New year, new format. The UK’s Eurovision: You Decide returns in 2019, with the BBC tweaking the song selection process slightly, along with a new location.

One thing certainly remains the same – Mel Giedroyc and Måns Zelmerlöw will be back together again, having presented the show’s 2018 edition.

Eurovision: You Decide 2019

You Decide will take place in the BBC’s MediaCity UK hub in Salford, in the North West of England. No exact date has been given, but it will be some time in February 2019.

As in previous years, six acts will compete to try and fly the UK flag in Tel Aviv. But this time, they’re only going to be singing one of three songs.

Each song will be performed in two musically different ways, by two different acts. Those two acts will face off in three-rounds of “song-offs”, which will help determine the final pairing of song and act to go forward to Eurovision 2019.

It’s a fairly similar format to Unser Song 2017, Germany’s selection for Kyiv – although Levina’s result wasn’t particularly a huge success at the time. Let’s hope that the UK will be able to turn that around!

Speaking about the change, Mel Balac, Creative Director for Entertainment BBC Studios and Executive Producer of Eurovision: You Decide said: “This year the three songs presented to the United Kingdom have been selected with the help of an international jury. Our exciting “euro-version” format will give fans the chance to compare and contrast these fantastic songs in a fresh, new way and deliver the United Kingdom the artist it deserves to fly the flag out in Tel Aviv in May.”

The show will also feature live music performances from guest artists. Ken Bruce – the UK’s radio commentator for Eurovision – will also broadcast his morning show on Radio 2 from the venue on the day of You Decide.

New head of delegation

Today’s press release also revealed the identity of the UK’s new Head of Delegation for Eurovision.

It’s Andrew Cartmell, who’s previously worked on ‘All Together Now’, ‘Let It Shine’, and ‘Strictly: It Takes Two’.

Are you excited for the new look You Decide? Do you think that the change in format will help the UK select a stronger package for Tel Aviv? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments section.

Read more UK Eurovision news here

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Fredrik
Guest
Fredrik

Some fans say UK will never win because of brexit and Macedonia,Belarus and San marino says Europe hates them. I dont believe that. I believe if Netta competed for UK,Belarus,Macedonia,San Marino it would still have won:) Its the song that wins, not the country 🙂

Ezz
Guest
Ezz

exactly if Portugal can win after being in the contest for how long, without ever being in the top 5 and not winning, and Israel after 20 years, literally any country can win with the right song and performer, so know its time for countries without a win and the Uk to start winning again,

It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's
Guest
It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's

Why compare the UK to countries like San Marino and Macedonia?

Ezz
Guest
Ezz

I think its because those countries haven’t had good results throughout the years and have struggled, like the UK even though the Uk have 5 wins, but know is struggling for votes from Europe. but I’m hoping this International Jury vote to help pick our potential song, gives us a little chance to do well

It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's
Guest
It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's

Yeah, but I think it’s harsh to compare the UK to a country whose highest place in 24th in the final. I’d compare the UK to a country like Iceland or Ireland.

Ezz
Guest
Ezz

yeah I get that, absolutely you make a good point because Iceland and Ireland aren’t the powerhouses they used to be, I don’t know I just hope next year, one of the underrated countries including the UK come out with a win, who knows finally we might have a decent song

iming
Guest
iming

god the Uk is not a victim, stop trying to make that happen, its not gonna happen. No one hates the UK, we just dont care.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Like Switzerland, why change your national selection so drastically when it was improving year upon year?
It reeks of having no longterm plan in place and is a major way of putting better artists off competing.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

My congrats and best of luck to Andrew Cartmell for becoming UK HoD. There is some continuity to Guy Freeman there – they both worked on one of my favourite live vocal shows on the BBC (“Let it Shine”). And with Graham Norton presenting it too! Small world. They probably all share quite a few credits, being in the same industry and roles. Just to note: This is not the “Andrew Cartmel” that was once the Script Editor of Doctor Who. He is a different person. Although it could happen in some universe, it hasn’t happened on this occasion. Yes,… Read more »

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Why would the UK leave? There’s been nothing to suggest that.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Indeed, the BBC certainly remain “committed” to Eurovision. (There is a pun there.) 😀
I am greatful for the BBC support over many decades, although I can definitely feel the “winds of change” coming. Answer TBC in the 2020s perhaps?

fan
Guest
fan

This process should be explained before people spend time and money sending in songs, as it changes the whole concept. It is one thing writing for 1 particular artist, but a completely different thing writing a song that can be performed by various artists !! What a disgrace.

Azuro
Guest
Azuro

Sounds to me like only 3 halfway decent songs were submitted and the BBC didn’t want such a quick show.

Tomás davitt
Guest
Tomás davitt

Yep, I think you’re completely right there.

Also there’s a bit of security in that if you have a good song and the singer messes it up (Circle of Light) – with this format the other singer can save the day so you don’t lose a great song.

Ezz
Guest
Ezz

i wonder what countries are picking the songs, if its the international juries, but already that’s a smart move from the BBC, compared to how they’d normally do it, fair play

Jack
Guest
Jack

I applaud BBC for taking a new approach and risky change with You Decide but it does leave all of us optimistic and nervous at the same time, I’m glad an international jury is choosing the 3 songs that will progress to the live televised final because the OGAE didn’t do a good job rounding down the shortlists past 3 years and in recent years quite a lot of countries have improved their results in ESC with help of international juries in their selection. Not abiding these comparison’s to Germany’s disastrous format in 2017 as that was just a multi-round… Read more »

Ezz
Guest
Ezz

Although the concept of six acts and 3 songs is unusual at the beginning, give a little credit to the BBC, for adding a little change to the format, I mean people keep saying it wont work because of Germany using the same format 2 years ago and them coming last, but why does that mean we will automatically come last, remember Lena 2010, all I hope is we have a good catchy, fun song, with a great singer, and who knows we may do better than 24th place.

Lila
Guest
Lila

Sounds unnecessary and that they’re only doing it this way for the sake of changing their own format. National finals are best kept simple — each artist competes with their own song and one will win. None of these unnecessary duels and sharing songs, this isn’t The Voice.

It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's
Guest
It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's

People are too quick to judge. Yes, Germany used this method 2 years ago (which was a trainwreck), but they also did in 2010 and 2012 (winning in 2010 and 8th place in 2012). People are behaving just like when JOWST was rejected, like I said before no one has the right to complain until they hear the songs.

The format is very befuddling and not very straightforward, but it’s probably going to go either way.

ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)
Guest
ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)

I hope the interval act will be as good as this year. Honestly, the ABBA medley by Lucie and Mans was the best performance of the whole show 😀

Geo
Guest
Geo

I predict: Another selection and another dreadful song. UK should be thankful is a part of the Big 5, otherwise…no grand final. Not in a milion years, with such boring and not appealing songs…

It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's
Guest
It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's

Got a crystal ball have you?

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Sounds like a difficult trick to pull off. First because it’s not natural to compose a song that right away can fit two different styles. So they’ll have to pick “songs that can fit this idea” and those won’t necessarily be the best songs available. Even if they manage to find the right songs (last year they failed to bring songs that were good enough in just one genre), the audience will pay more attention to the perfomers than to the songs. Not mentioning those who’ll always push for their favorite genre. This can lead to a terrible choice.

avner
Guest
avner

The 2017 German selection process was a major screw-up because it was done wrong. The erred by by separating artists choice from song choice and allowing the jury to mess it up. Perfect life was sung by both Axel Feige and Levina in the artist-choice phase, and Axel did a better job IMHO; but since Levina was the better singer overall, she was selected. When it came to choosing the song, the jury pushed the idea of an upbeat song so Perfect Life was chosen despite not even being Levina’s best song that evening. Result – 25th place in the… Read more »

Paul
Guest
Paul

I don’t get it? So there’s 3 songs, with a vote between the style of each song then a final vote between the 3 songs with their voted styles? Or does it work somehow different?

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

I’m sorry, but this concept is not good at all… As already mentioned, it kinda sounds like what we(Germany)did in 2017 and… what can I say, it was pretty damn bad. I really want the UK to do well, but this will probably not work. Let’s look at this year:The selection itself wasn’t the problem (You Decide is a pretty standard selection), it was the songs. Apart from “Legends” (which had a pretty bad performer) and “You”there was nothing good, special or outstanding there. Just choose 6 great songs (or just interesting ones)and you’ll be fine.

It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's
Guest
It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's

Didn’t you have one like this in 2010/2012 too?

Joe
Guest
Joe

Fingers crossed that they know what they’re doing.

Liam Lindsay
Guest
Liam Lindsay

Let’s just wait for the songs before we jump the gun. At least they’re trying and for the BBC that’s a big ask

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

SALFORD? I’m cackling at the random city choice. As for the format, it’s not looking good.

Paul
Guest
Paul

How is it random? That’s where media city is….

It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's
Guest
It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's

Salford is pretty much in Manchester…

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

The Voice UK comes from Salford, along with many other shows across ITV & BBC so it’s not that remarkable. Probably cheaper than doing an outside broadcast like Brighton.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

It’s not random. The BBC’s main premises relocated to Salford many years ago. So it’s practical for them.
Also, us fans get to ride the Manchester tram. 🙂

James
Guest
James

Someone didn’t do their research.

Anna
Guest
Anna

Oh my… I already don’t like this. Prove me wrong, BBC I beg u.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Is Edward af Sillén writing the script again?

I’m happy to see Mel back again, I’m sure she has the intelligence and sense of humor to write her own jokes. I still think it’s kinda weird to rope in the Swedes…

James
Guest
James

Probably not. He’ll have to split his time between this and Melfest if he is indeed doing double duty but quality of either or both shows, in whatever creative capacity he has, might be affected.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Mel Giederoyc can improvise her own script. She’s fantastic. But we would have to move the show till after the watershed. 🙂 I could always write the script. Here goes… “Welcome to ‘Eurovision: You Decide’. A show that we put on to fool the public into thinking they have a choice over what song the UK sends to the Eurovision Song Contest. In reality, the BBC has pre-arranged the winning song well in advance. Oh, wait… apparently I wasn’t supposed to read that, erm, ‘advisory note’. I really don’t know how that made it onto the autocue! I’m so very… Read more »

voix
Guest
voix

is it me or the disaster is coming? instead of having more songs and credible acts they follow a strategy that rarely is succesfull…

escger
Guest
escger

Just sayin that this method didn’t work well for Germany in 2017, it even failed completely!!

It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's
Guest
It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's

It worked for them in 2010 and 2012 though. Yes 2017 was a nightmare!

Lee Fearn
Guest
Lee Fearn

It doesn’t mean it won’t work well for the UK. I applaud the BBC for trying something different.

Eastman
Guest
Eastman

3 songs? Was this a costcutting measure or did they not get enough good songs submitted. I wonder how Jowst is feeling right now!

Gavin
Guest
Gavin

I can see Jowsts song being very specific and well crafted in its genre and not transferable. I’m not keen on the new ideafor this reason, I’m glad the BBC are showing an interest however

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

I am really wary of anything that gives audiences a chance to vote twice, like superfinals or the format Germany used in 2017. It creates a voting situation that doesn’t exist in Eurovision, where most viewers only hear the song once before voting. Weird things happen in NFs that use voting like this – and it usually never turns out well.

Lee Fearn
Guest
Lee Fearn

It worked well for the UK in 2009.

Jackqulen
Guest

It works out fine for Estonia though *thinking emoji*

Lila
Guest
Lila

Does it though? I don’t think Kerli would agree.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

That happens a lot in Iceland too. Artist A wins the first vote in the semi final, artist B comes second. Then in the superfinal – for some strange reason – artist B wins. And then goes on to flop at Eurovision. Hungary is about the only country where the superfinal system works, possibly because the jury pretty much has the power to pick the superfinalists.

AndersP
Guest
AndersP

Last year the best song was performed by the worst performer and the worst song by the best singer. I have faith that the songs will be good. I’m excited.

John
Guest

Love the location and the presenters but this format just doesn’t work! It was terrible for Germany in 2017 – the final was Levina versus Levina because she was the best singer, but she wasn’t the best choice for the song that won in the end. Too many variables.
I just hope they have some good artists and songwriters this year because it seems like a bit of a cost-cutting measure.

James
Guest
James

In Unser Song 2017, all competing artists each sang a version of the same two songs in contention. Basically, this was a free for all as the artists essentially were competing against themselves as well and one of them either winning with a song they like or loathe. In this particular case from my understanding, the three rounds will see two of the six UK finalists compete against each other with their version of the song for that round. The winner will advance to the final round of the competition. So basically, in a supposed “superfinal”, we’ll see the three… Read more »

William Tench
Guest
William Tench

I don’t think having less songs to choose from is entirely wise.

marcus (Day One)
Guest
marcus (Day One)

So a similar format to 2008 when the UK finished last?

It just seems like a stupid idea to be honest.

Why not just have the 6 songs and an international jury (and actually reveal the results not just say who won)

It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's
Guest
It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's

The 2008 NF, each singer had their own song. Germany did the same thing in 2010 and 2012, when 6 singers would perform 3/4 songs!

It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's
Guest
It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's

So this is similar to what Germany did in 2010/2012. I’m glad the format has changed, let’s hope none of the songs are safe and bland like last year.