UK: Engelbert Humperdinck blames his Eurovision 2012 flop on politics


He’s the one-time acquaintance of Elvis Presley who’s engaged in a lifelong feud with fellow British crooner Tom Jones. These days, however, Engelbert Humperdinck is best known for representing the United Kingdom at Eurovision 2012.

Unfortunately for him, his bid for the famous glass microphone fell well short. Europe failed to warm to the syrupy “Love Will Set You Free” and he finished 25th out of 26 finalists.

Some would blame the poor result on the fact he came first in the running order. Others might point the finger at the entry itself and its uninspired staging. But not Engelbert.

In an interview with Britain’s Metro, the now 81-year-old claims that politics was his downfall. He also takes the opportunity to throw some shade at Russia’s Buranovskiye Babushki, the 2012 runners-up.

Engelbert Humperdinck at Eurovision 2012

When asked whether he watched this year’s event — in which Lucie Jones secured the UK’s best result in six years — the octogenarian responded with a no. His reason? The contest is too political and Britain will never do well regardless of who they send.

No, I don’t watch it. It’s very political. The UK will never be up there again because the competition is too controlled. No matter how much talent you send out there from the UK, nothing will come of it.

One wonders how long it took him to come up with such a highly original theory…

Just in case the Hump’s views weren’t completely clear, the paper then probes him on his own result. Was that down to politics too?

Of course the man born as Arnold George Dorsey answers in the affirmative. Because how else could a “global star” such as himself — who’s last UK top ten single was in 1969 — lose out to a sextet of elderly Russian babushki?

Yes. How can you put a person on who is a global artist when there are people there who don’t have record contracts and have never appeared in an arena before and win a music contest? There was a group of Russian grannies who were cooking when they were singing. How does that make sense? And they came second.

Amazingly, said politics must have rubbed off on the British record-buying public too. “Love Will Set You Free” only peaked at 60 in the official charts. Loreen’s “Euphoria”, that year’s winner, reached number three in the same countdown.

But every cloud has a silver-lining. And for Engelbert it came in the shape of our William and ex-wiwiblogger Vebooboo. The pair were effusive in their praise for his first rehearsal and even predicted a top ten finish. Oops!

In their defence, William insists that their expectations were low, so it was a bar anyone could climb.

What do you think? Is Engelbert right? Was politics to blame? Will the UK never win again? Let us know in the comments below.

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