Engelbert Humperdinck UK Eurovision 2012 Politics Russian Grannies

He’s the one-time acquaintance of Elvis Presley who’s engaged in a lifelong feud with fellow British crooner Tom Jones. These days, however, Engelbert Humperdinck is best known for representing the United Kingdom at Eurovision 2012.

Unfortunately for him, his bid for the famous glass microphone fell well short. Europe failed to warm to the syrupy “Love Will Set You Free” and he finished 25th out of 26 finalists.

Some would blame the poor result on the fact he came first in the running order. Others might point the finger at the entry itself and its uninspired staging. But not Engelbert.

In an interview with Britain’s Metro, the now 81-year-old claims that politics was his downfall. He also takes the opportunity to throw some shade at Russia’s Buranovskiye Babushki, the 2012 runners-up.

Engelbert Humperdinck at Eurovision 2012

When asked whether he watched this year’s event — in which Lucie Jones secured the UK’s best result in six years — the octogenarian responded with a no. His reason? The contest is too political and Britain will never do well regardless of who they send.

No, I don’t watch it. It’s very political. The UK will never be up there again because the competition is too controlled. No matter how much talent you send out there from the UK, nothing will come of it.

One wonders how long it took him to come up with such a highly original theory…

Just in case the Hump’s views weren’t completely clear, the paper then probes him on his own result. Was that down to politics too?

Of course the man born as Arnold George Dorsey answers in the affirmative. Because how else could a “global star” such as himself — who’s last UK top ten single was in 1969 — lose out to a sextet of elderly Russian babushki?

Yes. How can you put a person on who is a global artist when there are people there who don’t have record contracts and have never appeared in an arena before and win a music contest? There was a group of Russian grannies who were cooking when they were singing. How does that make sense? And they came second.

Amazingly, said politics must have rubbed off on the British record-buying public too. “Love Will Set You Free” only peaked at 60 in the official charts. Loreen’s “Euphoria”, that year’s winner, reached number three in the same countdown.

But every cloud has a silver-lining. And for Engelbert it came in the shape of our William and ex-wiwiblogger Vebooboo. The pair were effusive in their praise for his first rehearsal and even predicted a top ten finish. Oops!

In their defence, William insists that their expectations were low, so it was a bar anyone could climb.

What do you think? Is Engelbert right? Was politics to blame? Will the UK never win again? Let us know in the comments below.

Follow all our UK Eurovision 2018 news.

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Escaddict
Escaddict
4 years ago

I liked his song but it was not in my Top 10 so it would get no points from me. That is nothing to do with politics.
The U.K. needs to send a song with some Wow factor. Sadly Englebert lacked any Wow factor and scored accordingly. Good songs can, & often do, come last.

Alec
Alec
4 years ago

The song was terrible and staging poor.

But he does have a point with respect to votes for the UK. It’s ironic Europeans flock to the UK to live and work in large numbers but no one votes for them in ESC.

Luice Jones, Molly and Blue all had great entries and good staging but didn’t crack the top 10. The exception was Jade Edwards in 2009 who came out 5th.
To be honest i agree with the UK it seems hopeless.

Graph
Graph
4 years ago

I actually think Englebert’s song was the UK’s best ESC song of the 2010s.

But Lucie Jones this year had the best staging.

Mark
Mark
4 years ago
Reply to  Graph

Blue came fifth in the televote. That’s proof that the UK can still do well in the contest.

Kendra
Kendra
4 years ago

Engelbert Humperdick

MrBrightside
MrBrightside
4 years ago

I heard BBC considered Hurts that year for UK in Baku. Sending this old man instead of them is their big fail.

Mark
Mark
4 years ago
Reply to  MrBrightside

I heard that the BBC doesn’t want to win.

AndersP
AndersP
4 years ago

He was out of tune and I’ll-prepared. That he received any points was a fluke.

PP
PP
4 years ago

Draw to sing first in final is not good option for every countries, and stage was not good better without dancer and pyro at end of song and he made some mistake in singing in final for tv viewers. For me he had better song than UK song from 2010,2013,2015,2016

Ihor
Ihor
4 years ago

He should’ve blamed “Russian hackers” for his misfortune, because why not. People tend to believe in them.

Álex, from Spain
Álex, from Spain
4 years ago

I do not agree with him, but I guess it’s due to our age difference.

LightvsDarkness
LightvsDarkness
4 years ago

best big 5 ever (2012) but uk…

Hada
Hada
4 years ago

Somebody in the world actively chose to name himself Engelbert Humperdinck.

If he’s such a global star he should’ve just refused to go to Eurovision. Since he chose to go he should’ve dropped the attitude and done something good instead, like the other contestants with or without record contracts. He could’ve been 100 years old, if he had brought something of quality to the table the audience would’ve rewarded him.

That entitlement is probably what cost him a good place in the contest.

YoungsterJoey
YoungsterJoey
4 years ago

Not being ageist (cause I do like Engelbert’s rendition of the song) but what if the song was sung by a younger singer? Would it maybe have resonated better?

I like the simple staging but some camera angles were questionable.

Ayan
Ayan
4 years ago

we like daddies not granddaddies
…the title of 2018 winner song

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
4 years ago

He can stay pressed, all of my friends love the Russian grannies and they came 2nd because their song was catchy, fun and outstanding.

The Brits need to stop blaming their failures on politics. His entry sent everyone to sleep, that’s why it flopped so hard.

Karen
Karen
4 years ago

It is quite ludicrous that Russia came 2nd that year. If Western Europe sent an entry in that vain it wouldn’t leave the semi finals. If a Western Europe country or a big 5 member sent a similar song, or even a draq queen counting to 5 in German, there would be an online upheaval from fans.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
4 years ago
Reply to  Karen

A Western European drag queen won the entire competition 2 years later.

Áustria
Áustria
4 years ago

A Western European drag queen had a compelling performance.
A Western European drag queen 10 years flopped hard.

Thomas
Thomas
4 years ago
Reply to  Áustria

Conchita had a credible song

Valentin
Valentin
4 years ago
Reply to  Thomas

No. It was a crime against The Netherlands.

esc1234
esc1234
4 years ago

Typical uk trash entry that blames the politics for the low score. well russian grannies came second because their song was catchy. Engelberts song is perfect. For 1975.

Denis
Denis
4 years ago

Oh, he does the typical British thing of blaming Europe for your own failures. How surprising…

I am more surprised that he did get votes at all. Who knew that a song stuck in the 60’s with a performer that’s also stuck in the 60’s could gather any votes?

annabel
annabel
4 years ago
Reply to  Denis

Well, in 2017 a similar song actually won!! ahahah Vintage is the new trending!

Hada
Hada
4 years ago
Reply to  annabel

There’s vintage and then there’s just old. This one’s just old.

Kai
Kai
4 years ago

so all the 1st and 2nd places from UK were totally political….

Charli Cheer Up
Charli Cheer Up
4 years ago

The UK finished poorly in 2012 because the way the song was presentated on stage wasn’t in trend with the rest of the competitors. Times are changing now. After 5 hopeless years, I’m glad BBC finally got it right with Lucie Jones’ staging. Let’s just put this “Europe hates us!” excuse behind now.

Stan
Stan
4 years ago

I still listen to Tooji… He deserved better…

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
4 years ago
Reply to  Stan

Not when he robbed Sofi Marinova’s place in the final. The good sis certainly wouldn’t have come last.

Möhrant
Möhrant
4 years ago

Definitely politics is the reason he came second last, not the dull song with mediocre staging at all. Furthermore, it’s not like we had a winner this year from a country with only one neighbour to vote for them as well. Oh wait 😛

Jokes aside, such a typical UK attitude towards Eurovision – no accountability for bad results at all and blaming everyone else.

Peter Baston
Peter Baston
4 years ago

Talk about sour grapes! It was an outdated entry and the Hump really sealed his lowly position with that off-key wail at the end.

Fatima
Fatima
4 years ago

The vintage Wiwibloggs was more interesting than anything Englebert had to say.

Darius
Darius
4 years ago

At least the grannies were funny, and sweet. Comparing to him, an old-fashioned man, stuck in the 60’s….. UK deserved their bad scores in most of their Eurovision efforts. Let’s put BIG5 in the semifinals as well, and we’ll see if they’ll put much effort into sending betters songs.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
4 years ago
Reply to  Darius

@Darius: Aye. COMEDY, if done right, will be rewarded, regardless of age. That is why the Babushki finished second. I don’t know which internal selection decision was THE worst by the U.K., sending 76-year-old dinosaur Humperdinck or sending Electro Velvet 3 years later. And you’re absolutely right…Maybe it is time to take away the Big 5’s free passes and force them to compete in the semis. Italy has been the only country pulling their weight, year-in and year-out, since they returned in 2011. France just recently got back in the game (Amir and Alma). Too early to tell if the… Read more »

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
4 years ago
Reply to  Darius

Agree, would be amazing if they cancled the Big 5 thing

Griffin
Griffin
4 years ago

Yeah a global star, 40 years ago.

Siranush
Siranush
4 years ago

Now here is someone who doesn’t understand the spirit of the contest. I mean there are some politics involved, but cmon, have some fun! (???)

Luke
Luke
4 years ago

My country (UK) should be top 5 every year as we have the biggest music industry in Europe but because we are sending songs that wouldn’t even chart in this country that’s why we are always so low, I think this year was a good entry Lucie’s voice was amazing , the staging was the best this year which that combination brought the song to life it should have been top 5, If BBC started taking the contest seriously and put the money into next years national final they will get us a good result

Regina Phalange
Regina Phalange
4 years ago

Or maybe his song and vocals were absolutely dreadful. I don’t know, just saying…

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
4 years ago

I can’t help but notice a little bit of “sass” in this article. 😀
As for what Englebert (or Arnold) actually said… he’s entitled to his opinion; it doesn’t change the facts. He was 60th in the charts, 1st in the running order that night, his live vocals were not flawless, he was outperformed by very strong competition. (However, he does have a good point about the Russian grannies).

Information
Information
4 years ago

In 2009 UK was 5th. You just need good song. God.

Charli Cheer Up
Charli Cheer Up
4 years ago
Reply to  Information

Exactly! Politics my ass. Blue got 5th in televotes in 2011. This year Lucie Jones got 10th in juries alone.

Teddy
Teddy
4 years ago

It was an uninspiring song sung rather poorly for someone of his stature on a stage that was boring. That’s a trifecta right there.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
4 years ago

From his comments, it is just clear that he doesn’t understand the contest.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
4 years ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

Which, I imagine, made the U.K.’s selection of him even harder for many to accept.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
4 years ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

Once more, by selecting him to represent, it made it pretty clear that the people on that 2012 U.K. selection committee ALSO didn’t understand the contest.

FrazzyB
FrazzyB
4 years ago

Politics definitely does play a part. Israeli jury said the UK song was the worst in the 2017 final and we came 22nd in the televote even with a great song great performance and great staging

mad-professor
mad-professor
4 years ago

Someone’s got the Hump.

Alex
Alex
4 years ago

The big issue is that his vocals were not as good as they should’ve been. If you’re going to be the only vocalist in the song then you’d better be spot-on, and he just wasn’t. He even changed the key in order to sing better, and was still off. The grannies may not have been “global artists” by his definition, but they still sounded good. You might be famous, but you still have to sing well to do well at Eurovision. Look at what happened to Cascada after Natalie sang way off-sync from the song, or Bonnie Tyler who just… Read more »

Jo
Jo
4 years ago

I’m surprised that he didn’t come last.
Bad song, the running order was the last thing to be worried about.
I guess Germany, Italy and Spain in the Top 10 was also about politics.

Darth Thulhu
Darth Thulhu
4 years ago

Padraig wrote:
One wonders how long it took him to come up with such a highly original theory…

Padraig also wrote:
how else could a “global star” such as himself — who’s last UK top ten single was in 1969

I’m going to need some topical cream to help me deal with these sick burns.

Mattias Sollerman
Mattias Sollerman
4 years ago
Reply to  Darth Thulhu

“Amazingly, said politics must have rubbed off on the British record-buying public too.”

Martin C
Martin C
4 years ago

Talk about being a sore loser! The reason why Englebert did so poorly at Eurovision was because his song wasn’t strong enough and his vocals were very shaky on the night. To blame politics on his downfall at Eurovision is very petty and any country can do well at Eurovision if they come with the right song (e.g. Portugal 2017). Englebert just needs to accept that he wasn’t good enough on the night and that he should have came to Eurovision with a better song

Paul D.
Paul D.
4 years ago

Engelbert needs to take a seat

Darth Thulhu
Darth Thulhu
4 years ago
Reply to  Paul D.

Yeah. I was OK with most of the curmudgeonly complaining, which isn’t anything worse than what dozens of Eurovision acts go on about over the years … but when he started trying to slam the babushkas for not being “global stars”, he can stick it where the midnight sun don’t shine.

Sorry, Prince Humperdinck, but the grandmothers without great singing voices still put on a MUCH better performance than you did, “global star” or no.

William Lee Adams
Admin
4 years ago

Awwww. that’s sweet. I’ll tell him you say hello!! <3

William Lee Adams
Admin
4 years ago

lol. blast from the past with that very early review video hahaha! this video should have been burned in the land of fire!

Darth Thulhu
Darth Thulhu
4 years ago

Just give the video to Padraig, who is matter-of-factly slinging pure deadpan-fire.

Jo
Jo
4 years ago

hahahahahaha

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
4 years ago

Y’all thought he would do top 5 or top 10 towards the ten mess

Xeph
Xeph
4 years ago

If the UK took this contest as seriously as Sweden does they’d finish in the top 3 every single year.

Ich
Ich
4 years ago

He flopped because his song was terrible.

CharlieChan33
CharlieChan33
4 years ago
Reply to  Ich

Agree