Yesterday it was reported that the BBC would hold a massive search for their Eurovision 2016 entry and the internet almost broke – watch out Kim Kardashian we didn’t need to get naked with a bottle of champagne!
So this morning the BBC released a formal statement of intent. So we thought we would take a closer look at what they said and see if we could read between the lines. Also worth checking out what our friends at ESCInsight had to say HERE. A Good read!
So what did the BBC officially Announce today?
Well the Broadcaster posted this message on their website – Read Here
So let’s pick out the main points of interest.
There will be an open call for original songs from the public. The BBC did that last year too – Check. Oh hang on. The BBC says anyone over the age of 18 can enter. Eurovision itself allows contestants from the age of 16 – so why the difference? Remember Sandra Kim is all I say!
Here is an interesting point. “In addition, the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) is to revive its former partnership with the BBC and will run a song-writing competition amongst its members. BASCA exists to support and protect the professional interests of songwriters, lyricists and composers of all genres of music and to celebrate and encourage excellence in British music writing.”
This is interesting to see this relationship rekindled between the BBC and BASCA. I am sure this should see the quality of songs being submitted grown in stature if they are coming from professional writers. Might this put new song writers at a disadvantage?
The singer can be “amateur, professional or superstar”. This is interesting as it is opening up the category of eligible singers from the ‘BBC Introducing’ tactic employed in 2104 and the Superstar route (2011 to 2013). Question here is will a potential superstar – say Sam Smith or Adele – put themselves up for a selection process where there is the possibility that they may lose out to an unknown artist? Remember James Blunt offered himself to the BBC last year. Would he still be interested if he had to compete against Sarah from Watford?
Very happy to see that the BBC is rewarding their hard-core fans from OGAE with a role in the selection of the songs. The BBC wrote today that they recognise “that the fan community is a very important element of the Eurovision Song Contest. As such, the BBC will be inviting the UK branch of the OGAE to assist in the shortlisting of these open entries. The OGAE is the largest independent Eurovision fan club in the world and its UK branch has around 1,000 members”
Now this is also interesting as it does not state if it will be a selection of OGAE fans or the full 1 thousand fans having their say. It also does not clarify if the OGAE fans will be used to shortlist the songs down to the final ones that are presented to the public. Considering that the song submissions will be expected to be of a vast number, it will be likely that there maybe several shortlisting of the songs in contention. Let’s hope that OGAE are involved in all the shortlisting rounds? Also will OGAE be involved in shortlisting the songs that will be submitted in the separate competition being run by BASCA? I hope so!
Hugh Goldsmith will be a liaison for the BBC between “record labels, publishers, managers, writers and producers, in order to encourage high-level music industry involvement too.”.
So we took a look at Goldsmith’s recent music credits on All Music. His last industry release that we could find was 2005 ‘Access All Areas: Remixed and B-Sides‘ by Atomic Kitten that was released only in Japan.
So in the 11 years since the last release from Goldsmith, the music industry and Eurovision has changed considerably. Will Goldsmith have his finger on the pulse of what works in the contest and be able to attract record labels to the selection process?
“Songs from all routes of entry will be included in a final shortlist, which will be presented to a professional panel and the public, who will have the final say on which song is taken forward to represent the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest in Sweden in 2016. More details regarding this will be announced in due course.”
Professional panels can sometimes scare me. They can work and then they can go off into a black hole of controversy and possibly sway a voting public. Who can forget what happened in Ireland in 2014? Thank you Linda Martin for this TV Gold Moment! However if we look across Europe at the countries that have won Eurovision recently – they haven’t had a panel commenting on the songs. None in Sweden in 2015, None in Austria in 2014, None is Sweden in 2012 and None is Azerbaijan in 2011. Denmark was the only country to buck the trend in 2013 but they did not comment on each song after it was performed. They just gave points at the end of the show. So while a panel can be good for TV viewing and have valid points – have they really picked Eurovision winners?
So we await details of the actual show that will allow the public to vote for their song for Eurovision. When might it be scheduled? I would imagine it won’t be until after the BBC’s flagship show ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ has finished at Christmas. Then we are into ‘The Voice’ season on BBC 1. So will the Eurovision Selection be a one-off show or a series of shows? Will it be on BBC 1 or relegated to BBC 2 or BBC 3?
I guess we will have to wait and see.
Don’t get me wrong – this is a big move forward for the BBC but let’s not crack open the champagne just yet and see what more they have in the works?
Safe to say that the BBC is placing the responsibility of find a winning entry at Eurovision outside of their own hands and with the Fans, BASCA, Goldsmith and the Public. Are you all ready for the responsibility? Will this generate increased interest in the contest from the public and media? Is this what the UK needs to get that 6th Eurovision win?
Tell us what you think
Author/Editor in Chief Garrett Mulhall
Source : BBC