Eurovision 2022: Why Britain NEVER wins – and this year’s contestant ‘doesn’t care’May 10, 2022
Michael Ben David rehearses ahead of Eurovision 2022
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The 2022 edition of the Eurovision song contest will be held in Turin, Italy after Måneskin’s win with their hit ‘Zitti e buoni’ last year. The UK scored a humiliating 0 points in 2021 as Europe turned their noses up at British contestant James Newman. Sam Ryder, this year’s British representative, will be hoping his song SPACE MAN might have more of an impact on audiences and turn Britain’s luck around. The UK has won the Eurovision Song Contest five times – most recently in 1997 – and has also finished in second place a record 15 times.
But recent years have seen the British entries struggle.
Experts on the topic shared their views on why the UK has been doing so badly in interviews with i newspaper last week.
Eurovision Second Cherry podcast host Monty Moncrieff believes the UK has gone for “more of a Radio 2 and Saturday night prime-time mindset” while countries like Sweden produce more contemporary acts.
It is fair to say that many in the UK suspect that Eurovision voting is as much politically motivated as it is by the music.
Paul Jordan, aka Dr Eurovision – a British Eurovision expert and pundit who once worked behind the scenes at the contest – believes the political element of voting is “overegged”.
In recent years, Brexit has often been put forward as a reason for the UK failing to deliver.
But William Lee Adams, founder of the largest Eurovision fansite Wiwibloggs, dismisses this idea.
He said: “It’s not about Europe hating us or Europe loving us.
“It’s about what we serve to Europe. There have been instances where what we served was delicious and appetising to lots of people.”
Meanwhile, Mr Jordan also believes it has nothing to do with UK-Europe relations.
He said: “If that was Russia in the top two for twenty contests it would be seen as a fix, but when it comes to the UK, we view ourselves as hard done by.
“Spain hasn’t won since 1969 – they don’t bleat on about being hated.
“We’ve been making these excuses right back since Jemini got zero points in 2003, which we blamed on the Iraq war rather than the fact that the performance was terrible.”
Mr Adams added: “Honestly, I don’t think 14-year-old girls in Romania at a slumber party are thinking about EU fishing rights or Brexit when they vote.”
The tendency for some countries to give good scores to their neighbours is often linked by critics to supposed political allegiances.
But these notable voting cliques – Greece and Cyprus often swap 12 points, and Scandinavian countries score each other highly – could just as easily be based on shared culture and language.
Chris Lochery, Eurovision expert and editor at Popbitch, added: “The idea of neighbours voting for each other for political reasons is weirdly overstated.
“It’s much more to do with shared cultural touch points than any sort of political bond.”
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So, if it is the music that is the problem, what is the UK getting so horribly wrong?
Writer Kit Lovelace analysed how to make a winning song in a 2016 article for the New Statesman.
He argued that there were a number of problems, including the key of the song.
Mr Lovelace argued that there is a common misconception that a winning song must be in a major key to create feelings of positivity and happiness.
But this isn’t the case. He wrote at the time that 12 of the 16 winning songs between 2000-2016 were in a minor key.
Then there is the tempo of the song – Mr Lovelace found that a speed of 128 beats per minute was indicative of a losing song.
At the time, three of the last five entries to come last were paced at 128 beats per minute.
Will Sam Ryder’s Space Man be able to see off the competition for an historic win? He says he doesn’t care either way.
Asked by the Independent about winning the contest, he replied: “I’m not going into Eurovision with that mindset at all, like I said for me it’s the love of singing and songwriting, and of being a fan of Eurovision in general.
“The scoreboard needs to be an afterthought and the focus just on the song and enjoying the whole experience!”
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