As the BBC finally get their act together and Molly jets off to Copenhagen (literally as I’m typing this), the usual negativity of the British public has already started to spiral out of control.

The chances are, they’ll most likely to associate it as a cheesy, camp contest filled with politically rigged voting. As hardcore Eurovision fans, we all know it’s complete nonsense. Sadly, regardless of the act chosen, they’ll simply continue to churn out the same excuses year after year. Especially when the United Kingdom fails miserably.

So to set the record straight once and for all, here I have listed the most common excuses used by the British public, as well as a dose of reality on those excuses.

http://youtu.be/b9XkjboJOx8

Excuse: It’s a farce and the UK won’t win. Just pull out.

Reality:  If every other country that finished near the bottom of the table had the same negative defeatist attitude as the UK, then there wouldn’t be any countries left at the Eurovision Song Contest. The England football team haven’t won anything since 1966, shouldn’t the team just pull out of this year’s World Cup? It even took the United Kingdom 77 years to finally achieve male Wimbledon glory, so why didn’t the UK quit much sooner than later?

So while it’s true the UK is currently on their longest Eurovision winless streak (17 years and counting), demanding to quit for being sore losers simply makes the UK a bunch of sour grapes.

http://youtu.be/7KAaOxPPilc

Excuse: No one votes for the UK!

Reality: If that was the case, the United Kingdom would end up bottom of the scoreboard with the dreaded nul-points every year. Next!

Excuse: It’s a waste of time and money.

Reality: Saying the Eurovision Song Contest is a waste of time, is probably the lamest excuse the Brits have come up with. Here’s an obvious hint: It is an annual once a year event, just like Christmas. Both semi-finals only last for 2 hours each and the grand final itself only takes up around 3 hours of Saturday night TV.

As for the money issues, it actually costs peanuts to broadcast Eurovision. Even with both semi-finals alongside the final itself, it’s still one of the cheapest forms of entertainment the BBC has to provide.

http://youtu.be/JysbhuwnGMM

Excuse: Why does the UK even bother?

Reality: Around 9 million viewers in the UK tuned in to last year’s contest. With ratings like these for an event that only occurs once a year, the BBC clearly has no intention of quitting the Eurovision Song Contest.

Excuse: Eastern Europe’s hogging the entire contest.

Reality: Anyone claiming Eastern Europe is getting an unfair advantage clearly should’ve done their homework. Norway, Germany, Sweden and Denmark have all won it recently. Even Finland managed to win on 100% televoting alone in 2006. If the Eurovision Song Contest was all about Eastern Europe, then why have the likes of Albania, Cyprus and Georgia have yet to win it?

To have a serious chance of winning, the entry must be good enough to rack up points from both Western and Eastern Europe. Norway, Germany, Sweden and Denmark have done just that and won the Eurovision Song Contest recently.

Excuse: They just vote for their neighbours, so it’s all political.

Reality: The excuse Europe has heard countless times, particularly when the UK does badly. Yes, there’s no denying that we still see certain countries give points to each other, but the real reason behind all this, is that neighbouring countries tend to share similar music tastes and culture. So it’s a cultural issue, not a political one.

Overall, relying on your next door neighbours simply isn’t enough. Otherwise we’d all end up seeing the same country win the Eurovision Song Contest over and over again.

Excuse: Europe hates the UK.

Reality: Since the moment Terry Wogan stuck the blame on the war In Iraq for the UK’s nul-points in 2003, the whole of Europe “hates” the UK, right? If that was the case, then they would never buy music from British artists, watch any imported British TV programmes or have any interest in the British Monarchy.

So no, Europe does not hate the UK. They expect them to take Eurovision seriously and put some serious effort in to producing better quality entries. And the BBC along with Guy Freeman is doing just that this year.

http://youtu.be/HBrW-SBA5a8

Excuse: No Terry Wogan, it ain’t worth watching.

Reality: Since 2009, the commentator for the UK is Graham Norton. He took over the commentating duties from his predecessor, Sir Terry Wogan, who retired after the 2008 contest. However, when it comes to the Eurovision Song Contest, Wogan’s style of commentary usually involves mocking other countries, which is mainly responsible for the UK’s perception of Eurovision as a cheesy, camp joke of a contest.

Overall, Wogan has ended up doing more harm than good to the UK’s Eurovision reputation. Given that this year’s contest is in Copenhagen, does this infamous blunder from Wogan in 2001 spring to mind?

Excuse: Who needs Eurovision! The UK produces the best music in the world.

Reality: The UK send songs to the Eurovision Song Contest which couldn’t even make a number 1 hit in their own country! Does the British public seriously believe the likes of Andy Abraham and Scooch to be in the same league as Adele and One Direction?

If the UK were supposed to produce the best music in the world, then why do Eurovision fans find that nearly every single country competing at the Eurovision Song Contest have used Swedish composers and not British?

Excuse: Even if the UK sent (Insert artist here), we’ll never win.

Reality: Did it actually happen? No! Again, this is another excuse of the UK’s negative defeatist attitude towards the Eurovision Song Contest.

And as Germany found out with Cascada last year, getting a big name chart act doesn’t always guarantee Eurovision success. If the UK has a song that will please both televoters and juries, along with an act who can actually sing live, then they’re in with a chance of success. In the end, it’s all about the song.

Can Molly Smitten-Downes restore the UK’s Eurovision hopes and possibly a sixth Eurovision title?

Anthony Ko contributed this report from the U.K. Follow him on Twitter at @bjorneo. You can also keep up-to-date with the latest Eurovision news and gossip by liking our Facebook page.

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
zulmme
Guest
zulmme

If I were to live abroad, I’d definitely vote for my home country, so I cannot blame those who do that, because I feel I would do the same if I were in their place. Countries receive points from diaspora and some receive from their neighbors (if they have good relation with them) but this has little effect on winning ESC, it help you only not to occupy a shameful position at bottom. You need a really good song for winning and all winners of ESC received points from all Europe.

delia
Guest
delia

UK doesn’t have so many buddy nations, that’s all. This doesn’t mean Europe hate UK. If a song is really good it would receive points from everybody, not only from your mates. Brits should stop complaining about “political votes” and better ask themselves “why” they don’t have buddy nations.

LEAPerce
Guest
LEAPerce

As a British person, I sort of find this article a bit offensive? If they are going to start posting articles having a go about certain countries, and inviting people to post how much they dislike that country, how about they post an article about how much Azerbaijan hates Armenia, so that the Azeris and Armenians can stop having a go at each other in meant-to-be-positive articles?! A LOT of the British public ARE behind Molly, we love this song! And to say “all of Britain hates eurovision and thinks these things” is insane. It’s so popular here yet you… Read more »

Thiefo
Guest
Thiefo

Silly UK, Europe doesn’t hate you! 😛 maybe you should learn from Russia, everybody seems to hate them this year and here they are!…

Seriously though, I’m glad the brits decided to take things more seriously and sent an act a lot stronger than in previous years, hopefully Molly will do a lot better this time and will give the UK a reason to pay attention to Eurovision once more!

troc
Guest
troc

Well thanks for that Wiwi! I’m from the UK and I do not think like this. I think we have a good chance this year. May the best song win!!!

Aganatik
Guest
Aganatik

I like Mei from Israel, Molly is boring…

Diane
Guest
Diane

I looked over twitter and search “our Eurovision” (which was trending in the UK several hours ago when Graham Norton Show was aired) and I saw a lot of negative comments towards Molly saying that her song is s*it and all those harsh stuffs.. But I think this is the issue that the Brits only have. The Brits never support their Eurovision’s entry and always moaning about it saying that it’s too political and always being too cynical about their entry. And somehow the “Terry Wogan effect” give impact to the Brits as well, they always think that Eurovision is… Read more »

Eugene UK
Guest
Eugene UK

Hi Deven – Neighbour voting really is not that important. 12, 24, 36 points does not make a huge difference in the scheme of things in the FInal. You need a hell of a lot of points and 12s to win this contest!! Where it does matter is if several countries are in contention to win, then every point does count. So yes it’s good to have neighbours and friends, but you need a lot more than that. As someone once said, the only real neighbour that the UK has is “fish” and they can’t vote!! It could well be… Read more »

Eugene UK
Guest
Eugene UK

Hi Robyn – Yes you are right, thanks for that. Okay Denmark’s song was better than the UK’s………..those Danes and their “mash-ups”!! Yes “I can” was not a winning song but I had it much higher than 11th. To me BOTH Blue live performances were not good on the night and if it is not perfect it will be punished. That year 3 of the hot favourites performed well below par and Azerbaijan sneaked in to win of course. (The other 2 being Amaury Vassili and Kati Wolf!!) What is required is 2 perfect reproductions of the studio version. After… Read more »

Aganatik
Guest
Aganatik

I don’t agree with Alexey.
Molly is good singer and sexy:-)

UK gets always support from Ireland and vice versa.
They have no problems like others!

Deven O'Kearney
Guest

Hi Eugene UK

To be honest with you, I think it is a good thing that the Irish doesn’t give 12 points to the UK and instead giving it to Sweden or Denmark because it eliminates SOME of the neighbourly voting.

Huh
Guest
Huh

British people have the weirdest mentality when it comes to this. They are all having black and white mentality. All they ever do is to complain and not even support them even on their weaker points. But I guess having Molly today is another fresh start for them.

Robyn
Guest
Robyn

@Eugene UK A good example of the imbalance is 2011 – the UK gave Jedward 12 points, but Ireland only gave Blue 6 points. Ireland’s douze points went to Denmark, who had a rather better song than Blue did! Hopefully Ireland will really like “Children of the Universe” this time!

Eugene UK
Guest
Eugene UK

Hi Robyn – As you probably know there is a very large Irish population living in England and patriotically some may decide to vote for Ireland regardless of the song, which they are entitled to do. Unfortunately there is probably not as big English percentage living in Ireland!! But sometimes it is difficult for the Irish to vote for the UK as the songs are so poor. Let’s hope the Irish have every good reason to vote for the UK and vice versa. This is replicated all over Europe and Diaspora causes issues in voting as we all know. If… Read more »

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

Or davve, the “big 6” could be the interval act in the semi-finals. Three in semi 1 and the other three in semi 2. That way, all finalists get to perform twice on the Eurovision stage.

Alex UK
Guest
Alex UK

@ Ciaran

Europe is not devided into West and East. There are the Scandinavian countries (North) and the Southern-Mediterranean part. When people refer to Eastern Europe they mean the Eastern bloc or former Soviet states and sometimes they include central Europe.

davve
Guest
davve

But it is a 100% myth that the British public does not like Eurovision. ESC is one of the most watched events on British television year after year.

davve
Guest
davve

the reality is tha tthe Big 5 should be abolished. All countries except the previous winning country should perform in the semi. What was before an advantage is today a disadvantage for the Big 5. Only performing once.

Also I guess the BBC either need to start taking ESC serious or seriously considering giving the rights to another channel. Or whatever.. something needs to be done

However.. I like the UK entry this year. But I think she will place somwhere between 15th and 5th…

DR
Guest
DR

My first proper eurovision was 2003 on my eighth birthday, when my country (UK) got nil points. I was like everyone else, “it’s political” blah blah blah. Now I’ve become a eurovision fan (which is an endangered species in the U.K.) I can see that we just stupid songs. And if I hear one more person say “give us national selection” I have one word that proves that Britain han lost that right, Scooch. However the reason countries use Sweds is because they take it more seriously than us dramatically.If we took it seriously, than they might start using Brits.… Read more »

Deven O'Kearney
Guest

I am Irish (as you know) and it would be great if the UK won it. It would actually give Ireland the chance to host it. (in Belfast). However, if you guys win, it will be London, Liverpool (the UK’s answer to Malmo), Newcastle or Manchester 2015.

Armenian guy
Guest
Armenian guy

Great and Interesting article !
No worries, I personally think that UK gonna win this year .British people only need to support Molly .
When Molly represented her song I saw how Brits hated on her .However when they saw that foreigners like it ,they started to believe that they can win too .Apparently they care much about other’s opinion .

Well dear British people lots of people think that Molly is great.Support her and believe that you can win too .Good luck!

Robyn
Guest
Robyn

For the haters, political voting is bad when it’s Greece and Cyprus giving each other points, but when it’s Ireland giving the UK points and vice versa, no one in the UK seems to complain about that.

Fingers crossed that Molly will at least do better than Blue (11th in 2011). A top five finish would be brilliant, but I suspect the haters would still see that as a massive failure.

Eugene UK
Guest
Eugene UK

Yes I agree, if the UK come up with a decent song that Europe likes, Europe will vote for it. For example, 2002 Jessica Garlick 3rd, 2009 Jade Ewen 5th and 2011 Blue 11th. (Blue came 5th in the Televote and after a poor performance in the jury final came 22nd.) The UK dominated this contest until 1998…..This is the UK record so far………5 wins, 25 – 2nds, 3 – 3rds, Top 5 – 24 times, Top 10 – 41 times, Top 15 – 46 times, (out of 56). It’s very simple……..after 1998 the songs were just not good enough… Read more »

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

Wow, a powerhouse of an article which I will cut out and keep for use in future chatroom battles. But I think that the BBC should also be in your firing line, because most if its coverage of the event other than the contest itself serves to reinforce the negative stereotypes. Radios 1, 1 Xtra and 6 not won’t play any record associated with the contest regardless of what it sounds like, and even Radio 2 didn’t playlist Blue the other year. This sort of reaction does great damage, because credible acts are alienated. Songs from contest are never allowed… Read more »

Deven O'Kearney
Guest

To all in the UK and Ireland, You need to get a grip and quit acting like a 3 year old when we don’t do well. I am sick of hearing those excuses. It’s not funny and ridiculous. The notions of ‘We are never going to win Eurovision, so why should we bother?’ is nothing but irritating and to some extent, we are embarrassing ourselves. For God’s sake, STOP blaming bloc voting for once. It is not because they have similar ideoligies, it is because they understand eachother’s music better and they are culturally similar. What I am trying to… Read more »

Dar
Guest

The UK more importantly Molly would be a deserving winner this year.. It would be a positive for the contest and inspire more countries to try harder at the contest eg France, Ireland, Switzerland etc ..
A 60th eurovision in the UK organized by BBC would also be amazing and high budget in large arena ..

Ciaran
Guest
Ciaran

@Alex

Well if Cyprus isn’t in Eastern Europe where is it then? It’s further east than Istanbul.

Dani
Guest
Dani

Same story in Spain, with the difference that our winless streak is 45 years!

Karl
Guest
Karl

I think the best way for the British to change their minds on all of the things listed above… is to win the contest. Look at Germany. Before their 2010 win Eurovision was just an overlooked event by the broadcasters and almost barely noticed (but frequently stereotyped) by the public. After Lena’s win there was an immediate interest in the contest and a motivation to send better songs (the “Unser Star für…” format works… at least). That’s why I’ll take it so far as to say that the UK needs to win this year while it still has the chance.… Read more »

Timselvision
Guest
Timselvision

In the Netherlands we say the same xD “Let’s stop with it, we won’t win anyway!” Bullshit. We – nor the UK – really should stop mocking; UK was 11th in 2011 but Blue’s singing was terrible! Also, how many neighbours does Malta have and how could they have reached the top 10 previous year?

Dilara
Guest

may be next year is London 2015 good luck

Deven O'Kearney
Guest

It’s basically the same story with Ireland.

Woz
Guest
Woz

I bet most of you already know this show. It’s a couple of years old but it’s worth a watch. It hilariously explains the british feelings towards the whole eurovision concept and how much they love to hate it. It’s just perfect:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gznfeyfhv_g

Also, Graham Norton’s comments for BBC should be declared Immaterial World Heritage. They can’t take that away from us!

Alex UK
Guest
Alex UK

One correction. Cyprus is not in eastern Europe. Not even close. 🙂

R
Guest
R

Great article! The UK just need to take themselves more seriously geez. When they do, they did well! Like Jade Ewen/Andrew Llyod Webber or even Blue. Stop sending shit songs and actually put in more effort!