The BBC has now confirmed that they will allow the public to play a part in choosing the United Kingdom’s 2016 Eurovision entry. After the news broke yesterday, the broadcaster has now revealed details of the process they will use to choose the song for Stockholm.
The BBC will use an open submission process, inviting anyone over the age of 18 to submit a video of their song. Neither the song nor the video have to be professionally produced, but the video must show the song being sung live by the intended artist. The closing date for submissions is Friday 20 November.
From there a shortlist will be chosen. Helping with this choice will be members of the UK branch of the OGAE fan club, ensuring the competition benefits from fan input. In previous OGAE polls, the UK has favoured Scandinavian acts, giving 12 points to Måns Zelmerlöw, Sanna Nielsen, Margaret Berger and Loreen – predicting winners twice.
The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) will also run a songwriting competition amongst its members. We reported back in June that BASCA were calling for the BBC to hold a national selection competition.
And as we previously mentioned, music executive Hugh Goldsmith will act as a music consultant, working with established record labels, publishers, managers, writers and producers to attract good quality involvement from the music biz.
This isn’t the first time Goldsmith has been involved with choosing UK’s Eurovision selection. In 2006, along with Simon Webbe from Blue, he was part of a panel which selected the winner in BBC Radio 2’s songwriting competition Sold On Song. The idea was that the winning song “I Wanna Man” would go on to be part of the national selection show Making Your Mind Up, but organisers were unable to find a suitable artist to perform it so the song was dropped.
But things are looking up for 2016. The BBC says it “wants to provide as many routes into the selection process as possible, whether amateur, professional or superstar.”
The show (or public presentation)
Once the shortlist of songs has been decided, the songs will be presented to the public and a panel of experts who will vote for a winner. The BBC hasn’t revealed any details of what form this will take, meaning it could range anywhere from Ireland’s austere Eurosong to Sweden’s massive Melodifestivalen to a simple online vote. The official statement never says anything about a televised national final.
The UK’s commentator Graham Norton is excited, saying “I love the fact that the BBC is launching its biggest song search ever. I think it really shows that they take the competition seriously and the fact that the public will get the final say on who is sent to represent the UK in Stockholm next year is the icing on the cake!”
The BBC have more information on entering at their Eurovision website.
Is this a good way for the BBC to select a winner? Would you prefer a big Melfest kind of show or a low-key Eurosong style? Or something in between? Share your thoughts below!