Sigh….if you want something done properly, do it yourself….
Posted by Caroline on March 12, 2011
…..is possibly what Duncan James and the rest of the Blue boys may have been thinking when they took on the task of turning around the UK’s Eurovision fortunes this year. And their road to the contest has been no easy one. The fact is, the reputation of the UK on the Eurovision stage has been so shot to pieces in recent years that whoever rose to the challenge this year was never going to be in for an easy ride. We could have sent Elton John duetting with Robbie Williams featuring George Michael on backing vocals and everybody would still have told us that we were going to come last. Such is the perception of the UK at Eurovision in recent years – and who can blame us for thinking that, since apart from the momentary blip of 2009 we haven’t exactly done anything to change that opinion – that it was hard to see it changing.
But this year, we think things are going to be very different indeed. We are the first to admit we weren’t big fans of Blue, that it was a valiant if somewhat dated choice, that it could all fall flat etc etc. Well now we have had a chance to hear I Can. Several times. And we can honestly say that we absolutely love it. OK, so the lyrics are fundamentally nonsense and it’s not necessarily anything removed from the normal realms of boy band territory, but it’s also anthemic, has a killer chorus which will lodge in the heads of voters long after the final note has been sung, and if their performance on The Graham Norton Show tonight was anything to go by, they already have a slick stage routine worked out. More importantly, they seem to be giving it their all. None of the half-hearted, resigned to the dumper attitude that we went into the contest with last year where even Pete Waterman turned round and admitted we weren’t going to do too well, these boys are in it to win it. And it’s hard not to marvel at the difference.
But the most crucial selling point of the song, as far as we’re concerned, is the one which may well stand it in good stead on the night – the fact that while it may be memorable and well-performed, it doesn’t actually sound like a Eurovision song. What it sounds like – and this is something we’ve been nagging those folks at the BBC about for ages – is a good pop song which just happens to be entering Eurovision. Now didn’t we harp on about that last year, complaining that we had tried so hard to come up with what constituted a typical Eurosong that we had lost sight of what actually won the contest these days? Someone, somewhere clearly agrees with us.
Because instead of going for some cliched dated nonsense, or getting the public to vote in some ridiculous novelty act who might as well have ‘LAST PLACE’ stamped on their forehead because they have gotten it into their head that the whole thing is pre-ordained for Russia and their mates to win until at least 2024, the powers that be have dispensed with the idea of trying to enter a typical Eurovision song. And instead they’ve just entered a song. Which is what we suggested they should be doing in the first place. Now don’t you see how much better that is for everybody?
We can’t tell you how Blue will fare on the big night, of course – you’ll have to tune in and find out. But with the buzz that this song appears to have created around Europe – much of it positive – it looks as though this could be the year that the UK reminds everybody what a powerful force it used to be on the Eurovision stage. Better still, it could even signal a revival of interest in the contest in this country in the same way Lena made Germany fall in love with it once again. And if nothing else, that could finally make the public realise the error of their ways in not taking it seriously in recent years. Meanwhile you can guarantee we’ll also be backing our boys all the way to Dusseldorf. Because if we’re being honest, this is the best shot we’ve had at the Eurovision crown for a very long time.
Now if only we’d thought of doing this kind of thing sooner……..