Tonight in London six finalists sang-it-out in “Eurovision: You Decide” — the UK’s national selection for Eurovision 2016. All of them crooned and jived in front of an illuminated heart, but in the end one act emerged with more love than all the rest: Joe and Jake with song “You’re Not Alone”.

Joe & Jake – “You’re Not Alone”

Ahead of the contest, our jury was full of praise, with one juror writing:

This is just so British! Despite the obvious nod to Coldplay, Joe and Jake are doing their own thing and delivering a mainstream, radio-friendly song. The production sounds expensive and their voices blend really well. I worry the song gets a tad repetitive, but hopefully they can add shape and variety during their live performance. It’s not going to win Eurovision and may struggle to reach the left-hand side of the scoreboard, but this is a credible song and act that UK fans could rightly get behind as they wave their flashlights.

Joe & Jake pre-contest interview

Joe & Jake – Winner’s Encore (Live)

Joe & Jake win: Our first reaction

Below you can see the full results, along with Instagram footage we shot inside the arena.

“Eurovision: You Decide” — What went down

1. Dulcima – “When You Go”

Is this Ivan from Belarus joining Dulcima? Everyone is clapping along here, a very strong opener! #eurovisionuk

A video posted by wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) on

This was high-energy, folksy and sweet — a great opener. It remains a bit too village fair for my liking but their vocals were better than I had anticipated — even if she sounded like she was swallowing an egg. One judge said that their look suggested they would have a more sinister song, and that she was disappointed they sounded “lightweight”. Katrina described it as a “rousing start”, while Dulcima herself said her face was twitching — presumably because she was excited.

Ahead of the show, our jurors rated the songs. 

The best:  He has a great indie-folk voice, whilst she has a great cruise-ship singer voice. But this is a seriously great song — jolly, catchy and well-produced. If this were sung by Mumford & Sons, it would surely go top-5. (Edd, 8.5/10)

The worst:  This was quite promising at the beginning, but before the first 60 seconds had passed, the song suddenly suffered an embolism and became total nonsense. Dulcima have lovely voices, but their song is just null. (Luis, 2.5/10)

2. Matthew James – “A Better Man”

Matthew is confident but crowd don’t seem as keen so far! #eurovisionuk

A video posted by wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) on

One judge described it as intimate and said he connected well with the audience, while another said “it’s really clear you’re an experienced performer and there’s a security we hear.” Katrina said it has a “beautiful narrative” with “inspiring lyrics.” It sounded a bit sleazy to me — “you open me wide and reach down” — and our readers weren’t exactly impressed either.

Ahead of the show, our jurors rated the songs. 

The best:  Snippets of this would work fine as pre-boarding background music, but I could live without three minutes of it on repeat. It’s bland and representative of music selected for background only. (Deban, 4/10)

The worst:  The lyrics make me cringe, the music is not enjoyable and the vocals are nothing worth writing home about. After listening to it three times in a row, I can’t find one thing I like about it — surely there must have been at least one better song submitted to the BBC. (Antranig, 1/10)

3. Darline – “Until Tomorrow”

Very simple but beautiful staging from Darline. Crowd LOVE them. Do you? #eurovisionuk

A video posted by wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) on

They looked incredibly expensive, like two Disney princesses with perfect faces and beautiful clothes — and they were real! Their harmonies were a bit off early on, but they recovered well and oozed spirit, soul and sultriness. The audience response inside the arena was a bit more subdued — apparently it came off as slightly boring. But on TV it looked and sounded amaze.

One judge said “you’re both so stunningly beautiful, at the end you both looked at each other and did a total vibe with each other — I don’t want to see two soloists, I want to see a duo who interact with each other.” Another said they should make their performance even more beautiful for Stockholm (empty statement!), while Katrina said “this is the type of song other Europeans would vote for.”

Our jurors reviewed the song ahead of the contest:

The best:  This song takes me to heaven and back. When I first heard it, I thought it was cute. On the second listen, I fell in love — it touched something deep inside me. These ladies bring youthful energy and “Until Tomorrow” is beautiful both lyrically and musically. Their vocals complement the song perfectly and with the right staging, I’m willing to bet this could sneak into the Top 10. (Antranig, 10/10)

The worst:  The gentle vocal tones from Abby and Cára singing in harmony are simply adorbs, delivering a warm and fuzzy feeling. Staging would need to be kept simple in order for the girls to make a real impact. (Anthony, 7/10)

4. Karl William Lund – “Miracle”

Maybe not the liveliest song in the world for the crowd but Karl looks the part tonight. #eurovisionuk

A video posted by wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) on

One judge said “that was the most solid performance we’ve seen tonight” and “you look great on camera and have a rich inner life,” while another said Karl “takes you into his world…and everyone else feels it.” Katrina said Karl “has an emotional connection with the song and I think we all felt it.” This improved a lot in my mind. Hated it before tonight, but thought it was quite lovely on TV.

Our jurors rated the songs before the show:

The best:  My Swedophile senses are tingling. And it’s starting to pick up some Scandi-pop influences, although this sounds like something out of a rejected entry from Denmark’s selection show Melodi Grand Prix. Not a bad entry, but I still prefer the Romanian “Miracle”. (Anthony, 6.5/10)

The worst:  If the UK sends this, they will need a miracle to avoid last place. The chorus is derivative and mediocre, the verses lack any real power and it never gets out of first gear. The lyrics are unfortunately the best part of the song and they’re not great. (Antranig, 2.5/10)

5. Bianca – “Shine a Little Light”

Bianca is DELIVERING this song live. Wish she’d open her eyes more. #eurovisionuk

A video posted by wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) on

Wearing a sexy red dress Bianca really brought the fire, adding the soul and drama this song needs. One judge said “you just can’t fault that vocal — that vocal is insane…I think she can give even more,” while another said “Deux points! Deux points! Yes! That’s what we’re waiting for. This is the type of song that could win!” Katrina said she liked the lyrics before shouting, “Come on Bianca! Take this to Stockholm!” Apparently she liked it.

Our jurors reviewed the song ahead of the contest:

The best:  Perhaps the most sophisticated and commercial of this year’s UK selection, Bianca soars and sizzles over the beats. This well-produced number has got radio potential, and could easily put the United Kingdom on the left side of the scoreboard. (Deban, 8.5/10)

The worst:  I hate the backing track to this song. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it sounds like the demo track you get on a cheap electronic keyboard. Bianca’s voice soars above it, but I’m already too distracted because the whole thing feels cheap and nasty as a result. (Chris, 5/10)

6. Joe and Jake – “You’re Not Alone”

Joe and Jake are lighting things up here. A little bit uncoordinated but never hurt Jedward! #eurovisionuk

A video posted by wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) on

One judge said, “I think they’re going to be a lot of young people voting for these guys tonight,” while another said they had “absolutely awesome stage presence” and were “two lads having the time of their lives.” Katrina said “We can’t get that oh-oh, oh-oh out of our head…it’s a winner.”

Our jurors reviewed the song ahead of the contest:

The best:  This is just so British! Despite the obvious nod to Coldplay, Joe and Jake are doing their own thing and delivering a mainstream, radio-friendly song. The production sounds expensive and their voices blend really well. I worry the song gets a tad repetitive, but hopefully they can add shape and variety during their live performance. (William, 8/10)

The worst:  Nothing about this spells stardom — even the name Joe and Jake — doesn’t court any notions of something special. Similarly, their song is equally lacklustre. (Deban, 4.5/10)

Follow all of our UK Eurovision news here

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David Who
Guest
David Who

A friend of mine told me yesterday:
“I heard the [UK song] on the radio. It was awful. It had no depth, sorry.”
Short, but to the point.

Amiciness
Guest

I do think it’s a good song. It’s very anthem pop that could work very well in an arena. Both of them were mostly on pitch, especially during their harmonies. Though at times Jake seems to sing louder than Joe. (That is probably a problem with the audio mix too, kinda related to what @mawnck commented earlier.)

Someone needs to give Joe a good movement coach/choreographer, or else permanently plant him behind a mic stand. His moves were super awkward. :))

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

I don’t Understand everyone’s problem with this song. I like it! I don’t see any problem with it.
I like it! I don’t see it winning eurovision, no. I guess that is the whole point of entering song though is to win, but honestly non of those songs were going to win eurovision!

It’s a good song though, if it gets revamped a bit I think it could be even better! Will they bother though?

David Who
Guest
David Who

This cannot go on. May i suggest that in addition to critics and blog owners working together on a plan to do better than Guy Freeman’s group; songwriting groups, musicians and music lovers get together and start a petition to take Eurovision away from the BBC and put it in the hands of a rival broadcaster. Any advice on that?

Ronnie
Guest
Ronnie

UK is a joke at Eurovision. This entry sucks. I remember I was at a bar in NYC watching Eurovision and when UK was performing everyone was laughing their asses off.

steve
Guest
steve

Eugene- forgive me, I must have read and understood all your posts wrong; I understood your posts to mean that you think juries should come back, Guy Freeman should go, BBC did not promote Your Decision enough etc etc etc, but obviously not- as you have pointed out, you know all these obvious things, so I was a bit confused on what or why you think things need changing. Apologies for my misunderstanding, in fact you are realistic like me.

mawnck
Guest
mawnck

It’s like I’ve been saying … there are SO many problems in the UK that they can get an awful lot of things right and still sail right off into a ditch. That’s what they did with this show. As a TV production guy, I gotta tell you, that was one of the most ineptly produced live music shows I’ve seen in years. Of ANYTHING. By ANY standard. And that definitely includes the other countries’ national finals. I think your problem is bigger than Eurovision, you guys. The BBC itself sucks. No competent television organization in ANY country on ANY… Read more »

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

steve :- Why do you keep telling me obvious things I already know?

steve
Guest
steve

Eugene- if the BBC had spent more advertising etc etc etc, then viewing figures would not have raised very much more. This is one of the reasons why it was on BBC4 and not BBC1- financially it does not make sense to air it on a mainstream channel. Eurovision itself on BBC1 always attracts a high audience; if ever viewing figures dropped dramatically for the main show, then this will probably be relegated to BBC4. Choosing the entry etc only interests the minority in the UK because Eurovision is no big deal like it is in other countries, as we… Read more »

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

steve :- Well I know that!! But you would expect a lot more for this type of show. The BBC wanted to keep it all low profile and hide it, well they succeeded, not even a million!!

Apparently the BBC said the average for BBC4 is 167,000, so 511,900 more.

No wonder they did not spend much on it!! So annoying.

steve
Guest
steve

@Eugene- that is a high figure for BBC4- usual viewing figures for a Friday evening is about 125000

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

You have to giggle BBC’s You Decide pulled in just 678,900 viewers!!

Anthony Ko
Editor

Sweden’s SVT already have their eyes on Ireland’s Eurovision record at Stockholm Steve, and Eurovision fans (not all) are complaining about their recent Eurovision dominance.

Cai
Guest
Cai

bianca should have one, however none of the songs were eurovision winners, i am british but i never trust the public voting in anything! they should of had a jury vote as well so the public doesn’t make the same mistakes, a spanish type national final would of been better. sorry UK but i can’t see it getting higher than 15th place

ian from the philippines
Guest

ok lt me drag all your entitled ass down. i don’t know where this attitude came from but you need to stop. 1, its not helping you. 2 it only highlight who ignorant ‘fans’ are to the uphill battle guy and co have to face. this is a show that was ruined by terry wogan, that made a whole generation resent and fear europe and made artist and music industry quiver at the mention of the four syllable word. the united kingdom at eurovision was rubbish because people though it was rubbish. negativity only creates negativity and the cycle goes… Read more »

StrauB
Guest
StrauB

Bad song, same as my country Germany. Both would not make the finals if not for the auto qualy.

steve
Guest
steve

People just love to moan- previous years the moans were about wanting to vote for songs, so what happens this year? A public vote- now people are moaning about wanting it 50:50- for goodness sake get a grip- it is Eurovision! A fun contest for us to enjoy- the BBC does not need to take it as seriously as other countries do- we produce great singers in this country who wouldnt touch eurovision with a barge pole, so lets just all chill, relax and enjoy the campness and fun of the competition. Joe and Jake are good- we will get… Read more »

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

A lot of what ct_greece says about the BBC is actually true. “Lofty” is a good word. The BBC is arrogant and likes to do things their own way and do not want to be seen as “following”. They want to give the impression they are trend setting, far from it, they have not got a clue. For example :- 1 Releasing the songs on a boring radio show on a Monday morning. 2 No official videos on Youtube, just studio recordings on their own website. 3 Low production quality on the tracks. 4 Dated low budget show in a… Read more »

ct_greece
Guest
ct_greece

Bianca should have definitely won and Karl wasn’t that bad either. Apparently this is what the british public thinks of the contest: An entry that seems to come out of a cheap commercial. Tedious song, amateurish singers, childish pseudo-inspirational lyrics in the tradition of Molly. I think that at some point the BBC should realise that its lofty reputation is taking a battering by this attitude of “we’re not really in but we’re not leaving either” towards Eurovision. It mirrors the UK’s attitude towards Europe in most respects, like Eurovision always does. #1 Ukraine #2 Austria #3 Switzerland #4 Spain… Read more »

Yuri Kus
Guest
Yuri Kus

Guaranteed 20+ place. I can not understand how in such a strong pop environment UK so often sends pale and weak representatives…

Laburnum
Guest
Laburnum

I feel like I am the first (and will be the only person) to say this:

I prefer Electro Velvet

Jack Price
Guest
Jack Price

Have the BBC published the number of votes cast for each act yet? I thought Bianca was the best act on the night and voted that way. Darline didn’t quite nail it but will over 2 months to the contest could have been in with a real chance had they won and worked on their performance.But Joe & Jake won the vote and deserve our support.

dutchie
Guest
dutchie

@marco
Somehow everyone in the UK seems to think that the reason you guys have done so poorly the last decade comes down to politics… tell me, which British song would you have voted for yourself if you came from abroad? British music dominates the charts in Europe, your Eurovision entries just suck. Enter a winner and it will win, simple as that.

It was the same in Holland (‘it’s all politics, we can’t compete against block voting’) and then we finally decided to send some decent artists and made the top-10 twice in a row.

David Who
Guest
David Who

Thanks DR (Daniel Reid) and Eugene for getting together to look into this. It’s good to know that Eurovision in the UK has a future other than under Guy Freeman and co. Ironically after my earlier rant, Eugene alone convinced me to keep watching the BBC selection show without switching off halfway through. I enjoyed the audience fans and the funny presenter, but the music and the staging not-so-much. The final two acts (Bianca and Joe & Jake) in my opinion were the only two acts with reasonable live vocals. Darline tried their best, but weren’t as great live. What… Read more »

Vladimir
Guest
Vladimir

For me, top 5 for now would be:

1. Austria
2. Iceland
3. Cyprus
4. Denmark
5. Albania

Greetings from Serbia!

Nico
Guest
Nico

Might work well for young girls…
Not in my bottom 5 so far, but top 5 remain unchanged:
1. Cyprus
2. Austria
3. Germany
4. Iceland
5. Switzerland

Huh
Guest
Huh

This is how the UK (*cough* BBC) should prove themselves in the Eurovision and show that they still care about the contest as well as their reputation there.

John Christian
Guest
John Christian

If Norway sends Suite 16 to Stockholm, it’s going to be a boy band royale between Highway(MNE), Minus One(CYP), Lighthouse X(DEN), Joe and Jake(GBR), and Suite 16(NOR).

eurana
Guest
eurana

What happened in UK? The same happened in Denmark? Two ladies and one band won. I like their song.

Marco
Guest
Marco

I’m pretty happy with the result tonight, J+J can sing and seemed at ease on stage – but moreover I’m happy with this process. Sure we clearly won’t win this year (with a referendum a month after the ESC? We could send Adele backed by seventeen half-naked Daniel Craigs and we’d still get a political snub) but the way we went about it, going back to a viewer voted entry means that at least we know we’ve made a decision of sorts. Go J+J!

Rob
Guest
Rob

Here’s my issue. Yeah, Bianca gave the best vocal performance of the night and staged it nicely. But compared with Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Albania, Switzerland, Macedonia, Iceland, Malta and more big female vocalists still to be announced probably, would her entry have stood out? Probably not. Yeah, J&J may not get a big jury vote with this I’m guessing. But like someone said, the younger voters and ‘tweens’ will probably get behind this. And with work on getting more of a connection between each other and the one playing the guitar moving around a bit more, add in some pyros… Read more »

Sergey
Guest
Sergey

1. Austria
2. Ukraine
3. Cyprus
4. Germany
5. Italy (if the song will be confirmed)

I really hate the entries of Spain, Ireland, Georgia and Belgium. My bottom 4 so far.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Bottom five.
Different methods, same result.

Gav
Guest
Gav

I think they should get a slot on The voice during the final it would excellent. It would show support from BBC and add credibility to the song, recognition of the coaches Rita and Will and The Voice for laughing talent. This is the first time I have have heard a Voice artist sing outside the voice.

Get it out their BBC!

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

I did what I never do with the contest, and that was wait to hear the songs for the first time on the night. Joe and Jake were my favourites. I really hope that outside of Guy Freeman’s office, the rest of the BBC gets behind this song. It’s important that it’s a hit. The song and the act are relevant for Radio 1, so I hope the playlist it.

Homer
Guest
Homer

So, another mediocre entry from UK? Nothing new. My Top 5 so far:

01. Cyprus
02. Iceland
03. Spain
04. Georgia
05. Bosnia & Herzegovina

Denis
Guest
Denis

it really isn’t that bad at all. Will do much better than last year, for sure. it has charm, charisma and the staging isn’t horrible as it usually is with British entries. Plus it’s modern enough, and not for once something your grandma would listen to. Decent enough.
Of course Brits won’t like it, that’s their thing: to complain about everything. Nothing is good. Even if they won they would complain:)
But you did great.

hurricane86
Guest
hurricane86

I’m really happy that the BBC finally gave us a say, and I’m pleased we picked a current, British sounding track which we can be proud to send to Stockholm. Great performance, no matter how it does I think the BBC have turned a corner in their perception of Eurovision. Hopefully they’re going to work hard on the staging.

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

DR :- You are 100% correct, it is all about how you get quality songs and recognising a suitable winner, not whether you go Internal or method of National Finals.

The problem is getting anything to Guy Freeman, he is protected by a brick wall.

I’m happy to read your proposal, I’ll get in touch.

Katy
Guest
Katy

I went to see the show in person. Joe and Jake definitely sounded the best in the theatre. I don’t know what to make of the bad reviews in the comments, I actually think it’s quite catchy..

Nitzan
Guest
Nitzan

I think Darline would have made a smarter choice but these boys are cute and the song’s nice so no complaints. Nice improvement from last year. Good luck UK!

Pip
Guest
Pip

I was shocked when they said Joe and Jake were representing the UK. Not because I don’t like the song, but because my favourtie from a Eurovision selection show actually won for the first time.

Craig
Guest
Craig

The vast majority of British music is forgettable these days so why should eurovision be any different!?? We live in an era of throwaways with the exception of the top billings. Now I know you guys have plugged Darline all week long but their live performance was weak. Super weak. Pile on a bunch of nerves in front of an audience of 100’s of millions and you get a car crash!! These boys can sing. Alright not Bianca sing but solid wood singing!! I wanted a credible act and I think we got one; fundamentally British sounding and after Eurovision… Read more »

DR
Guest

@EugeneESCUK You say we need a long term plan. I’ve been working on one since Nov 2014, and I’m writing it all up as we speak hoping to be done by Monday. It’s about everything the BBC can do to improve our chances, from re branding, recruiting artists, avoid it being a career killer and so much more. It is basically everything I would do as head of delegation for a long legacy for the UK. I would love to know what you think of it, so please contact me through twitter, link in the name. Hopefully you can help… Read more »

MTD
Guest
MTD

I like it. Hahaha…it’s a simple Brit pop song that was managed by two guys that have stage harisma. Nice UK, at least you wont be last. 🙂

Let me remind you that Brit pop songs, when done properly, have a decent showing on ESC.

And btw, stop with your drama queening. And stop wanting women with shouty songs for ESC.

mad-professor
Guest
mad-professor

@Eugene
To be fair, this is only his third try and we haven’t seen the result yet.

Steven Keenan
Guest
Steven Keenan

My favourite of the night remained Dulcima but the boys have a really commercial song! Strong entry from the UK. I don’t get the love for Bianca. The cruise-ship Caribbean music remained and her vocal wasn’t amazing. Darline were the biggest disappointment vocally.

blondboybc
Guest
blondboybc

It was down to Bianca or J&J for me….the boys had the catchier of the two songs. Not sure where to rate this in my top, but they were my favs coming into this final for sure. Good luck, UK! You’ll need it! 😉

DR
Guest

@CookyMonzta The BBC are not going to invest in a MF style national selection for many reasons. Melfest has grown organically over fifty years to become the giant of Swedish television. Moving a decades long Swedish format to British screens wont resonate with the UK public. Another problem is no matter the format of the national selection the songs that will be submitted will be of a low quality because of the stigma the contest has here. If we had a MF style NF, we would have got 32 – 28 songs just like we had tonight, and the same… Read more »

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

mad-professor :- I said that last year, how many different methods has he tried and they have all failed. It needs a long term plan for success and then stick with it. He’s still way off from from finding the formula.