Eurovision news has been coming thick and fast over the past few days, and now it’s time for the UK to join in. The BBC have revealed the six artists and three songs that will be competing in Eurovision: You Decide 2019.
As in previous years, six acts will compete to try and fly the UK flag in Tel Aviv. They are Michael Rice, Holly Tandy, Jordan Clarke, girl-group MAID, Kerrie-Ann and Anisa.
But this time, they’re only going to be singing one of three songs: “Bigger Than Us”, “Freaks” and “Sweet Lies”.
In a press release, the BBC revealed more about the format of this year’s show. Each song will be performed in two musically different ways, by two of the aforementioned artists. Following the three ‘song-offs’, the expert judges will decide which act and version of the song will go forward to the final and public vote.
The final three acts will then perform their version of the songs again. The voting lines will subsequently be opened and the public will choose which song and act will get the ticket to Tel Aviv to represent the United Kingdom at Eurovision 2019.
And now we know exactly who will be going up against each other in the three ‘song-offs’.
Song-Off 1 – “Bigger Than Us”
“Bigger Than Us” is written by a plethora of songwriters with Eurovision experience. This includes Laurell Barker, who wrote Asanda’s “Legends” for You Decide 2018, and Switzerland’s Eurovision 2018 entry “Stones”. Melodifestivalen 2018 and 2019 contestant John Lundvik, as well as Anna-Klara Folin who co-wrote John’s Melfest 2018 entry are also on the writing team. Jonas Thander, another co-writer of “My Turn”, has also worked on Donny Montell’s Eurovision 2016 song “I’ve Been Waiting For This Night”, as well as contribute to hit singles like Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” and Ariana Grande’s “Focus”.
Artist 1 – Michael Rice
Style: soul-filled ballad
Michael Rice won the BBC singing show All Together Now in 2018. He notes that his favourite Eurovision winners are Salvador Sobral and Måns Zelmerlöw.
“My version of Bigger Than Us is such an epic, big song with a big key change and harmonies, and I think the lyrics resonate with everyone. “Bigger Than Us” is about love, coming together, it’s a really powerful song. You just connect with it. It’s all about emotion”
Artist 2 – Holly Tandy
Style: country pop
Holly Tandy will be known to British viewers after she made it through to the live shows of The X Factor UK in 2017.
“My version of Bigger Than Us is a country pop song which is really current and cool, and similar to a Taylor Swift / Miley Cyrus vibe. To me “Bigger Than Us” is about love. It’s so much bigger than all of us, and no matter what’s going on in the world – love is huge.”
Song-Off 2 – “Freaks”
“Freaks” is written by Corey Sanders, Jon Maguire and Red Triangle. Red Triangle are made up of producer and songwriter Rick Parkhouse and songwriter and lyricist George Tizzard, who have between them sold over 10 million records and worked with artists such as Take That, David Guetta, Charlie Puth, 5 Seconds of Summer and Fleur East.
Artist 1 – Jordan Clarke
Style: pop rock
Jordan Clarke is best known for his appearance on Britain’s Got Talent in 2013 as part of the group The Luminites. The quartet’s audition was viewed 13 million times and they went onto reach the final.
“My version of Freaks has a rock element to a pop song, it has a strong vocal with an anthem vibe – I wanna get the crowd singing along! To represent my country at Eurovision would mean so much, it’s like representing England at the World Cup if you’re a footballer, this is my World Cup – I’m so excited!”
Artist 2 – MAID
Style: dark pop
Girl-group MAID are composed of Miracle, Blythe and Kat, who met in drama school. Blythe is currently the understudy for the UK’s Eurovision 2009 act Jade Ewen in Aladdin on the West End. Meanwhile Miracle and Kat name their facourite Eurovision entries as ABBA and Salvador Sobral respectively.
“Freaks is about celebrating everyone’s individual personality, about the people who maybe don’t fit in and it’s about bringing everyone together. Our version of Freaks is quite ethereal and dark.”
Song-Off 3 – “Sweet Lies”
“Sweet Lies” also has some Eurovision experience on the writing team. Lise Cabble wrote Eurovision 2013 winning song “Only Teardrops”, and Esben Svane was a part of Denmark’s 2011 Eurovision act A Friend In London. The team also includes Maria Broberg from Sweden, who scored a top 5 radio hit in Poland with her version of ‘Superstar’, with DJ Mandee.
Artist 1 – Kerrie-Ann
Style: dance anthem
Kerrie-Anne is a former teacher who used to live and work in Dubai. She has previously learnt a number of pop songs in different languages, including Tagalog, Spanish, Korean and Italian.
“The style of my song is up-tempo but at the same time the lyrics are quite poignant – it’s all about blissful ignorance. You know something is drastically wrong with your relationship but you choose to ignore those signs because you love that person. To represent the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest would be an absolute honour. I feel a sense of duty towards my country and I want to make my country proud, and I want to show everyone the UK has a lot of fun going on.”
Artist 2 – Anisa
Style: emotional ballad
Anisa has some experience of working with a Eurovision artist, as she has co-written the next single for Sweden’s 2016 representative Frans. Prior to this she was named by the BBC Asian Network as one of its ‘Future Sounds’ in 2016 and has supported Ne-Yo, Brandy, Ashanti, James Arthur and Bridget Kelly. She also co-wrote “Piano” for Ariana Grande’s number one debut album.
“I always like ballads so I took the tempo down, added loads of harmonies, loads of layers and lots of backing vocals – I wanted to get the emotion across. “Sweet Lies” is about being in a situation in life and taking the good with the bad, about being vulnerable and diving in head first. Eurovision is such a big platform and there’s nothing else like it. The best music is coming from the UK. It’s the Olympics of music and song.”
Eurovision: You Decide 2019
Eurovision: You Decide will take place on Friday 8th February.
The show will be filmed at Dock10 in Media City UK in Salford, Greater Manchester. This takes the national final to the North West of England for the very first time.
Unlike the 2018 show, tickets for this year’s national final will be free. They will be allocated via a ballot, which can be applied for at Lost In TV. There’s a minimum age of 16 and under 18-year-olds must be accompanied by an adult. The dress code is “party fabulous”.
And because it’s a television studio, further restrictions apply. No food or drink can be brought into the studio, and mobile phones are not allowed. Honestly, we’re not sure we could cope without a phone, but sometimes you just have to make sacrifices.
Eurovision: You Decide will again be hosted by former Great British Bake Off star Mel Giedroyc and Eurovision winner Måns Zelmerlöw. The 90-minute-long show will be broadcast live on BBC Two.
The performances will be judged by a celebrity panel and the public televote, who will eventually decide who SuRie’s successor will be.
What do you make of the six songs and three artists revealed by the BBC? Who do you think will win each ‘song-off’? Which artist are you routing for to win the ticket to Tel Aviv? Sound off in the comments below?
Jordan Clarke is the best entry by far,and with a good visual performance will do well n Israel
The winner is likely to be decided by remarks from the “expert judges” on the night. I imagine they will sway enough voters one way or another. So let’s hope they pick people who’ll recognise what might make an impact in Tel Aviv.
My choice would be Michael Rice. He’s a bit less unimportant than the rest
Holly’s Bigger Than Us is the most okay option. Not great, but the most listenable. And she looks somewhat like Lucie Jones, it could be a good sign. The rest 5 songs are just meh.
kerrie anne winner!
Really beautiful! Wikipedia says he’s revealing his entry on 7th March, though. Is this officially his entry? Will it be released earlier?
As usually, the songs just don’t feel authentic, they’re too formulaic, too obviously written with a certain pattern in mind. There is now “wow” effect to them. I literally find every single song in the French national more interesting than what the UK has put on the table (and the same goes for the Albanian NF).
It’s so unfair to have to listen to this garbage every single year on ESC final!
No quality, no determination, no change, nothing to suggest an intention. Of course Graham Norton will say “flawless” , then put the blame on the Europeans: “Oh, we don’t have many neighbors” bla bla.
Same old story.
British people and ESC fans deserve better.
As usual UK will send a crap song and will end up in bottom 5. Flop…
and than acting surprised, they will complaint people don’t vote for UK
From a non english speaker:
1) Jordan Clarke – Freaks
2) Michael Rice – Bigger than us
3) Holly Tandy – Bigger than us
4) Anisa – Sweet Lies
5) Maid – Freaks
6) Kerrie-Anne – Sweet Lies
Let’s wait for the staging.,
My Top 6 for UK: You Decide ?
#1 – Sweet Lies (Kerrie-Anne)
#2 – Bigger Than Us (Holly Tandy)
#3 – Bigger Than Us (Michael Rice)
#4 – Sweet Lies (Anisa)
#5 – Freaks (Jordan Clarke)
#6 – Freaks (MAID)
1. Bigger than us- Michael Rice
2. Freaks- Jordan Clarke
3. Bigger than us- Holly Tandy
4. Freaks- MAID
5. Sweet lies- Anisa
6. Sweet lies- Kerrie-Anne
I didn’t like Freaks at all when I first heard both songs, but Jordan’s version has grown on me a lot 🙂
Finally, BBC is using proper studio recordings allowing the songs to be produced in different manners. Previous years the songs sounded like temporary demo versions and with a very similar sound. Great improvement!
I enjoyed Jordan’s quirky version of Freaks the best
Unrelated as heck, but Destination Eurovision final is only in two days and we’d like to have your review on the final songs, or maybe a re-poll.
Ummm. I do not know what to say besides GOOD LUCK U.K. Ask the Irish if you can use their leprechauns because you might need them.
Anisa certainly likes and is influenced by Brandy (my favourite artist). You go girl! Vocal bible would be proud. Although I’m worried about those harmonies live. Overall good songs, but unfortunately none of those has that oomph factor I am looking for. Rice with that sweet and sour chicken seems like the best option though. Ugh, I’m getting hungry…
The songs of the United Kingdom are good. Perhaps, it would be interesting for next year to have more songs in the pre-selection but very well. Cheer up! Surely the United Kingdom will carry a great song. From Spain.
My ranking after having listened to the 6 songs : 1st) Michael Rice with ‘Bigger Than Us. I don’t like the lyrics, they’re so generic. But I connected to the song thanks to Michael’s voice and the melody. It would be THE perfect song and artist to send for UK. 2nd) Kerrie-Ann with ‘Sweet Lies’. I expected so much from it ! I’m a little bit disappointed. That’s a dance song that doesn’t really make me wanna dance. Plus the refrain’s lyrics are so repetitive. I still appreciate it though, but I don’t want that song anymore for representing UK… Read more »
Unfortunately with these anything in TOP20 will be a success. Shame really, because I would like to see UK in TOP3 like in the good ol’ days.
My ranking after have listened the 6 songs 1st) Michael Rice with ‘Bigger Than Us. I don’t like the lyrics, they’re so generic. But I connected to the song thanks to Michael’s voice and the melody of the song. It would be THE perfect song and artist to send for UK. 2nd) Kerrie-Ann with ‘Sweet Lies’. I expected so much from that song ! I’m a little bit disappointed of it. That’s a dance song that doesn’t really make me wanna dance. Plus the refeain’s lyrics are so repetitive. I still appreciate it, but I don’t want it anymore for… Read more »
‘My version of Bigger Than Us is a country pop song which is really current and cool, and similar to a Taylor Swift / Miley Cyrus vibe etc’. Hmm … no girl. The lyrics and the melody of your generic song has nothing similar with Taylor Swift’s country pop songs. Love from a Swiftie 😉
I am liking Freaks, both versions, but Jordan’s has the edge, and I think if the song is tweaked/developed between now and May it could stand out even more
I think the format of the show is the main flaw here. Having to find two genres for each song means that each song is typecast so strongly into two specific genres that they end up sounding very generic. A generic dance song, a generic ballad… I think the two versions of Bigger Than Us are the best songs. Michael’s is well performed and pretty good but it sounds so much like an ‘I’ve just won X Factor’ song that it sounds like we’ve heard it before! My favourite of the bunch is Holly’s version of it. It’s a pleasant… Read more »
The two versions offered I find are very similar. At least make them individual and unique. It’s a stupid mess of a show and it’s not even begun. And almost ridiculous—- watch 6 acts— oh but you can’t vote, only the panel can, you can pick after. Uh!
I’m gonna use ‘Freaks’ as my example, primarily because that chorus has been swimming around my brain all day like a bloody demented goldfish! The lyrics will never win any songwriting awards, let’s face it, but basing the chorus around Pachelbel’s ‘Canon in D’ is a stroke of genius and as mentioned before is the reason it’s been a monumental earworm. So let’s hypothetically say ‘Freaks’ wins You Decide. How can we stage it for maximum effect? I’m gonna borrow a couple of our Swedish friends. They seem to know how to crack the Eurovision stage. #melfest Jordan wins scenario.… Read more »
Song-Off 1 – Holly Tandy
Song-Off 2 – MAID
cool and contemporary. there is something about this song that is appealing. although, i wont put it on my personal playlist
Song-Off 3 – Kerrie-Ann
we are going to disco. nice and catchy uptempo song. i have to say i like both versions of this song.
I agree with Dani. Great singers, great production, but the songs are just not good enough to do well at Eurovision.
“Bigger Than Us”: I like both. Michael has a very beautiful deep voice and it’s important to a song like that. Holly’s song is more modern and up-beat. though. However I think I prefer Michael’s version. “Freaks” is my least favourite song of the 3. Maid’s version sounds better. It’s more dark pop. It’s more interesting and you want to see this live. Jordan’s version sounds more anthemic. However, neither of these songs is my favourite. “Sweet lies” I think is the most interesting sing-off. Kerrie-Ann ‘s version is more up-beat, which I love. It has an immediate impact, it… Read more »
I think these guys would do it better.
I don’t really see why the BBC don’t hand it over. ITV is the self imposed ‘home of entertainment’ and would do a far superior job. It would also inject funds into the selection process that the BBC just isn’t, and most importantly churn out some decent talent with a decent song that may just win. I really don’t understand what the BBC are gaining from it, they obviously have no interest in it, neither televising nor hosting, are completely of touch with Europe’s tastes in 20XX, and it’s surely not a huge ratings grabber!
From what I understand, having spoken to some Beeb staff in the recent past, there is a genuine interest in the ESC at the BBC. In those cases, there is a love of the contest – they are ESC fans. What the BBC does not have is the wider UK pop industry “on side”, or the budget to do something huge. They are painfully aware of this. Also in principal, the broadcaster should reflect the culture of how the country sees Eurovision. Could it be that the UK sees Eurovision fans as “Freaks”, and that this was reflected by one… Read more »
Usual rubbish from the UK. Do any really scream top 10? Absolutely not! And we get a pass to the final? It’s beyond a joke now BBC. Why do you never learn??
I am sorry, reading all the comments I know that I am not mainstream and I know that this will be massively downvoted but: “Sweet Lies” sounds good, but also like 10 times heard before, whereas I would give MAID at least Top 15 for harmonies, message and melody. <3 The UK needs an "alternative song", no dance bop or Fuego 2.0. Be risky! MAID can score Top 15 in Tel Aviv! I am not kidding, I swear!!!
Sweet Lies – I like both versions, giving a slight edge to Kerrie-Anne for the impact
Freaks – Jordan, definitely
Bigger Than Us – both versions are nice, still undecided
Most songs are pretty decent, but quite safe choices.
Ranking these songs honestly
Bigger than us, Michael rice 12th-17th place
Bigger than us, Holly Tandy 13th-19th place
Freaks- 17th-20th place
Freaks- Maid- 18th-22nd place
the bop (My Fav Please vote), Sweet Lies Kerrie-Anne- honestly 10th-14th place
Sweet Lies- 14th-16th place
It’s only January and already we know who is finishing last this year. I knew that the standard of songs was going to be low but I never thought it would be THIS LOW. The songs are absolutely horrendous.
They haven’t finished last in the past 8 years, but everybody’s been pegging a UK entry on last place since then.
A couple of penultimate finishes, yes, but it has been above the Top 20 five times within the decade: 2009 (5th), 2011 (11th; Top 5 in the televote), 2013 (19th), 2014 (17th), and 2017 (15th; and Top 10 in the jury vote).
Studio versions ranked in order of my preference after a second listen: 6th – Jordan Clarke – Freaks 5th – Bigger than us – Holly Tandy 4th – Lies – Kerrie Ann 3rd – Freaks – MAID 2nd – Lies – Anisa 1st – Bigger – Michael Rice Mike, providing he can hit those big notes live are what makes the song stand out from the others here. It just needs a BIGGER ending. I don’t care that it’s repetitive. It’s competing against 40 odd other songs, so anything that sounds like a earworm will be memorable. It has that… Read more »
Hands down it has to be Kerrie-Anne. By a country mile!
If any of these songs were to go, here would be my foretelling for each of them:
Michael Rice = 11th-17th
Holly Tandy = 14th-18th
Jordan Clarke = 20th-24th
MAID = F*CKING LAST
Kerrie-Anne = 4th-10th (Yes, I’m optimistic about this one)
Arisa = 21st-25th
All of them are pretty much 21-25 imo. Maybe Michael can get a bit higher result.
Typical UK selection:
Boring uninspired songs
People need to stop being so critical, granted the UK ain’t going to win this year however, with a slight revamp on Holly or Kerrie-Anne versions of their songs which I do believe will be the ones chosen. With Kerrie it’s a matter of making the EDM backing more dynamic and less than a “Sweet Lovin'” ripoff, and with Holly its just needs to be made more country; a cross between Darline and Taylor Swift more that avenue instead of the version we have now. Michael is a firm favourite but, I do think it’s a tad too cheesy, it… Read more »
People are generally negative with the UK, even if the songs are great, people would still be negative. It’s just the common trend now.
True, people seem to rip on the UK but, either Holly or Kerrie-Anne will stand a good chance with a revamp
Agree, if they were in melfest, the commenters would be wetting themselves.
I disagree. The songs for over 10 years have been flat, safe, dull or ridiculous. Their is a lot of people waiting to get behind a good song and a lot of people do try.
Liam: One of the objectives of Wiwibloggs is to get feedback on what the fans think or feel on ESC selections, especially from wider Europe. I would hope that criticism of the UK’s songs from the wider European ESC bubble would be welcomed, especially if is constructive. Of course, we all have to wait until 8 February for the live versions; that’s perfectly understandable. However, the most important part of the UK’s material, the songs, has now been revealed. If the songs are not “contest material” then they are bound to be criticised as such, since it is a contest.… Read more »
All three songs are really good, but my favourite must be Jordan Clarke, though I see a lot of potential in Michael Rice and Kerrie-Ann. Hope the UK gets a good score this time, they deserve it.
Probably Holly or Kerri ann although Anisas version has grown on me after a few listens. Michael’s version sounds a wee bit chessy despite him having a good voice. The song freaks is just awful even jowsts attempt is better than this dross. Think we will be doing well to get into the top 15 with this bunch of songs, just not strong enought.
I LIKE TO MUCH “MAID” I IMAGINE TO THE 2 GIRLS INS BLACK SHORTS AND VINIL CORSETS MAKING SOME DIFERENT PERFORMANCE LIKE SNEAKS
This is the worst song.
If I had to pick what I think is better version of each song: “Bigger Than Us” -> Holly Tandy – definitely hers, it’s much more enjoyable for me “Freaks” -> Jordan Clarke – I really like it, but only this version, the other one just doesn’t work for me at all “Sweet Lies” -> Kerrie-Ann – tbh I didn’t like any version of this song, so I picked the one that’s less sleepy My top 6: 6. Anisa/“Sweet Lies” 5. Kerrie-Ann/“Sweet Lies” 4. MAID/“Freaks” 3. Michael Rice/“Bigger Than Us” 2. Jordan Clarke/“Freaks” 1. Holly Tandy/“Bigger Than Us” 1. and… Read more »
there’s a fairly obvious choice and it’s also the one that sounds the most british … kerrie anne
has a sound similar to “count on me” – chase & status w/ moko, i think the UK reallllly is in need of an uptempo song that takes itself seriously after surie, lucie jones, joe and jake, electro velvet (yikes), etc. etc. etc.
1. Jordan Clarke – Freaks
2. Bigger than us – Michael Rice
3. Sweet Lies – Kerrie Ane
4. Bigger than US – Holly Tandy
5. Sweet Lies – Anisa
6. Maid – Freaks
Please Uk make the right choice this year by pic Sweet Lies Kerrie Ann!
I’m so torn between the two versions of “Sweet lies”…. but I love a stomper so I’m going for Kerrie-Ann!
The best choice out of these, for me is Holly’s version of bigger than us I think it has the most substance of the 6. However, the BBC needs to go back to the drawing board . There needs to be a melodifestivalen style contest where we have a high number of songs and a few weeks of songs. That way we have a much greater choice. The BBC can have it as their winter primetime on BBC One, encouraging more people to watch/ vote. Having a choice of 3 songs isn’t really enough, especially when we haven’t heard other… Read more »
I swear all people do is complain. While not being the greatest selection, compared to previous years with the UK and the other national selections, this is good, not great, but good.
The best for me here would be the ballad of Bigger Than Us, could do pretty well in my opinion.
These songs are SOOO GOOD! Finally something great from the UK
Something tells me they don’t care anymore.
They haven’t cared for decades
The UK makes some of the greatest pop music, but when it comes to Eurovision, they end up with a boring selection of X-Factor singles, i dont get it, its like my country Denmark all over again:/
Its like they dont care anymore, which is a shame…