The United Kingdom selected its entry on Saturday evening for this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Helsinki. Of the six possibles, my estimation is that two or three of these were pretty good; the rest were rubbish. At least the one chosen, "Flying the Flag (For You)" by a foursome called Scooch was in the top two of the songs this evening, in my opinion - I hope and believe it should do pretty well. The UK Eurovision website is here - you can hear clips of all the songs by clicking on the link from each entrant's page.
I watched the show earlier this evening, but missed the second show later in the evening when the winning entrant was announced. My review of the evening's peformances is as follows, in the order they sang (so far as I recall):
(Don't It Make You) Happy!
- performed by Liz McClarnon
A cheery song, but with pretty limited lyrics. She had quite a good voice, but at times her voice seemed slightly off-key. Not really a contender, in my opinion, even if not too bad.
- performed by Brian Harvey
With the deepest respect, no he can't!!! Not a great song although not intrinsically a bad one either I suppose, but an atrocious performance! The on-line clip is well performed so he obviously can sing, but his showing this evening was, to put it charitably, less than stellar. Off-key singing, lousy in every way. And a comment about the 'back-story' of this performer - I really don't care if he had a car accident a couple of years ago, nor would the Eurovision voters in May I supect. All that counts is that he can perform consistently well and control whatever nerves he may have; this he signally failed to do this evening.
Big Bro Thang
- performed by Big Brovaz
This was really quite good. Two women and two men, funkily dsressed and with a funky kind of rap song to sing. This all-black group all gave good perfomrances and had decent voices; their choreography was pretty good too. This was one of the two best songs of the evening. I think it would have stood a real chance as it was definite Eurovision material, but a little different - 'black' but in a definite British way if that makes sense.
I'll Leave My Heart
- performed by Cyndi (Almouzni)
A sort of Celtic ballad; a really good song and very well performed by a young (French-)woman with a superb and powerful voice. A decade or more ago this kind of ballad would definitely have been winner material, but in recent years all the winning entries seems to have to have some 'gimmick', usually assocaited with outlandish costumes and complex choreography. I rated this number three of this evening's performances (and not number one) solely because I thought it probably no longer fitted in with what is likely to win; a great pity because the song was good and the performance was excellent.
Flying the Flag (For You)
- performed by Scooch
A two-male, two-female foursome singing a 'pop' song, classic 'Europop' in fact - camp, colourful, lively, quite fun. All four, male and female, are quite 'easy on the eye' - an important consideration for Eurovision, which (let's face it) makes no pretence to being 'high culture'! It was with Big Bro Thang one of the two top songs of the evening and the song finally chosen to represent the UK this year. The choreography and the costumes were excellent - very 'kitsch'; I think it deserves to do pretty well - who knows it might even win, although there is now so much partisanship amongst various groupings of entrant countries that it is impossible to predict!
They Don’t Make 'Em Like They Used T)
- performed by Hawkins & Brown
A rather attractive black woman and a frankly unusual-looking white man with atrocious teeth. Nevertheless I thought their performances were witty and the song was quite good with her quite powerful voice and his characteristic falsetto blending very nicely, set-off with her elegant dress and his baroque get-up. Might have done reasonably well if it had been chosen as I wonder if the eccentric perfomances might not have appealed to the voting audience in May, but for me it fell just outside the top three this evening.
The only other entry I wrote about for this year's competition is that from Spain and you can read my views on that here.