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!