amateurish as this one (then again, I was the guy last year who liked “Cake to Bake”…). Don’t get me wrong, the ballads and midtempo pieces seem to have a few nice ones among them – Romania’s “De la capat”, for one – but good heavens, would 2015 be a slog to sit through (especially at 27 songs in the final) without at least one fast-paced song. (Maybe we’ll have two, if Finland make it to Saturday, but that song, while uptempo, is certainly not fun to listen to.)

    1. Maybe novelty is a strong word to use, but it is certainly a niche genre of music being entered into a popularity contest. My reaction to it is less a reaction to the song (although again: it’s not exactly the strongest example of the genre) than it is a reaction to the overall Eurovision strategy the BBC is employing. Anyway, if the average viewer’s initial reaction to the song during the Final is anything like the initial reaction the diehards had, it’s gonna be a long evening for the UK again. A song that’s not so bad once you really listen to it is not exactly going to carry the night.

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