United Kingdom wonders what went wrong

The United Kingdom is once again navel-gazing after its dismal performance at Eurovision 2012.

Engelbert Humperdinck came 25th out of 26 acts with just 12 points. Only Norway was lower with 7 points.

Speaking after his performance, he said: “I had a great time, a very wonderful time. I hope everyone listening to the song… we shared the song with every generation. I sang it from my heart.”

The UK hasn’t won since 1997 and as a key funder of the event continues to be unhappy that it hasn’t managed another win. It has been #25 for three of the last five years, only managing #5 with Jade Ewan in 2009.

Already the British press is analysing what went wrong.

“Questions will be asked about the decision to hand the Eurovision Song Contest baton to a 76-year-old, leading to one of the worst outcomes for the UK,” notes the Daily Mail.

“Until 2011, the public had a say in who represented the UK and with which song, but that was abandoned when boy-band Blue were sent to sing I Can, in the hope an established name could bring home the title.They managed to come 11th last year, a respectable position in comparison to this year.

The Mirror said, “We’ve tried old timers (the Hump), established acts (Blue), bright new hopes (Jade Ewen and Jessica Garlick) and comedy (Scooch).

“So what should we do next?”

Readers were quoted:

Beryl Douglas wrote: “It’s time to end the farce which is called Eurovision Song Contest, it’s out of date now.

“The voting is political and has nothing to do with the artist, the voice or the song.”

Veronica Holgate said: “Should be scrapped, too many politics involved.”

And Lynn McLean agreed, adding: “It’s not a song competition anymore.”

But the UK’s biggest problem is in turning to celebrities to win Eurovision. Engelbert, Blue, Andrew Lloyd Webber …how about just sending a good song like Sweden did?

This year also showed that politics didn’t rule the event. The Semi-Finals now ensure that the former Iron Curtain countries no longer dominate with bloc-voting.

The UK needs to get a grip and stop blaming the contest for its own lousy entrants.


  1. Can I just say most normal thinking British people couldn’t give a toss about Eurovision it’s rubbish!! Yes agreed so was engleberts song but the whole thing is a joke and has been for years!! It was entertaining when terry Wigan did it because he was funny he took the pee why we even pay into this drivel you sit there and predict which countries going to give top points to their neighbours it’s 3hrs of cringe!!

  2. Jake the problem wasn’t with the Hump – the guy’s a bit of a legend. The issue is the song itself. It was truly terrible. As a stand alone song I guess it’s so so but for Eurovision, easily forgettable. It’s a 3/4 (waltz) beat for God’s sake! I first heard it on Graham Norton last weekend and thought WTF. I’m not surprised it did so badly. When it’s up against old granny’s doing dance numbers while cooking biscuits in an oven, makeshift boats being created out of capes and Donald Trump’s spawn dancing around in spacesuits under an on-stage waterfall, it’s actually a surprise England got any votes at all.

  3. David – sadly I just don’t see ABBA reuniting at Eurovision or any other time (kills me to say that). However, what I am hoping for is a performance from a couple of them or better still, an appearance in the audience or on stage by all 4! That would still qualify as a reunion!

  4. I wish people would leave Engelbert Humperdinck alone!! He is an icon from the 60’s and 70’s and is a true singer and better I may add than those so called singers of today!!

  5. My favourite English act of all time continues to be Aussie Gina G’s rendition of “Ooh Ahh Just A Little Bit” in 1996 – with its glorious and somewhat appropriate double meaning! (Pun intended).

  6. jezza the first original one

    The reason the UK didn’t win or hardly ever wins is ‘cos yer average Brit doesn’t care about this comp and regards it as a toss pot summer tv show. No decent or current Brit artist would dare go anywhere near Eurovision as their credibility in their home market would crumble. The former (brirish?) commentator, Terry Wogan spent decades taking the piss out of this event. It is just not on the GB radar and they would be better off not being one of the Big 5 and stop wasting their money…

  7. Charlie Miso

    ‘In their opening welcome the hosts gave a shout-out to Australia and NZ -second year in a row.’

    If Israel get an entry can we as well?

  8. Oh and I think it should be ‘navel-gazing’ in the first sentence.

    The last time the UK did any naval gazing was the Falklands War…

  9. ohdenny

    So they don’t look like Idiots – Except for Greece and Cyprus who just pass votes to each other. A good song may gather a countries 12 points.. but the rest are divvied up amongst their mates… and soon with all the two bit eastern European nations slapping each other on the back – there is a huge pool of lacklustre songs sitting too high on the board. The voting – may have been improved – but is still not fixed.

  10. Well the reason is the whole of Europe don’t like the UK and that was expressed again last night. Sending talent like that gave the UK what they deserve. Try to actually win and you will. That is of course unless there is a huge bias towards them. The past few years they have polled quite poorly. So its hard to say. I say send someone good to win and then if they don’t get votes questions can be asked.

  11. Song choice and a bit of modesty would not go astray.
    Other countries have improved and showed respect to other competitors.
    Not much good, saying you are the best, then singing “out of tune”
    Actions speak louder than words.

  12. They can’t blame neighbour voting this time around, Sweden got high marks from everyone not just neighbouring countries.

    Hearing the UK entry last night I didn’t think much of it, but then listening it to again this morning on CD without the distraction of the whole spectacle I found it wasn’t quite so bad afterall. In hindsight I think it should have deserved better than to come 2nd last.

    And the year they used the Andrew Lloyd Webber song didn’t they come 5th or something? So that is not to be sneezed at.

  13. You don’t get to pull your support just because you don’t win! It doesn’t work like that. It’s not true, either, that Big 5 countries don’t do well – just look at Germany two years ago. It really comes down to the song itself and for whatever reason the UK, one of the best countries on Earth for producing popular music, just can’t seem to get it right.

  14. When even the UK’s ‘good friends’ in Ireland won’t give them more than 4 pwah, it’s pretty clear that the song and not the system is to blame.

  15. bettestreep2008

    Of course politics plays a huge part in Eurovision.

    The age of Engelbert is irrelevant – the runners up were much older than he is.

    And his song was nice and he sang it beautifully – unlike the screeching that Blue gave last year.

    I agree that only the host country should be allowed to go through automatically – like the Olympics does with certain events.

    This means the Big 5 – UK, France, Spain, Italy and Germanywill not have to provide extra funding to the Eurovisision organisation just for the sake of automatic passage.

    Make all the competing countries – except the host – pay the same entry fee and let them compete in the 2 semi finals for a chance of making the final.

  16. I think Britain should just give up (in general, not just on Eurovision). It’s obviously hopeless when even the Hump can’t get them a medal!

    And what about those Olympic Games then? Totally hopeless, better give up on them too while you’re at it GB. Why even turn up? Someone else will host them, just lend them your surface to air missiles, electric fencing and thousands of riot police and no one will miss you.

  17. Meanwhile David, you should post the clip of the German vote reader Anke. From wikipeadia: Before submitting the results from the German jury, Anke Engelke gave a live statement on the human-rights issues in the hosting country, saying: “Tonight nobody could vote for their own country. But it is good to be able to vote. And it is good to have a choice. Good luck on your journey, Azerbaijan. Europe is watching you.” She was the only commentator to articulately address human rights during the event.

    She is great! And Loreen was the only artist to meet with human rights activists, which rubbed the govt the wrong way.

  18. The voting isn’t political. The juries have seen to that, not that I ever thought it was. Just countries in the same region are culturally similar. The UK just sends garbage year after year. The only decent entry was Javine in 05. The countries that win send the top acts in their countries. The UK doesn’t. Why not Adele or Duffy or that Rebecca chick that’s around at the moment. They send garbage and then they get sour grapes.

  19. The past few years British acts have been dominating the music scene even cracking the US. Adele, The Wanted, Leona Lewis, One Direction to name a few. Yet Eurovision they send crap acts and even worse songs. Even with Blue, who are quite a good boy band, the song was terrible.

  20. Not a fan of it, David?

    I thought it was one of the best pieces in the competition this year, and certainly didn’t deserve such low scoring!

    He’s a good singer, and the song was a nice, understated piece. I’m not saying it was my favourite piece of music, but for Eurovision, very decent!

  21. Yep Sweden had shown that if you bring out a likeable song, anyone can win. Sweden seemed to consistently get points from everyone apart from a few.

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