The confirmation for Tel Aviv keep rolling in. Today the BBC has confirmed that the United Kingdom will participate in Eurovision 2019. The Big Five nation will again use their national final, Eurovision: You Decide.
It will be the fourth year the BBC has used Eurovision: You Decide to select their entry for Eurovision. The contest will operate much the same as it has in previous years. But this year, the initial emphasis is on songwriting, rather than artists.
— BBC Eurovision?? (@bbceurovision) September 19, 2018
The BBC will seek songs from “leading professional songwriters”, with help from the BBC’s new music consultant Greig Watts. Watts replaces Hugh Goldsmith who previously held the role on the You Decide team. Watts has recent Eurovision experience — he was involved with the two most recent Polish Eurovision entries, as well as Melfest 2018 entry “All the Feels”.
Entries are also open to the general public. As in previous years, these songs will be short-listed by the OGAE UK fan club. While it’s not explicitly stated, it is implied that this year the BBC is initially looking for songs, rather than artists.
Watts has spoken about his role in the contest, saying, “I’m looking forward to working with the team to get the strongest possible song and result we can for the UK, like we do on the world music stage.” This echoes the wish of many fans who have wondered by the UK — who has an internationally successful music industry — has seemingly been unable to mirror that success with its Eurovision entries.
The music consultant also offers some clues as to what sort of song the BBC will be looking for this year. He notes that there’s no winning Eurovision formula, and says, “I’m looking for melodic songs with impact for the arena as well as on TV. Songs that instantly hit you and never leave your brain!”
Entries are now open for Eurovision: You Decide 2019. More information can be found at the BBC. The standard Eurovision rules apply, and the BBC will only accept one song per songwriter.
Eurovision: You Decide 2019 will be broadcast on BBC Two. The BBC will confirm more details about the show later in the year.
Three years of Eurovision: You Decide
The introduction of Eurovision: You Decide in 2016 followed five years of internal selection with mixed results, from Blue’s 11th-place finish in 2011 to Electro Velvet’s disastrous five-points flop in 2015.
The first winners of You Decide were The Voice singers Joe and Jake, whose uplifting song “You’re Not Alone” was musically well received but criticised for its poor staging. It placed 24th in Stockholm.
The following year, X Factor contestant and West End star Lucie Jones sang the uplifting song “Never Give Up on You”, which placed 15th in Kyiv — the UK’s best result since Blue.
And in Lisbon, fan favourite SuRie delivered the uplifting song “Storm”. Her grand final performance was interrupted by a stage invader, but SuRie admirably recovered. She declined the opportunity to perform again and eventually placed 24th.
So the question remains, will Eurovision: You Decide 2019 deliver another uplifting song to Eurovision?
What do you think? What sort of song should the UK send to Tel Aviv? Who would you like to see represent the UK at Eurovision 2019? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!