Scooch: the UK’s pick in 2007

The United Kingdom used to be one of the power house countries of Eurovision, stacking up five wins, most recently in 1997 with Katrina & the Waves and “Love Shine a Light”. But things started to go wrong in the 21st century. Suddenly the UK began entering weird, cheesy and/or super camp acts that never did especially well. By 2011, however, the BBC seemed to have learned a lesson, switched to an internal selection process and began sending more serious acts. They may not have always scored highly, but they showed a seriousness of purpose.

Sandi Shaw
The golden years

But it looks like the BBC is up to its old tricks. When it was announced that Electro Velvet would represent the UK with their electro-swing song “Still in Love with You”, there was a lot of unease. Many fans (but not all — some folks love this) felt it was a step back. The song, in all its discombobulated glory, has been compared to the sort of crazy songs the UK sent in the 2000s. So let’s remind ourselves of what it was like for Britain in those years of cray cray.

2003 – Jemini “Cry Baby”

Previously the UK had been in top form, but then this came along. “Cry Baby” wasn’t a terrible song per se, but on the night things fell apart. Gemma’s vocals were horribly off key and the duo’s staging was minimal and uninspired. “Cry Baby” earned the UK a well deserved nil points. But perhaps this sparked a new idea – that crazy songs get loads of attention.

Reality check: That year’s winner was Sertab Erener with “Everyway That I Can”, a perfect blend of modern pop and Turkish tradition. It was slicky choreographed (belly dancing!) and Sertab’s versatile vocals were on point.

2006 – Daz Sampson “Teenage Life”

A 30-something man rapping about his schooldays, accompanied by women dressed as schoolgirls and singing in childlike voices. No, that’s not remotely weird or creepy. Daz was confident he had a winner on his hands, and perhaps that confidence convinced the UK public to select him on Making Your Mind Up. But as we all know, rap never does well in Eurovision. Once he got to Athens, all Daz could manage was 19th place out of 25.

Reality check: At the other end of the score table was Lordi with “Hard Rock Hallelujah”. While their performance had the super gimmick of monster costumes, at its heart was a good, catchy song that viewers loved.

2007 – Scooch “Flying the Flag (for You)”

Scooch were a cross between Steps and children’s entertainers gone bad. Their song was laden with so much aviation-related sexual innuendo and double entendre that they could have generously shared it around with plenty to spare. Of course there’s a place for camp at Eurovision, but it works best when it’s not done self-consciously. Scooch’s attempt at capturing the extreme camp vote ended up crash landing. They placed 22nd out of 24.

Reality check: The winning entry, “Molitva” by Marija Šerifovic, had some camp style (those fierce backing singers!), but most importantly it was a strong, emotional ballad sung with great passion by Marija.

http://youtu.be/f9y8hqsYXTw

 2010 – Josh Dubovie “That Sounds Good to Me”

Things had been going well for the UK. The year before Jade Ewen had placed fifth with “It’s My Time”, so the 2010 national selection used a similar process, teaming up the winner of a singing competition with an experienced songwriter. But what worked in 2009 didn’t work in 2010. As nice as Josh Dubovie was, Pete Waterman’s song came across as cheesy and old fashioned. The uninspiring track only earned a total of 10 points, sending it straight to the bottom of the table.

Reality check: Germany proved that it was possible for one of the Big Five countries to win when Lena’s sassy “Satellite” secured a comfortable victory.

Is “Still in Love with You” destined to join the UK’s tradition of weird songs that don’t work? Or have the BBC finally hit on a winning formula?

Follow all of our UK Eurovision news here

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mad-professor
mad-professor
5 years ago

@Eugene In 2003, they definitely weren’t when the best song on the night only received 2 scores of 12 points from South England and the Midlands and Jemini somehow got 12s from the rest of the UK. James definitely wasn’t the worst in 2004, and Hyrise probably wouldn’t have done better seeing as the sexual nature of the song is pretty close to Javine’s 2005 disaster, but Madison might have done well. Now, you can’t say Katie Price would have been 2nd place if the public were taking it seriously in 2005? Guardian Angel was pretty bad, but given Blue’s… Read more »

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
5 years ago

@Eugene: It is what it is; and quite frankly, undeniable. Fortunately, someone started a petition (which I imagine you know about, or perhaps are the author of) to apply a Melodifestivalen-type selection procedure (including a second-chance round), with 20 or more entries narrowed down over the course of a few weeks until the winner remains. Even if the only reward out of the ESC are bragging rights, once the people around Europe see that the U.K. is starting to take this contest seriously again (no doubt they have tried a few times as of late), they will take the U.K.… Read more »

Eugene ESC UK
Eugene ESC UK
5 years ago

mad-professor another weird name!! – Yes the BBC is 100% responsible when they choose the artist and the song, so for me 5/6. (I’d be surprised if this year’s is a Top 10 so I have included that.) However, what I was implying is the BBC is also responsible for the shortlist chosen as well when the public are voting for the song. The BBC should know what is a WOW and what is rubbish and are 100% responsible for that!!! That is their job and they failed. We usually had 6 songs to choose from, and if you don’t… Read more »

mad-professor
mad-professor
5 years ago

@Eugene
You can’t really say the BBC has got it wrong ‘many times’ when only 3 of the past 6 entries they’ve chosen (including 2010 because of Pete Waterman, but not 2015 because we’re in March) did badly (17th isn’t that bad when they beat Italy, France and Germany). The reason we did so badly during 2003 to 2008 is entirely the fault of the UK public for not taking the contest seriously which is why the BBC took over in the first place.

Eugene ESC UK
Eugene ESC UK
5 years ago

CookyMonzta really that name!! I don’t follow your logic? Articles like this invite comments like yours, so go ahead have your say you are invited, I can’t defend the indefensible. But “ugly” seriously? The BBC has got it wrong many times, yes. Like football, ie Liverpool FC, greatness is only temporary and this sort of thing goes in cycles and it is Sweden’s turn currently to enjoy it. Usually people involved change. The UK will win again, but the BBC needs to be led by someone who has clear vision of what is required and find that formula again. Sweden… Read more »

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
5 years ago

@Eugene: When your country is that good (5 times a winner and 15 times 2nd place), everyone expects you to STAY that good. When you start to fall off that wagon, everyone has a reason to mock you if you can’t get back to where you used to be; and only twice since 2000 has the U.K. come close to finishing second. Why does Robyn have fun highlighting the bad and the ugly? Because it has been more recent, and alarmingly numerous; and again, only twice since 2000 (maybe 3 times if you count Blue’s 11th in 2011) have they… Read more »

Alex
Alex
5 years ago

For all that the UK has its weird entries in ESC, really the local media can’t make fun of Eurovision for being weird. BBC has made a fair number of strange decisions over the years, with this year’s being another. I mean, I do like it, but as usual there are better songs this year. Part of the problem is that the UK media only seem to see 1st place as a success – I saw an article that listed Jade Ewen and Blue among recent failures. Really? 5th place and 11th place are failures? It’s just nonsense. About the… Read more »

Eugene ESC UK
Eugene ESC UK
5 years ago

Robyn :- That would be very sweet of you, I hope you do. As you have read some of my work, you know I am all about the facts, figures and stats, so I am happy to “collaborate” on this one with you if you like. (UK “building bridges” with NZ.) I will send you what I have on file to your wiwibloggs e-mail address. Thanks.

Thomas
Thomas
5 years ago

@Robyn Gallagher I take it you decided to ignore my rant?

Atte
Atte
5 years ago

and i love electro swing music. I hope Electro velvet go to top10 🙂

Atte
Atte
5 years ago

Thomas: I liked 2003, 2007 & 2010 . all those song make me happy. Every time when we(me & my friends) go to holiday we sing Scooch in airport and do the coreogrpahy 🙂 12p from Finland

Ranting Ruby
Ranting Ruby
5 years ago

Harsh. But fair!

Thomas
Thomas
5 years ago

Why not do an article about how in 2009 Jade – My Time was clearly the best act but somehow still managed to come behind a song called “Dum Tek Tek” (The Title says everything we need to know about that song) or how last year Molly who was touted as one of the favourites to win the competition somehow came in 17th! What about talking about how political voting plays too much of a part in deciding the outcome, and it even seems that the juries are biased (when you look at which countries they have voted for. You… Read more »

Eugene ESC UK
Eugene ESC UK
5 years ago

Robyn :- You might say this is a celebration of “weird” (you are playing with me now by playing with words!!) but your comments under each song are all negative, and that is all they can be of course. You celebrate in a funny way over there, and I know you think weird is wonderful, I’ve read your reviews, hehe!! (I’m kiddin!!) We know we won’t fall out over it, will we? I’d rather just celebrate the good things the UK has achieved in the last 60 years of the ESC, the history is quite unique, and it really is… Read more »

Leon
Leon
5 years ago

The irony in all of this is that when you watch British commentary of eurovision, they make fun of everyone else and especially the eastern european countries. I mean, let’s face it, i could have written better songs and I’m not a song writer at all.

Fatima
Fatima
5 years ago

I do think that Robyn has a point, because I think in years to come Electro Velvet will be put in the same category as the above. I even thought that as soon as I heard the name ‘Electro Velvet’, which of course is unfair. I’ve only heard the song once so far.

Mario My Vision of Gay Love ~ From UK Gay Land With Gay Love!
Mario My Vision of Gay Love ~ From UK Gay Land With Gay Love!
5 years ago

UK 4 me.. 1997 *Love Shine A Light* ! <3 What a hymn anthem! Classic 4 me! <3 1998 *Where Are You* ! <3 So cool song! Pity that it stubbled over Diva of Dana that year because otherwise UK was winner with this song! <3 2002 *Come Back* <3 I really like it and it was one of my favorites songs from the Vision of Talin! <3 2005 *Touch My Fire* <3 It was great as a song although its poor live performance and was my no1 most favorite song in the Vision of 2005 ! <3 2007 *… Read more »

LucyEAPercy
5 years ago

Articles like this make me resent paying a licence fee to the BBC. God I hate our delegation sometimes. Genuinely thought they were changing last year.

MF
MF
5 years ago

I actually liked Blue in 2011, although their song was a bit (or more :-)) dated…I did not not like ‘Children of the Universe’ from the video release to the Grand Final…
I do like this year’s song. It depends on them how good singers they are and how they can stage the song.
I agree with Eugene, although I’m not English…give at least this year’s song a chance!

Rayman
Rayman
5 years ago

I’ve liked several recent British entries, but yeah, then we have songs like these. They’ve had some great songs in their national selections (when they still had those), like “Help Me” in 2003 and “I’ll Leave My Heart” in 2007, but sadly they weren’t picked. UK has a lot of great musicians, so it really shouldn’t be that hard to send a good song. It doesn’t have to have famous people involved, that alone doesn’t make a good song. I loved their entry from last year, but this year’s just doesn’t make it for me. I like the singers though,… Read more »

Eugene ESC UK
Eugene ESC UK
5 years ago

Robyn there are so many positive articles and so many subjects, yet you choose to write a negative one on the UK? Why? It’s not the Best of British. Jemini – The very poor vocals are obvious, NO CHANCE, they said they could not hear their playback monitors!!! Daz Sampson – Heavy cockney accents and rap, NO CHANCE. Scooch – Probably one of the best staging by the UK, but talking and innuendos, NO CHANCE. Josh Dubovie – Really awful song, poor vocals especially by the backing singers, the last 60 seconds is shocking, NO CHANCE. Poor vocals, poor staging… Read more »

Gavin
Gavin
5 years ago

“Would you like something to suck on Sir?”…Scooch 2007….that is the one and only highlight here.

I hate our choices, does not matter if its audience picked or chosen. Apart from Molly she is the only act iv liked since 1998! That’s bad right?

No wonder we get bad press and the contest has a bad reputation.

esc1234
esc1234
5 years ago

The funny thing is that british people think that europe doesnt like them and thats why the got so bad rankings….well… WHEN YOU SEND SONGS LIKE THOSE MENTIONED ON THIS ARTICLE ITS A MIRACLE THAT YOU EVEN GOT SOME MARKS (ON SOME OF THEM).. i mean…. would you like to suck on sir?……….come on

Mark Dowd
Mark Dowd
5 years ago

“Would you like something to suck on Sir?”…Scooch 2007….what a shocker.

davved
davved
5 years ago

@mad-professor.. how is it weird?. the article makes clear early on that it is focused on the UKs results.. if it had been an article focusing on frances latests results would that have been weird….

just a strange reasoning my friend

mad-professor
mad-professor
5 years ago

This has to be the weirdest article I’ve ever read. Why does it solely focus on the UK rather than countries that have done worse, like France or Ireland?

Also, given the overwhelmingly positive comments on Eurovision.TV and YouTube from people across Europe, I think it’s safe to say this will be a top 15 song. I mean, there are many worse songs than this year’s UK entry.

Zack
Zack
5 years ago

Sertab sounds rough that night, but great song nonetheless

ESCaddict
ESCaddict
5 years ago

I don’t dislike these songs. Not great admittedly but not hateful either.
This year’s Still in Love With You belongs in it’s own category. It’s the worst UK song I’ve heard.

Dar
Dar
5 years ago

the best thing that could happen before the contest is that electro velvet are in a car accident or something like that so we dont have to witness the embarrassment !!!

Adam
Adam
5 years ago

Poor Josh, such a cute guy with a great voice but he just got the worst song possible and that screwed him over. Wish he’d give Eurovision a shot again with a better song, I’m sure he’d do well

Sokratis Lakrindis
Sokratis Lakrindis
5 years ago

Scooch will always be the perfect blend of cheese in a song for me. 12 points forever!