In recent days rumours have been swirling that former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell will sing for the United Kingdom at Eurovision 2014. That made us laugh. Geri is 41 years old and a judge on Australia’s Got Talent. Based on the BBC’s recent Eurovision choices, the artist formerly known as Ginger Spice is far too young and relevant to represent the UK in Copenhagen. Perhaps she can have a go in 30 years, when she’s in a diaper and recently had larynx surgery.
Adored by many, but still ageing and past their prime, the following artists seem like more likely candidates for the BBC…
Dame Vera Lynn
This plumber’s daughter came to fame during the Second World War with her song “We’ll Meet Again”. She wasn’t lying. In 2009, some seventy years after that number first came out, she topped the charts again with her compilation album “We’ll Meet Again—the Very Best of Vera Lynn”. At 92 years of age, she became the oldest person ever to climb to #1.
Why the BBC might be interested: Now 96, Vera is from another era. That fits well with the BBC’s strategy of finding artists who are no longer at the top of their game. “I’m not familiar, really, with the modern music,” she told me in 2009. “Well, I don’t really listen to music.” Neither do the people behind the BBC Eurovision selection. That’s why they previously passed over The Hurts for The Hump.
She sang the duet “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” with Elton John in 1976. It shot to #1 in the UK, and even charted in the US.
Why the BBC might be interested: There are people in their 70s in Ireland and Eastern Europe who still remember that performance.
Phil Collins & Peter Gabriel
From the late 1960s Phil, 62, and Peter, 63, had a string of hits together in the progressive rock band Genesis. Speaking to Germany’s Bild am Sontag, Phil recently suggested that a reunion might be possible.
Why the BBC might be interested: The BBC’s logic in recent years has been to get big names regardless of whether people under the age of 25 have any idea who they are. These two fit the bill.
The Beeb has tarnished the reputation of Eurovision in the UK so severely that established artists are not going to volunteer. So the broadcaster has to coax them with the potential of record sales and publicity. (No one can blame Miss Tyler for wanting to make a few bucks and promote Rocks ‘n Honey last year). Last September Peter released a concept album called “And I’ll Scratch Yours.” If Genesis want to re-unite (a la Blue 2011), Eurovision is a great place to start.
The Nolan Sisters
Speaking of reunions, it’s time to talk about the Nolan Sisters! The English girl group charted frequently throughout the early 1980s, and are best known for their song “I’m in the Mood for Dancing.” The group performed until 2005, had a reunion tour in 2009, and got into a major catfight after that.
Why the BBC might be interested: With the Nolan sisters you don’t just get one washed-up artist, but FOUR. Everyone at the BBC is salivating right now. And to quote the sisters, they’re “in the mood for chancin’.” In a recent interview Linda, 54, said that the group has put their differences behind them. “We’re all fine now. We’re back going to Bingo together. We’ve got our Sunday nights sorted.” They had to cancel their 2013 spring Farewell Tour because of sister Bernie’s tragic passing. But perhaps the sisters would like to wave goodbye to the public at Eurovision, and honour their beloved sister in the process?
Okay, actually: Maybe they are considering her. After two disappointing years at Eurovision, the BBC might actually choose a contestant who isn’t approaching retirement. The Spice Girls are still a national treasure. Why else would they have been invited to perform during the Closing Ceremony at the London 2012 Olympics? Geri clearly still has ambitions for a solo musical career. She’s using her stint as a judge on Australia’s Got Talent to make it big Down Under. And in September she released her first single in eight years. “Half of Me” ain’t bad! The chance to unveil another single on Europe’s biggest musical stage would be totes amaze for her re-launch.
Miss Halliwell isn’t known for slow and boring. I have a feeling the UK might opt for a more upbeat song in 2014 to counter the stale image of 2013 and 2012. She would be perfect!
What say you? Would you embrace Geri at ESC? Nolan Sisters, anyone? You can read more of our lists by clicking here.
Willy Lee Adams contributed this report from London. Follow him on Twitter @willyleeadams. You can also keep up with the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following wiwibloggs.com on Twitter and Facebook.