In the past decade the United Kingdom has only reached the left hand side of the leader board twice and it has finished in the Bottom 5 six times. Searching for explanations for that abysmal record, critics have repeatedly lambasted the BBC for its closed-door selection method, which, since 2011, has given the British public no say whatsoever in the artist or song. However, back in September we learned that the UK would return to a national selection for 2016, giving us a glimmer of hope for Stockholm.

A panel of musical experts and a small number of fans are already evaluating songs. In the spirit of this more open selection, we thought we’d suggest a few artists we’re hoping are in the running. Last year we dreamed up a wishlist featuring some of UK’s biggest artists. This year we’ve decided to be a tad more realistic, focusing more on relatively unknown acts (with just a few established acts thrown in). We’ll leave the likes of Ed Sheeran, Adele and Sam Smith to wallow in their own sorrow…

1. King Charles

No, Queen Elizabeth has not passed away. King Charles (known as Charles Costa when he vacates his throne) is a singer-songwriter from London’s West End. He was signed in 2009 after winning the International Songwriting Competition in Nashville, and has continued to make music ever since. It’s difficult to pin this man to a specific genre, as he weaves between indie, pop and even calypso. What’s certain is that he’s got artistry down to a T: from his perfectly combed moustache to his upper-class poetic lyrics. That’s Lessenziale for Eurovision.

2. StooShe

Next are three girls that would give Donatan & Cleo a run for their money. StooShe burst onto the scene in 2012 with their debut single “Love Me” – a song ridden with more innuendos than you even knew existed (and this is a toned down version of the original, “F*** Me”!). These girls have spunk, and they ain’t afraid to show it. The band’s colourful imagery, 1950s beats and soulful voices blend into a recipe for Eurovision greatness. And don’t worry – they can restrain themselves for a family show, as they did in their second single, “Black Heart.”

3. Skipinnish

When Eastern countries ruled Eurovision with their baglamas and duduks, the UK never thought to send their own folk-pop — Celtic music. Take Skippinish, for example, a band from Scotland’s highlands. The group, formed back in 1999, mix their rustic highland accent with accordions and bagpipes to make almost anything sound distinctly Scottish (check out their cover of the One Direction classic, “That’s What Makes Your Bagpipe Full”). The UK haven’t sent a Scottish artist to Eurovision since 1988. After denying the Scots their own participation as an independent country, it’s the least a unified UK could do.

4. Chvrches

Dropping a few degrees south, we find the synthpop band Chvrches. Formed in Glasgow in 2011, the band consists of singer Lauren and producers Ian and Martin. Their sound is über-modern and über-Scandinavian – and with five of the past ten Eurovision winners hailing from Scandinavia, this is not something to shrug your shoulders at! They have a growing (and global) following. Could Eurovision take them even higher?

5. Archeo

Next we have 24-year old singer-songwriter Archeo, whose sound mixes Belgium’s 2009 and 2015 entries. With the slick appearance of Elvis and the compelling vocals of Loïc Nottet, this dude is smoother than homemade pistachio ice cream. His specialty is uplifting, funky, radio-friendly pop — and that always reels in the points at Eurovision. Sadly the 24-year-old appears to have disappeared off the face of the Earth since 2012. Fingers crossed that he returns moonwalking into Stockolm’s Globe Arena.

6. Neon Hitch

Neon Hitch (yes, that’s her real name) was born in Birmingham, but grew up in a caravan in the countryside after her house burnt down. She spent her younger years touring Europe as a circus entertainer – referring to herself as a “Gypsy Star.” She’s essentially a British Ke$ha (with whom she wrote the international smash, “Blah Blah Blah”) – although she often brings her Romani roots into her punchy pop music. If this isn’t Eurovision winning material then I seriously don’t know what is.

7. Luke Friend

At the tender age of 17, Devonshire bohemian Luke Friend auditioned for the X Factor, where he wowed audiences with his powerful lungs and raspy timbre. He ended up strumming his way to the final, where he finished in third place. In February this year he released his debut single, sticking very much to what he does best: good ol’ guitar-pop anthems. He’s planning to release his first album later this year. He’s got the image. He’s got the voice. And now he’s got the invitation.

8. £1 Fish Man

One of the most interesting elements to the UK is its vast cultural diversity. The obvious way for Eurovision to celebrate this would be to select the king of Afrobeat, Fuse ODG — although with Panetoz and SaRaha competing in this year’s Melodifestivalen, we’d better give Africa a miss. Instead, why not try Muhammad Shahid Nazir – now better known as £1 fish man. The Pakistani-born fish salesman became an internet sensation after his sale-song was uploaded to Youtube, and later professionally recorded with all kinds of South Asian delights. With another big production, the UK may have its hands on the next Gangnam Style.

9. The 1975

Anyone who says “they just don’t make music like they used to” needs to take a lookie here. Manchester-based group The 1975 create indie-rock that takes you straight back to the golden era, but without sounding dated. The boyband knows how to give an epic live performance and have a neverending supply of crazy fangirls around the country to faint at their concerts. But they still haven’t cracked Europe. At Eurovision they’d already have a guaranteed 12 points from Estonia: viewers will no doubt mistake the lead singer for Stig Rästa!

10. Bronwen Lewis

Prepare to witness one of the most heinous crimes you will ever witness in your life. Back in 2013, Bronwen Lewis, from a small village in South Wales, auditioned for The Voice UK. Performing a bilingual version of “Fields of Gold,” she froze time for two minutes with her crystal clear, haunting voice. The outcome? None of the judges turned around. The UK is one of the very few countries which have only ever sung in one language. Bronwen continues to release stunning music – in English and in Welsh — and continues to be criminally ignored. We could forget all the glitz and glamour of the previous nine candidates: simply this woman and her piano would bring Eurovision back to the island quicker than you can say Maria Elena Kyriakou.

Who would you like to see any of these acts represent the UK at Eurovision 2016? Cast your votes below! You can vote for as many acts as you’d like, but you can only vote one time. 

POLL: UNITED KINGDOM AT EUROVISION 2016

FOR MORE UK NEWS CLICK HERE

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ESC 4ever
ESC 4ever
4 years ago

Little Mix,Fleur East,…. Want them !!

criticca
criticca
4 years ago

Finally a more realistic list because we all know that no established act will ever try to represent Eurovision again…not until the UK has returned to its former glory or reached Sweden’s status in today’s competition.

anonymous
anonymous
4 years ago

I’ve heard that the £1 Fish Man got deported to Pakistan or something so he can be ruled out.

Alison
Alison
4 years ago

@Ian: exactly what we need is a great song and a great singer, I don’t care who it is!
I like lots of them on this list. I’m surprised King Charles doesn’t have more votes in the poll – he’s a little bit wacky but still with a genuinely decent and catchy pop song. And I really like Skippinish but I wouldn’t see that doing particularly well at Eurovision.
I really want to know what the BBC have planned r.e. public vote!

eve
eve
4 years ago

I really like Luke Friend I was rooting for him in X factor, I also liked Skippinish

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
4 years ago

@Aron F.: If it were 20 years ago, Adele might have considered it. The U.K. was still capable of making the top 10 on a frequent basis, and therefore the risk to her reputation would have been low for her. But today, she wouldn’t even consider putting her reputation on the line, with the U.K. having trouble making the top-half of the board. Not a chance..

Daniel
Daniel
4 years ago

@Aron F: Adele won’t do it. She knows she could place very well but has expressed that performing in big arenas is not suitable for her, let alone it being broadcasted internatinonally! Same goes for many other artists like Adele or Paloma Faith. But if they were willing to do it, I’m sure the BBC aren’t that stupid to turn them down.

Ian
Ian
4 years ago

I wouldn’t get my hopes up that it will be a well known singer, they probably will be an unknown. And that’s not a bad thing, it will all depend on the song really.

Aron F.
Aron F.
4 years ago

The UK should win this year. Adele, get ’em!

mawnck
mawnck
4 years ago

“The fact that we have not heard rumors of even ONE contender signing on to compete, while 25 of the 28 MelFest spots have been filled, leads me to believe that we are being deceived, and they are leaning towards sliding back into the folly of another internal selection.” Or that nobody worth spreading rumors about has agreed to do it. I’ve never heard of most of the acts in this article, but several of them sound legit … and that does NOT include the fish man, King Charles or Stooshie, all of whom strike me as UK Eurovision acts… Read more »

Jeff Neal
Jeff Neal
4 years ago

What about Rainbow Orbit, for something different?

Jesper
Jesper
4 years ago

Nina Nesbitt would be nice

Robyn Gallagher
Admin
4 years ago

CookyMonzta: We know that the BBC are definitely narrowing down the finalists to a shortlist that the public and jury will then get to vote on. Based on previous national finals, the shortlist is likely to be short – maybe six to eight songs. I’m going to speculate that the BBC would make some sort of live-recorded performance video for each song, similar to the live “Children of the Universe” performance, without the cast of thousands. Then the public will be able to view the videos and vote on the acts online. And/or there might be some sort of Red… Read more »

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
4 years ago

@Robyn: The SRF-style selection presumes that every contender makes a video or audio clip, yes? But if the winner should be someone who delivered an audioclip or a lyric video, that representative could very well be at a disadvantage going to Stockholm, because we will have no idea what that representative will bring to the stage, unless they present the contender to the public the way they presented Molly Smitten-Downes in 2014. If they take the SRF route, will they go all the way with it, and narrow the field in stages until there is one left? Or will they… Read more »

fikrifadzil92@yahoo.com
4 years ago

no one is more worthy than the £1 fish man!!

mad-professor
mad-professor
4 years ago

@CookyMonzta
They’ve already said those on the shortlist will be informed by 1st January at the latest. Presumably the final will take place soon after, maybe around the same time as The Voice starts for a ratings boost.

Robyn Gallagher
Admin
4 years ago

CookyMonzta: The BBC is still in the process of selecting the shortlist. It’s been reported that members of the OGAE UK panel have started assessing songs to make their recommendations. The official site says applicants will be notified by 1 January.

Btw, there’s been no suggestion that the BBC will be holding a Melfest-style national final, or even a single-episode televised final. One popular theory is they’ll be doing something like SRF’s online vote.

Donna
Donna
4 years ago

I’m going for Neon Hitch or £1 fish man. UK needs an act that is not only talented but can also stand out without being the embarrassing mess that is Electro Velvet.

Denis
Denis
4 years ago

Chvrces are really good and would be a great choice. But I thought they are relatively known? Same with Stooshe, who would be a fun sassy choice.

But 1975? Perhaps to young-girls oriented and with cheesy lyrics. Not my favourite to send.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
4 years ago

Correction: Make that 2 or 3 weeks for the semifinals alone.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
4 years ago

And when is the U.K. going to announce the details of their national contest, or the potential or confirmed contenders slated to compete? Even if the U.K. ESC Grand Prix plans to invite anywhere between 18 and 24 performers (spread across 2 or 3 weeks), with or without a Second-Chance round, by now they should have sought out would-be candidates. The fact that we have not heard rumors of even ONE contender signing on to compete, while 25 of the 28 MelFest spots have been filled, leads me to believe that we are being deceived, and they are leaning towards… Read more »

Sarah
Sarah
4 years ago

Knowing the uk they would vote 1 pound fish

Daniel
Daniel
4 years ago

Also £1 Fish Man? Seriously?

Daniel
Daniel
4 years ago

CHVRCHES YES YES YES!! And what about Danielle Hope who won Over The Raibow to be Dorothy in 2010. A selection like that would also not be a bad idea.

esc1234
esc1234
4 years ago

Fleur East. End of conversation

Nitzan
Nitzan
4 years ago

I thought I had a great idea for Britain, Only The Young (X Factor) but I now read they just split 🙁

Diane
Diane
4 years ago

Love to see Chvrches, but I think BBC could also try Delphic or Hurts they both are good acts. Hurts once told NME that they supposed to represent UK in 2012 edition but then it went to Englebert (gosh). But I really really hope Foals can represent the UK because they are so damn brilliant. But considering their music and other aspects I think that would be too good to be true. But UK is the home to magnificent number of alternative acts so why not? Btw, via his twitter account, King Charles was rooting for Latvia’s entry this year.… Read more »

George
4 years ago

This is Athens calling. TOTTALLY UNKNOWN. All of them.

mad-professor
mad-professor
4 years ago

I’d rather Bee Bakare, Honne, Aiden Grimshaw, maybe Jack Garratt (if he’d even want to do Eurovision after failing to do JESC).

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
4 years ago

@beccabobo: A legend would be relegated to the same has-been outcome as were Humperdinck and Bonnie Tyler. One who is on his/her way to legendary status (or in the midst of that) will not risk their reputation at a time when the U.K. cannot come even close to finishing in the upper-half of the board.

beccaboo1212
4 years ago

None of them. We want a legend.

conor
conor
4 years ago

hannah diamond would be perfect and also would know how to present herself and has enough respectability from music bloggers to create hype.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
4 years ago

@Darren: If the original Sugababes (Mutya, Keisha and Siobhan, Keisha having trademarked the group name in the U.S.) sign up, they will REALLY have to bring their A-game if they want to go to Stockholm…

…But given what D says, they (and that goes for the replacement members as well), too, are has-beens, and that might be a negative for them. Luckily for them, though, they are young has-beens (30 and 31).

Hey!
Hey!
4 years ago

They would never do Eurovision.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
4 years ago

I imagine it’ll take a lot of effort to convince CHVRCHES to sign up. If the U.K. conducts its national selection any way like MelFest (and given their recent string of abject futility, now they MUST), CHVRCHES need to bring their A-game like last year’s MF top 3.

D
D
4 years ago

I’ve been a big fan of Neon Hitch, CHVRCHES, and The 1975 for years, and would absolutely love for them to do Eurovision. However, they’re all way too famous to do it imo. Sure, they aren’t household names but all of them have huge followings and, have toured around the world, and have played at many big festivals. So I can’t see them doing ESC. The UK is almost certainly gonna send a washed up ex-star (à la 2012 & 2013) or a complete unknown (à la 2014 and 2015).

el
el
4 years ago

I wouldn’t say that The 1975 is unknown, I don’t know about other europen countries, but they’re actually quite well-known in Estonia tbh.

Darren
Darren
4 years ago

Cvrches and The 1975 would be excellent Eurovision entries, but they would never do it. Realistically, out of this list, I would say Stooshe or Luke Friend would be ideal Eurovision participants. Would also love to see Jade Ewan return to the ESC stage with a reunited Sugababes (or whatever they would be called now seeing as the original sugababes were supposed to have reformed) Matt Cardle or Diana Vickers could be good too but they have not had any songs out in a while. Really hope Jedward dont go to the UK selection like they are planning to, they… Read more »

William
William
4 years ago

Chvrches and The 1975 have followings but I wouldn’t say they are household names à la Adele, One Direction, etc. My vote goes to King Charles!!

Mei International
Mei International
4 years ago

chvrchs is relatively well known?

i thought the new direction for the UK in ESc was getting a well known artist?

Calum Macleod
Calum Macleod
4 years ago

I was not expecting Skippinish to be on this list. I like “The Island” and they seem quite worthy enough for Eurovision.

anonymouse
anonymouse
4 years ago

Stooshe would be perfect for eurovision. They haven’t released anything big for 3 years since Black Heart and eurovision could be the perfect comeback for them. Also i wouldn’t say The 1975 are a relatively unknown band, neither are CHVRCHES

Sarmi1995
Sarmi1995
4 years ago

I’d love the vamps to do it

Baku Cash
4 years ago

Wolf Alice should represent the United Kingdom 🙂