Best of the Bunch: United Kingdom

If you’ve only recently found yourself getting into Eurovision, you’d probably think of the UK as an unsuccessful Eurovision nation – and you’re not all that wrong – in recent years, the UK has struggled to get results worth bragging about, however through the early days of Eurovision, the nation was a powerhouse at Eurovision, winning a total of five times, with the most recent being in 1997. Today we’re going to reminisce on the good and bad results of the UK in Eurovision between 2006 and 2015 (as we do with all our Best of the Bunch posts!), and after we’ve given our recap, it will be up to you to vote for which act you think is the Best of the Bunch!

Today we’re starting on an interesting note, and speaking of notes (school notes, in particular), UK representative Daz Sampson bravely took on a schoolyard theme for his song Teenage Life. It was certainly an interesting theme, with the backing singers dressed in school uniforms, but despite the unorthodox lyrical topic, the song did have some charm. As you will know, the UK automatically qualifies for the final as part of the Big 4 – which turned into the Big 5 upon the return of Italy in 2011, and Daz managed to finish in 19th place with just 25 points.

The following year, the UK decided to pick yet another obscure theme to base their Eurovision performance around. In 2007, it was a flight attendant theme for the song Flying the Flag (for You) performed by Scooch. It was a memorable performance, but perhaps not in a positive way, as the UK finished back in 22nd position with a total of 19 points.

In 2008, the UK were slightly more serious about their Eurovision selection, with Andy Abraham, a former X Factor runner-up flying the flag (sorry, it was a necessary pun!) for the UK. The song he won with in the national selection was Even If, and even though it was a catchy number, Europe just didn’t vote, leaving Andy in last position with 14 points.

With a string of fairly dire results, it was up to Jade Ewen in 2009 to turn things around for the United Kingdom. The song that she performed at Eurovision was titled It’s My Time, a strong ballad backed by renowned composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. It seemed to do the trick, with the UK FINALLY hitting the top 5, the first time since 2002. The song finished in 5th place with a total of 173 points.

In 2010, Josh Dubovie was given the task of following up on Jade’s strong results the year previous with the song That Sounds Good To Me. Apparently, it didn’t sound too good to the voters across Europe, with Josh bringing the UK from the Top 5 down back to last place. He finished in 25th with a total of 10 points.

Popular boyband Blue were enlisted for 2011 with the hopes of once again bringing the UK back into the top 5 with the song I Can. The inspirational tune was tipped to do well at the contest, with fans confident in their chances. I Can didn’t reach the Top 5, nor the Top 10, although just missed out, finishing in 11th place with 100 points exactly.

The UK continued along this path, selecting performers who were once popular, but not so much in the modern times. Prime example of this was Engelbert Humperdinck, who has had a fruitful career prior to Eurovision, but this was proof that perhaps this wasn’t the best method of choosing a Eurovision act, as Engelbert was stuck in 25th place with 12 points.

In 2013, the UK gave itself repeat offender status, with Bonnie Tyler selected to represent the nation. Like Engelbert, Bonnie had a successful career outside of Eurovision, but the contest just wasn’t the right fit for Bonnie either, finishing in 19th place with 23 points with the song Believe in Me.

The following year saw a change in approach. It was a fresher outlook on their Eurovision choices, enlisting the help of a younger but more unknown singer songwriter to create a song and performance package more suited to the ever-modernising Eurovision. Molly was the representative, with her song Children of the Universe, and once again it created some hype prior to the final. Unfortunately, the potential wasn’t entirely reached, finishing in 17th place with 40 points.

And now we end our journey just as we started, on a very peculiar Eurovision entry! Electro Velvet were internally selected with the song Still in Love With You, and while the BBC ensured us all that Electro Swing was hip and happening, Europe saw straight through it and sent their votes elsewhere. This led to the UK picking up 24th place with just 5 points.

They haven’t been the most successful of nations, but they always have something memorable, whether that’s for a good or not-so-good reason, that’s up to you to decide! Now it’s time for you to vote for your Best of the Bunch!

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