Lucie Jones represents the UK at Eurovision
The United Kingdom has chosen their act for the 2017 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Their national final Eurovision: You Decide was won by Lucie Jones with the song ‘Never Give Up On You’, co-written by former winner Emmelie De Forest from Denmark. Jones, who rose to fame back in 2009 when she participated in the British version of X Factor, will represent her country on stage in Kiev coming May.
In the last 10 years, the United Kingdom only made it to the top 5 of Eurovision once, finishing 5th in 2009 with Jade Ewen’s ‘It’s My Time’. Six times however, they finished within the last 5 places and looking at last night’s national final, the BBC is not really trying hard to change any of this. Overall it was especially striking how cliche and weak the lyrics are, coming from a country that should actually excel at the most used language in the contest. In a cheap show with mediocre songs, Lucie Jones was clearly the best of the lot. Former X Factor viral sensation Danyl Johnson was left with composers that forgot to write him a chorus to the cliche peace and love song and technicians who turned on his microphone to late, while Nate Simpson seemed to have trouble hearing himself during his John Legend inspired soul ballad. Salena Mastroianni brought the only uptempo track, again with lyrics about ending wars we have heard a thousand times before, while showing herself to be the weakest link of the night vocally. Olivia Garcia and Holly Brewer both brought midtempo pop songs of the ‘going nowhere’ kind, however with decent performances.
And what about Lucie? She performed a ballad that starts out small but builds up to big notes. She is a capable performer with a lot of vocal strength and she takes the song to a higher level in a live setting. The piano and string based track never really reaches the drama, momentum or catchiness of for example ‘Sound of Silence’ by Dami Im, with which Australia reached a second place last year, but with a flawless vocal performance and a classy staging, she could at least convince enough juries to make sure the United Kingdom won’t end up as one of the last five on the scoreboard. Not an entry to be ashamed of, but nowhere near outstanding enough to be a real contender in Kiev.
Update: The British Eurovision team worked hard to revamp their song and the result is a big step in the right direction. The arrangement has a bit more body and sounds more like 2017. The music video is visually pleasing and should be taken into consideration when planning out the staging for Kiev. The best entry the United Kingdom had in quite a while.
UPDATE – Review on final performance and result (15th):
Lucie Jones performed the ballad ‘Never Give Up On You’, co-written by former winner Emmelie De Forest and she did so with a whole lot of passion. Vocally, she easily gave one of the most impressive performances of the night and visually, the UK finally gave it their best shot as well. Jones stands on a golden stage surrounded by mirrors and the light show is well thought out. It all looked pretty impressive, but while the juries awarded her with a spot in the top 10, the televoters placed her in the bottom five, resulting in a 15th spot overall. I hoped for a bit more, but the United Kingdom seems to finally be on the right track!
Check all Eurovision 2017 reviews: Albania – Armenia – Australia – Austria – Azerbaijan – Belarus – Belgium – Bulgaria – Croatia – Cyprus – Czech Republic – Denmark – Estonia – Finland – France – FYR Macedonia – Georgia – Germany – Greece – Hungary – Iceland – Ireland – Israel – Italy – Latvia – Lithuania – Malta – Moldova – Montenegro – The Netherlands – Norway – Poland – Portugal – Romania – San Marino – Serbia – Slovenia – Spain – Sweden – Switzerland – Ukraine – United Kingdom