Vote Josh! (Well you don’t have to, but just being nice to him would be a start……..)
Posted by Caroline on May 29, 2010
There’s been a lot of talk in the press over the past few days about the fact that this year’s UK entry is, to put it bluntly, not very good. The tabloids have had a field day, jumping on the fact that poor old Josh Dubovie has the lowest odds ever for a UK Eurovision song, that the odds on him getting no points at all are quite high (for what it’s worth we still think he’ll get more points than whatever Slovenia got in the semi-final so THERE…..), that it’s all a bit useless, etc etc ad infinitum. Even Pete Waterman has said it’s “highly unlikely” his own composition will win.
Now we don’t wish to defend That Sounds Good To Me for a moment (because if we’re being honest, it’s a bit pants), but we are beginning to wonder where this ridiculously defeatist attitude came from? Like it or not, this is the song we have sent to Eurovision this year and Josh is the singer that we, as a nation, voted for back in March – and if we’re going to be that disparaging about it then surely the whole notion of us coming last, getting no points, slinking back to le Royaume-Uni with our tail between our legs etc, becomes a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy? Can you imagine if we ventured into the World Cup with that attitude, decided we were going to lose anyway and sent the England squad out in their away kit, wearing plimsolls, because there was no point in us making an effort? We wouldn’t do that of course, so why do we feel it’s OK to approach Eurovision in such a fashion?
And another thing. All of this can’t be very nice for Josh – who let us remember is only 19 – to actually have to read. The poor lad has gone out to Oslo with all the best intentions only to face lorryloads of tabloid fodder about how the whole thing is a disaster because there is no way he can win. Frankly I wouldn’t bother if I were him. I’d just hop on the next plane home and send a singing poodle (sure you could find one at the Britain’s Got Talent auditions if you looked hard enough) to take my place because there would be no point in my even trying to outdo the bookies and the press. The fact he is going to go out there on Saturday night with his head held high and do his best, even though he is virtually guaranteed a poor result, is to his credit.
All of which leads us to wonder if this attitude could have something to do with the UK’s poor results recently. We’re all too quick to find scapegoats – the Iraq war for example (people of Britain, it happened nearly a decade ago. Nobody hates us for it any more, particularly not the Eurovision community. Now just stop trotting out that archaic old excuse and get over yourselves, OK?) . Or we cry foul over neighbourly voting, or Eastern Bloc domination, or the fact the Wispa bar doesn’t taste as good as it did in the 80s (OK then maybe not. But you get our drift).
Yet we never bother to look at the root cause of why UK has fallen from Eurovision favour – the simple fact that other countries take it seriously while we still regard it as some kind of uber-camp, uber-kitsch singing carnival full of naff songs and dodgy hairdos. People, Eurovision has worked very hard to shake off that image in recent years. The likes of Russia – whose 2008 winner Believe was produced by Timbaland – or Azerbaijan, who have roped in Beyonce’s choreographer to pep up Drip Drop this year – don’t like it when you start suggesting they’re naff and dodgy, and let’s face it, why should they vote for us if that is our attitude towards them and the contest as a whole?
Eurovision has moved with the times. The trouble is that the UK’s perception of Eurovision has, by and large, not moved with it. We thought we’d made a breakthrough in 2009 when Andrew Lloyd Webber got involved and we had the fabulous Jade Ewen singing for us – and indeed, look at the difference it made, look how much better we fared when we did take it seriously. What a shame we didn’t manage to pull it off again this year.
So we hereby appeal to you, when you’re watching this evening, to actually rally round Josh and give him a bit of support. Yes, we know the song sucks. Yes, we know it was written by the Poundstretcher Simon Cowell. And yes we know the only time we’ll probably feature in the left hand side of the scoreboard is at the start before any votes have been cast. But don’t take it out on the teenager who is doing his best to try and represent our country in the best way he can. Because at the end of the day, he’s actually taking the whole thing seriously. And that counts for a lot in this era of Eurovision.
And on that note we’re off to drag our Union Jacks out of their mothballs……