United Kingdom sends another strong female vocalist in hopes of success
It is no secret that the BBC has lost the plot a little when it comes to Eurovision. The United Kingdom hasn’t made it in top 5 (or top 10 for that matter) since Jade Ewen’s participation in 2009 and most of the time they even find themselves somewhere in the bottom of the scoreboard. Last year they turned things around slightly when Lucie Jones performed the ballad ‘Never Give Up On You’ with excellent staging placing her in top 10 with the juries, but still bottom 5 with the televoters at home, ending up in a 15th position overall. The UK’s best result since 2011. This year they used a similar national final format and SuRie turned out to be the winner with her track ‘Storm’.
After listening to ‘Storm’ a couple of times I can’t help but be baffled at the fact that this was the ‘best’ the UK could come up with. I don’t want to judge more harshly because it is the United Kingdom, but with a big music industry like that, it is just hard to wrap your head around the fact they send a song like ‘Storm’. All praise to SuRie though. She is an excellent singer and puts on a charismatic performance and if she manages to nail the big note in Lisbon, she did the best she could with that song. ‘Storm’ is not unlistenable, but it is just painfully average on many levels. The lyrics are as cliche as they come, the words don’t flow nicely in the rhythm (fore-e-ever) and the chorus is supposed to be a big moment in the production, but it falls flat. Although the British Eurovision team stepped up their game visually with Lucie’s performance last year, I am afraid it won’t make much of a difference this time. I don’t see how they are going to make a track as middle of the road and uneventful as ‘Storm’ stand out in a competition of 26 songs in one night. It is usually not the absolute worst songs that end up in the bottom but the most forgettable (see Germany 2017) and I am afraid that this will be SuRie’s faith with ‘Storm’.
Update: Just like last year, the UK delegation launched a new revamped studio version of their entry on streaming platforms. While I appreciate the effort of trying to make ‘Storm’ sound more current or relevant, it is not necessarily the production that needed changing. It is the composition itself that is just too repetitive and uneventful to go anywhere in the competition.
Review of Final Performance:
Surie’s ‘Storm’ was one of my least favourite songs before the contest, because I thought it lacked a strong hook and the lyrics don’t flow well in the melody. This opinion did not change, but I did gain a lot of respect for SuRie after that performance. Halfway though, a stage invader took her microphone away to make a political statement (or something). SuRie was having none of it and after the security wrestled the man, she got her mic back and finished her song. She channeled the anger she must have felt in her vocal performance. When offered a chance to perform again, she interestingly enough declined. Maybe the UK delegation hoped for pity votes, because I can’t think of another reason not taking the opportunity to perform your song the way it should have been after months of practice. The UK ended up 20th in televoting and 24th overall.
Read our other Eurovision 2018 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 – RUSSIA – SAN MARINO – SERBIA – SLOVENIA – SPAIN – SWEDEN – SWITZERLAND – UKRAINE