Aftermath 2019 (3): United Kingdom still struggles at Eurovision

Michael Rice at the Jury Final 2019 — Photo by: Thomas Hanses

Michael Rice finished in last place at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. Another sad tale for the BBC and the United Kingdom in the contest. When will the nation change their gameplan?

The first aftermath of the bad result in Tel Aviv does not give the English fans a lot of hope for better results in the near future. Rice managed to secure only 11 points with his performance ‘Bigger Than Us’, putting the UK right at the bottom of the leaderboard and miles off the the other acts.

The 21-year old singer told The Sun: “I always knew I was going to come in this position because of Brexit. Do you know what? If it was Gary Barlow or Elton John, they still probably would have come last too.” Once again, it was not about a mediocre song, amateurish performance with a lot of ad-libs for compensation and the lack of strategy and knowledge of what works at Eurovision at what doesn’t.

It’s the same story every year in the UK. Their bad results are the result of everybody and everything, but never their own actions.

Road to disaster: Sticking to the same strategy

Yes, the BBC has had some slight changes over the years. Internal selections of big names from long ago. Internal selections of unknown artists. A national final with several unknown artists. And this year, a national final with several unknown artists, performing the same song.

It was Albert Einstein who once said: “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.” As long as the big strategy above the selection method of the BBC does not change, the outcome of their participation will be the same. Why not look at other nations, that have been succesful. The list is endless. “If you can’t beat them, join them.”

Learn from other unsuccesful nations

It is obviously easy to look at The Netherlands, now that they have won Eurovision 2019. But a first step would be, for the BBC, to look at what happened in that country in 2013. After years of terrible results between 2005 and 2012, in which there was a lack of strategy, the nation made a clear gameplan.

Eurovision is the Olympics of Music. Thus, we should send big, experienced names. At the Olympics, the UK also sends their best, experienced, cyclists and swimmers, to get the medals home. The Dutch gave their top artists a ‘carte-blanche’ between 2013 and 2018. It gave them a few top-10 results. Something the United Kingdom would be happy to get in the early 20’s.

There is so much talent and mastership in the United Kingdom. The country probably has the highest potential of all participating countries. Which manager within the BBC has the qualities and capabilities to honestly convince one the CURRENT big stars to take a shot at the Eurovision top 3?

The list of potential artists is endless. A comeback for Keane? The biggest glory for Adele or Ed Sheeran? Maybe it is not as impossible as it may seem. It starts with getting a big name, to get them to perform their next big single (not specifically written for Eurovision, please) in The Netherlands 2020.

The Aftermath 2019 series is made in collaboration with our Australian partner website Eurovision Union.