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Line-up check 2019: United Kingdom

by | May 1, 2019

Line-up check 2019: United Kingdom

by | May 1, 2019 | 2019 reviews, Eurovision

United Kingdom: Michael Rice – Bigger Than Us

Martin: The problem with choosing your entry relatively early in the season is you don’t have much context to play with.

Not that the public can be expected to take other countries’ entries into account when voting, of course – just look at how hard the BBC tried to persuade people not to vote for Scooch in 2007 by pointing out that the UK would be sandwiched between novelty entries in Helsinki. That turned out well for them, didn’t it?

But still: Back when Michael Rice finger-snapped his way through “Bigger Than Us” and took the ticket to Tel Aviv, it might have been useful to know that Sweden would subsequently choose a better version of the same song, performed (far more persuasively) by the songwriter himself.

Does this spell doom for the UK? Well, not necessarily. Michael has his own vocal style and a naive charm that might mean he ends up fishing in a slightly different vote pond than the slick professional John Lundvik. Plus, even if Sweden ends up squishing the UK in the televote, the juries are free to send big votes to both songs if they feel inclined to.

But I’m concerned that it all adds up to yet another of “those” years for the UK and the BBC – plenty of good intentions and positive vibes, and a competent but unspectacular entry that ultimately ends up glued to the bottom right-hand corner of the scoreboard. (The recently released music video is adorable though.)

Prediction: Personal:


Shi: Is “naive charm” code for something? A slang phrase I’m not familiar with? Because I don’t see naive charm. I see annoying. A whole load of annoying. I was actually surprised to realize that once you don’t look at the performance, the song sounds remarkably less tacky.

Felix: I have to disagree with Martin, I actually find the UK song much better than Sweden’s. To quote myself: “If only John would sing ‘Bigger Than Us’.”  Because I like this song a lot, and my problem with UK is… the singer. While some might find Michael’s gestures charming, others – me included – find them rather unfavourable. Or annoying.

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