He may be known as Mr Melodifestivalen, but Christer Björkman has said the UK should stop mocking the Eurovision Song Contest and enter the semi-finals if they’re to have any chance of winning the contest again.
Speaking to i News at a London lecture ahead of Stockholm’s Polar Music Prize, the Eurovision 2016 producer says Joe and Jake’s entry “You’re Not Alone” would continue the UK’s recent Eurovision struggles, and commentary from the late Sir Terry Wogan was also to blame.
“Joe and Jake is a fairly good song and the boys are charming. It’s a step in the right direction but no, it won’t win. If you sent another Katrina singing “Love Shine a Light”, that would make a huge difference.”
“Terry Wogan did the commentary for 25 years and it was always mocking. Now Graham Norton also has this flippant tone. It doesn’t work. It’s a lot easier to joke than to win.”
Björkman also suggested the UK should give up their Big 5 status and compete at the semi-finals.
“I can understand why you don’t risk taking that step but if you look at the songs that travel, they start in the semi-final and they become stronger and stronger during the week. Conchita wasn’t even mentioned as one of the favourites before the semi-final and then she became a shooting star – that’s only because she revealed herself before. And you need to do that.”
Christer Björkman has dismissed claims of block voting, which has often been brought up in the UK, urging the country to instead start taking the Eurovision Song Contest seriously.
“[Block voting] is something you’ve made up. You sound like the French now. We all love you. We all want you to be good in this competition. It’s just that you don’t send any good stuff. Why don’t you?”
“You have to say ‘we are taking this seriously and we will not stop doing it until we succeed. You have to accept what Eurovision is – it’s not a singing competition or a song competition, it is music entertainment.”
He also added a British version of Melodifestivalen judged by Simon Cowell would improve the quality of the UK entries.
Do you agree with him? Should the UK start taking the Eurovision Song Contest more seriously?