As any Eurovision fan who has been following the contest for the last few years will know, the United Kingdom has been one of the major underachievers of the new millenium. Despite a rich history of 5 wins and far too many second places, since the turn of the century things have taken a turn for the worst, particularly in the 00s. The choices our broadcaster – the BBC – have been making, and for most of the century the winners chosen by the British public, have ranged from ‘okay’ to ’embarassing’ and ‘awful’ and this has reflected in the results.
Optimism abound however! With the internal selection process seemingly solidified into the Beeb’s approach to Eurovision and 2014’s refreshing look at the contest there might finally be a cause for celebration for a country with one of the largest Eurovision fanbases. Finally, they have listened. And in 2014 we got the most relevant British entry in years thanks to Leicestershire’s Molly Smitten-Downes. The result may not have matched up to many expectations but for the first time this year I, as a British Eurovision fan, could finally feel proud of our entry. Hopefully this is something that can be capitalised on in 2015 and in this editorial I will be looking at where the BBC can decide to go next.
Who’s moving up in BBC Introducing?
First, a bit of context to back up my ideas. Despite being a huge Eurovision fan my main love lies in indie and dance music and this is something I would love to see represented in future contests – the last few years have definitely deviated away from the safe pop the contest is renowned for. So what I would like to see the BBC doing in 2015 is making more daring choices as I feel this is where the votes will come from. It’s safe to say that Austria and Netherlands certainly did not play it safe in Copenhagen but it paid off wonderfully for them both and I believe it’s this tactic that the BBC need to employ in order to see the United Kingdom’s name near the top of the scoreboard again.
But who from BBC Introducing could help the UK to glory? This year has seen the successes of many BBC Introducing artists including George Ezra’s continental success with “Budapest” and artists like Racing Glaciers, Rhodes and Florrie being amongst the rising names in the UK independent industry.
It may be difficult due to the stigma Eurovision has in the UK to select a similar artist for 2015 but I hope it is something the BBC will be pushing for. The UK’s music industry has long been one of the strongest in Europe and the world and the young talent is something that should be showcased on the Eurovision stage.
So who should the BBC be targeting in 2015?
If we’re going for familiar names (at least to certain people) then any of the above would be fantastic choices and could really shake up Eurovision in 2015. Other honourable mentions include Model Aeroplanes, Amber Run, Royal Blood – all exciting young artists and bands on the up in 2014 that I would recommend. But it seems likely that the chosen artist will come from out of nowhere, much like Molly this year. However, my personal view would be that something risky would pay off in Austria. For too long the BBC’s entries have been safe affairs – possibly mundane, generally inoffensive but rarely special. A great rock or experimental entry in 2015 could really change things for the United Kingdom and I would love to see the BBC turning heads next year.
And hey, why not ruffle a few feathers on the way? The winner of 2014 hardly appealed to everybody. Sadly, the BBC’s approach tries to cater for too many and yet excites too few. Something drastic needs to take us forward next year.
You can listen to the artists mentioned above by clicking on their names, to get an idea of the sound I feel the BBC should go for. But what do you think? Am I wrong? Should we be looking to other sounds for 2015? Let us know in the comments below or join the discussion on our forum!