The Hump failed to dazzle audiences - but what's the secret to winning? Photo credit: rockinred1969
In the aftermath of the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday 26 May, there has been mounting pressure on the BBC to withdraw from future competitions as this year’s entry, vintage crooner Engelbert Humperdinck, ended the evening in second-last place: 25th out of 26 European countries. On examination of the results, it seems that the only country who seem to vaguely like the UK are Ireland. So what would the UK need to do to potentially win, or at least not finish so near the bottom?
Do NOT go first
Much has been made of the fact that The Hump had the unlucky draw of going first out of 26 competitors in what was one of the longest Eurovision concerts of recent years. The Times quoted Humperdinck who said that next time we must make sure we don’t go first and get lost in the Eurovision madness. Unfortunately it’s a random draw: so you need a bit of luck in order to dodge the disadvantageous first slot.
Change the voting system
Humperdinck’s son and manager, Scott Dorsey, told The Times that the relatively short 15-minute voting period needs to be revamped. He said that the phone lines become jammed, which deters the older demographic, and said “I don’t know if the voting should go on for 24 hours: perhaps that could give people a real opportunity to vote.”
Dazzle the crowd
The Sun said that, as manifested in the effervescent performance of 1981 winners Bucks Fizz, you need to impress with something the audience will remember. The tabloid didn’t go as far as to say that The Hump should have Velcro-ed his trousers and whipped them off for the rousing final key change, but did suggest that some pyrotechnics and visual trickery (such as Irish entrant Jedward’s on-stage water feature) might have helped.
Be young, sexy, female … and Irish
Ireland has been the most successful nation over the history of the competition; so a bit of the luck of the Irish is a Eurovision top tip if you want to win. This is also the third year in a row that a young, sexy female has won the competition. Indeed, the oldest ever winner was only 39 years old.
Strength in numbers
History also tells us that you increase your chances of winning by performing as part of a group. The Sun said that with Brit boy bands One Direction and The Wanted “taking over the world,” it could be time to enter one of them to remedy the UK’s losing streak.
Get voted in by the British public
Neil McCormick from The Telegraph puts forward the idea that in order to get the best British talent to represent us, we need to run a competition for acts in aid of charity so that famous singers will be encouraged to take part, rather than shying away from potential embarrassment. He suggested that there should be a “top celebrity panel” and public voting to ensure we get the cream of the British crop.
Be, err, good
McCormick reminded that the bottom line is that the act must be half-decent. As the second-biggest exporter of music in the world, we should be able to smash the competition in Europe on the basis of quality. McCormick said he would like to see “genuinely popular artists of the calibre of” Jessie J, Keane, Ed Sheeran, Marina And The Diamonds, Katy B, One Direction, Tinie Tempah and Tinchy Stryder put forward so that even if we don’t win, we can regain the “the moral and artistic high ground.”