Finally, after years of internal selection and subsequently atrocious results, the BBC is letting the British public help decide who they’ll be sending to Stockholm for Eurovision 2016.
Anyone aged 18 or over is being invited to apply for the competition before the November 20 deadline in what is the second open talent search since 2008. The public will get a chance to then weigh in on choosing the winning act – although the method has yet to be decided.
The BBC said video auditions do not have to be professionally shot or recorded, but must be by the artist hoping to represent the UK at the contest.
The move comes after last year’s entry, Electo Velvet’s Still In Love With You, delivered the UK’s worst result in over a decade, and the 2nd worst of all time after Gemini’s infamous ‘nil points’ debacle of 2003. The last time the UK entrant was decided by a public vote was in 2010 – though in fairness the winner, 19-year-old Josh Dubovie, came in dead last in the actual competition.
Host Graham Norton welcomed the news, saying: “Eurovision is one of the highlights of my year and I love the fact that the BBC is launching its biggest song search ever.
“I think it really shows that they take the competition seriously and the fact that the public will get the final say on who is sent to represent the UK in Stockholm next year is the icing on the cake!”
Alasdair Randall, the president of Eurovision fan group the OGAEA, who will help whittle down public entries, said: “Eurovision fans are never backwards in coming forwards about their thoughts on the UK’s performance at the world’s greatest music competition, so I’m really excited about the opportunity this offers us to help find the right song to fly the flag for the UK in Stockholm next year.”
One person who hasn’t ruled herself out from the Eurovision running is Claire Richards, who said “never say never” when we spoke to her in an exclusive interview last week. The Steps star also offered her two cents on what the UK entry needs, saying: “I think someone who is passionate about the competition needs to take charge of it though. Someone that will put the effort in and source a great song to actually compete and invest in great production.
“It’s become a bit of a joke so we’ve just stopped trying. I know there is a bit of politics that goes on but if we entered an amazing song with a great singer/act then it can’t be ignored.”
Too right Claire. This is our chance people.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2016 takes place on May 14 next year in Stockholm, Sweden.