Six acts came, but only one could win the UK’s Eurovision: You Decide 2018. And in the end — after a public vote and votes from an international jury of music professionals — SuRie won the night with “Storm”. Blanche and Loic Nottet’s former backing vocalist more than proved she’s ready for centre stage.
As in the previous two editions of Eurovision: You Decide, the BBC has brought in an expert panel to provide comments for each of the six competing acts after their performances. This year the panel included former X Factor contestant and TV personality Rylan, previous S Club 8 and The Saturday’s member Rochelle Humes, plus singer-songwriter and lead vocalist/guitarist of McFly Tom Fletcher.
RAYA — “Crazy”
She’s a Doncaster diva who knows a thing or two about obsession — and she’s channeled it into her number. “It’s a song we can all relate too,” she said in her voice over. “We’ve all been in a situation of love and lust — it’s kind of a universal thing, isn’t it?”
Miss Clark gave her RnB-tinged dance number even more urban swag with her hip-hop choreography, street style — black dungarees and massive platforms, and some easy-on-the-eyes dancers (who Rylan compared to “five sweaty mechanics”).
It was a competent opener, but got pushed from our collective memory as the night went on.
Liam Tamne — “Astronaut”
Liam wants to be your astronaut and he managed to convey the idea without being too literal. Standing on a platform he wore a shimmering black jacket that hinted at the stars and performed before a spiralling blue LED which resembled an intergalactic vortex. His vocals were generally on point, especially when he went all falsetto towards the end. Proving that simple can sometimes slay the day, he used his mic stand as a prop — leaning left, leaning right and creating a striking silhouette. Rylan suggested that he was a bit dead in the beginning…so suggested he amp things up earlier.
Asanda — “Legends”
Tom was totally feeling it. “It wasn’t like watching someone taking part in a contest. It was like watching a pop star….it makes such a difference when it looks like the artist is having fun.” Spot on. Asanda proved that it is possible to live up to the hype. She had the most complicated stage show, which involved a platform, thrusting choreography and effective lighting that smacked of a proper music concert. Totally unfazed, Asanda had swag but remained likeable — a difficult balance to strike and one she totally nailed.
Jaz Ellington — “You”
Rylan said he loved the song….but worried that it would get forgotten in the mix at Eurovision. And while we love Jaz we couldn’t agree more. Putting his out-of-this-world voice to the side, the performance felt very X Factor winner’s single — singer centre stage with lots of lights.
SuRie — “Storm”
Talk about coming to life! SuRie was, perhaps, the biggest grower of the night — drawing massive applause in the arena. She started off quietly working the colour blocks — pink background, turquoise dress — and sang with precision and power. Her voice mixes light with smoke and she performed with such conviction and power that surely she won over many a hater. One of the performances of the night.
Goldstone — “I Feel the Love”
Go for gold! These musical theatre queens stomped it out in gold sequins, spreading their love throughout the city (and airwaves). And while their harmonies were on point and they looked great, the performance wasn’t particularly dynamic. You got the idea after about 15 seconds.