Continuing our preview journey, we move on to the land of tea, queuing and some big wedding. It’s the United Kingdom!!!
The United Kingdom first participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1957. This year will be their sixty-first participation. Having not missed a contest since 1959, the United Kingdom holds the record for the longest uninterrupted participation in the contest. They have won five times. Their first victory came courtesy of Sandie Shaw with “Puppet on a String” in 1967, then Lulu with “Boom Bang-a-Bang” in 1969 (tied), Brotherhood of Man with “Save Your Kisses for Me” in 1976, Bucks Fizz with “Making Your Mind Up” in 1981 and finally Katrina and the Waves with “Love, Shine a Light” in 1997. They also hold the record for most second places with 12 and most hostings of the contest with 8, as they stepped in when other countries could not host. In the 21st century, they have fared badly, only finishing in top 10 on two occasions. Jessica Garlick finished joint third in 2002 with “Come Back” and Jade Ewen finished fifth in 2009 with “It’s My Time”. Last year, Lucie Jones came fifteenth in the final with “Never Give Up On You”, the United Kingdom’s best result since 2011.
The British broadcaster, BBC, organised Eurovision: You Decide for the thrid year running to select their Eurovision entry. Six songs competed in the final and the winner was chosen by a jury (50%) and public voting (50%). SuRie was awarded the British ticket to Lisbon.
Susanna Marie Cork (SuRie) was born on February 18 1989 in Essex, England. At a young age, SuRie learnt to play the piano and oboe, as well as attending singing lessons and writing her own songs. She performed in front of the Prince of Wales as a child soloist and later graduated from the Royal Academy of Music. Most recently she provided backing vocals for Will Young and Chris Martin and teaches at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London.
SuRie is no stranger to the Eurovision Song Contest as she took to the stage in 2015 as a backing vocalist and dancer for Belgian singer Loic Nottet. She returned two years later as a backing singer for Blanche, also from Belgium.
The song that SuRie will perform in Lisbon, “Storm”, was written and composed by
Nicole Blair, Gil Lewis and Sean Hargreaves.
I have mixed feelings about this song. It’s very middle-of-the-road and there’s no real wow moment in it. I don’t feel that the revamp improved the song in any way. That being said, SuRie does have this uncanny ability to get an entire crowd on her side. This helped her through when others faltered in the national final. It’s not bad but it’s not extremely good either. I predict a middle-of-the-table finish for the UK.
What Could Have Been
SuRie was not my pick from the national final. For me, it was Jaz Ellington with “You”. This painful love song about someone loving you but you not loving them is heart-wrenching. I remember watching Jaz on The Voice a few years back and being mesmerised by his soulful voice and it still hasn’t lost its magic. I think this would have been a better choice for the UK.
Good luck to the United Kingdom!
Will SuRie get through the storm or will the elements defeat her? Leave your comments below. Stay tuned tomorrow for another Eurovision preview!
(Sources: eurovision.tv, BBC, YouTube)