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?

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LEAPerce
LEAPerce
6 years ago

And DR, I never thought of it that way, se arseholes in the UK might sneer but we can’t vote for our own entry…I like that way f thinking!

As long as us Eurovision fans get behind the act like we did with Molly, they’ll have huge confidence to go and storm the performance, we might win, and the pessimists can PIPE THE HELL DOWN.

LEAPerce
LEAPerce
6 years ago

It was on 60 second news, and then there was a quick ad saying if you want to submit a song, then do so and showed how to do it. If the song is Radio 1 friendly then it’ll get played on there. As much as I loved Molly’s entry it wasn’t for Radio 1 really. It’s just occurred to me because of this thought that we should 100% send Becky Hill. She did vocals on Wilkinson’s “Afterglow”, and Oliver Helden’s “Gecko (Overdrive)”. She came 2nd or 3rd on the first series of The Voice UK too, so people may… Read more »

DR
DR
6 years ago

The UK might sneer, but the UK aren’t voting on the UK act. Times will change when we have a second hayday of British Acts. Then the UK will get behind our acts once again.

Anthony
Anthony
6 years ago

I can see what Fatima’s on about. When was the last time Eurovision artists get played regularly on the likes of BBC Radio 1 or 4Music? Never. So while the BBC’s approach for 2015 sounds promising, the UK still have the near impossible task of getting the entire country to take it seriously again.

Mavision
Mavision
6 years ago

Yes, we have got along way to go. Even with the likes of Molly last year sneers and sniggers were still made, especially when she was on television too, like they were warning her away or something – Alex Jones, The One Show. But yes, It does seem like a promising approach. We’ll have to see who gets put forward!

Fatima
Fatima
6 years ago

Whatever, it still won’t be played on Radio 1 or 6Music and the Europhobic British media will sneer no matter what. We’ve got a long way to go.

DR
DR
6 years ago

LEAPerce I am hyped now too. If they are showing it on BBC THREE, we’ve got Eurovision 2015 in the bag. With the BBC playing all its cards its showing this year taught them how much the UK want it. With the best music in Europe (in the charts) and the BBC on the war parth. Welcome to London 2016.

Mavision
Mavision
6 years ago

An advert on BBC or like a part on the 60 Second News? Either way that’s fantastic, appealing to a younger audience. Still can’t believe that they’re axing that channel. I now feel like Molly was a guinea pig who up to the live performance was predicted a top 5 finish – and now the BBC are doing even more! And possibly better. Maybe next year that will become a reality. Get applying, forget about ‘We always lose’ Forget about that.. Think about the publicity and opportunities people could gain!

LEAPerce
LEAPerce
6 years ago

Oh my gawd, I’ve just seen the piece on bbc3 news! I’ve never seen them actually make a tv campaign about it since they stopped national selections and switched to internal! Bbc3 is for a younger audience compared to bbc 1 and bbc 2 so they’re clearly aiming for a younger person again and are taking options through youtube!

LEAPerce
LEAPerce
6 years ago

Hey DR, your comment has gotten me hyped for our entry before we’ve even selected it. I hadn’t even thought about the rest of The O2 aswell, it’s so huge isn’t it? 😀

Daniel
Daniel
6 years ago

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DR
DR
6 years ago

I hope I can see home Eurovision in 2016. The O2 is an amaxing venue. Big enough for a great stage. Loads of bars and gallaries in the arenas for the Green Room. Also it has shops and cinemas all under one dome. I would love a stage based on the Union Flag as it would be unique and British. But I’m getting ahead of myself. This new approach to Eurovision is working. The hype of Molly’s amazing song was a kick in the BBC’s teeth when it didn’t do well. The UK thought it would do well and got… Read more »

LEAPerce
LEAPerce
6 years ago

And yes, LONDON. Not Edinburgh, Manchester or Cardiff. Imagine how amazing Eurovision would be at The O2 Arena? It looks so amazing from the outside and is so versatile inside that it could be really special.

If people reading this aren’t British, go on google images and type in O2 Arena London, it’s spectacular. Plus it was a venue in the 2012 Olympics so it can deffo hold huge events!

LEAPerce
LEAPerce
6 years ago

I think this is the beginning if something special for the uk, because even though Kati Wolf didn’t do amazingly for Hungary, it got the whole country revved up for eurovision cos they knew she was great. Same with Molly I think, now the uk actually believe we can send something great (like Hungsry did with Andray Kallay-Saunders) so more people will get involved and we can get better and better artists each year. Can’t wait for Vienna, and crossing my fingers it’ll be hosted in London sometime before 2020! (I think 2020 is a more realistic aim haha)

Alex
Alex
6 years ago

Now they’re *really* trying hard. This is a very good thing.

Ggmlr
6 years ago

Beside that, I think BBC could also ask for help from other music platform in the UK, one of which is music media. I am an avid reader of NME, and I guess if BBC cooperate with them, they both will come up with something cool and can represent British music scene very well. NME has this ‘Radar’ column that always introduces the reader to new music and new artist, so I think it would be great if NME can recommend some artists to BBC for Eurovision Song Contest. And other than NME, I think it would also be helpful… Read more »

Charles
Charles
6 years ago

Regardless how BBC decides to choose the UK entry, just make sure whatever one is composing and submitting, it has to be really good … don’t try to be pathetic, anecdotic and embarrassing .. just focus on delivering a great song that is all … and make sure your don’t ask your grandmother to perform it for heaven’s sake … and too late to dress like a drag queen .. that has already been done a few time not fun anymore … or if you intend to bash Eurovision with some stupid song in a very well-known UK fashion …… Read more »

Mavision
Mavision
6 years ago

Yes! That’s amazing, I’m so glad Guy is staying and he’s looking to fix the exact right things. Last year it was more looking for someone who could sing (Molly) and since she could song-write, kill 2 birds with 1 stone. While this year the seem to be really focusing on all aspects including how they are aiming for songs will impact on stage live. Great! I really hope we get some good entries, all it takes is one amazing one 😀

Jak
Jak
6 years ago

The UK is able to have a national final big as Sweden’s Melodifestivalen. BBC, o-hey-hey, you should know that: Britain is where the popular music comes from. They are right that song is the most important thing – as everyone know this is a song contest and Conchita’a “Rise Like A Phoenix” composed by professional musicians. But I trust in the UK amateurs as a Lorde fan, I hope they do have the potential of find a winning entry (Molly is one of my biggest Eurovision favourites ever #TeamMolly, but live vocals and the lack of promotion [Big Five countries… Read more »

Dar
Dar
6 years ago

Very good step .. It should be song search priority first then a suitable artist .. Then a selection show with 5 best songs and public decide ..

Patrick
Patrick
6 years ago

We Germans used this method (call for songs, but internal choice) in 2009, and a 20th place was probably not what NDR has expected. But this is another step into the right direction for the BBC!

Alex
Alex
6 years ago

they need to do a Melodifestivalen-type of show or something like The Voice but with songs. Another option is to choose the artist and let the public decide about the song