After a lot of hype, the UK’s Molly Smitten-Downes proved to be a bit of a Downer at Eurovision 2014, finishing a disappointing 17th. But you can’t say that the BBC didn’t try. Using their BBC Introducing platform, they found a great singer with a strong song. Europe just wasn’t feeling it (and maybe the staging) on the night.
Keen to turn the hype into stronger results, they’re throwing the entire kitchen sink at their selection process this year—consulting with record labels, returning to BBC Introducing, and accepting song submissions from the public. Here’s how Guy Freeman, the BBC’s executive producer for Eurovision, puts it:
There are pros and cons to every method and in the long run, no one formula has proved to be more likely to guarantee success than any other. As we suggested last year though, the one thing that has changed more recently is the quality of the songs and performers that win or come close to winning the contest. Although it is a SONG contest, the real secret is in the sum of the parts – song, performance and staging – coming together perfectly at the contest, as did Conchita’s ‘Rise Like A Phoenix’….
We’re keen to provide as many routes into the selection process as possible, whilst remaining realistic about the proven amount of experience required by anyone wishing to put themselves forward. As we did last year, we will continue to talk to record labels and organisations who work with songwriters and artists every day – such as BBC Introducing – to suggest or create viable entries….In addition, we will happily consider entries submitted formally.
The BBC has accepted songs from the public and evaluated them for years. Last year we obtained this rejection letter that a rock band received after submitted their song “We Are UKR”.
Even so, we can’t remember a time they made such a public call during an internal selection. It’s also rather early for the BBC, suggesting they are upping their game for 2015.
BBC Eurovision 2015 song submission rules
You can download the complete rules by clicking here, but here are some of the key points.
- The song must not exceed 3 minute duration.
- All vocals must be performed live.
- No more than 6 people can take part in the performance
- The song must not have been publicly released before 1st September; it should not have been performed in public or officially published on any media including but not limited to radio, TV and the Internet.
- The song cannot be a cover or sample another artist’s work.
- The song must be original with regards to song writing and musical instrumentation.
- The singer/s must be 18 years or older.
- Composers and song writers may only submit one entry.
- The closing date for entries is 5pm on Friday 7th November 2014.
What do you think of the BBC’s call for songs? Do you have hope this will lead to a better result? Perhaps X Factor star Kitty Brucknell should simultaneously submit her song—currently competing in Switzerland—to Guy and his people?