They’re the UK pop group who have long been at the top of many fans’ wishlists to represent the UK at Eurovision. But it seems that Steps aren’t interested in going to Eurovision. In a recent interview, H from Steps said that Eurovision was “just not the right place for us”.
H from Steps — otherwise known as Ian Watkins — confirmed Steps’ Eurovision stance in a recent interview with Pink News.
When asked if Steps would ever do Eurovision, he was somewhat complimentary about the song contest. H said, “There’s mixed emotions about it […] I am a massive Eurovision fan. I love the whole cheesy experience.”
But H then went on to make a claim that is often heard in the UK: that Eurovision is too political. The singer said, “But it’s not a song contest. It’s a political contest to get back at each other and it’s just not the right place for us. Sadly. I would absolutely love to – but for those reasons, no.”
This is at odds with the way many Eurovision fans feel about Steps. In 2018, the group’s song “Scared of the Dark” won the OGAE Song Contest for the UK with 230 points. Steps were well ahead of Eleni Foureira who was in second place with 171 points for her song “Vasilissa”.
In 2015, Claire Richards from Steps had a different perspective on Eurovision. When asked about Eurovision, she said, “I never say never to anything anymore”. She remained hopeful about the UK’s chances at Eurovision, saying, “I know there is a bit of politics that goes on but if [the UK] entered an amazing song with a great singer/act then it can’t be ignored.”
Steps also have Eurovision support from Saara Aalto. In 2018, Steps were supported on their UK tour by Finland’s Eurovision star. At the time, she told media, “I know people really want them to do Eurovision for the UK – I’m like, ‘hmm, maybe I should join them!'”
Why do UK stars feel so gloomy about Eurovision?
H’s comments echo those of Bucks Fizz singer — and failed Brexit Party candidate — Jay Aston. In 2018, she told media, “I’m not sure we can win again, I think it would be miraculous if the UK could win. We have sent some good things over and we’ve always come in the bottom five. There’s no way we would want to do it again.”
The attitude is shared by Andy Abraham, who represented the UK at Eurovision 2008. In an Instagram post earlier this year, he wrote, “We all know Britain has no chance of victory, that much is clear. It’s all about politics usually anyway, with everyone voting for their neighbours and historic allies or whatever. Most of the voting you can guess.”
But despite these gloomy attitudes, in reality those claims of Eurovision being dominated by “political voting” have not proven correct.
In 2018, the politically neutral Switzerland — who had a poor recent track record at Eurovision — took a triumphant fourth-place finish in Lisbon. Luca Hänni’s “She Got Me” picked up points from all but two countries and the song went on to chart in 17 nations.
Nor does the contest favour members of the European Union. In recent years, non-EU members Ukraine and Israel have won the contest, while Australia placed second in 2016. At Eurovision 2019, seven of the top ten finishers were non-EU members, including televote winners Norway.
In the past five years, the UK has also received points from 33 different competing countries at Eurovision.
But regardless of how H from Steps feels about Eurovision, it seems that Steps fans will never stop wanting to see the group make it to the Eurovision stage.
What do you think? Should Steps represent the UK at Eurovision? Or does H from Steps have a point about political voting? Tell us your thoughts below!