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  • Writer's pictureDale Roberts

The Top 5 UK Eurovision highlights of the last five years

I think we all know that it's been a tough few years for the United Kingdom at Eurovision.

Two last places in a row including this year's dreaded 'nil points' as well as a mainstream media often hostile and demeaning to the competition.

We saw this recently with tabloids in the UK reporting that no record companies want to send their acts to the Contest, believing there is anti-British sentiment.

This constant negativity from at home and abroad must make it hard to be a British Eurovision fan at times, so we do really feel for them.

But I don't think it's all been that bad. In the last five years there has been some great moment, so to share a little love, here's my Top 5 highlights from the UK in the last five years.

5. National final songs

There have been four editions of the UK national final 'Eurovision - You Decides' in the last five years and although we may have had quite a few songs of a similar ilk, there has still been some interesting stand out entries.

'Legends' in 2018 was probably the most contemporary songs to come out of the national final and something fans were understandably excited about. It certainly had potential to do well but unfortunately the experience of its performer Asanda ultimately sealed its fate losing out to SuRie's 'Storm'.

'Freaks' performed by Jordan Clarke at 'Eurovision - You Decide' in 2019 may have been a pretty simple 'Canon in D' pop song, but it did have an earworm element that was picked up by audiences outside Eurovision thanks to a Nightcore remix. To date it has over 43 million streams on Spotify which is more than any UK Eurovision related song ever.

Other shout outs to 'I Wished I Loved You More' by Holly Brewer in 2017, Kerrie-Anne's 90s house inspired 'Sweet Lies' in 2019 and even the Little Mix inspired track 'I Feel the Love' by Goldstone in 2018.

4. National final artists

Not only were there some great songs but arguably there were even better voices and artists with Eurovision potential.

A few names to mention are Matthew James in 2016, Danyl Johnson, Nate Simpson and the aforementioned Holly Brewer in 2017, Raya and Liam Tamne in 2018 and Holly Tandy in 2019,

They all belted out or delivered their vocal that would be more than Eurovision worthy.

Was their song always the best... no.... but there is no denying the talent in most of the artists who have taken part in 'Eurovision - You Decide' for the UK.

The talent is there, bring us the songs!

3. SuRie

Every UK act in the last five years has been an absolute delight with fans but there was one artist in particular who embraced them like no other - SuRie.

After doing backing vocals in 2015 and 2017 she had a taste of Eurovision and understood the importance of fans and truly embraced them in her year of 2018 (and beyond).

Not only was she a hit with fans, but she also delivered one of the Eurovision moments this century.

At the live Eurovision Grand Final in Lisbon, a stage invader interrupted SuRie's performance and grabbed the microphone from her.

The person was removed by security but with the music and backing vocalists still going, SuRie took on the very 'keep calm and carry on' attitude of the Brits finishing her performance.

She said of that experience,

"I turned back and saw the mic on the floor, and I thought, 'well that's mine', I'll finish this song."

Shaking with adrenaline she finished the song and received the biggest cheer from the audience that night.

She had the opportunity to repeat the song but the team chose not to, with the BBC saying,

"SuRie and her team are extremely proud of her performance and have together decided that there is absolutely no reason to perform the song again."

In a tough year she finished 24th but achieved so much more than that single result.

2. Lucie Jones

One Eurovision act stood above the rest for the UK in recent times.

X Factor alumni Lucie Jones won 'Eurovision - You Decide' over a quality field with 'Never Give Up On You'.

The songwriters behind the song included Eurovision 2013 winner Emmelie de Forest from Denmark.

Not only were their big names behind the song, there was also some impactful staging.

Dressed in gold within a mirrored small stage, she was back dropped with an incredible light star show that had many fans feeling she could deliver UK their first Top 10 since Jade Ewen in 2009.

She did finish 10th with the juries receiving points from 21 nations including 12 points from Australia, one of only three times the UK received douze points in the 2010s.

Ultimately a disappointing televote saw Lucie Jones finish in 15th but it was easily the best result and overall package from the UK in recent history.

Her legacy continues, making the ESC250 (a fan poll of the best Eurovision songs of all time) every year since.

1. The Fans

London Eurovision pre-party

Without a doubt, the best thing to come out of the UK at Eurovision are the fans.

The British fans are some of the most dedicated and passionate in the world.

From on the ground at the Contest, to incredible events during the season and a huge portion of the fan press - the Eurovision experience would be diminished without their involvement.

Nearly every major fan site is British or has British involvement including Wiwibloggs, ESC Insight, Eurovoix, Euroxx, ESCXTRA plus podcasts from EuroTrip, Second Cherry and many many more.

Add in events like the London Eurovision pre-party, EuroFest and the OGAE UK events and it's a super engaged community.

Plus we can't possibly forget the virtual event that kept the 2020 fandom together and introduce many people to the rich history of the Contest - 'Eurovision Again'. This was put together by some dedicated Brits with support from the Eurovision itself.

These are just a portion of the wonderful elements the UK bring to Eurovision.

So that's our list of five but honourable mentions to James Newman (his documentaries, reaction to zero points and the public support for him), more coverage by BBC's Radio 1 including the Eurovision fan music journalist Steve Holden and of course the voting support between Australia and UK since we've joined.

There are many more wonderful things to celebrate about the UK in recent times and it's important to remember the more extreme views on Eurovision aren't from the fans themselves.

We sincerely hope that transfers into some good results in the near future but on one condition....

They aren't allowed to beat Australia!


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