UK: Let’s have a look at what you could have won. All the best rumours, freaks and near-misses, compiled…
So now we know the six songs that are going to battle it our for the UK’s ticket to Stockholm next Friday in an old cinema in Kentish Town. But as it the tradition with the sceptic isle, there’s been all kinds of rumour, conjecture, panic and extrapolation along the way, and we’ve see a huge raft of so-bad-they’re-still-actually-pretty-bad rejected songs along the way. So let’s take a look at what they could have won, and remember the windy path our nearest neighbours took to decide upon the dirty half dozen that stand before us.
So back in September the BBC announced that it was launching its biggest Eurovision song search ever, and was throwing its doors open to all and sundry to try and reclaim our former glories. However, it was pretty apparent that this was merely an invitation for a batch of lumpy home-composed amateurs to send in their tatty wares for the nice people at OGAE to ignore.
The first hounds out of the trap were so poor that they would have made even the Swiss blush, and they included hordes of wacky chancers who were all convinced that their comedy japes would be exactly kind of thing that the BBC would fall over themselves to employ. Take Delilah Jay here. This superannuated German lioness (she was a bit old and beige to be a cougar) was among the first to declare that she’d been rejected back in November, and there followed a stream of indignant “We wiz robbed!” postings on the internet.
But they weren’t all buffoons and bontempi warriors. Word soon got out that former Orbital brother Paul Hartnoll had written a tune for the cool-as Brighton songstress Fable, and heritage Welsh glam metal act Tigertailz had both penned tunes for the UK fan club to consider. Both also sadly failed at this stage – which made close observers of the proceedings both hopeful that OGAE UK were doing a decent job at sifting out the dross, but fearful that we were going to be left with a bunch of casting show drop outs and reality show ne’er-do-wells. Tigertailz got so irate about their exclusion that they even started a government petition to try and get reinstated – alas to no avail. Shame because this could have been quite amusing as one of the six.
As the New Year turned, the rumours started flying thick and fast. Word started buzzing around the Maltese final in Valetta that Jedward were bolted on last six qualifiers, which filled fans with a 50/50 blend of excitement and blind derision. Around the same time, a London talent agent put out a call for a young male singer to perform what he called “a confirmed Eurovision entry”. That song turned out to be A Better Man. A hastily knocked up video suddenly appeared of a song that, while decent, sounded like a Robbie Williams cast off, and everybody breathed a sigh of relief, feeling that this couldn’t possibly be one of our entries. Could it?
Then the names started flying in thick and fast. Casting show alumni the likes of The X factor’s Nicky McDonald and Michael Rice where the first two out of the hat, followed by The Voice’s Liss Jones, and three other former Voice old girls, The Northernettes, whose soul-flavoured retro number delighted many, but filled everyone with dread that the UK would garner a similar result to last year if everybody in Europe thought they were ploughing the same furrow again. Shame, because it was a pretty decent song too!
Worse still, the news that TOWIE star Jess Wright was going to be one of the dirty dozen began to litter the gossip sheets, and everybody began to get a bit worried again. Thankfully, a new sideshow of bitter rejectees distracted the nation for a bit. Alexandra Challoner’s people started touting around a song that they claimed was “The one the BBC missed” called Stranger With Danger, which was one of the most cringeworthy three minutes of the season – but really must be watched to the end for full comes effect. Particularly for the cast list at the end. It took THAT many people to make it?
Also having a bit of a grumble were the people behind Kazia Gill’s Glory Days, a song that, while begging the BBC for a chance to save Eurovision, simultaneously slagged off everything they’d been doing for the last 19 years. A curious tactic that was made even more amusing by the news that one of its writers actually used to work for the BBC.
As the days neared, all kinds of crazies were hinting that they were among the chosen ones. A pair of unicorn-touting trolls called Tears In The Rain knocked up a Twitter account and claimed that they were the UK’s new future, while musical agent Dean ‘Midas’ Maynard kept dropping hints that all kinds of his acts were part of the shortlist, seemingly for his own amusement. There was even that brief moment where a Ukrainian lass called Diana Mess got in all the newspapers claiming that she’d made the cut with her anti-Russian folk anthem, even thought it had been established that she’d been rejected before Christmas, bless her.
But strangest of all came the news that 2002 UK Pop Idol sweetheart Hayley Evetts has gotten a song that sounded just like ELO into the Romanian semi-finals. Almost immediately, some anonymous voices were suggesting that this was another of the songs that had been turned down by the stern OGAE filter. Bit of luck really, because it sounded like a three minute cover version of the entire Out Of The Blue album. Sadly though she had to pull out of the process because of a leg injury. We suspect that Jeff Lynne kneecapped her.
Then, with just two days to go, The Sun newspaper claimed to have outed a bonafide UK contestant, and all the papers flocked to follow their report. One time Bad Boy Inc star Matthew Pateman had apparently rolled back the years to kick start his career with a stab at Eurovision glory. The foolish fella had been Tweeting some massive hints for weeks, and someone low down the showbiz desk at the paper had punt two and two together and connected him to the show. Suddenly the UK’s followers got all concerned again and began to fear that they really were going to get a dustin list of has-beens and never-quite-weres.
So all of that leads to the six songs that dear old Ken Bruce debuted on his show this morning. Are we delighted? Surprised? Dismayed? Or even depressed at the list? Is it everything that you’d ever hoped for, or just more of the same old same old? We’d be interested to hear what you think, and to see if you reckon any of the above-mentioned could have done better for the UK. Yes, even Stranger For Danger.
Still, at least nobody suggested Geri Halliwell this year…
Make sure to check out Roy’s awesome site Eurovision Apocalypse HERE
Author : Roy Delaney
Source : Eurovision Ireland