The United Kingdom last tasted Eurovision victory 22 years ago. Since then, the UK at Eurovision has been a saga of disappointing results, mediocre entries and embarrassing moments.Now The Black Eyed Peas frontman and The Voice UK coach Will.i.am is offering a solution to the UK’s Eurovision dry spell.

Speaking to The Sun in an interview to launch The Voice Kids, Will.i.am offered the thought: “How comes the winner of The Voice doesn’t automatically go to Eurovision? You know what I’m saying? That would work.”

We’ve got a feeling, he could be on to something here. Plenty of Eurovision success stories, such as 2018 winner Netta Barzilai and Malta’s Michaela Pace, were selected using a TV talent show format similar to The Voice. Even reigning Eurovision champion Duncan Laurence is a The Voice alumnus, competing in the Dutch version of the singing competition back in 2014.

The most recent winners of The Voice UK have been young rising stars, with Molly Hocking and Ruti Olajugbagbe both being teenagers at the time of winning. The Voice offers its winner a certain level of publicity and plenty of performance experience, so we’d be optimistic about the winners’ chances at Eurovision.

But what about the song?

The Voice UK would not determine the most crucial element of a Eurovision entry: the song. The question of song choice may be where Will.i.am’s grand plan falls apart, as Europe is pretty much in agreement that Michael Rice had the vocals and the charisma of a winner. Only he was held back by a dated and generic song.

So if Will.i.am is offering to write the UK’s Eurovision song as well as help select their entry, we’d be all ears!

But there’s one big hurdle. While The Voice UK originally started on the BBC, since 2017 the show has been produced by rival broadcaster ITV. While ITV is a member of the EBU, it does not currently have the rights to organise the UK’s Eurovision entry.

A decade of disappointment

The UK’s best Eurovision result in the past decade was way back in 2011, when boy band Blue placed 11th with “I Can”. Since then, the UK has struggled with finishes down the bottom end of the scoreboard.

In Tel Aviv, Michael Rice and his ballad “Bigger Than Us” finished in last place with a meagre 11 points. This marked the UK’s fourth last-place finish in 17 years.

UK fans have long demanded that the BBC do something to improve the quality of their Eurovision entries. Could using The Voice for artist selection be the answer?

What do you think? Should The UK send the winner of The Voice to Eurovision, or is it simply impossible for the UK to lift the trophy once again? Let us know in the comments!

Read more UK Eurovision news here

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Groggle
Guest
Groggle

Do the All Together Now winner v The Voice Winner… then we’d get someone who we could trust after going through many rounds

Burger
Guest
Burger

Unfortunately as the BBC treats Eurovision the same way a lot of Brits in general treat Europe as a whole, Europe’s attitude towards the UK comes back in kind every May: also ever since just about every song is in English these days the UK lost its natural advantage of the language…

Jakra
Guest
Jakra

Or better yet, choose a singer who can write their own songs.
We keep putting out songs that were outsourced and more often than not, it shows.

Manuel Treill
Guest
Manuel Treill

Ummm, the participants from the UK actually CAN write their own songs (e.g. Surie) it’s BBC who gives demo tracks to the artists and expects them to do well.

Jakra
Guest
Jakra

Did I say we can’t? You’re just making the same point I’m making.
If we’re going to be nit picky, then let me rephrase: We should choose a singer who’s written their own song to compete.

CyxCy
Guest
CyxCy

I think especially that Will I am a big clever. He takes the guy or the girl who won the Voice, and who already enjoys great popularity. He gives to him/her the song he wrote, composed and surely produced himself. Whatever the points of this contestant to Eurovision, Will I am assured that the song will be listened to and downloaded throughout Europe. And the biggest part of the cake will fall directly in his pocket.

Loin dici
Guest

BBC often plays it too safe. Safe can be good in the right way, but it won’t create any buzz. Either that they need some sort of Anouk to save the year, or fight for more budget, or do something risky but smart with their budget. It will be interesting to see their next steps for 2020.

blondboybc
Guest
blondboybc

Good luck with that…the problem is Michael’s song and performance reminded me too much of a Voice or Idol copy/paste. That’s not what people are looking for in the ESC.

dygh
Guest
dygh

What if you just send Freya Ridings ok bye

Logical Person
Guest
Logical Person

Lost without you would win eurovision.

Better the Devil You Know
Guest
Better the Devil You Know

I think we need to go back to the simple idea used in 1995, 1996 & 1997. Jonathan King (we know where he ended up) who was in charge of the process was looking for a UK smash chart hit. For him, doing well in Eurovision was a bonus. Look at the results: 1995, 10th place but a top 10 UK chart hit 1996, 8th place but a huge no.1 chart hit 1997, 1st place and a top 3 chart hit We need to get the UK music industry and public back into the contest showing that an entry can… Read more »

TheDr Mistery
Guest
TheDr Mistery

Isn’t Michael Rice from “All Together Now”, another singing competition? What would change if he would emerge from “The Voice”?

OrangeVorty
Guest
OrangeVorty

I agree with Will.i.am (who has been the judge searching for a solution of what to do with the winner of The Voice throughout his involvement) but the U.K. issue is not really about finding a singer. The problem remains that the BBC do not see Eurovision as a platform for new artists. We need to open Eurovision to upcoming singer/song writers who see the benefit of the exposure to such a large audience. All recent winners have recognised this potential. The nearest the U.K. got to this approach in recent times was Molly – who didn’t do so bad.… Read more »

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

It’s a awful idea, given that his programme is called “The Voice” and ours is “The EuroVISION Song Contest”. Staging and appearance are important. Sorry to be harsh but we don’t want UK reality TV contestants who may sing well, but pull toilet faces in the process. We had that in 2017 and 2019.

Valentino
Guest
Valentino

Send anyone BBC wants and it won’t work, since they still don’t understand modern Eurovision.

Vitta
Guest
Vitta

Isn’t their best result in the past decade in 2009 with Jade Ewen’s 5th place instead of Blue’s 11th?

Alison
Guest
Alison

Including the 2009 contest is 11 years ago

Bella
Guest
Bella

Would be great!

Jim
Guest
Jim

why does this american talentless dude even care?
anyway if he cares that much maybe u should sent him, i’ll die laughing when he gets the last place

Peters
Guest
Peters

Why can’t they just have a national selection like Australia Decides and choose some daring songs for people to pick? I believe there are a lot of talented artists willing to give it a try. You have one of the biggest music industries in the world!

American ESC FAN
Guest
American ESC FAN

The problem is no one wants to be associated with Eurovision

Loin dici
Guest

The problem is that if UK even hets second they’d probably still be bitter about it. If they’re still doing that mentally, then it’s them. I think there are still artists in the UK who wants to try for Eurovision and paid the UK some respect. But, would the BBC took a risk as big as this?

Ksenija
Guest
Ksenija

Ofc they don’t because they treat it the contest like a joke. Maybe it’s the time they stopped if they are so much bothered with the last place

Bern
Guest
Bern

Off Topic: Is it only me who love 2013 stage more over the years?? I hated it at first but now I love the shapes and that they mixed projection and black flooring. Nowadays it seems like you have to choose to go all in LED or none projection at all stage wise…

Bern
Guest
Bern

which is your favorite stage?

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

2013 was awful then and is remains awful now. 2014 is my favorite stage of this decade.

EZz
Guest
EZz

What needs to happen
1) more than 6 artists competing, so increase to about 10, 12 artists.
2) have around 15 songs to be our entry so we have a variety to choose from between all type of music genres .
3) bring a European jury to vote for our song, so they get to hear first hand.
So that’s all the song needs to be high quality, and the artist needs to deliver, please someone listen to us, and make some drastic changes for next year.

Groggle
Guest
Groggle

Isnt this what Sweden does?

ESC ANTON
Guest
ESC ANTON

I think this is a great idea and choose a good modern pop song internally, just look at Michela – Chameleon this year, they replaced mesc with X factor winner and the entry turned out GREAT!

A random russian guy
Guest
A random russian guy

the UK was great in 2009. Jade Ewen would’ve won this year easily.

Jake
Guest
Jake

So tired of people with little Eurovision knowledge giving their solutions to this problem. We just need a normal national final with around 15 songs that are not written for the artists, but by the artists.

Wolfgang
Guest
Wolfgang

I’m so sorry but in the ESC format of choosing the uk representative. No one is willing to risk loosing a contest like that. Musicians in the UK already thinks it’s a troll contest. We need other ways to go if we want any changes next year.

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

I think it’s losing it’s joke reputation in the UK.

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

You’re right, we need to find someone to break the mould like Anouk did for the Netherlands. It wasn’t instant success for them, but their momentum began with her. Someone like her won’t come through a talent show. Instead they (the BBC) will have give assurances and promises of airplay and exposure well beyond that provided by the Graham Norton show.

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

BBC (radio) One takeover please!
They have much more knowledge about what is modern nowadays. Let just them find and pick who is going to represent UK.

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

Agreed, but they wouldn’t touch it with one of Kate Miller-Heidke’s poles.

Adrianne
Guest
Adrianne

Promises – Sam Smith & Calvin Harris
Something like this is perfect for Eurovision. 🙂

Erik Södergård
Guest
Erik Södergård

No it’s very bland

Tom Park
Guest
Tom Park

I think that the British Delegation wants their entry to be politically correct and “easy to like ish”. Like they’re scared of doing wrong… But honestly they need to break barriors and do wrong because that’s when it will be unique.

Tom Park
Guest
Tom Park

I actually miss 2014 when Molly competed with Children of the Universe. The Song itself had a meaning and sounded like real QUA LI TY honey!
Everything has gone downhill from then.. The quality has been worse and worse and lyrics are worse every year. Like a 10 year old preteen had written the lyrics…
2015 it was unserious AF, 2016 was cringey AF, 2017 was unforgettable, 2018 sounded like a up tempo lullaby and in 2019 a X factor winner song from 2004….
CAN SOMEONE JUST CALL UP THE BRITISH ESC DELEGATION AND TELL THEM THAT IT IS EMBARRASSING???!!!

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

I quite liked 2016 and 2018, but I know what you mean. See oneurope.co.uk/eurovision/an-open-letter-to-bbc-eurovision-2/

Phary
Guest
Phary

As everyone says and knows, the problem with the entries of the UK is the SONG, not the singer. They need to stop having Melfest-reject songs that they randomly give to singers. IMO they have two (realistic) options : – they hire an acclaimed British songwriter to write a song for a specific talented performer – they use their 2014 method (offering the possibility to an up-and-coming artist to write their own song and go to Eurovision). Maybe Molly didn’t have the result they hoped for but it doesn’t mean it was a bad method, and they really should get… Read more »

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

Honestly for the second method I feel like Paloma Faith or MARINA would be willing to do ESC it they had creative control

Serhatari
Guest
Serhatari

I think we should just send death threats to the BBC, I’m not going to sit back and say nothing now. This is so unfair for British Eurovision fans and we’ve got to stop this now. Laurell Barker needs to quit writing generic and uninspiring songs for our national selection and let the artists have creative control.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Sure, if you want to end up in jail or a mental health facility.

Serhatari
Guest
Serhatari

I really couldn’t care less. Why should I sit back and allow them to screw us over again! They’re completely incompetent pigs that are unwilling to hear from British fans on what they should do to improve.

It’s sickening…

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Please seek help.

Serhatari
Guest
Serhatari

How about you, I actually want something done. I’m not one of those who just sit back and deal with anything that gets thrown at them. Enough is enough, the BBC need to get a life and start taking Eurovision seriously again.

Bob
Guest
Bob

I would expect someone called ‘Serhatari’ to be more emotionally balanced.

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

Please don’t send a death threat to the BBC, it’s really not that important.

PS: anyone else fascinated by what gets through the Wiwibloggs filters and what doesn’t? Truly fascinating!

Una
Guest
Una

Fascinating indeed (wink)!

Vechelaux
Guest
Vechelaux

Quite the measured response.

bure
Guest
bure

UK is out of their minds. It’s not about the voice. It’s about the song.
Look at Lena, she can’t sing for her life, but she was fun on stage, and her song was jazzy, meaning different.

Serhatari
Guest
Serhatari

It’s not the sodding UK…it’s one comment made by an American judge on a talent show, give me strength

Blame all future decision with our broadcaster, I don’t like being blamed for something they’re wholly responsible for

Serhatari
Guest
Serhatari

One comment made by an American judge and you act like it’s the UK’s fault, give me strength

Anthony Robinson
Guest
Anthony Robinson

I think the best solution here is to give the whole thing over to ITV. I think the BBC has gone off on a tangent it’s unable to return from. We need fresh eyes and ears.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

No. Do you think ITV would broadcast a four hour show with barely any breaks? ITV’s record with the contest is not great – they broadcast the junior version for a few years and then lost interest and dropped it. Their results there weren’t great either.

Serhatari
Guest
Serhatari

“Their results weren’t that great either”, I’m sorry, a 3rd place and a 2nd place aren’t great results…I have to rofl

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

How would this fix the dreadful, dreadful songwriting?

yodenman
Guest
yodenman

Is this some kind of joke. What success have any voice winners had. I would struggle to name more than four or five. I suppose the only advantage would be that they would slip back to being anonymous after the contest so no real harm done. Also please don’t suggest that Will I am should write the song as the vast majority of his music is absolute garbage. You have to pick an artist who is known in Europe already or is willing to work their socks off promoting themselves for months before the contest. Finally please no more of… Read more »

Matthew
Guest
Matthew

Yeah the artist has scarcely been the problem, 2015 was obviously a horrendous mess, Joe and Jake weren’t the best artists to pick, but there were good ones the national selection. Molly, Lucie, SuRie and Michael were all fantastic singers though, either let down by songs, staging or just hands-down robbed. I don’t think this is a good idea, because even if the big names won’t do Eurovision, the UK still has a wide pool of talent to choose from, and they shouldn’t limit themselves by choosing the winner of a talent show that year. We need to focus on… Read more »

Tom Park
Guest
Tom Park

Tom Walker, Years and Years & Louisa Jonson & Jess Glyne Would be perfect, why? Because they would only compete with Good material!

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

Honestly so long as the BBC paid them a decent sum and they retained their own team for songwriting, these would all be solid choices.

Serhatari
Guest
Serhatari

Because British singers simply look down on Eurovision, similar situation in Finland I think. Get realistic, a big name isn’t what’s stopping us from getting good results, it’s the songs themself

Tom Park
Guest
Tom Park

Nope wrong, In 2014 Molly were a great artist with a quality banger song but we were still stuck on the right hand of the scoreboard. ..

And as I said, Years & Years and co wouldn’t compete with a rubbish song, come on let’s be honest

American ESC fan
Guest
American ESC fan

The problem that year were Molly’s lack of stage presence, and the hideous stage performance

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

I think it was great, well she did perform with unhappy energy. But the staging was really good and gave me winner wibes! At least 100% better than this years performance.

Zekira
Guest
Zekira

UK send Danylo Johnson next year in Netherlands. He can bring it back to home

Serhatari
Guest
Serhatari

If you mean the one at EYD 2017…then the answer is ABSOLUTELY F*CKING NOT

Liam
Guest
Liam

This is honestly a waste of time. The UK’s problem has never been the singer. They don’t need to search for better singers. The problem is the song. You write a good song, you get a good position on the scoreboard. All of their singers in the last few years have had great voices. The songs have just been lacking. (Except 2017 in my opinion)

Alex
Guest
Alex

I still remember BBC rejecting HURTS and KATIE MELUA. Stop blaming Europe and start blaming BBC.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Wasn’t it katie melua that rejected the idea of doing eurovison instead of the bbc?

HarpyDarper
Guest
HarpyDarper

From what I understand, she offered herself when it was too late, a deal had already been done with Waterman and money had been exchanged. I don’t like that but you should always honour a deal by that point.

Alex
Guest
Alex

The Voice winners are massive flops that no one knows. Just write a mainstream catchy song!!

yodenman
Guest
yodenman

Yes you’re correct. Sending an anonymous act with a throw away song is a recipe for disaster.

Paul
Guest
Paul

I know it’ll never happen and everyone will hate the suggestion but I’d love Steps to do it! Some of their new stuff would’ve got the UK a much better placing in recent years

Serhatari
Guest
Serhatari

Steps is outdated and has been for the last 15 years now.

Edward
Guest
Edward

Serhat came 10th in the televote

Serhatari
Guest
Serhatari

Unrightly so, it was terrible

CRAIG
Guest
CRAIG

I don’t really agree with this article or his comments to be honest. With the exception of Electro Velvet, the UK’s recent performers haven’t been the issue. However, there is something very wrong with the way they are choosing songs. Wasn’t the BBC for example offered ‘Nobody But You’ in 2018, which went on to win the jury vote for Austria? Michael Rice, SuRie and Lucie Jones all had the potential to place on the left hand side of the scoreboard if they’d been given better songs.

James
Guest
James

An earlier version of the song written by Cesar Sampson was in contention reportedly back in 2017, only for Nathan Trent and his song to be picked instead.

Tom Rose
Guest
Tom Rose

The last time I checked, the US was not apart of the European continent.

Pancake
Guest
Pancake

There have been many Americans who have been writing song for Eurovision. Plus, Americans have also been competing in Eurovision! Remember Tamar Kaprelian? Katrian and the waves?

JBrown
Guest
JBrown

Well while the US doesn’t compete directly we have competed indirectly. Just like Pancake mentioned Tamar Kaprelian was part of Genealogy who represented Armenia in 2015 which placed 16th. Katrina Leskanich from Katrina and the Waves is also American and won the contest for *cough* UK in 1997. Also what I’ve seen from the comments is the consensus isn’t the artist the UK sends but the quality of song Julie Frost who co-wrote Lena’s winning entry Satellite from Eurovision 2010 is American. Jim Beanz, an American songwriter, won ESC 2008 by co-writing Believe with Russia’s Dima Bilan. So maybe the… Read more »

EurovisionBenny_AUT
Guest
EurovisionBenny_AUT

I really respect Will.i.am as an artist and I love the Black Eyed Peas, but automatically sending the winner of The Voice UK to Eurovision might not be the best way to select their artist. When Eurovision artists are selected this way, their songs most often are written for them (see Malta and Georgia this year), thus tending to feel impersonal. This is the UK’s biggest problem – they didn’t come Top 10 since 2009, and their last song the singer was involved in the songwriting with is “Children of the Universe”. If you take a look at the Top… Read more »

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

AMEN to this. Jamala won with a song written entirely by herself, Salvador with a song written specifically for him by his sister, Netta’s song was also written with her specifically in mind to sing it, and Duncan wrote his and just had others polish it.

Say what you will about the four most recent winners, but their songs were all genuinely connected to the artist.

Loin dici
Guest

I do believe Netta recomposed a major part of the song, but remains uncredited for unknown reasons.

Elaine Taylor-Valles
Guest
Elaine Taylor-Valles

Our selection process needs to be transparent and put on BBC1 primetime tv over several weeks to gain momentum, support and national interest in sending the best UK song.. Eurovision should mean sending the no.1 UK song. THE absolute best!! A song that will get played over and over throughout UK.. not some random person with a generic song… BBC either step up or step out and let ITV give it a go.

NIÑA
Guest
NIÑA

uk needs to send someone with authentic approach, The Decide show won’t do it because that feels freaking plastic & over predictable. Just send a normal person with a song with a message with good production!

Justice
Guest
Justice

It won’t work if you give em a song like “Bigger Than Us”. DUH!

Katariina
Guest
Katariina

will.i.am’s music is stuck in 2009, so I think keeping him as far away from modern music as possible is a good thing. But also, if they don’t fix how they choose their songs nothing will change. The artists have NEVER been the problem (okay maybe in 2015 though), it’s the songs, and I am not seeing any solution in fixing their songs with this proposal. If anything, The X Factor is the only music show in the UK capable of selecting an act because I trust Simon Cowell a million more times than I trust will.i.am with modern music.… Read more »

NIÑA
Guest
NIÑA

Spice Girls 2020!

Anna
Guest
Anna

Their vocals… I’m Sorry

Dennis
Guest
Dennis

It’s all about the song and staging. The person who sings is less important, because most of the artists are not popular in other countries anyway. UK is all about sending generic songs to eurovision. It is not in it to win it. Such a shake because the UK popscene is one of the best in the world.

Tomas Davitt
Guest
Tomas Davitt

BANGS HEADS AGAINST WALL.
NO UK – you need a GOOD SONG. The singers are not the problem – its the SONG!!!!!!

Serhatari
Guest
Serhatari

We’ve not actually decided what we’re doing next year, and this is a suggestion from an American, and you’re calling the UK out for it…smh

Robert
Guest
Robert

Great Idea! And Will I Am could write it.. Still an established artist like Sam Smith, Take That of Rita Ora to get the mood going is a better option I think. If that works send in the raw talent! I’m with the UK in this

Paul
Guest
Paul

Gary Barlow would be a good shout. His star is falling but he’s still written some good stuff recently. He doesn’t need to be the act – just the song writer

Luke Armfield
Guest
Luke Armfield

We need to send a singer songwriter that’s the best option for us or do something unexpected by sending a song in one of our other languages

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

Embracing Celtic cultures would be really cool

James
Guest
James

“Power to the people, oh oh oh.”