On Saturday, 14 UK-based performers did their best to capture the spirit of Eurovision with the charity event, the Isolation Song Contest. The event featured an entry from Eurovision champ Måns Zelmerlöw, who sang an ode to the UK’s mixed fortunes at Eurovision.

The charity contest was organised by the UK comedian Tom Taylor. Fourteen comedians, musicians and drag performers were each assigned a Eurovision country to represent. They had one week to write, record and shoot a video for their song — all within lockdown conditions. And now the fruits of their labour were revealed with the contest’s YouTube premiere.

As well as the competing artists, the event also featured appearances from other UK entertainers, including UK Eurovision commentators Graham Norton, Rylan Clark-Neal and Scott Mills and two-time UK Eurovision singer Cliff Richard and UK Eurovision icon Nicki French.

Isolation Song Contest 2020

Among the competing acts was the Swedish Eurovision winner Måns Zelmerlöw. He now lives in the UK with his family and hosted the 2017 and 2018 editions of the UK national final — so it only made sense that he should represent the UK in the contest.

And aptly enough, his song “Swings and Roundabouts” looks at the UK’s mixed fortunes at Eurovision. As Benedict, Måns has his hair done in classic 90s boy band “curtains”, as styled by wife Ciara Zelmerlöw. It’s a family affair as he is joined in the video by Ciara’s young son Archie.

While romping with his Eurovision trophy in a forest, Måns sings: “We are heroes of our time / The UK is next in line / Cos Covid makes Europe forget / The B-word was ever said.”

He also makes reference to the BBC ditching the national final and going internal, singing, “They sacked Måns and You Decide / They banked on a deep-sea dive”.

But Måns is up against 13 other strong contenders. The line-up includes former UK Eurovision commentator Mel Giedroyc, who plays the glamorous Italian singer Melania who is deeply missing her cleaning lady.

The Northern Irish songwriter Neil Hannon — best known in Eurovision circles as the writer of the iconic Eurovision parody song “My Lovely Horse” — represented Spain as Eduardo Maldonado Castellano De La Cruz. He performed the funny but also heartfelt “Te Amo España”.

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star (and Frock Destroyer) Divina de Campo represented Australia. She performed “Half a World Away” which turned from an emotional ballad into a fair dinkum celebration of everything Aussie.  Divina implored, “You can grab onto my wombat / Won’t you climb aboard my ute/ I wanna be your sheila / You’re a bloody beaut”.

Some of the entries reminded us of actual Eurovision songs. The German song “Wo ist meine Frucht?” has the same line of German art-pop as Kaia Tamm’s Eesti Laul 2019 entry “Wo sind die Katzen?”. While the North Macedonian song “No Fun, No Sun, No Problem” was reminiscent of Rambo Amadeus’ 2012 song for Montenegro, “Euro Neuro”.

Isolation Song Contest – Competing Acts

How to vote for your favourite

The contest is in support of three UK charities: The Trussell Trust (foodbank support), Crisis, (support for homeless people) and Refuge (campaigning against domestic violence). So in order to vote, you’ll need to make a donation, which can be as low as £2. So far, over £28,000 has been raised, well over the initial goal of £5000. Click here to make a donation and vote.

And while the inaugural contest looks to have been a huge success, all going well with the fight against Covid-19, we WON’T see any further editions. As contest organiser Tom Taylor says, “Believe me when I tell you, truthfully from the very bottom of my heart, I hope we never have to do it again.”

Voting closes on Friday 22 May, and the results show will be premiered on Saturday 23 May.

What do you think? Who is your favourite act in the Isolation Song Contest? Should it be an annual event? Tell us your thoughts below!

Read more UK Eurovision news here

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Nicky
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Nicky

Has someone the lyrics of this song written down? Voted for him, so hopes he wins!

Lise
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Lise

Can someone explains what Mans means by “the b word’? 🙂
EDIT: Looks like Covid indeed made me forgot about Brexit haha (facepalm)

Denis
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Denis

Bit depressed. By this time we would have been well into rehearsals and discussing who is slipping and who is rising;(

Kim
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Kim

A good hours entertainment and no doubt all the comments will start again on how the UK doesn’t take the contest serious.

Darren
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Darren

I like Mans

But I think he’s trying way too hard to make it in the UK.

ezy420
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ezy420

Is there anything wrong with that? I don’t see how he’s trying ‘too hard’. What do you mean by that?

James
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James

He lives there now so he does his Eurovision-related things there as well. But he still releases music which may not necessarily make a scratch in the UK unless he has a local label there backing him up.

Who?
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Who?

Mate he already lives here. We accept him as our own now.

Octopus
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Octopus

I just threw up. I think im allergic on the name of mz. 🙁

Dawid
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Dawid

So without hearing songs I already can tell Mama will win due to huge fanbase

ezy420
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ezy420

I had no idea Mans Zelmerlow lived in the UK now. That explains why his accent has gotten more British and how he’s made so many appearances for the BBC. Well, I’m glad we’ve adopted him. Maybe represent us sometime? hehe

Idan Cohen
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Idan Cohen

it’s funny you mention accents. William and Deban also affect each other accents. I’ve noticed many times where William uses british pronunciation /vowels in some words and Debun flaps his T’s way more than the average Brit.

I wonder of they aware of it..

ezy420
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ezy420

Oh yeah William sounds british half the time, I swear

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

It’s cool that they did something and that it’s for a good cause but honestly, I didn’t get a lot of it. Maybe it’s just me?