Not long now! On Friday the BBC will stage Eurovision: You Decide — its 2019 selection for Eurovision. Six acts will compete in a series of song-offs, with each duel featuring two versions of the same song. Each act will be singing for survival…and we now know the executioners.

This year’s expert panel consists of three celebrities with varying degrees of experience singing. What they all share is an understanding of the spotlight and the strength and resilience it demands. They are: X Factor alum and TV personality Rylan Clark-Neal, ex-JLS star Marvin Humes and former Saturdays singer Mollie King.

Rylan Clark-Neal

Rylan is no stranger to You Decide or Eurovision. In 2018 he joined Scott Mills for the BBC’s semi-final coverage, and he also sat in the You Decide hot seat last year, offering the most insight and enthusiasm on the panel.

His origins may have been as a laughing stock on X Factor, but owing to his charisma and staying power he’s the one who is still laughing. He’s forged a sparkling career and is omnipresent on British television. But does he have the ears to pick a winner? He thinks so. As he wrote on Twitter last year: “Might not be the best singer but I KNOW a good [Eurovision] song preparing my best Louis Walsh sayings as we speak…”

Marvin Humes

The 33-year-old is perhaps best known as a former member of the boyband JLS — the runners-up to Alexandra Burke on the fifth series of X Factor UK. Their first two singles “Beat Again” and “Everybody in Love” both topped the UK Singles Chart. They’ve sold more than 10 million records worldwide.

The group called it quits in 2013, but Marvin has kept on slaying. He went on to host The Voice and has been a presenter on the Capital network ever since. He also started a new dance group called LuvBug (“Best is Yet to Come”).

Mollie King

This English rose is best known as a former member of the girl group The Saturdays, who boast 13 Top 10 UK singles. Outside of singing she made it to the semi-finals on Strictly Come Dancing and, since April 2018, has been a host on BBC Radio 1. She’s also a relief presenter on ITV’s This Morning.

Should a celebrity panel decide the song-offs?

A quick scan of social media suggests that fans are very much divided about giving the celebrity panel so much power. They effectively get to axe half of the competitors in the first round, leaving the public to choose from among the celebs’ favourites. Here’s one particularly direct tweet.

What do you think about the celebrity panel deciding the song-offs? Do you think this system is more easily corruptible? Would you have preferred an international panel to vote on the song-offs? Let us know in the comments box down below!

Read more UK Eurovision news

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Charli Cheer Up
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Charli Cheer Up

We gotta send Kerri Anne’s Sweet Lies by all means. It has to be a song that reflects what’s on the UK charts right now and the type of music that’s being exported across the world. It’s what’s being expected by the viewers watching Eurovision each year. In 2017, we got to prove that we were great at staging when we finished 10th in juries votes. Now it’s time to reel in those televotes for 2019!

Luth
Guest
Luth

I was mumbling freaks by maid all the day, though i know they have no chance to make it through 🙁 is there anyone who likes it most out of them?

josh
Guest
josh

Oh christ. Really?? Why???

Liam Lindsay
Guest
Liam Lindsay

I honestly believe that it’s now time for ITV to take the reigns of UK participation at ESC seeings as the BBC cannot be bothered to respect it or take it seriously in the slightest.

EZz
Guest
EZz

Yes exactly where’s the petition, or anything that we can do to make it happen cause the BBC aren’t at all bothered, and i wonder why they continue with Eurovision If they aren’t interesting on winning.

James
Guest
James

Does ITV even want it? They love counterprogramming the BBC with their Saturday reality shows which gets similar numbers as the contest at primetime so I don’t think they wanna change that at the slightest.

ESCalator
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ESCalator

Can’t take my eyes off of Rylan’s white picket fences aka teeth.

ree
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ree

When I saw the thumbnail, I was really creeped out.

OrangeVorty
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OrangeVorty

Why is the BBC so obsessed with having six acts? Why don’t they just pick three and say “this year we’ve chosen three songs for you” or “this year we’ve chosen one artist and four songs for you” or “this year we’ve chosen ten artists each with their own song for you”. The BBC limit the options for our national final format with this obsession with six songs – and this two different styles approach is probably one of the weakest tweaks to the model for some time.

EzZ
Guest
EzZ

your so right, if anything the more songs in Eurovision with different genres, is more likely we actually do some what well in the contest if we have more options to choose from, but even though I like that they had a little change to the format, I agree the tweak could of been better had it been, one rock song , one pop song , and one jazz song etc, and then one hip hop song, one soul, and one country, or something like that so we have all genres of music and we can decide which one we… Read more »

Colin
Guest
Colin

Why don’t they pick a singer and let us choose the song. We did that with Sonia and oh so nearly won. The song and staging is oh so much more important than how they sing the song. We want something modern, catchy and with a bit of showmanship.

David F
Guest
David F

Agreed. Although how they sing the song is important too.

Imagine if Austria had selected the yodelling version of Rise Like A Phoenix instead of the power ballad. Or Portugal the hip hop version of Amar Pelos Dois. Choices.

EzZ
Guest
EzZ

absolutely, that could definitely work if they just have a NF of a specific artist and Genre, then we can see which style of song goes better, and that could help us with sending a high quality song that people will vote for, plus I believe many other countries years and years ago used to try that, and they got good placings, so that could work for us

David F
Guest
David F

I think Kerrie-Anne’s bop and style will appeal to this jury. She’s surely the front runner, followed hotly by Michael.

As for ‘Freaks’, I still think it’s depressingly awful, contrived, offensive, bullying-glorification, This Is Me-wannabe drivel. I’m sure Rylan will be pleasant about it but I bet he thinks it’s a load of crap. Three minutes of a barking dog would be more charming, subtle and sincere than the lyrics of ‘Freaks’.

EzZ
Guest
EzZ

Kerrie-Anne is the only one that will attract votes cause it wont be forgotten, cause it wouldn’t be like any other songs this year, but Michael could go Germanys way last year, and freaks is a absolutely no, so yeah Kerrie-Anne will do the best

Someone
Guest
Someone

I think Anisa’s version will be well respected by the jury and Kerrie Anne’s version by the televote

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Absolutely, I agree with David F.
I’m also hoping that David F is actually Rylan undercover. 🙂

David F
Guest
David F

And who might you be undercover, if you take off your purple mask 😉

Floprina
Guest
Floprina

If we want to have a remote chance, we send Kerrie-Anne or Michael, otherwise we’re f*cked again!

EzZ
Guest
EzZ

exactly, I could see Michael going Germanys way last year where they had a good ballad number, and came 4th where ironically the German singer was also called Michael, so that’s a sign, but Kerrie-Anne I could see being a stand out this year as not many songs will be like hers so she could stand out, plus if produced right with the best staging, she could surprise us all, so yeah vote Kerrie-anne

David F
Guest
David F

There’s a lot of expensive teeth in that headline photo. Nice.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

To whiten or to photoshop? That is the question.

David F
Guest
David F

Whether tis nobler indeed 🙂

EzZ
Guest
EzZ

Kerrie-Anne for the win, lets bring back house music to Eurovision ahaa

Iner
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Iner

Michael and Kerrie-Anne are favourites, but I feel that Jordan is a dark horse

Leydan
Guest
Leydan

Everyone acting like there is a long list of anyone else who would be better. It’s not even far different from who France had but I don’t remember any of you bitching about them. Tv presenters with eurovision knowledge/singers with big careers behind them. They could literally announce Adele, Ed Sheeran and Dua Lipa as the panelist and you’d all still complain. I really cannot see how anyone else would be worse, but considering panelists before I can see how they can be a lot worse; Johnathon Ross, bruno tonioli, Cece Sammy and so on who would be trolling the… Read more »

Leydan
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Leydan

*how anyone could be better , I mean – sorry.

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

Question: can another broadcaster be the one responssible for Eurovision in the UK?
The BBC is definitely having a hard time with their entries and they are not going in the right direction
Maybe they should change the broadcaster(?)
What do you guys think? What othet aspects are there that I should have taken into consideration?
However, I’d like Kerrie-Anne to win the selection (and Lucie Jones was great in 2017)

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

Just found out this idea was mentioned in the article (I commented first so I wouldn’t forget xD)

Floprina
Guest
Floprina

They’re perfectly capable of sending a great song (like in 2017, 2014, 2011 etc.) I don’t know what games the BBC are playing, I want to see quality like Lucie and Molly every year, not every 3 years!

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

Even when a song is good, it’s not a winner :/
It’s been some time now since 1997, come on BBC!

EzZ
Guest
EzZ

absolutely correct, and considering we were favourites to win both 2014 and 2017, and were definitely underscored both years, but there were so much positive comments regarding our songs proves that Europe still doesn’t hate the UK, they just hate how poor our song choices are that’s it.

EzZ
Guest
EzZ

I definitely feel that ITV should be the new broadcaster for the national selection, and the other aspects should include more songs being upped from 6 to maybe 12-13, 2 semi finals like they do for the voice and a final, plus an international jury at the end, with a tele vote from the British public, all that and maybe the UK may get decent results again. but Kerrie Anne is the best this year, and I loved Lucie Jones as well, she deserved more.

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

I feel like it’s also a matter of money as the BBC probably pays a respected sum of money to the EBU…

Jonas
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Jonas

ITV would never in million years broadcast four hours of primetime Saturday night TV without ad breaks. ITV broadcast Junior Eurovision for a couple of years before losing interest and ditching it, why would we assume they have any more loyalty to the proper contest? Switching to ITV would mean losing Graham Norton as a commentator. Simon Cowell would probably get the job of selecting the UK entry. The BBC have hosted more Eurovisions than any other broadcaster, and have stuck with it for over six decades. ITV only care about one thing – profit. For all of these reasons… Read more »

EzZ
Guest
EzZ

well if the BBC intend on still being in the contest for years to come, then major changes have to be made and know, I mean give us more songs to choose from rather than 6, split the show into semi final stages, have tele votes be included and international votes, all these things would have to be considered If the BBC still are serious about the contest

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

How about 4Music? Channel 5? Dave? 😀

Tigg
Guest
Tigg

The BBC have already picked their song and singer internally. The front of the show is to try and hide the fact they have been chosen internally. We all know the BBCs winner of All Together Now will be representing the Uk with his dull ballad.

#TeamFreaks

AMonsterLikeMe
Guest
AMonsterLikeMe

Am I the only one who thought the guy on the right was Arash? xD

Ted
Guest
Ted

This news is worse than waking up on the morning and hearing the eu referndum result.
I feel sick. ?
It would have been nice to have a few more on the panel. Lucie Jones and Surie would be two good additions.

EzZ
Guest
EzZ

that’s true or actually have previous Eurovision winners as panellists, that could do good for us

Leipzig
Guest
Leipzig

Complete joke that they made such a huge deal about choosing between 2 interpretations of songs, and then they give the power no say over that choice. Pointless, may as well have just presented 6 song choices.

Floprina
Guest
Floprina

Remember, sign my petition for ITV to handle Eurovision, a broadcaster that would care much more (judging by the UK’s JESC results in the mid 2000s):
https://www.change.org/p/bbc-hand-eurovision-over-to-itv?recruiter=706665086&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=share_petition

EzZ
Guest
EzZ

yes ive signed your petition, and agree with what you said 100 percent, the ITV would handle the contest so much better and serious then the BBC, and I really think we could include some of the French national final aspects on their show, because there songs from 2016 have been incredible, so definitely would hope the Uk takes a page from France, and change the whole format for next year.

Floprina
Guest
Floprina

Thanks! You look at the ITV entertainment shows too, they’re just so much better (the BBC shows are just so bland). France certainly has sent quality over the last 3 years, however I’m not keen on their song this year!

Floprina
Guest
Floprina

Oh someone from the BBC disliked my comment, so scared!

EzZ
Guest
EzZ

exactly the voice, and well the x factor back at its peak were such iconic, high quality amazing shows, that had so much amazing talent and that’s something the Uk could incorporate when picking the representative, but the BBC shows are just meh and okay. France from 2016-2018 have had outstanding songs which have placed great, but this years song I’m honestly not sure how I feel about it, its definitely catchy however its definitely not as high quality as their previous entries

Floprina
Guest
Floprina

I bet the BBC will tell them to pick all the outsiders, so for example “Holly wins duel 1, MAID wins duel 2 and Anisa wins duel 3”.
Anyway, these guys better have taste, like the rest of the general public.

EzZ
Guest
EzZ

if that’s the case then I hardly doubt we will come any higher than 23rd place if that happens. sad but its true

Tigg
Guest
Tigg

Michael will win ther Bigger than Us duet as he won the BBCs All Together Now show and they will want to promote him further afield.

EzZ
Guest
EzZ

definitely, I see him winning the bigger than us sing off, but I hope Kerrie-Anne wins in the final, cause I really want an up-tempo song for a change, which stands a chance of doing well,

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Well then we would probably get Holly, which is a good thing. Win-win.

Paul
Guest
Paul

Omg love me some Mollie King <3

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

(Contrary to popular opinion here, I will point out that they can’t do anything wrong, though. It doesn’t matter who they pick, as they are all, yes, all six, destined to fail at Eurovision. Spoken with love. :P)

EzZ
Guest
EzZ

I mean yeah that’s fair enough you saying that, but the only 2 songs I see actually being memorable and getting a good score at the final is Michael and Kerrie-Anne if revamped well, the others not so much. so it really depends on how the song and staging is done.

gregor
Guest
gregor

Mollie King seems like she is not only expert at music but her hands give me that great handjober vibes yum.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Is the first dude related to that Human Ken Doll person? Frightening. This jury actually reminded me that I need to watch Sanremo for the first time ever. I gotta get me some class among all those trashy NFs.

James
Guest
James

Not really. He only had his teeth done which looked far worse before,and look e much better now overall, if you compare how he looked like then 10 years ago and today. It also helps that his husband is very fit . 🙂

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

The expert pannel is as good as the songs are. God help us!

EzZ
Guest
EzZ

please BBC no more celebrity panelists, and announcing who won were we don’t even know how much they won by, or the percentage of votes they got, next year ITV should host our national final, were I’m sure they will do a much better job

Floprina
Guest
Floprina

Sadly, the BBC keep the voting results a secret on their other shows because “it might affect the way viewers vote and that we’re worried about someone’s later career”. It’s a general BBC policy. I wish British fans would stop moaning and actually do something about the BBC’s handling on Eurovision. If we were in France, we’d be up at the broadcaster’s HQ in yellow jackets!

Nevertheless, I really hope these “experts” have a similar taste to what the public have. Or else, I’m getting an Ofcom complaint ready!

EZz
Guest
EZz

Okay maybe it’s a policy that’s why we don’t see the Margin of votes, but I feel that had it been in the itvs hands, they would do so much better, and actually appreciate the show so much more then what the bbc do. I mean countries like France, Belgium Sweden and know even Germany should make the Uk step up and see that right know the uk are the worse out of all the big 5, and we need to do something about it, but sadly they don’t listen to fans no matter what we do, so what else… Read more »

Floprina
Guest
Floprina

Talking about being the worst out of the big 5, that honour goes to Spain (results-wise). It’s quite frankly pathetic the BBC, who the f*ck is in charge? If it had been Russia or Ukraine, they would’ve been sacked long ago! The BBC still think of Eurovision as the “voice of Wogan”, they want the British public to see the kitsch and campness in the contest (that’s why they have Graham Norton as their Twitter profile picture), which has no relevance to the contest whatsoever!

EzZ
Guest
EzZ

okay no I take it back the Uk and Spain both are fighting for last place for the worst out of the big 5 definitely, but yeah I would of thought know we have a new head of delegation, that maybe it would of made us put more thought into how we choose our songs, and maybe that should start with a whole new change in our national final, and I thought considering Germany did the same thing in 2010 with their nf, and ended up winning, maybe that would rub off on us, but I don’t know if it… Read more »

EzZ
Guest
EzZ

wait hang on, so they get to choose before we do, no why didn’t we get an international jury like France or Sweden do, then its a perfect idea of the type of songs Europe may prefer us to send vs 3 randomly selected panel with only 2 of them being proper artists, and 1 being an x factor reject even though I like Rylan, he doesn’t know what hes talking about when it comes to music. this is why countries like Sweden, will always be victorious in sending great songs cause they properly take this contest serious and give… Read more »

mad-professor
Guest
mad-professor

Because international jurors already chose the three songs that are competing.

EzZ
Guest
EzZ

No I mean why don’t they score us, like Sweden have at the end when all there songs have sung, they get scored 2,4,6,8,12 that’s what I meant , they actually let other countries vote what songs they like, that could benefit us better

Horace the Talking Wombat
Guest
Horace the Talking Wombat

Every year with this lacklustre tomfoolery…

EzZ
Guest
EzZ

absolutely….. completely unnecessary and we wonder why we never do well

Matthew
Guest
Matthew

For any concerns that these celebs get to pick the three winners of the first round bear in mind the BBC is probably going to tell them who to pick behind the scenes anyway.

EzZ
Guest
EzZ

how unfair that countries like france, sweden, take it so serious that they have semi finals, and international votes who tell them what artist and song they should pick, and we get celebrity panelists were only 2 of them were proper chart topping artists. so yeah they may end up picking freaks as our entry, vs sweet lies that could place us higher than 24th.

Matthew
Guest
Matthew

To be fair Rylan was the most constructive judge last year and probably is the most knowledgable about Eurovision, what entries would work, and he probably cares the most. When the time comes he’s looking like the natural successor(s) to Graham Norton.

EZz
Guest
EZz

True but even though Asanda was awful live last year and I think Rylan preferred surie who came 24th, had we maybe took a risk and gone for her, who had so much in her song that would of made Europe vote for her, considering her song was the most memorable and catchy, cause imagine her voice could of been better at the final, we probably would of placed way higher with asanda then surie, so basically these celebrity panelist’s do tend to play safe

James
Guest
James

The national final is where you have to make a strong first impression to the people who will vote for you. There is simply no excuse for faulty vocals.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

I hope not. Terry Wogan was the biggest star of the BBC. Today, Graham Norton is their biggest personality. Rylan is nowhere near that league yet.

Matthew
Guest
Matthew

@Jonas, that’s why I was hesitant to put him as an outright successor, it’s more likely him with a bigger name, Claudia Winkleman, Mel Giedroyc, a Radio 1 Guy like Scott Mills or Grimshaw. But the BBC does seem to want him involved in Eurovision, and I think having someone completely un-cynical about the competition will do the BBC and the UK some good.

Obviously I’m happy for Graham Norton to stay around for years and years though, and there will likely be a new crop of talent/personalities to choose from when the time comes.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Also there’s the fact that Rylan is not actually a BBC personality. He actually has very loose connections with the broadcaster, he’s not an employee or under contract. I agree I hope Graham sticks around for a long time, although he’s already done ten years which is a lot in itself. There’s no reason to think he’ll just keep going as long as Terry did.