It’s time to go… UK. With Brexit seemingly happening after months of limbo since the referendum, we thought we’d put the spotlight on their Eurovision performances over the years – the good and the bad to highlight that even though Britain doesn’t want to be a part of the European Union anymore, they still have a place in our hearts and on the Eurovision stage.
The nation has had a long history at Eurovision, so we’ve picked some highlights, and lowlights of their time in Europe’s favourite contest.
Starting off with better times, specifically, their early days in Eurovision. When we look back on the history of their participations, the UK has achieved an incredible amount of 2nd places in amongst a few wins, and mostly impressive results. Some of our favourites in their first decade of participations were Matt Monro, who performed I Love the Little Things, which although it was performed way back in 1964, it still remains as a firm favourite in my heart.
The Allisons a few years prior also dazzled us with their charm during the song Are You Sure, a fitting song for the current political climate, with the lyrics:
I’m not sure what to do
So long (so long)
Au revoir (au revoir)
It’s hard, but I’ll pull through
Are you sure you won’t be sorry?
Comes tomorrow, you won’t want me
Back again to hold you tightly?
Now are you sure
It’s not your foolish heart?
That you won’t grieve
If we’re to be apart?
You will see as time goes by
We’ll grow lonely
You and I
Dreaming of each other and we’ll cry
Oh the Irony.
The UK had a strong run of songs during the 60’s, with no less than 5 second places, and two Eurovision wins with the songs Puppet on a String in 1967 and then Boom Bang-a-Bang in 1969. They hit the 70’s with Knock Knock, who’s there – is this Brexit calling?
Again, the UK was sending top quality songs through the 70’s, and managed to grab another win with the Brotherhood of Man and the song Save All Your Kisses for Me. The synchronised choreography is top quality and makes the song that much better.
Let’s fast forward to 1981, where the UK scored yet another win at Eurovision, this time with Bucks Fizz and the song Making Your Mind Up. It’s almost like the UK Eurovision acts predicted the current predicament, as ultimately, Britain made their mind up just as Europe made theirs about this song! If the synchronised choreography for Brotherhood of Man was great, these dance moves by Bucks Fizz really take it to the next level.
For the rest of the 80’s the UK were in a bit of a slump, so let’s fast forward to Gina G, who performed the song Ooh Aah, Just a little bit! The song is way too iconic to just skip over! Only a year later, Katrina and the Waves secured the UK’s 5th Eurovision win with the song Love Shine a Light.
From there, things started to go downhill. Gone were the days of UK success, coinciding with the enlargement of the contest with a number of Eastern nations wanting to sing along. With that said, we’re left with plenty of material for the lowlights of the UK’s participating, and we’ll start with Jemini. Long story short, the UK forgot the value of performing in the key of the song. Listen if you dare.
Things didn’t really improve from there, with no Top 10 results until Jade Ewen in 2009, and no Top 10 results since Jade Ewen. Some incredible moments from UK include the flight crew Scooch, and previous to the in-flight entertainment we had Daz Sampson with his school related song (which admittedly we actually kinda like).
Andy Abraham score the UK’s second last placing in a number of years with his song Even If, and then Josh Dubovie in 2010 fell to the same fate with his outdated number, That Sounds Good To Me, and to clarify, it doesn’t sound good to me.
The UK then tried star power to get them back into the top 10, so Engelbert Humperdink and Bonnie Tyler represented the nation in 2012 and 2013 respectively, and the result of that experiment was essentially a bit of a failure.
We’ll end our journey in 2015, where the UK really stepped up and sent something so out of this world, and not really in a good way. Electro Swing was apparently in fashion in 2015 according to the delegation, but we can confirm that this isn’t the case. Surprisingly enough, the song Still In Love With You scored an abysmal 5 points, which meant they actually didn’t come last. Incredible.
Overall, the UK have created some really great Eurovision memories, just as they have created some absolutely terrible ones. Eventually, the UK will get back into the groove of Eurovision, but for now, we can reminisce on better times.
Tell us your favourite Eurovision songs from the UK!