Nobody can blame the BBC for not trying to change its unfortunate path through Eurovision: the national final will be revised again, for what feels like the umpti-eleventh time. After having "A Song For Europe" every year since the invention of music, the whole event turned into "The Great British Song Contest" (a contest that was, indeed, British but not always so Great), back to "Song For Europe", then morphed into "Making Your Mind Up" before going all "Eurovision: Your Decision" on us.
In a way, I don't think the change in itself was necessary. "Making Your Mind Up" often saw good line-ups and quite a few quality songs. Had the committy responsible for the songs just had the good judgement to leave out the silly novelties, this contest could have produced quite a few heavy scorers through the years. Now it never happened.
The UK has only reached top ten ONCE since Birmingham 1998, which is a shame for the formerly strongest participant country ever. Five victories and no less than fifteen second places through the years made the rest of the continent expect more than... ehm... Scooch.
On a first glance, the new concept seems slightly overworked from my critical point of view. Why not have just six good songs and six good acts compete the old-fashioned way? Why all the hocus pocus? But, on the other hand, if it works for re-capturing the domestic audience, who am I to sit around and complain?
I hope this will work wonders and that there are some good songs involved in the project - songs that could actually break the charts. Fingers crossed. And while waiting for this years British outburst of song, let's celebrate by looking back on some years in the past, where the Brits truly showed their best form. (Maybe not results-wise, but with good acts and good songs.)
Sweet Dreams - I'm Never Giving Up - UK 1983
Frances Ruffelle - Lonely Symphony - UK 1994
Mary Hopkin - Knock Knock (Who's There) - UK 1970
Gina G - Ooh... Aah... Just A Little Bit - UK 1996
Kathy Kirby - I Belong - UK 1965