Over the years, many doom merchants have offered theories why the UK has not faired well at Eurovision in recent years. But now there’s a new theory. The UK’s Eurovision 1971 singer Clodagh Rodgers claims the UK won’t pick up votes due to Brexit and “the hoo-ha with the vaccine“.
Speaking to UK tabloid The Daily Mirror, Rodgers said she expects the UK to get nil points from other countries at Eurovision due to feelings around Brexit and the recent issue with vaccine supply. Rodgers told the newspaper, “We’ll never win it again. Not after Brexit and the hoo-ha with the vaccine.”
Her doom-laden attitude continued with the “Jack in the Box” singer claiming, “They really hate us in Europe now. We won’t even get a point. I really don’t know why we do it any more. The UK competing in Eurovision is a waste of time.”
The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020. In January this year, an issue emerged when supplies of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine were delayed in favour of shipments to the UK. The issue has since been resolved and vaccination programmes continue across the UK and Europe.
Clodagh Rodgers at Eurovision 1971
Clodagh Rodgers has herself experienced a situation where a real-life political situation impacted Eurovision. The Northern Irish singer was internally selected by the BBC to represent the UK at Eurovision 1971, hosted in Dublin, Ireland.
At the time, Ireland and the UK were embroiled in a period of conflict known as the Troubles, which included terror attacks and assassinations. The BBC chose the Northern Irish singer as a gesture of goodwill towards Ireland.
That year, Clodagh Rodgers song “Jack in the Box” finished fourth and received points from Ireland.
Does Europe really hate the UK at Eurovision?
In the past decade, all countries competing in this year’s contest have previously given the UK points at least once. Meaning that the British act has impressed televotes or juries enough that it’s made it into their top ten favourite songs.
As well, there are substantial British migrant communities in Ireland, Malta, Spain and Australia who are always more than willing to vote for their home country’s entry. This ensures that a UK nil points situation — experienced for the first and only time by Jemini after a disastrously out-of-tune performance at Eurovision 2003 — is unlikely to be repeated anytime soon.
And regardless of success in Europe, the UK’s Eurovision entries of recent years have tended not to even be local hits. The best chart results of the past decade was in 2011, when Blue‘s “I Can” reached No.16 in the UK singles chart.
Meanwhile, Eurovision 2019 winner Duncan Laurence is currently sitting at No.31 in the UK singles chart, enjoying a total of nine weeks in the chart.
James Newman is due to represent the UK this year with a song due to be released in coming days. Newman is well supported by UK fans.
What do you think? Are vaccines to blame for the UK’s poor performance at Eurovision? Or do Europeans have better things to worry about and are really only interested if the song is good? Tell us your thoughts below.