Almost two weeks ago, the BBC revealed that in 2020 it will return to an internal selection for Eurovision.The UK Eurovision broadcaster also revealed it has drafted in music company BMG to help get the right act for the contest.

Alistair Norbury, president, repertoire and marketing UK for BMG has now shed some more light on how BMG is approaching the Eurovision selection in an interview with MusicWeek:

As far as the artist is concerned, Norbury says nothing is being ruled out at this stage.

He says BMG is open to having an unknown performer, working with an “emerging” act or having a former Eurovision act return to the contest.

“The most important thing is to come up with the best song.”

 

But what would the perfect Eurovision act be without a perfect fitting song? Norbury specified that the song will definitely have a BMG songwriter’s involvement and could also be a co-write. As most of today’s hit songs (including those at Eurovision) have four to five writers, BMG wants to make sure it follows that winning formula. He also says the song is the most important thing for BMG.

It will probably be a hard decision to choose the right songwriters, but one thing BMG won’t struggle for is interest. Norbury shared that there’s already been, “a huge amount interest from the songwriting community,” which should help putting together a perfect songwriting team for the UK.

BMG has started the process by taking feedback from a variety of places. They’ve started with their music publishing team as a base to build from. Their goal is to send the strongest entrant the UK had in a while and Norbury teased that he expects it will be “a very intriguing process”.

In 2019, the United Kingdom chose Michael Rice with ‘Bigger Than Us’ through the national final Eurovision: You Decide. He placed last with eleven points.

What do you think of Norbury’s statements? Do you think it sounds promising? Or would you rather  see a national final again? Let us know in the comment section below!

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ErikSWE
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ErikSWE

The bottom line is BBC isn’t willing to spend any money and at the same time are not willing to let go of control. The positive sign here is they start to cooperate with the musicindustry. Soon enough more companies will want to join. In the end, they will need a national final for the selection. For the BBC itself, the choice to scrap the selection show is a bit weird as they lose a TV-show opportunity. To win ESC can’t surely be the most important objective, can it? I also feel with Måns who thought he could get a… Read more »

Charli Cheer Up
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Charli Cheer Up

These National Selections are a great way to also train the UK’s staging teams on how to handle the pressure and communication barriers that will arise when the UK finally performs on the Grand Finals. It would’ve been a great way to practice being more creative and original with the stagings….

Marty Mc CU
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Marty Mc CU

Anyone with a great song and powerful singer can win this competition, regardless of the country. Even the UK can win it. The BBC just needs to wake up and face the music. It’s just that the BBC sends mediocre/good/average or pleasing radio friendly songs. Forget about politics, Their formulae is outdated, also not appealing and uninspiring. Until they realise they should send a massive captivating song by an outstanding performer, then it’s going to be the same results year after year (bottom 6). The UK has exceptional talent in the world of music, they lead it. if only they… Read more »

Don Juan
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Don Juan

I think a British entry would slap if they sent something with a rap verse in it. They have such good talent and it’d be something different that would resonate with mainstream audiences

OrangeVorty
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OrangeVorty

Are they therefore discounting a singer-songwriter? I thought “authenticity” was proving the biggest ‘formula’ for success in recent contests.

OrangeVorty
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OrangeVorty

The U.K. regularly over promise so I’m not going to get too excited at this point but this approach genuinely sounds interesting. The proof will be whether or not it produces a credible and competitive entry for next year.

Mark Kendrick
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Mark Kendrick

I’m sooooo glad that the UK have gone in a different direction and I’m confident that we *will* do well this year

Denis
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Denis

A good song is important but it needs to be packaged well too. A good song can fail if the staging is not up for it. UK has had the staging, they just lacked the song. Hopefully this is a good start

Eurovision fan
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Eurovision fan

Duncan James would be good option 🙂

Idan Cohen
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Idan Cohen

I don’t trust the uk.
like always, they promise a lot but eventually they will send their yearly boring-politically-correct-song about nothing .

EZz
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EZz

So the secret is the best song, hmmm okay, but still I have no doubt BMG should choose something good, but please please, no more ballads I beg of you, and all the dramatic staging. Also if it is going to be another ballad, make the song memorable without it getting lost in the staging. Something more up-tempo, with the right hook will go a lot better for the UK, but please lets feel proud next year instead of ashamed.

Dave Lennon
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Dave Lennon

I don’t think (hopefully) anyone truly believes the best song from Europe in any given year is found at the ESC (the stats prove it). But that’s not why we all love it. Winning it doesn’t have a magic formula. All kinds of things seem to, Every 2-3 yrs the televoters ‘go rogue’ and vote a winner who is unusual, zany, or just plain funny. As a ‘serious’ songwriting competition it is dubious, as a beloved annual spectacle it is priceless. Probably a good move for UK – the kind of people who dominate tele-votes really don’t represent UK (pr… Read more »

Tibor
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Tibor

I guess, this is the kind of ambivalent approach that confuses me. On the one hand, you say that Europe’s best song is not to be found in Eurovision and that it’s not a serious song writing competition. On the other hand, you complain about the UK considering Eurovision to be a silly thing run by weird foreigners that’s trapped in the past. In my opinion, Eurovision is constantly changing – from a dusty schlager competition to the epitome of camp and now to something more serious. In fact, the weird, intended as funny and dated acts are doing increasingly… Read more »

Graph
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Graph

“The most important thing is … the best song”

Wow, someone finally figured it out!

Just hearing this suggests using BMG is a move in the right direction.

Mark
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Mark

Do we know which artists are signed to BMG?

Meckie
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Meckie

“As most of today’s hit songs (including those at Eurovision) have four to five writers, BMG wants to make sure it follows that winning formula. ” Is that really true? Any statistics that such songs do better in Eurovision? Is the number of songwriters really that important?

Elizabeth
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Elizabeth

They’re saying all the right things at least…. But they always do that. What we need is a song that Means Something, UK keeps sending generic stuff with no heart or meaning (that’s why Arcade and Bigger Than Us are worlds apart, as was reflected in their scores).

Mark
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Mark

Bigger Than Us was better than Arcade… Arcade sucks.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

Both suck.

Elizabeth
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Elizabeth

Everyone has personal opinions on certain songs (Arcade isn’t my favourite either, but I know it has heart and meaning).
Bigger Than Us is just a guy shouting bigger over and over, it says nothing about love in real life whereas Arcade does.
Just look at the last few winners (and a fair few second places too) – they all have great meaning to the singer for one reason or another, and the audience can tell.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

The UK got the results they deserved, more so than any other country. When you send rubbish songs, you should get a rubbish placing. The only good things to come out of the UK this whole decade were Lucie Jones and Molly. The good news is that after this year, it can only get better, so the bar is incredibly low. The first necessary step was ditching that sad NF that produced bottom of the barrel songs and Måns Zelmerlöw. Good riddance.

Paule
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Paule

Molly was rather generic too. In contrary to Engelbert Humperdinck who had a great song and was kinda unique.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

Very generic, but it’s the UK. You gotta grasp at straws to find something positive to say here. I gotta give you “Love will set you free” though, it was a fine song.

Paul
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Paul

What about Blue?!

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

Their song was very basic. I LOVE Simon’s solo stuff, though. He should go solo.

Lazarevfan95
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Lazarevfan95

Molly looked like a rabbit in the headlights when she performing! There was just no stage presence there she looked uncomfortable and awkward. The BBC needs to realise that stage presence is vital as well as the song and vocals

Paul
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Paul

I really hope it’s something really urban. It can be something uniquely British which no other country can replicate.

Failing that – Lana Del Rey

Paul
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Paul

Although if it’s a former Eurovision star – I hope it’s Josh Dubovie!!!

Jack
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Jack

Their main aim should be finding a song which the rest of the UK loves – that will be half the battle. They need to find a song which would be played on radio in the UK, which appeals to the mass market. If they pick a song which is liked by the general public and it is rotated on main radio stations, it will change the stigma around the topic of ‘Eurovision’ which should open up more opportunities for more well-known artists to participate in the future.

Lucy
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Lucy

Honestly so happy about this. The one thing the UK has consistently done this decade is find good singers, now we just need to give them a good song without a cliché message. Hopefully, this will set a new standard for the UK as to what we can do and we could use this to create a new National Final format in the future.

Joey
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Joey

I guess that they still don’t get it. Yes, the song is important. But so is the staging. And the vocals, of course.

Jonas
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Jonas

The song is by far the most important thing. They had great vocals this year, it didn’t get them very far. Great staging will only get you so far too, as Australia will attest to. The song should be the priority.

Azaad
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Azaad

To be fair to the UK, in recent years they’ve always had decent staging and good vocals.

Jonas
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Jonas

I thought this year’s staging was very weak.

Azaad
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Azaad

True, but they never undermine the song with bad staging- a trap I’d say Italy falls into a lot (2016, 2017 and somewhat this year as well)

Azaad
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Azaad

They have a good attitude going into 2020 and the focus on the song is welcome. I don’t think they’ll make the top 10 but they’ll probably make the top 20 at least

KESC
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KESC

Even for the UK, reaching the TOP 20 shouldn’t be a primary goal. They should at least try to reach the TOP 15, or the left side of the scoreboard.

TheDr Mistery
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TheDr Mistery

That whole decade was a waste for the UK in the ESC. Can’t be worse, really.

Lair
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Lair

They had Blue in 2011. They had catchy song and memorable performance, and they almost made it to the top 10. That’s the only exception, in my opinion.

Vlad F
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Vlad F

Lucie Jones in 2017 was a top 15 contestant.

Jonas
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Jonas

Top 15 isn’t worth celebrating. Top 5, sure, but Top 15? Nah.

Loin dici
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Loin dici

In a dreadful decade for the UK, yes, it is.

Jonas
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Jonas

No, it’s not. Maybe for somebody who qualified from a semi-final…maybe…but not the UK. Since when is 15th place celebrated in anything anywhere?

James
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James

It’s the exact opposite with Lucie Jones when she broke into the jury top 10 but got dragged down by her song’s low televote turnout, but still settled on the country’s second best result for the 2010’s at 15th.

KESC
Guest
KESC

“Never Give Up To You” was also a good song imo.

TheDrMistery
Guest
TheDrMistery

Yeah, I’m aware that those 2 entries got limited amount of success in the competition but for a country which was first or second 20 times and was almost always Top 10, this decade is abysmal overall. At least the previous one had two Top 5 finishes.

Africavision
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Africavision

Storms don’t last forever, forever, remember

JOWST NE
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JOWST NE

We just want to forget about the 2010s! Surely our worst decade in our entire history of taking part!

KESC
Guest
KESC

Now that’s a good starting attitude.. Considering that it’s a SONG contest.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

This is something that should have been obvious all along. After this year’s result, Graham Norton and others were saying that Michael “didn’t deserve this” and questioning the fairness – Michael Rice is absolutely a great singer, but what they seemed not to understand is that it is not a talent show. The clue is in the title – Eurovision Song Contest.

TheDr Mistery
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TheDr Mistery

To be fair the moment this song stopped, I didn’t remember it and it was obvious they were doomed again. Very generic.

Peters
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Peters

He always said that when the UK got baf result.