The UK have made their mind up, and Michael Rice is heading to Tel Aviv with the song “Bigger Than Us”. Eurovision: You Decide took place on Friday night in Salford, in North West England, and Michael’s emotional power ballad struck a chord with the expert jury, audience members and televoters alike.

He won the fourth edition of the UK’s national final show after beating Holly Tandy in the first round of voting, and was put through to the final 3 by judges Marvin Humes, Mollie King and Eurovision fan-fave (and UK semi-final commentator) Rylan Clark-Neil.

They each had one vote. The winner of each song-off advanced to the superfinal. This is how they went down…

Song-Off 1: “Sweet Lies”

Kerrie-Anne defeated Anisa by a vote of 3-0.

During her VT Kerrie-Anne mentioned that she loved Eleni Foureira’s “Fuego”. Rylan told her that Cyprus is bringing a similar singer this year in Tamta, and encouraged her to slay her if she makes it to ESC.

Song-Off 2: “Freaks”

Jordan Clarke defeated MAID by a vote of 2-1, with Mollie King casting the dissenting vote. She said she was putting MAID forward because it had been twenty years since the UK had sent a girl group.

Rylan said that Jordan offered the better chance for the UK, and admitted that something just didn’t work for him about the girl group. Marvin agreed. “There are a lot of great performances tonight, and this just wasn’t up there.”

Song-Off 3: “Bigger Than Us”

Michael Rice defeated Holly Tandy 3-0. This heat was widely regarded as the closest of the night.

Rylan thought that Holly’s song could work really well with a jury. He pointed out that it has a country undertone, which was also present in Måns Zelmerlöw’s “Heroes”. She was on-point vocally and the performance was brilliant.

But when the judges gave Michael a standing ovation it became rather clear who they’d vote for. Rylan still had tough advice for Michael though. He told him to ditch the choreography that he was told to do and to focus on what he does best — sing.

The public had 100% of the say in the final round, which Michael won.

We spoke to Michael at the BBC Eurovision launch at the end of January.

“I would have never thought, like, to go from my work at McDonalds, to winning All Together Now, which is a great show, to be even standing here in the final six to be competing to go to Eurovision, it’s crazy.”

Star performers

The show featured performances from 2015 contest winner Mans Zelmerlow, as well as last year’s winner Netta, and UK representative and social media queen SuRie. This isn’t Netta’s first appearance at a national final this year. She’s already made stops in France and Spain. Her latest track Bassa Sababa was released last week.

What do you think of the winner? Can the UK win it all? Let us know down below. 

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JohnO
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JohnO

Selection process needs to be handed over to C.4 or some other broadcaster with a tad more imagination than the BBC. Hopefully Portugal scrape themselves out of the semis so the UK don’t finish bottom.

AngieP
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AngieP

I really like this one! Beautiful voice, great performance. (though I think he was a little nervous).

fan
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fan

Very unsavoury.. !! comments on the Romanian selection process are now closed ..!!..A bit like the Daily Mail..anything they don’t want to hear they ban comments on..!! Wiwibloggs hates copies of former eurovision contestantas ..ie.. Fuego , Cyprus ..and Bella Romania, so the only possible winner is Laura………and why 2 judges from the same bloggers..at least choose another eurovision blogging site…there are many..!!

Jake
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Jake

apparently this song was a melodifestivalen reject for jon lundvik…i actually think this could’ve used a strong gospel-style voice that could elevate the song–like Cesar did last year for Austria….Michael Rice is a good singer but he lacks the soul it needs to be infused

Gunilla
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Gunilla

Agree, miss carisma and the voice. John Lundvik would have dine it so much better.

Stu G
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Stu G

There’s some serious cattiness on here. Admittedly it’s not the most original song and is a little ‘X Factor Winner’ but give him some credit- his vocals were great and he definitely gave me goosebumps in the last minute. Jade Ewen’s song was far worse but managed 5th with a great vocal and performance. I’m not expecting a top 10 placement but top 15 is definitely a realistic aim and he at least deserves the backing of the UK fans. The Brits really are dreadful at supporting our own.

Cupcake
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Cupcake

Michael Rice is ok. Personally I’d prefered Jordans “Freaks” but I can live with”Bigger than us” too. It’s nice and miles better than former entries from the uk (*cough electro velvet.. *cough)

Fatima
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Fatima

Whoever is tweeting for the BBC isn’t helping. Maid, performing live for the first time, were definitely not “QUEEEEEENS of the harmonies”.

Snappy
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Snappy

Whoever put country dancers with Holly Tandy’s version of Bigger Than Us needs fired.

Yes the song has a country vibe (very little at least), but this doesn’t mean the styling should be full on Madonna – American Pie.

Jonas
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Jonas

It was a direct rip-off of Kylie Minogue’s recent “Dancing” – they even played that over Holly’s introduction video.

Gurl
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Gurl

It’s ok song

Stella
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Stella

I don’t think the You Decide artists are the problem- its the very basic songs that are always given to them. I think the show should be reformatted to a song-submission type, more like other national finals

David F
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David F

It did seem like a weakness of the show’s format was the song material/arrangement holding back 6 sets of talented and keen performers.

Making 2 acts perform different versions of the same song almost suggested that there weren’t enough good or acceptable songs to go round to begin with — though I find that hard to believe.

Ffs
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Ffs

Can’t stand whinging ballads

Nope
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Nope

UK is giving a big Brexit middle finger to Europe and its citizins. I cannot imagine any love from Europe towards this entry. Eurovision is interwoven with politics and aside from the fact that it is a very mediocre song it is from the UK… no chance! Would not be surprised it is last year of participation

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

A cold splash of water from the real world. Oh how Eurovision UK fans don’t need this. Here is why… Yes, we in the UK know all about politics and coming last. And we know about the 52% who voted to leave – we get it. Those people really exist. But what we also know about is gathering together every year for our love of the Eurovision Song Contest. Granted, one day that love might disappear, but this year it still feels very much alive. Don’t give up on the UK yet. The BBC on the other hand… sure, their… Read more »

JN37
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JN37

So many negative comments! I really like it. Ok so it’s not that contemporary and the choreography definitely needs some work but it’s uplifting and memorable. Best song so far!

1. UK
2. Czech Republic
3. Spain
4. France
5. Albania

I don’t think we’ve heard the winner yet though!

EzZ
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EzZ

I agree we haven’t heard the winner, but one song I’m really obsessing with which hasn’t even got through yet, is Conan from Portugal and his song Telemoveis, that’s a real contender and a brilliant unique song which could see Portugal winning again, so I kind of selfishly want Portugal to pick differently so we have a chance against them, but yeah Portugal is a contender to win this year already.

JN37
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JN37

I’m checking it out now!

EZz
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EZz

Oh trust me I absolutely love the song and it’s so different and unique to Claudia and Salvador, the music is so chilling and his voice just draws you in when you first hear it. Okay if some people don’t like it, But it’s my favourite so far.

Fatima
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Fatima

His voice, with those sub-Mariah Carey warbles, made me cringe. Also we’re hearing the word ‘bigger’ too often. Sorry. I was excited about SuRie last year, but not this. I don’t think he’ll get many points in May. The BBC need to find a way to attract more experienced acts. I hope someone from their team is watching events in Gold Coast City.

Ted
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Ted

If you love or hate this song, there’s one thing we can surely all agree on, this song arrangement coupled with that voice, it give you goosebumps. (We can argue about the lyrics until the cows come home) And yes, this is going to sound epic in the arena. My wish list for “Bigger than us” by Michael Rice. A slight revamp is in order. A better ending too Mike needs to work on his stage presence. A few smiles (it’s supposed to be a happy uplifting song) Ditch the uncomfortable choreography (NB Gary Barlow crafted a decent pop career… Read more »

Voix
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Voix

Do you understand that his voice doesn’t matter since all of the entries will have good voices? The song is basic and his hand moves are outrageous. Bottom 5 once again.

EZz
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EZz

The hand movements really don’t bother me as much as the basic song that they’ve given him, which is sad cause his voice is really good, they just haven’t reflected his voice with a strong song which is sad.

ScoobyDOO
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ScoobyDOO

Just throwing my ten pence in the well here, so to speak. This won’t win, but it can do better if his ‘team’ focuses on a few things. 1 – That voice – his voice his main strength here. It will probably be quite a unique and standout voice at the competition, and one which sounds contemporary and very impressive on a young lad (don’t hate on me, gender police, I know men and women can both have amazing voices, but to hear such a voice as his at ESC is rarer than say, a big power balladeering female voice… Read more »

EZz
Guest
EZz

Damn okay you basically said it all, know run over to the BBC and tell them the exact same thing, plus if we have better promotion for him, that could give him a slight chance of success, rather than be unknown in every part of Europe

Simon
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Simon

Can we get a fresh reaction video please wiwibloggs… I couldn’t watch that one the whole way through it was really distracting!! sorry!!

Marty Mc CU
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Marty Mc CU

Its’s a good song and Michael is a good singer. Already on my play list and it is indeed a powerful pleasant song to listen to indeed. To be honest the UK public did choose the right song., but i didn’t like how the first round went with the selection process. He has 3 months to polish this performance and so much coaching will be needed to present this. As it stands Michael has a good voice but he is all over the place with his stage presence. It lacks the oomph as it stands and the song doesn’t suit… Read more »

Joeri
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Joeri

Michael Rice: Strong entry for UK

Fast Food Music Lover
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Fast Food Music Lover

I love it. I don’t care how it will end up in Eurovision. I’m just glad the best song wins.

jiminy
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jiminy

Michael was bound to win, what better promo for BBC productions than for the winner of their show ‘All Together Now’ to get an international platform at Eurovision?! Funny how the other five were mostly alumni of itv talent shows or already with careers in West End/ Songwriting….

booooooo
Guest
booooooo

What’s the obsession with so many wanting Kerrie-Anne to win instead? Think people overestimate how well ‘Sweet Lies’ would have actually done. It sounded generic as hell, a club knock-off that by the second performance at Eurovision: You Decide sounded repetitive and a bit tired tbh. She’s a great performer and did her best but the entry would have been lost in a sea of more original and meaningful songs, or those which were also upbeat/ dancey but more memorable.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

I can’t imagine any country outside the Big 5 qualifying with this (or any of the other choices the BBC gave). That’s all I’ll say.

JustMe
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JustMe

So, that’s a typical case of voice was altered in the studio…………
And seriously, what is this with his gestures? It reminded me a little bit of the awkward gestures Mr. Trump does……
But the BBC got its fav, so congrats to the UK 4 the next last place, at least they are continious. No offense.

up!
Guest
up!

Okay, I’m going to be honest here: I can’t understand why people say that he’s a good singer and has extraordinary vocals. I don’t know anything of him, so I have to judge by his live performance of Bigger than us – and this was, well, ordinary at best. He avoids the higher notes, he sings the lower ones sloppily. To me, he seems like an average performer in a karaoke bar and not like a professional singer. And seriously, what’s with the UK and the arm waving? SuRie did the windmills last year and Michael has got some uncontrolled… Read more »

Jonas
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Jonas

Wasn’t my favourite to win, but seriously if you think hes not a good singer, I suggest you go to a doctor and get your hearing checked out

up!
Guest
up!

No need to get nasty. As I’ve written: I haven’t checked out his other performances and since he won some talent show, he obviously has to have some skills. But if he sings like yesterday in Tel Aviv, it won’t be enough. People won’t go check out other videos of him during the live show, but judge him by what he offers. And this is actually a song made for showing off your talent. Jade Ewen turned a similar okay-ish song into a diamond as well.

JIMBOB
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JIMBOB

Tbh, the sound was off for a lot of the singers last night. But Michael won ‘All Together Now’ for a reason, he is a very good live singer but definitely has to try and overcome the nerves and not ‘oversing’ the song in the final.

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

Loving the windmills observation. This really is becoming a UK trademark. 😀

Alison
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Alison

I’m happy with the choice, best by far on the night imo. And a correction for the article: the judges gave every act a standing ovation.

Tim
Guest

Ehh NO

Run!
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Run!

He can’t pronounce Tel Aviv – (and I’m not convinced he knows where it is) therefore he is the perfect representative for the UK at the moment.

First time I’ve switched off – we had to sit through 6 songs and be told which ones made it through and by the time they sang again I actually could not face hearing them.

The songs seemed very limited in lyrics too “sweet lies / giving highs” and “bigger bigger ugh BIGGER than Iv ever seen UH”

poor, laughable, irrelevant, dire show.

PP77
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PP77

1.Spain
2.Albania
3.France
4.Czech republic
5.United Kingdom

Geo
Guest
Geo

Another 26th place for UK, congrats! Such a powerful music industry out there and yet, they have such a wrong idea about what Eurovision now means, they still think it’s the Eurovision 30 years ago. The better for other countries

David F
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David F

Also for SPAIN fans: in the pre-show build up they played lots of Eurovision songs, and when they played La Venda it was very popular and I was surprised how many people knew the words and started dancing 🙂

David F
Guest
David F

Watching it in the audience, Michael’s performance was fantastic. He really engaged the audience and he really can Dami it up on stage with all those high notes. He was also really smiley, it was very endearing. I’m sure he will be great on the promo tour; and I hope the BBC take Rylan’s advice and make promotional bookings as soon as possible to send Michael to as many other Eurovision events as possible. Kerrie-Anne was obviously great too, she brought so much energy and fun; the vote must surely have been close. It’s strange that UK pre-show favourite never… Read more »

sukisue
Guest
sukisue

Nice to hear a largely positive response, goes to show that tv viewers don’t always get the true atmosphere and understanding of the performances.

David F
Guest
David F

For sure! We’ve watched our recording of the show this morning and it’s quite a different experience. It’s surprising just how different some of the vocals sound on the TV, compared to what we felt we heard live. It also seems harder to discern from watching on the TV just how much the audience was enjoying various songs, which is a shame, because everyone really was dancing and clapping quite loudly when Kerrie-Anne was performing, for example. It reminds me just how difficult it is for a live performer (who the viewer is unfamiliar with) to connect with an audience… Read more »

EZz
Guest
EZz

I one hundred percent, knew that even though his song is not my taste, his voice is undeniably good, but it’s a shame with what a great voice he has, his song won’t match up because with all the uptempo, and good ballads we have this year, particularly with one of the Portuguese NF singers Conan which I think is amazing, it’s going to be hard for him to stand out and be different from the crowd of people he’s competing against. That being said if staging and revamped accordingly to his voice, I’m hoping he could do better than… Read more »

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

That’s good to read. Thank you David F. 🙂

David F
Guest
David F

Thanks Purple! I also replied to a few of your comments on the “Kerri-Anne is your favourite to win” article directly below this article. I hope you enjoyed the show, if you were there too I would’ve said hello 🙂 I don’t know if you could tell but the whole segment that Mans did with past songs/winners was pre-recorded. I thought it was a shame the producers didn’t have time for Mans and Mel to talk to Katrina (or SuRie) and get her view on the performances. I forget to say it above but Netta really was brilliant, so engaging… Read more »

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Thanks again. It’s a very different experience watching at home to actually being there. I have good memories of 2017 and 2018 and was supporting my favourites then. But 2019 I was disconnected from at the very start. The trouble is, I like song content the best (although I understand that ESC has a lot more than that) – so having the number of songs cut from 6 to 3 was very disappointing for me. Then there were my working commitments on the Friday, the BBC’s decision to use Salford and the lottery ticketing system. I felt squeezed out of… Read more »

Crystal
Guest

It comes across more as a singing show coronation song than something I could see doing well at Eurovision. The songs that have won or placed near the top in recent years have either been extremely well-written (“1944”, “Amar pelos dois”, “Sound of Silence”) or have been incredibly entertaining in both substance and performance (“Toy”, “Fuego”, “You Are the Only One”), and I honestly don’t think this song has got either. And on top of that, it’s being performed by a solo male, which (looking back on the UK’s Eurovision history) has not boded well statistically for the United Kingdom… Read more »

booooooo
Guest
booooooo

I must admit, Germany last year did a lot better than I thought it would too. Seemed far too much of a generic Ed Sheeran knock-off, sweet message but really nothing to shout home about.

EZz
Guest
EZz

That’s the thing when I initially here his song I go back to Germany last year, who’s singer was also called Michael, and his song was good but never would I of imagined him coming top 5, at all but I guess his simple performance with great vocals, and a good back drop must’ve sold it for Europe. Maybe Michael could take some Notes from Salvador and Germany’s Michael, with not being as cheesy in his staging.

Alexiv
Guest
Alexiv

Michael has a great voice but this song is absolutely dreadful. UK angling for 24th with this.

EZz
Guest
EZz

At least your honest, I respect that, Greetings from the UK lol

everywhereventually
Guest
everywhereventually

Potentially the best live performance since 1998 coming up for the UK. Reminiscent of Germany & Austria 2018. If it scores well with juries, will any Europeans be tempted to pick up the phone to vote for Britain?

EZz
Guest
EZz

I mean in some ways yes it definitely it resembles Austria and Germany, with the beat from Austria, and the vocals more from Germany, but their stage presence and performance really is what got them 3rd and 4th, so if Michael wants to get as high as them, he really needs to work on how he interacts on stage, and his performance techniques.

twinki
Guest
twinki

Most of these people that put spain 1 in their top are spaniards. move on

VAIKI
Guest
VAIKI

best british entry in years. It’s the best so far.

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

Currently my top stays at this, the top 3 are pretty much on another level than the last 2. But I found “Bigger Than Us” a bit more enjoyable than “Roi”. So, yeah, there’s quite a gap between 3-4 and 4-5.

1. Spain
2. Czech Republic
3. Albania
4. United Kingdom
5. France

beccaboo1212
Guest

Excellent idea! 😀 Good luck Michael!

Pablo
Guest
Pablo

He needs to learn how to work with the camera until May! (and a proper haircut ;P hihi)

Other than that, the song is a good entry coming from the UK, maybe the best in lots of years.
Still, the performance needs a lot of work, otherwise it may get lost in May…

EZz
Guest
EZz

Yes absolutely but if you look back to ?? Last year and ?? the year before, all they did was stand there and just sing really beautifully and hardly moved and they did great, so for a revamp Michael could go in that direction,

EZz
Guest
EZz

Sorry lol the flags were Germany and Portugal ??

Lolek
Guest
Lolek

This is one national selection where I feel like all the songs (especially the finalists) sounded great live. Personally I would have liked to see Kerrie rep the UK (and I really do like Jordan’s version of Freaks a lot) but I Michael had fantastic vocals and the song was strong, so I think the win was well deserved. Out of the eurovision 5 songs currently out, his is probably my favourite at the moment.

Adriana
Guest
Adriana

Thats exactly what i thought when first i heard him ,that he will gonna win.

Adriana
Guest
Adriana

He won because it was the best option ,apart from his amazing vocals.

Kris P. Kreme
Guest
Kris P. Kreme

Someone’s slacking. Where’s the newest poll? 😛

mad-professor
Guest
mad-professor

Probably won’t be up until Italy’s confirmed their entry on Sunday.

Zoli
Guest
Zoli

Very good entry! Congratulations UK, I think this song like a song by James Arthur, his voice is so strong and likeable, the best choice.

1. UK
2. Spain
3. Czech Republic
4. Albania
5. France

EZz
Guest
EZz

My honest ranking so far from the Uk
1. Albania
2. Czech Republic
3. Spain
4.UK
5. France

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

1, u.k. 7/10
2, Czech Republic. 5/10
3, albania. 4/10
4, France. 2/10
5, spain. 0/10

EZz
Guest
EZz

Oh Spain 0/10 didn’t think it was that bad ahaa

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

i don’t think this will flop as tragically as most recent uk attempts but yea it won’t go far

EzZ
Guest
EzZ

I’m thinking it may do better than Surie, but possibly at the best I could give Is a 23rd-20th place so far no more, which is a shame cause I really thought we could have our best entry in a while with Kerrie-Anne, but we clearly never learn how to pick right.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

i dunno, it’s a male ballad with big vocals so even though it’ll surely be near the bottom in televote the juries might love it

EZz
Guest
EZz

Yeah but for some reason with this song, even though i don’t know how it won, and really wanted Kerrie-Anne to win, I keep thinking of Germany last year, when I hear this song and I don’t know why, it’s completely different vocals, and style but if arranged like that, or a similar arrangement like Salvador’s it could do okay, but other than that I’m not sure

Giorgio
Guest
Giorgio

Hard to find something bigger than him though

Run!
Guest
Run!

At least he isn’t singing “bigger than Iv ever seen” whilst getting two backing dancers grinding his backside like the other version.

VAIKI
Guest
VAIKI

He looks good and has an amazing voice. I pity you though. Boosting a low self esteem by putting others below them. Typical. Make sure you seek help and start loving yourself.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

It’s such an X Factor-style song and performance. Again, just feel like it’s really indicative of how out-of-touch the BBC are with what the Eurovision song contest actually is. None of the songs were anywhere near good enough. Having said that, I really think something like Anisa or Maid would have been better choices.

EzZ
Guest
EzZ

Kerrie-Anne would of been better in my opinion

Kris P. Kreme
Guest
Kris P. Kreme

*would have* You sosig!

EZz
Guest
EZz

Ummm why are you correcting my grammar, what the hell is a sosig, worry about yourself please.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Cough. You are both wrong. The correct contraction is: “would’ve”.
You’re welcome. 😀

EZz
Guest
EZz

Okay would’ve that’s fine, but regardless I don’t need someone correcting my grammar who says things like sosig, that’s quite insulting I’m not gonna lie.

Kris P. Kreme
Guest
Kris P. Kreme

Are you the only person in this planet who hasn’t heard about Carol C and her sosig? It was a joke. Cheese!

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Haha, it sounds funny but I have no idea what it is either. A comedy sketch?

EZz
Guest
EZz

No clearly I haven’t if I just said what I said, it wasn’t that humorous to me not gonna lie, but oh well to each their own, im not judging.

Kris P. Kreme
Guest
Kris P. Kreme

I resent that! 😛

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Isn’t “would’ve” just an abbreviation of “would have”? They’re the same thing.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

It’s a contraction, yes. But “would of” is a common mispelling of “would’ve”, not “would have.” 🙂

mark dowd
Guest
mark dowd

He is vocally very competent. The song is no more than OK, and very repetitive and predictable with that oh so 1970s key change. His stage presence and choreography is atrocious. He’s like a guy who has given up smoking who doesn’t know where to put his hands.

I see this as right side, 20th or below I am afraid.

EzZ
Guest
EzZ

absolutely, the smoking bit i never would of thought about, but everything else yes