After the disappointing results of the participation of Bonnie Tyler and Engelbert Humperdinck in Eurovision, the UK decided to go with something more fresh and contemporary this year. They are represented by relatively new singer Molly Smitten-Downes and her powerful anthem ‘Children of the Universe’. At Eurovision In Concert in Amsterdam I had the chance to have a chat with her about her chances in the competition, what went wrong for the UK before and the tough competition this year.
Why do you think your song ‘Children of the Universe’ is good enough to win the Eurovision Song Contest?
That is a tough question! It is a song that is written from the heart for the people all over the World. I think it is a spiritually deliberating song. And there is an orchestra with 26 people on there!
Did you hear all the other songs in the competition? If one country could stop you from winning, who would it be?
I did not hear all of them, so I can’t judge the competition completely yet, but I really like Armenia and ‘Silent Storm’ (by Carl Espen from Norway) and ‘Miracle’ (by Paula & Ovi from Romania) are really good! I have only heard five or six of them and those were all good so I think it will be a tough competition.
With what result on the final scoreboard would you be satisfied?
I think with a place in the top 10 I would be very happy, if I reach top 5 I would be over the moon, with top 3 I would be ecstatic and if I won, I’d probably pass out!
Do you think you could change the negative public opinion on Eurovision in your country by winning?
Definitely! I think it would mean a lot to the people. In the U.K. we kind of pretend we don’t care that much about Eurovision, but the truth is, to a lot of people it does matter, because every year when the results are disappointing, people are gutted.
“In the past years, the UK tried to play it safe, but in order to win Eurovision, you have to be ahead of your time.”
What do you think went wrong in the past years with the UK in the contest?
I don’t think there was something wrong with the songs as most of them were pretty good, but I just think they were not contemporary enough. If you look at the countries that won over the past few years, they have all been thinking forward. They were all quite ahead of their time. Therefore I think Eurovision does not really get the credit it deserves. There were some great contemporary songs that managed to win the contest. I think were we in the UK went wrong is that we tried to play it safe, because we wanted to win, but that is not the way to win the contest these days.
Because the BBC changed their strategy with your participation this year, people have high expectations. Do you feel pressure because of this?
No and I will tell you why. I feel like I am winning already, because it is such a great opportunity for me. I am so proud of my song and it is amazing that so many people will be hearing it soon. At the moment I’m not so much focusing on winning, but just being part of this environment and having the chance of performing my song in front of such a huge crowd is brilliant. If only one percent of them likes ‘Children of the Universe’, that is still a lot of people.
Do you already have any idea of what your performance will look like on the big stage?
We already have loads of ideas and we’re trying to choose the best staging for our song. Of course we have the same limitations as everyone which means: no pre-recorded vocals and only six people on stage. My song is heavily based on backing vocals, so most of the people on stage will be backing singers. It is going to be great and I am so excited for everyone to see it!
If you could cover a song from the history of Eurovision, which one would you pick?
Euphoria! It is such a great song and Loreen’s winning performance of it was just massive! From the moment you saw it, you knew it was going to win, absolutely wicked!