The British Eurovision entry is getting announced tonight! I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m picturing a good but not particularly exciting entry this year (unless it’s Alexandra Burke, obviously). But anyway, I’ve ranked every British entry since 2000:
15. ‘That Sounds Good To Me’ – Josh Dubovie
It’s hard to believe that this isn’t the oldest song on this list, but this did indeed happen in 2010. ‘That Sounds Good To Me’ is diabolical; it sounds like something Peter Waterman had lying around (probably in the Steps reject draw). Josh himself isn’t too bad (that last note is painful though), but this is one of only two times at the contest where I’ve been embarrassed to be British. That year, Katie Melua submitted ‘The Flood’ to be our entry, which would’ve done much better than last place.
Also in the selection process that year: Karen Harding
14. ‘Cry Baby’ – Jemini
The reason no one voted for this is not political, it’s just a steaming turd of a song. I wasn’t embarrassed by this at the time, but that’s because I wasn’t ‘into Eurovision’ when this happened.
13. ‘Flying The Flag (For You)’ – Scooch
This is the other time I was embarrassed by our entry. This isn’t actually as heinous as I remember, but I think I was just keen for a pretty lady with voluminous hair to sing for us. It’s all a bit cringey, in that it’s not as funny as it thinks it is. Much like the Josh Dubovie entry, it’s very hard to believe that this is from the latter half of the noughties because it sounds so dated. We finished joint 22nd with France that year, only beating Ireland (Malta gave us 12 points though lol).
12. ‘No Dream Impossible’ – Lindsay Dracass
It’s nice to see that Lindsay got dressed up for the show. Another laughably bad song, it’s not hard to see why we do so consistently badly. The worst part of this is not the rapper (who I sort of love), it’s the fact that she can’t really sing that well, y’know? I also like that they didn’t even splash out on some fancy cello’s (I’m imagining some Hilary Duff ‘Beat of My Heart’-style clear ones). This managed to come 15th, scoring 28 points. She’s since toured with Paul Carrack, which is nice for her.
11. ‘Teenage Life’ – Daz Sampson
There’s something quite ~creepy about this whole performance. Yes, I’m a Charli XCX fan, but there’s something quite odd about a group of adults singing about how hard school is. The song itself isn’t that bad, but it’s just weird and we sent this around the time that the contest was getting more serious. The song finished 19th, with only 25 points. Daz tried to represent the UK again in 2007 (with ‘Do A Little Dance’), but got rejected because the BBC didn’t want him to do it again.
10. ‘Even If’ – Andy Abraham
I’ve never been to a wedding, but this is what I imagine a crappy wedding would be like. The stage looks like a rave in a stained glass factory. This isn’t a bad song, but like (almost) EVERY. OTHER. SONG. in this list, it sounds like it should have been released about ten years earlier. This came last with 14 points, which is completely understandable in the year that brought us ‘Secret Combination’, ‘Shady Lady’ and ‘Qele Qele’. SPOILER: Andy’s suit makes a reappearance a few years later.
09. ‘Don’t Play That Song Again’ – Nikki French
Before Robyn was singing about dancing on her own, Nikki French was doing crying on the dancefloor. There’s something wonderfully naff about ‘Don’t Play That Song Again’. It’s not really trying to be the best song, but you can tell Nikki wants to be there and is really enjoying it. I am in love with her coat though, and will be hunting around Shoreditch for something similar. This got 28 points in 2000, putting it in 16th place. I imagine Nikki would be quite happy with that tbh.
08. ‘Love Will Set You Free’ – Engelbert Humperdinck
This is by some distance the most boring song on the list, but at least it sounds a bit ‘timeless’ unlike every other song so far. The Spanish guitar is quite pretty, and it’s a sweet song. Here’s the problem though: Pixie Lott was meant to be doing it in 2012. I mean, she’s not that great live, but at least it would have been something a bit more exciting. But wait, it gets worse: Hurts wanted to do it too. Hurts would have been perfect, not only because they’re really good, but they’re also big in Europe. Engelbert came second-to-last.
07. ‘Believe In Me’ – Bonnie Tyler
See above, tbh. It did slightly better, coming 19th.
06. ‘Come Back’ – Jessica Garlick
There are only two songs on this list that came in the Top 10, and ‘Come Back’ is one of them. It’s a good ballad, that sounds like it would have sounded current in 2002. Unlike the last two, it’s a ballad but it has a bit of drama to it. The best bit of it all, though, is her outfit. It’s as much cave girl as it is Liz McDonald, and I think that’s the goal really (I’m going to a family dinner tonight and I’m going to channel that look). This song did the best out of any of these songs, coming third.
Also in the selection process that year: Tricia Penrose
05. ‘Hold On To Our Love’ – James Fox
Long before Ed Sheeran and George Ezra were ‘a thing’, James Fox attempted to conquer the Heart FM MOR market with ‘Hold On To Our Love’. It’s a good example of how to make a sweet ballad interesting: there are moments of ‘drama’, unlike the Engelbert and Bonnie attempts. James Fox came 16th in 2004, scoring 29 points. I think this is the first one so far that should have done better than it did. Bizarrely, Radiohead apparently submitted some songs in 2004, only for the BBC to think it was a joke. Don’t we all?
04. Blue – ‘I Can’
There’s an obvious joke to be made here about how they couldn’t, but you know, I like to think this blog is a bit more highbrow than that. It’s nice to see that Andy Abraham’s suit believes in life after love, isn’t it? ‘I Can’ is a current-ish song with a good chorus (one of the only entries on this list to have a good one), and rather exciting stage production (which didn’t work in their dress rehearsal). They came 11th with 100 points, which was very respectable tbh. They actually came fifth on the televote though, with the dodgy staging putting them 22nd with the juries.
03. ‘It’s My Time’ – Jade Ewen
The best overall package on this list. Jade is an excellent, if a little faceless, vocalist. The song is a perfectly safe ballad. Andrew Lloyd Webber provided the gimmick. Not even an overly excited violinist could stop Jade performing with professionalism that every other song on this list doesn’t have. I guess the problem was the song should have been better considering Diane Warren (!!!) wrote it. Still, the song came fifth in 2009, with 173 points, which is still the most that we’ve ever got.
Also in the selection process that year: Rita Ora
02. ‘Children of the Universe’ – Molly
I may be the only person in the country, but I really like this song. It could have been better – the production needs to be fuller – but it’s a good song. She probably would have done better if she wasn’t wearing that outfit/if she could perform a bit better, but as a whole thing, this is really good. I remember being convinced that this was going to win, which in retrospect, was ill-judged. This sounds like something that would come 17th with 40 points, which is better than most of these songs, which sound like ‘last place in the semi final’.
01. ‘Touch My Fire’ – Javine
WHAT A SONG! WHAT A WOMAN! Long before her stint on Celebrity Scissorhands, Javine unleashed ‘Touch My Fire’ on Europe. Can you feel the heat? Has the crazy rhythm knocked you of your feet? The best part of ‘Touch My Fire’ is that it’s trying so hard to sound like something somewhere in Eastern Europe would send, but it still isn’t quite right. I was in a club two years ago (it wasn’t a gay one – I know, pity me) and the DJ played this and it was amazing. This finished 22nd and tbh, it was robbed.