The United Kingdom hasn’t has the best of luck at Eurovision in recent years, finishing near the very bottom of the scoreboard four of the past five years. But now it appears that the BBC have a plan to turn that around. The UK broadcaster today announced a partnership with music company BMG to select the British act for Eurovision 2020.

The BBC’s has now confirmed the end of Eurovision: You Decide. The national final format was brought back in 2016 and has been used to select the last four UK Eurovision acts — with disappointing results.

But all that could be about to change. The BBC has confirmed that it will select its act for Eurovision 2020 in partnership with the music company BMG.

The UK broadcaster says it approached a number of record labels but it was BMG’s proposal that impressed the BBC the most. The BBC says that BMG shared the vision of “selecting a song with broad international appeal and securing an artist who embodies the spirit and values of the Eurovision Song Contest.”

But details are scant of just what this partnership will involve. The announcement only says that “BBC Studios will be working alongside BMG’s UK music publishing and frontline recordings team based in London to select the United Kingdom’s Eurovision 2020 entry.”

The act will be internally selected, rather than using a national final again. When an act will be announced remains unclear. The past three UK internal selection – Electro Velvet, Molly Smitten-Downes and Bonnie Tyler – were all made in March, which if repeated means UK fans are in for a wait.

BMG is a music publisher that already has winning Eurovision connections. It was the publisher of Måns Zelmerlöw’s “Heroes” and signed Netta to a publishing deal after her win with “Toy”.

Whatever it planned, it sounds like a big change for the BBC and UK at Eurovision. BBC Studios creative director Kate Phillips said, “This collaboration with BMG, who have access to world class songwriters, is a genuinely exciting prospect. I am certain that together we can find the best song and artist possible for 2020.”

Former Eurovision Music Consultant Greig Watts has recently left his role at the BBC.

The new format, using BMG’s repertoire of established artists, will put a hurdle between Eurovision and the dozens of pub bands, bedroom producers and enthusiastic amateurs who previously submitted entries to the national final.

The news may come as a relief to UK fans who for many years have been frustrated with the UK’s poor results at Eurovision. In the past decade, the best British Eurovision result was in 2011 when boy band Blue placed 11th in the grand final with “I Can”.

But the past decade has also been plagued by six finishes near the bottom of the scoreboard, including two last-place finishes. But Lucie Jones managed a respectable 15th place in 2017 with the power ballad “Never Give Up on You”.

The BBC internally selected their act from 2011 to 2015. But following Electro Velvet’s disappointing “Still in Love with You” in 2015, the UK brought back a national final format from 2016 onwards.

But while Eurovision: You Decide was embraced by fans, it was also criticised. Many felt that the standard of entries wasn’t high enough, while others noted that the winners tended to be artists with a minor reality TV background, regardless of the song quality.

Others feel that Eurovision fans should be given the chance to be involved with selecting the song. The most recent national final winner, Michael Rice, finished last with his uplifting ballad “Bigger Than Us”.

But whatever the BBC’s new format turns out to involve, fans will hope that it will result in an act who can do the UK proud in Rotterdam. And, as fans have also noted, the last time the Netherlands won Eurovision back in 1975, the UK won the following year. Will history repeat?

What do you think of the BBC’s new selection plans? Should they stick with the national final? Or is internal selection the way to get the UK back on top? Tell us your thoughts below.

Read more UK Eurovision news here

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Trista
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Trista

MABEL 2020??? Would that be possible?

Dave Lennon
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Dave Lennon

We have recently sent people who can SING, but boy none of them had a SONG worth singing. No gimmicks (which sometimes steal the win) just something catchy, contemporary, relevant – and get an LH Scoreboard showing. reestablishing ourselves as valid contenders and not a joke.

Yodenman
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Yodenman

I feel a little sorry for Mel. She lost her Bake Off gig. Then she was eased out of the semi finals presenting job with Scott Mills. Now she loses her role with You Decide. What is happening to her.

James
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James

She also lost her spokesperson spot to Ryan Clark-Neal.

OrangeVorty
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OrangeVorty

God, You Decide was a pile of toss.

dygh
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dygh

I hope Freya Ridings wants to give it a shot. I think she can give the UK to the best result in years. Not very hard for that but still.

Yodenman
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Yodenman

Freya Ridings…..oh,yes….isnt she the British version of Blanche.

Azaad
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Azaad

At least this is a promising sign. The thing is that the song needs to not be generic and forgettable, the main issue with the EYD songs (save for Lucie)

Mariana
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Mariana

Im glad for UK, country with one if the best music industry in the world deserves have a decent entries for Eurovision, good luck guys: )

Off topic. Ukraine will keep NS next year knowing as Vidbir, but few changes will come, producers want more semis and new judges, though Danilko will stay, host will be the same, live shows will be shorter with less talking ( but it will be 5 instead of 3) and politic themes is not allowed . That’s a plan, but is not officially announced yet.

Joe
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Joe

That would be nice, especially if it means the Ukrainian public broadcaster doesn’t start meddling like they did this year.

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

After a fairly decent “You Decide” in 2018, last year’s was a huge step back in terms of song quality and performer. I always argued that patience was needed and it would take a few years for the NF to reach the level required to produce an entry that could realistically challenge. Of course, this would only work if there was improvement year-on-year. There wasn’t. So scrap it.

James
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James

2019 was honestly a step backwards.

HarpyDarper
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HarpyDarper

If was a gimmicky format where you couldn’t vote for half the songs. Freaks was a total did, but I enjoyed Sweet Lies. I’d like to see Anesa try again, with her own material, she has potential.
I also liked how EYD was held in actual music venues rather than a studio, but that was another thing that got cut back

Craig
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Craig

Well, I guess the song writing camp was a flop.
This is a positive, albeit tentative step in the direction.
The “You Decide” show this year was a horrendous.

James
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James

You Decide usually sourced their songs from public submissions, the songwriting camp, and the professional songwriter’s association in the UK but I’m not particularly sure which ones were from where. I know that “Never Give Up On You” and “Bigger Than Us” were from the camps though.

Jo.
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Jo.

First step in the right direction

Unfounded Boy
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Unfounded Boy

My housemate is fuming because he was going to submit a song he’s been working on for months. Spoiler: the song wasnt very good.

Bigger
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Bigger

Can you give us a hint what the song is about, what the lyrics look like and what genre or style it is? I’m very curious now 😉

Unfounded Boy
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Unfounded Boy

It’s a love balled, a bit like “Falling”. It’s not called Endless Love (for legal reasons) but it has “endless love” in the lyrics a lot. At one point he was thinking of adding a rap (like Soldi) but he couldnt find a way to make it work. My housemate is not a professional songwriter. He just has Garage Band.

OrangeVorty
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OrangeVorty

I’m hopeful – anything could be better than the old dross served up at You Decide. I’m hoping for fresh new talent with a decent modern song. We need to focus on quality rather than placing. I. The end it will pay off for us.

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

I look forward to hearing & seeing what the BMG act can bring. Could be good. 🙂

1TruSeer
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1TruSeer

Remember folks, it was internal BBC selections that landed us with Electro Velvet and Engleburt Humperdink.
Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote a decent song, but the next year Stock Aiken and Waterman certainly did not

1TruSeer
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1TruSeer

Once again BBC rearranges the deck chairs while the Titanic sinks

Jake
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Jake

Some long awaited news, Eurovision: You Decide is by far the worst national final at the moment and an internal selection that doesn’t get a great singer to save some mediocre song is so welcome. Maybe we can send something edgy, unique and maybe actually we can stand out from the crowd. 🙂

AndersP
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AndersP

Maybe at some point one of the world’s largest and leading broadcasters will be able to do a national final AND have a selection of quality songs (imagine that?!). It doesn’t need to be either/or. Let’s hope they manage to pull something out of the bag for next year though, so long as it’s not Humperdink mark 2.

yeah yeah fire
Guest
yeah yeah fire

good, the show didn’t help them in the slightest and i pray they send a song thats not horribly dated. the uk deserves a good spot in the scoreboard for once.

Pabs
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Pabs

Jane McDonald Rotterdam 2020 ??

Ted
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Ted

I for one welcome this new decision.
On my wish list (still!) , jessie j needs to sign to bmg before the end of the year and we need to send her with a big whitney style power ballad.

Una
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Una

Sigh. Wait and see. No matter the label’s proposals for the BBC – the BBC will make the decision. I don’t have that much faith in the BBC to be honest in Eurovision matters. I still think it’s a step forward for what I am hoping to be a positive change for the UK. In Eurovision.

BREXIT CAREER WOMAN
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BREXIT CAREER WOMAN

BREXIT DIXIT

JOWST NE
Guest
JOWST NE

This is a song contest! Why does Brexit have to be mentioned by the press, media and narrowminded fools like yourself?

My country is in a constitutional mess as it is, music should override politics!

keith mawson
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keith mawson

EU is not EUROPE which we love.

Kredential
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Kredential

Not going to say anything until the song is actually chosen. 2015 was an absolute disaster so until the entry is known I’m going to assume the worst. Please prove me wrong BBC, it’s about time you give us a modern, contemporary song that has an actual chance to do well!

Samp
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Samp

Sam Fender to represent the UK please

Laburnum
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Laburnum

He is amazing!! Would be an incredible act however I don’t see t happening….tho he is far more likely than say Adele

Samp
Guest
Samp

yeah, i’m not british but i think it would be a smart choice, plus he’s not very popular yet either

Samp
Guest
Samp

Yeah i’m not from the Uk but it would be a smart choice, plus just like you said, he’s not very popular like Adele yet

Samp
Guest
Samp

Yeah i’m not british but it would be a smart choice. Plus he’s not very famous like Adele yet

Loin dici
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Loin dici

Finally, something that made UK 2020 with Foxes, Ray BLK, or a British rock band even more possible.

esc26
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esc26

I have mixed feelings about this tbh. All the You Decide winning songs (except 2017, Lucie was great) were dated and generic Eurotrash that never had a chance to do well, so I understand this decision. However, their latest internal selection, Electro Velvet, was even worse than any of the EYD winners.

JOWST NE
Guest
JOWST NE

Bar Electro Velvet, the UK entries chosen internally had more professionalism to them. If this record label has produced songs for Lewis Capaldi and George Erza, we’re v. unlikely to get a song like “Still In Love With You”.

James
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James

“You’re Not Alone” didn’t sound dated though. In fact, many songs from the first You Decide were quite decent.

Azaad
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Azaad

Until tomorrow in 2016 could’ve been a great way to stand out against the wave of pop in Stockholm

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

Fans wanted a public show, the BBC gave it to them, Fans then complained about the show ( rightly in many ways) The show produced okay standard of entries, everyone complained and said the UK has such a big Music scene, from production to song writers to artists, why can we not get a good entry? So the BBC partners up with a Record Label to do just that and everyone complains about the You Decide getting cancelled. Therefore, there is no pleasing anyone? It seems unless we get Adele or Ed to be UK entry everyone will just keep… Read more »

HarpyDarper
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HarpyDarper

I think BBC Introducing would have been a great road to go down, untapped talent looking for the big push. I may not have worked out great with Molly (disappointing performance and a last draw), why did they not continue with this? Imagine making You Decide with up and coming bands/singer-songwriters! I read that they considered it for 2015… Looking forward, what can we expect from this news? Will it be someone already signed to BMG? A writer from their stable? Whoever it is, this is interesting news, and sounds like a step in a good direction. I especially want… Read more »

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

Hi Harpy, The reality is we are all just guessing! I would hope that the BBC and BMG have already agreed on a process, which type of people will be involved, the resources they will put into this project etc- I hope having a record label on board will mean they will curtail some of the basic mistakes the BBC have made when it has come to choosing songs & production. BBC Introducing could have produced good artists for sure, but i do not necessarily think the UK has had a major problem with finding artists who have talent, the… Read more »

James
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James

There was at least one songwriter in You Decide who competed as his own entry’s performer. 🙂

Trash KAN
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Trash KAN

BBC can’t make their mind up every year

JOWST NE
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JOWST NE

So you’d keep things the same, expecting a different result each time? Don’t you ever become the HoD for the UK (or any country for that matter)

Trash KAN
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Trash KAN

And you’re taking my words out of context, assuming that I’d like them to keep their failure of a status quo. Don’t you ever comment on this website (or any websites for that matter).

JOWST NE
Guest
JOWST NE

Wow, you’re original. Copying my direct truthful criticism…

Joseph Mendy
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Joseph Mendy

He should not have said such an awful thing

Joseph Mendy
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Joseph Mendy

HOW DARE YOY SAY SUCH A THING!!!!! That was so unwelcoming and absolutely disrespectful. What kind of world are you actually living in?

Lise Mortier
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Lise Mortier

You decide was such a bad quality show in comparison to other countries. But cancelling it completely really? ?

JOWST NE
Guest
JOWST NE

Yes, it’s the greatest thing the BBC have ever done!

Kosey
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Kosey

I trust the BBC about as far as I can throw it. Which as a bloated, plodding organization is not very far.

Deanna
Guest
Deanna

The UK has had really great entries – don’t know why anyone wants to believe otherwise – what the UK needs is to duke it out with all the other entries – they suffer greatly by having their Big 5 status – I think that they need the extra fight motivation – Australia Rocked it this year and they have only participated 4 /5 times. Also the UK was not last – Germany was 0 in the telly vote. It would be a shame if aspiring writers /artists couldn’t provide entries for genuine consideration. Eurovision is a Cinderella moment –… Read more »

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Three points is as close to last in the televote as you can come. By any measure, neither the public nor the jury (8 pts.) were impressed at all.

Of all the countries who competed in every ESC this decade, where does the U.K. rank, on points or on average placing?

PP77
Guest
PP77

You decide good concept, but almost every year UK select wrong song .

Leydan
Guest
Leydan

I think they picked the best looking one on the night. Lucie blew it out of the park with her striped back performance. Olivia was alright, next year Asanda was meh live and Surie blew it out and easily looked the best. Not necessarily the best choice but the one who delivered the best when it counted.

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

I think both PP77 and Leydan are right.
Of course, since they never released the voting figures, it is also just as likely that the BBC had picked the song they wanted before anyone picked up a microphone.

EzZ
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EzZ

This is amazing news, scrapping You decide all-ready sounds like we will be heading in the right direction, by sending actual talent next year. If Måns and Netta were signed to BMG, maybe that’s a sign of not be embarrassed next year when the Uk are the next country to perform.

Azaad
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Azaad

They’ve also signed Francesco Gabbani so the label has some ESC cred

Mark Kendrick
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Mark Kendrick

Finally! After Electro Velvet I started to feel like the UK
broadcasters didn’t care about Eurovision! I hope that we can get a contemporary song instead of that old fashioned stuff we usually have.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

“You Decide” was a disaster, so it was the right decision to pull the plug, at least to take some time to rethink the whole thing (don’t tell me BBC can’t produce a national final as good as Destination Eurovision!). But I think it’s too early to be optimistic. An internal selection won’t change UK’s faith if they keep using the same people and cryteria that they were using to pick those bland national final’s entries. Let’s hope BMG pushes BBC into making bolder choices.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Exactly. Get rid of the people who ran ‘You Decide’ entirely; and I wouldn’t even consider hiring back ANY of the people who gave us Electro Velvet in that disastrous 2015 internal selection.

Luke Armfield
Guest
Luke Armfield

I’m just thinking maybe we (UK) could finally get top 15 which would be an achievement please BBC let’s send something chart worthy and contemporary

Jack
Guest
Jack

The main issue with the UK is that the public are incapable of picking the right song. For some reason the UK public who are not hardcore fans still feel that we need to send a ‘eurovision’-type song and this is no longer the case anymore.
If we actually focused on sending something relevant and chartable instead of a dated typical Eurovision song we would have performed better in the last decade.

Alex
Guest
Alex

UK Televote in 2019
12 to Norway
10 to Australia
8 to Iceland
—-
4 to Netherlands
—-
0 to Italy

RandomEuroFan
Guest
RandomEuroFan

Italy came 11th in the televote which is close to 1 point.

Bigger
Guest
Bigger

Wow I didn’t know that. But yeah that proves Jack’s point a little bit indeed. Not saying the top votes were bad because they weren’t, but looking at those numbers, the public does apparently like the extravagant types of performances more.

Kosey
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Kosey

Eurovision is not seen as a serious music contest in the UK. It is much more seen as an entertainment show – hence why you seen the most entertaining acts at the top.

Jack
Guest
Jack

100%. I’m not saying there’s hasn’t been times where the UK has voted for a more serious act, but we’re almost brainwashed by the public and media that it’s not a serious contest and it’s just one night of entertainment that we can just laugh away. The media portrays Eurovision in the worst way possible, which has caused a lack of interest from current artists and song writers. And for those who aren’t educated on Eurovision like some of us are, people just see comments like ‘it’s political’, ‘no one likes us’, ‘it’s a fix’ and then everyone else just… Read more »

keith mawson
Guest
keith mawson

12 n Macedonia

incinerated wig
Guest
incinerated wig

we eating good tonight

BREXIT CAREER WOMAN
Guest
BREXIT CAREER WOMAN

black porridge yah

Lol
Guest

Excited for the UK!

Ariso Light
Guest
Ariso Light

I really want the UK to do extremely better at Eurovision this next decade. Seeing the UK hosting the modern-day Eurovision Song Contest is something I desperately would love to see! Come on BBC, you have one job to do, don’t fail us again, this better work!

Joseph
Guest
Joseph

So exciting! We might be finally taking it seriously! I would really like to see a good rock song from the UK, we have such a wealth of fantastic rock bands that it would be a great tragedy if we never send one of them. So maybe Black Peaks or something like that.

mad-professor
Guest
mad-professor

Agreed on Black Peaks.

Eurovision fan
Guest
Eurovision fan

Fantastic news! I’m rooting for urban hip hop song from UK, it would be great ^ ^

Geo
Guest
Geo

That’s the curse of being a Finalist. Equality for all the countries and surely they’ll put a bigger effort into a better song

Gorilla716
Guest
Gorilla716

I personally wouldn’t get my hopes up. Everyone’s reacting as if the UK is all of a sudden going to be like Sweden at Eurovision.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Look at the Netherlands – for a long time they were using different forms of national final with no success and NQ after NQ. The year they chose the internal selection, they got their first top 10 finish in 14 years, and you can kinda say that they’re becoming the new Sweden of the internal selections. It doesn’t mean that that’s what gonna happen, but I’m more hopeful knowing that BBC wants to change something in the way they select the entries for Eurovision.

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

I think the Netherlands finally winning and the UK finishing last in the final convinced the BBC to revert to an internal selection.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

All the songs that were selected using the NF were safe, generic and 10 years late. They had one more thing in common though – the performers were very talented and likeable. BBC knows how to choose the singers – I hope the internal selection will help BBC choose a more daring, contemporary and original entry for them to sing. Who knows – maybe we’ll see SuRie or Lucie Jones coming back with a stronger track?

Bart
Guest
Bart

Sounds like a desperate attempt to emulate Bulgaria-style of participation… Well, good luck with that.

Campbell Grace
Guest
Campbell Grace

Not really…

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

omg yes, this brings so much hope! Their NF was soo generic!

Jack Pricefield
Guest
Jack Pricefield

Fantastic news, good riddance to that anti-climatic national final You Decide! I’m thrilled BBC are reverting back to internal selections but this time cooperating with a major record company which numerous global artists are signed to and upcoming contemporary names often get a deal with. In recent years The Netherlands, Belgium, Cyprus, Russia & Bulgaria have proved you can achieve excellent results back to back with huge home support without any sort of national/public selection, already seeing UK pulling off what Switzerland did this year by scrapping their low-budget NF and snap first Top 10 finish in over a decade.… Read more »

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Thank god. Nothing sadder than UK national finals. I wanna say it can only get better, but given the abyss that came to light on the UK’s last internal selection in 2015, it’s a wait-and-see.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Selection state of play so far:
National finals proceeding as usual for Albania, Australia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, Lithuania, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, and Sweden. Internal selections for Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Netherlands, San Marino, Switzerland, and United Kingdom. No clue about the rest.

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

I read somewhere that Belarus is also going internal

mad-professor
Guest
mad-professor

But… the potato men!

Geo
Guest
Geo

Moldova and Romania will stick to their national finals for as long as possible, as they’re counting on the participation fees for their artists

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

and they would be much better off with an internal selection: Romania has a huge music industry full of bops(INNA) and Moldova could pick someone like Mark Stam)

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

So… for now we lost UK’s national final, but got a proper Czech one. Based on its schedule, Georgia will possibly select the song internally, after picking a performer in X-Factor. On the other hand, Israel will do a national final just for the song. Everything’s even so far.

Toffeenix
Guest
Toffeenix

Georgia picked their song at the final of Georgian Idol last year, so it’s not impossible that they keep that structure.

KESC
Guest
KESC

Did Greece confirm internal selction?

Una
Guest
Una

Thumbs up. Thanks for the update, Joe 🙂