As United Kingdom (BBC) announce the return of the national selection process for Eurovision 2016; ESCDaily will provide a brief in-depth analysis of United Kingdom’s previous attempts at pre-selections and how beneficial could the format change be to UK’s ESC placings.
Since 1957, BBC had opted for the national final selection which provided U.K. with five wins and fifteen runner-ups making the country one of the more formidable and respected competitors at ESC all the way through to the 90s. After 2002, when the public chose its first nil-point entry; Jemini – Cry Baby. The following years’ entries began to plummet down the leader board until 2008 when the BBC decided to utilise established composers with a publicly chosen artist which worked very well in 2009, however badly in 2010. Following these results, BBC decided to become fully internal which worked well for Blue in 2011 but hasn’t worked well since on the leader-board.
For many years, the consensus from British & international ESC fans has been to banish the use of internally-chosen entries and to return to the pre-selection format, even through its poor track record from 2003-2008 (which potentially could of been avoided through the re-use of 50/50 televoting to jury). The BBC’s new-coming interest in re-engaging public opinion within Eurovision could only strengthen it’s appeal to a larger national audience and allow upcoming (and perhaps established) singers & songwriters to enter into the competition and further connect ESC within the United Kingdom.
National Final Overview
Even though, the ranking of previous U.K. pre-selection songs have been low, there were national final songs that were considered favourites to win ESC if they had been chosen; examples include Cyndi – “I’ll Leave My Heart” & Michelle Gayle – “Woo (U Make Me)” from 2007 to 2008 respectively. Through returning to the national selection format, public opinion can be re-engaged and through the inclusion of the UK OGAE fan-club to assist in the short-listing of potential televised entries, a stronger chance of a successful entry being chosen once again for the United Kingdom.