eurovision you decide finalists 2017

Four months ago the BBC launched its Eurovision 2017 selection process, which saw it open a public submission process while simultaneously reaching out to professional songwriters.

And on January 23 the Beeb finally revealed the six shortlisted acts and songs who survived its cuts and culls to compete in Eurovision: You Decide 2017.

The six songs were played during the Ken Bruce Radio Show on BBC Radio 2 — albeit with plenty of filler in between. Ken’s taste in music has not changed over the past 15 to 20 years. Did that reflect the quality of songs in this year’s selection? Let’s find out…

“Eurovision: You Decide” — The six finalists

“Freedom Hearts” — Olivia Garcia

Songwriters: Gabriel Alares, Sebastian Lestapier, Linnea Nelson, Laurell Barker

Sixteen-year-old Olivia Garcia hails from Wigan. She cut her teeth competing on X Factor 2016, making it all the way to the six-chair challenge.

Her song “Freedom Hearts” was written by a team of Swedes, which may be apparent from the questionable title.

Among her songwriters is Gabriel Alares, who has written Eurovision songs including “Icebreaker” (Norway 2016), “Falling Stars” (Moldova 2016) and “A Million Voices” (Russia 2015).

The lyrics seem to explore a relationship gone wrong and the hope and dismay involved in making it work or letting it collapse. In the aftermath of Brexit you could read a subtle political message, but only if you really want to: “Someone said ‘yes we can’ but we’re still torn apart.” Aww.

Lyrics: “Failing from the start, made us fall apart, look here we are. Slowly fading out, should we run and shout, stay in the dark?”

Read all the “Freedom Hearts” lyrics

“I Wish I Loved You More” — Holly Brewer

Songwriters: Kevin Fisher, Courtney Harrell, Laurell Barker, Mattias Frändå, Johan Åsgärde, Oliver Lundström

Twenty-one-year old Holly Brewer is used to rubbing shoulders with celebrities. The Milton Keynes native supported Jess Glynne at her December concert in London, and she previously sang at the wedding of TOWIE star Mark Wright and Michelle Keegan. Get it, girl.

According to her web site, “she aspires to female artists like Alicia Keys, Emeli Sande and Beyonce, and is a very modern vocalist and pianist, so when she performs her repertoire includes hits such as ‘Thinking Out Loud’, ‘Love Yourself’, ‘All Of Me’, ‘How Long Will I Love You’, ‘Make You Feel My Love’, and other favourites which she puts her own soulful spin on.”

Perhaps best described as “a shouty lady song,” her number “I Wish I Loved You More” is a mid-tempo pop number with shades of Jessie J. We also can’t help thinking it sounds like an American Idol winner’s single, which isn’t surprising since the songwriting team includes two Americans (and some Canadians and Swedes).

Lyrics: “You’re the sign and wonder, I couldn’t live without, ooh, amen.”

Read the “I Wish I Loved You More” lyrics

“Never Give Up On You” — Lucie Jones

Songwriters: The Treatment, Emmelie de Forest, Lawrie Martin

In 2009 she made the live shows of X Factor, ultimately losing to Jedward in a deadlock vote. But now Welsh starlet Lucie Jones is ready to follow in the footsteps of the Irish twins and compete at Eurovision.

Trained by Louise Ryan, the same vocal coach who steered Charlotte Church, she has subsequently starred in the West End production of Les Misérables and appeared as Victoria in the musical American Psycho at London’s Almeida Theatre. But she’s not just a pretty voice: Lucie signed with Select Model Management in 2010.

Depending on your tastes her song is either dreamy and atmospheric or blander than soggy white rice. It comes from Copenhagen-based songwriting team The Treatment, Lawrie Martin and Eurovision 2013 winner Emmelie de Forest, who has been teasing her potential participation in the contest since October.

That month the Danish artist revealed on social media that she had been attending a songwriting camp focused on writing for the British national selection. The caption on the photos described Emmelie as being at the “Writing Camp for Eurovision songs for the UK Eurovision #medleystudio #copenhagen”.

We’re not gonna lie: We’re slightly underwhelmed.

The lyrics smack of self-belief and perseverance, and the fact we all need someone to lean on. As she says: “Tell me your secrets, I’ll keep them safe, no sign of weakness, it’s a sign of faith, We’ll stand tall, so you don’t fall.”

Read the “Never Give Up On You” lyrics

“Light Up The World” — Danyl Johnson

Songwriters: Dan McAlister, Rick Blaskey, Greg Walker, Chris Sutherland, Ameerah Roelants

Following Danyl Johnson’s 2009 X Factor audition, Simon Cowell said “that was the best first audition I have ever heard.” And, in a seemingly prescient nod to Conchita Wurst, Louis Walsh said, “You’re unstoppable!”

As of August 2016 Danyl was working as an ambassador for the People’s Postcode Lottery.

His inspirational number “Light Up The World” has a musical theatre bent to it and preaches empowerment, aided by the inclusion of a backing choir. Amen, y’all! It also sees Danyl doing a few vocal runs, which he handles with ease.

Some listeners have commented that the song sounds a tad dated, with one Twitter user asking, “Have I woken up in 1993?” We’re going to be generous and say 2002.

Lyrics: “Stepping on your feet, couldn’t see the way, then I heard you say, just stay focused, Dancing to the beat, yeah, your rhtyhm guies the way…

Read the “Light Up The World” lyrics

“I Don’t Wanna Fight” — Salena Mastroianni

Songwriters: The Treatment, Nicole Blair, Marli Harwood

From the Copenhagen-based songwriting team that brought you Lucie Jones’ track “Never Give Up On You” comes , comes “I Don’t Wanna Fight” — a contemporary peace anthem. But unlike Polina Gagarina and Dina Garipova, Salena doesn’t turn to balladry but rather a bit of electro production and a mid-tempo dance beat.

In one of the more bizarre hooks we’ve ever heard, Salena entreats us to “put down our weapons, put down our weapons.” Thankfully the X Factor star — who you may remember from 2012 — hasn’t put down her vocal weapons, which work well with the modern track.

Lyrics: “I don’t wanna fight, I don’t wanna fight, We can make it right, Only love survives, We can make it right, We can make it right, If we put our weapons down, We should put down our weapons, put down our weapons, put down our weapons.”

Read the “I Don’t Wanna Fight” lyrics

“What Are We Made Of?” — Nate Simpson

Songwriters: Jon Hällgren, Eric Lumiere, DWB

He made it all the way to judge’s houses on X Factor 2016, but his rendition of Ella Fitzgerald’s “Summertime” wasn’t enough to convince Nicole Sherzinger that he deserved a spot on the live shows.

But music teacher Nate hasn’t given up on his music career and is back with gospel-tinged ballad about human progress and hope for a better future. Some have said it has shades of Israel’s “Made of Stars”, but this feels much more musical theatre.

Lyrics: “We build these walls, we watch them fall, we’re drowning in our secrets, the lies we keep between us…”

About the show

The 2016 show was broadcast on BBC Four, a channel known for highbrow arts programming. But in 2017 it moves to BBC Two, a more popular channel with mainstream music coverage. Eurovision: You Decide will be broadcast from 7.30pm to 9:00pm on Friday.

Ticket prices for the 2017 show are also down from 2016. Tickets for standing areas are £34.25, while seated areas are £37.00. Last year, tickets set back fans £45.00.

Also returning for 2017 is the show’s host, former Great British Bake Off presenter and Eurovision semi-final commentator Mel Giedroyc. She’ll be joined by an expert panel consisting of Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli, recording artist Sophie Ellis Bextor and vocal coach and talent scout CeCe Sammy — who served as the chairperson of the British jury for Eurovision 2016.

Joe & Jake at Eurovision 2016

Last year’s winners Joe & Jake were generally considered credible. While they didn’t set the hearts of all British fans racing, they did sing a contemporary song and oozed chemistry — marking a huge step in the right direction following the incredibly divisive 2015 entry from Electro Velvet.

At Eurovision itself they brought modern staging that had thought behind it — again, a huge development over the year before. In the eyes of many their 24th place finish didn’t reflect the quality of their song and performance.

READ MORE UNITED KINGDOM EUROVISION NEWS

167 Comments
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CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
3 years ago

Late for the party, I am, as usual. But just in time, before the contest.

The first one is always a benchmark for the others. Unfortunately, in this case, the 5 that followed didn’t measure up to what Olivia presented. The closest was Lucie’s.

Here is how I rated them (on 5 criteria)
9.32 Olivia García: “Freedom Hearts”
9.28 Lucie Jones: “Never Give Up On You”
9.18 Nate Simpson: What Are We Made Of?”
9.16 Danyl Johnson: “Light Up The World”
9.12 Salena Mastroianni: “I Don’t Wanna Fight”
9.10 Holly Brewer: “I Wish I Loved You More”

MoreMusicLessGlamourPlease
MoreMusicLessGlamourPlease
3 years ago

Nice music. But little stand out. They need something more extraodrinary to do well. i would wish for more uncomprosed songs…more real rock, real indie, rapl rap…whtever. And really, quite devasting (as always) to see Swedish songwriters in even a BRITISH final…Come on, it’s the leading pop country in Europe. Should they should have een able of finding a better set of songs.

AngieP
AngieP
3 years ago

This is an interesting group of songs for UK’s standards. “Freedom hearts” is not the best for me, though I like all the songs. Two songs I like most are “I wish I loved you more” and “Never give up on you”. The first is a modern song, good production, great voice and if it’s well staged it’ll do well. The second one reminds me a bit of the 2009 entry which gave the UK a good position on the scoreboard.
Good luck UK!!

Defiant
Defiant
3 years ago

Send Freedom Hearts <3

Message to the EU

Listen to whispers of these freedom hearts
Listen real closely for a new start
We wont be run down
No we wont stand down
We've got freedom hearts

Message to Obama

Someone said "Yes We Can"
But we're still torn apart!

Delilah
Delilah
3 years ago

@Denis your point would have more power if the songs were any good, but they’re really not. There is a time and a place to debate Brexit, but this probably isn’t it. Eurovision is seen as a joke in the UK. Partially because of the way it has been presented (as a joke, by the presenters, whom I enjoy very much) and partially because of the general quality of the songs in it, which tend not to be that great on the whole. People with serious aims of becoming a STAAAAAR wouldn’t go near it. Look at the people that… Read more »

Beardphrodite
Beardphrodite
3 years ago

The UK has the biggest stars on the planet right now, really great songwritters, producers and new acts on the horizon, I cannot understand who and why decided this is the best that the country can offer, because it’s not and those persons behind those choices need to retire. NOW. The first song is the only I can tolerate, but seriously that tittle? Freedom Hearts? Why not Freedom Potatoes? It sounds cheesy and bad, but bad in an awful way of using the language. I don’t know. Nate Simpson, good voice, wrong song. The rest, boring as hell. Seems like… Read more »

eurovision6
eurovision6
3 years ago

Denis

as Avstriya stated below, BBC picks the songs.. and honestly ppl needs to stop trying to win cheap political points with Brexit… it happened, get over it.

Denis
Denis
3 years ago

Interesting also that despite all the “we don’t need or want Europe” talk, all entries are written or co-written buy non-British Europeans.
Hmm, not going very well, is it?

Racal
Racal
3 years ago

Nothing great in there, it sounds very ESC from the 2000’s (and that’s NOT good)… What really pisses me off is that all these people have great voices and talent, why the hell do they give them that cr*p to sing? The UK has the best music industry in the world, why do they go to Eurovision with that kind of music? If someone pointed a gun to my head and told me to choose, I’d say: 1. Daryl Johnson – Light up the world / Olivia Garcia – Freedom Hearts 3. Nate Simpson – What are we made of?… Read more »

Calum Macleod
Calum Macleod
3 years ago

1. Holly Brewer – I Wish I Loved You More
2. Olivia Garcia – Freedom Hearts
3. Nate Simpson – What Are We Made Of
4. Lucie Jones – Never Give Up on You
5. Danyl Johnson – Light Up the World
6. Salena Mastroianni – I Don’t Wanna Fight

Trocatroc
Trocatroc
3 years ago

People looove to hate on UK ????

mawnck
mawnck
3 years ago

“Why so much hate, I think most of the songs on here are credible and not joke acts” Probably because most of us disagree with you. Especially those of us not in the UK. Seriously, these are all pretty awful, the dregs of the MelFest reject pile (ie the ones that all the other countries took a pass on), written by teams who clearly had a mandate to write “a Eurovision song” rather than “a good song”. Two years ago you sent a fake production-library version of Electro-Swing, and this year it’s going to be a fake production-library version of… Read more »

Laburnum
Laburnum
3 years ago

Meh. Unless they do get revamped and staged well….this is kind of all sorts of bland. For me they’re all not bad just not too good. But all are much better than last year. Never Give Up On You may be my favourite

mad-professor
mad-professor
3 years ago

I do not get why someone would imitate me

blondboybc
blondboybc
3 years ago

One word: underwhelmed! Is this the best the UK can offer? Bottom right hand side of the board once again….sad. 🙁

Xeph
Xeph
3 years ago

Eh, these are all really forgettable, none of them would do particularily well at ESC, doesn’t matter who they pick.

Avstriya
Avstriya
3 years ago

6 massive flops…..

btw. Gabriel Alares entry is the worst. He is the composer of Icebreaker and Falling Stars. His songs are blander than Ralph Siegels.

The UK selection should not rely on cheap entries like these. But BBC wants to state yet again, that we do not Eurovision to promote our music industry, so we give you flops.

Well no
Well no
3 years ago

@Vanuatu just.. no. Still don’t let a lack of knowledge of anything prevent you from commenting.

Sadly Eurovision is seen as such a poisoned chalice in the UK, nobody with any real success will go anywhere near it.

E.Scott
E.Scott
3 years ago

Currently i like “i wish i loved you more” interesting take on a love song that we dont get that often.

Part of me thinks “freedom hearts” should be sent as its most memorable but the phrase “freedom hearts” doesnt make sense to me. Maybe ‘free of heart’ or ‘free at heart’ would be less jarring in some of the verses and really make it my no. 1.

Anfrers
3 years ago

Nate has to WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN.

luke
luke
3 years ago

Why so much hate, I think most of the songs on here are credible and not joke acts, I think my country could come top 10 with right staging, at least they can all sing, stop hating and trolling everything

Jojo Higgins
Jojo Higgins
3 years ago

MY RANKINGS:

1. Salena Mastroianni – I Don’t Wanna Fight
2. Olivia Garcia – Freedom Hearts
3. Holly Brewer – Wish I Loved You More
4. Danyl Johnson – Light Up The World
5. Nate Simpson – What Are We Made Of?
6. Lucie Jones – Never Give Up on You

Ola
Ola
3 years ago

They are all so bland I wanna die…
Really like Danyl as a performer, but his song is…well, there we go again…bland.
When will UK at least try to get it right? We all know they could if they really want!

Demetrio
Demetrio
3 years ago

@PP You forgot ”Verona” by Esthonia. For me, until now ”Verona” is the only potential winner of ESC2017.

PP
PP
3 years ago

Light Up The World” — Danyl Johnson is for me best choice for UK.
We know in this moment that UK, Belarus, Georgia, Albania and Malta have not chance for win this year , only have Finland some chance with song Blacbird sing by Norma.

Mary Steve
Mary Steve
3 years ago

My Winner – Nate Simpson – What Are We Made Of
My Runner up – Lucie Jones – Never Give Up On You
My Third – Salena Mastroianni – I Don’t Wanna Fight
My Forth – Holly Brewer – I Wish I Loved You More
My Ffth – Danyl Johnson – Light Up The World
My sixth and last – Olivia Garcia – Freedom Hearts

JB
JB
3 years ago

Holly Brewers’ song is very winners single-esque, it has potential to be very good live. Olivia Garcias’ song is just grammatically incorrect and i cringe every time she sings ‘freedom hearts’, its not as good as Hollys’ song imo. Danyl Johnsons’ song is the only other song i can see winning although it is a bit outdated.

Zebb
Zebb
3 years ago

I think I like Nate’s solid ‘What Are We Made Of’. Rest is ultimately forgettable. Brequette’s secondary banger slays them as well as spanish selection. While their broadcaster is evidently stucked in some cliche room we can have some winners from other countries coming exceptional and original and same time be able to freely use something from UK’s rich musical underground flows (yes, I’m about 1944) 🙂

mad-professor
mad-professor
3 years ago

@Ali
The issue is that most (all?) of the songs are written by people for whom English isn’t their first language (apart from Holly’s, kind of).

Héctor
Héctor
3 years ago

Not a bad effort, better than last year. At first listen, none stands out for me and I can’t remember any of them, but this could be my top: Olivia Garcia – ‘Freedom Hearts’. The first 15 seconds looks very promising, but then the music changes transforming itself in an average peace (?) song. I like Olivia’s voice and the song itself is ok, modern, at least. I would say the song lacks of energy and get a bit repetitive. Anyway, like we say in Spain: “Between the blind people, the one-eyed is the king”, this means that this song… Read more »

Ali
Ali
3 years ago

Also, (sorry to comment twice), but about the lyrics, I agree with a previous comment that there’s some weird/awkward English in a few of these songs, which is bizarre because….it’s the UK. Like in I Don’t Wanna Fight, I’m a fan but “exhale this mental tale that we have found” literally does not mean anything. Reminds me of Undo My Sad in 2014 except that song was an ABSOLUTE TUNE 🙂 and it was Sweden so I could accept the ‘creative’ English that time

mad-professor
mad-professor
3 years ago

@Andreas
Ignore the troll.

Ali
Ali
3 years ago

Never Give Up On You is a lil slow, i’ll admit. But I think it’s musically pretty enough (and the voice strong enough) that at least it’ll seem like the UK are taking it seriously if we perform it at the final. I wish it was a little more vocally interesting or challenging though. I mean as a female vocal, it’s no Dami in 2016 by a longshot

mad-professor
mad-professor
3 years ago

@Andreas

its terribly average

Denis
Denis
3 years ago

Better than last year’s selection, that’s for sure. It’s nothing that stands out but it’s not bad either, nice radio songs.
The first one and the “put our weapons down” one are the best one and should win. They are quite catchy and good. I can’t believe Emmelie DeForest writes such bland tripe, where’s the instruments?
To expect top 10 is a bit to optimistic with the quality of the songs but if they brush up on the performance which is something British entries always lacks this could end up between 15-20th place.

Moop
Moop
3 years ago

Whaaaat? I think Freedom Hearts is amazing (especially for a potential UK entry)…. I expected to lisen to like 30 seconds of each, but I ended up enjoying the whole thing of this one.

Hebbuzz
Hebbuzz
3 years ago

If I were to decide I’d probably choose between Nate or Lucy to represent the UK. Hopefully they can deliver live as good as recorded in studio. All songs sound well-produced.

Songs by Danyl and Olivia might work well only if performed by a very good artist. So I am between hope and fears with these.

Songs by Salena & Holly rank clearly at the bottom of my wishlist. Crappy songs or vocals. Songs about guns should be forbidden IMHO. Those lyrics…. arrrrgh.

guha
guha
3 years ago

All those messenger sounds in Wish I Loved You more

Andreas
Andreas
3 years ago

Ok. I can’t stop listening “Freedom Hearts”. This song has to win in UK.

MarioMario
3 years ago

I think “I Wish I Loved You More” would work nicely on stage.

MarioMario
3 years ago

None of these songs are TERRIBLE IMO, but there are no major standouts.

Meow Eurovision
Meow Eurovision
3 years ago

much much better than last year songs! I liked almost all of them..!

EscGreekFan
EscGreekFan
3 years ago

Another year,another big disappointment.
None of these songs are bad,but also none of these songs are any close to at least a top10 material.
Once again the same dull,uninteresting songs.And they even sound not so well-produced..They should scrap the national final once and for all..But once again no real effort by the BBC..At least Joe & Jake last year had a very uplifiting and catchy song,this selection is even worse.Absolutely nothing stands out.
Good luck UK,you’ll definitely need some

an esc fan
an esc fan
3 years ago

Any of these songs is much better than Sam Smith’s Oscar winning song.

Colin
Colin
3 years ago

Now that I’ve stated how misguided criticism can get exhausting and repetitive, I might as well say what I think about UK’s line-up. It is… not bad actually. ‘Freedom Hearts’, ‘I Wish I Loved You More’, ‘Never Give-up on You’ and ‘What We Are Made of’ show some potential that could reveal greatness in live. Other two are just okay. The line-up is nowhere as flat as in Spain or Switzerland, but this ain’t Songvakeppnin or UMK either. Shame, cause UK could really get a top notch finals a’la Melodifestivalen if it really wanted so.

M
M
3 years ago

Huh… Suddenly Spain’s selection doesn’t seem that awful

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
3 years ago

Finally, let me say that I’m siding with Turkey on the Big 5 thing. Either you try to send something good every year like Italy, or you should leave the place to a more deserving country that stays in the semi-final because of this Big 5 mess.

Maarten
Maarten
3 years ago

They all sound like a demo? Will there be a revamp of all the songs before the show?

cheesecake
cheesecake
3 years ago

This is unreal. I know we keep saying this, but how can a country with so many good songs/artists (just look at the charts) have such a dull selection? Again?
‘Freedom Hearts’ is okay, the rest should stay the hell away from this.

Ariso Light
Ariso Light
3 years ago

My favourite is “Never Give Up On You”. Most of the rest are good but they sound like songs that would be sung during an interval in Eurovision. 😀