Aftermath 2016 (9): United Kingdom lacks a long-term vision

In the aftermath, we look back at the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 one more time. Today, we focus on the achievements of the United Kingdom. Which were not so good, once again.

Joe and Jake were the winners of Eurovision: You Decide in February. Six rather unknown artists or acts competed in a televised show, and the winner was selected through a public vote. In recent years, the BBC also made a couple of internal selections, but they either went for artists that had their peak a long time ago or for young unexperienced singers.

Joe and Jake made several appearances across Europe to specifically promote “You’re Not Alone” as the British Eurovision entry. But in the televote, this hardly helped them. Australia, Ireland and Malta were the only nations to give them a few points. With the jury, Joe and Jake did much better, gathering 54 points. In the end, the United Kingdom got a 24th place, leaving only the Czech Republic and Germany below them.

The Aftermath

After the results were announced, Joe and Jake tweeted: “Regardless of the result, our main aim was to make the UK proud! We hope we did that!” In stead of looking with some critism at their own job, a lot of people in the United Kingdom were blaming other non-existing facotrs once again.

There were lots of messages of support on social media, with people backing the duo and blaming political voting for the UK’s low score. Presenter Phillip Schofield tweeted a lot of garbage, like: “Well done guys, you’ll never beat the politics, but you should be proud, great job.”

Just two years ago, Guy Freeman wrote a vision for the Eurovision Song Contest and how the BBC should approach it. In the two years that followed, they have constantly changed their gameplan. Perhaps the BBC should do a good evaluation of their own role in the lack of success at the contest. Between acts in the A-category like Adele and Keane, there are a lot of name in the (alternative) Brittish music scene that can be given a chance, before turning to the C-category like Electro Velvet or the youth squad like Joe and Jake.

Graham Norton loves to point out that Australia should not be in Eurovision, but perhaps it would be better to embrace the Aussies and take a look at how serious they take the contest and what kind of quality they have been giving the contest in the last two years.