'Money won is twice as sweet as money earned'
Jan 25, 2017 by Rob
The BBC Media Centre informs that an ‘expert’ panel of Bruno Tonioli, Sophie Ellis-Bexter and CeCe Sammy will be giving their views and will form part of an eight person jury, with the winner decided by ‘a combination of viewer and jury votes’.
There is no indication of the exact weighting of the vote but presumably it will be 50/50 and including a jury vote perhaps indicates the BBC seeking to have more control over the outcome this year with the seemingly favoured Bianca beaten by Joe and Jake last year in a televote-only final.
The UK songs were revealed on Monday (you can check them all out here) and as each one was played it was tricky to figure out what was the source of greater dismay: discovering every single track was being sung by a former X Factor reject, or that they were largely indistinguishable from one another.
The move from BBC4 to BBC2 and talk of songwriting camps may have got UK fans excited but when this is the end result you have to conclude the BBC’s approach to Eurovision remains fundamentally flawed and we’ve hardly progressed in the last decade.
Funnily enough, it was ten years ago that Scooch infamously beat Cyndi. We may not have a Scooch taking part this year, or a John Barrowman to inform viewers why they should win, which some might argue is progress – though let’s wait and see what sort of input Bruno Tonioli has on Friday night – but the songs are far too generic, appearing to abide by some ill-conceived notion of what modern music needs to sound like to be considered ESC-friendly.
This gets to the heart of the problem. Vacuum-packed, buy-one-get-one-free pop songs which have been put through the Melodifestivalen/Dansk Melodi Grand Prix sound machine is not the way forward and likely to get you absolutely nowhere.
They end up stripped of any creative spark or originality, with some of the most banal lyrics known to man thrown in for good measure. ‘Why can’t we put our weapons down. We never meant to hit the ground… We should put down our weapons. Put down our weapons, put down our weapons… tell me why oh why oh why…’ am I still listening to this…?
It’s unfair to single out Salena’s song and you actually have sympathy for her that she has been lumbered with this track. Without wanting to sound any more curmudgeonly, and end up banging on about what the BBC should be doing to fix the UK’s long-standing epic fail at Eurovision, if there is one track that offers a ray of hope this year, a Cyndi in the field if you will, it is Lucie Jones with ‘Never Give Up On You’.
This is wrongly being written off as a dull and uninspiring composition when compared to the other 5 tracks it is actually a shining jewel and the only song capable of getting the UK a decent result in Kiev.
Online polls suggest Olivia Garcia with ‘Freedom Hearts’ is the front-runner but it is worth remembering Darline were the darlings of the ESC fan sites last year only to end up well beaten on the night, and the polished studio versions of these tracks can be a far cry from what we hear live on the stage of the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith on Friday evening.
The hope is, Lucie delivers the song well live and the BBC has the good sense to push her for the win, and with 2013 Eurovision winner Emmelie de Forest having a hand in the songwriting, this might be on the cards. Pre-show and without knowing the running order, a best price of 7-4 does not make much appeal, but if Lucie is given the pimp slot then 7-4 will look a great price.
She will probably enjoy a residue of good will and sympathy following her controversial exit from X Factor back in 2009 when the show jumped the shark after Cowell contrived a deadlock which saw Jedward saved at Lucie’s expense. If the Beeb don’t want to leave anything to chance, the suggestion here would be to follow the example set by Belarus last Friday – reveal the televote first and then fudge the jury vote as required.
In other news, today the EBU revealed this year’s semi-final allocation draw will take place in Kiev on Tuesday next week, starting at 10am UK time and streamed live on YouTube.
ESC 2017 coverage will continue here over the coming months, through to the all-important rehearsal fortnight in Kiev in early May. On which subject, the Eurovision 2017 subscription is now open. The price will remain the same as last year, £60, and for this price subscribers will exclusively receive all Eurovision 2017 betting recommendations via email.
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As per tradition, the ESC 2017 betting recommendations will start with a pre-rehearsals analysis of the Outright market and the two semi-finals.
Once more I will be in attendance watching rehearsals live from the press centre in Kiev and seeking to unearth the best investments throughout the 2 weeks. Allow me to be your ears and eyes assessing how the songs are shaping up and most importantly, pinpointing where the betting value lies across the plethora of ESC markets.
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I’ve had a small lay of Lucie in advance of the show. My thinking is, it is probably the best chance for the UK out of the six but I don’t trust the BBC to stage this song effectively enough, especially not at national final stage. The televote may not be there for it either. I’m willing to change my mind in-running though, but only if it’s on last as it very much seems to be an open contest.
Armenia amazing, surely the winner.
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