LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – Welcome to Eurovision: You Decide, the national selection of the United Kingdom which takes place at the O2 Forum in Kentish Town, London hosted by television presenter, actress and comedienne Mel Giedroyc. Six acts are participating and the audience will have 100% say in the final decision. Expert panel will be made of: Carrie Grant: Vocal coach and television presenter. She was a member of the group Sweet Dream that represented the United Kingdom in the 1983 contest with the song I’m Never Giving Up. She has also been a member of the UK jury at the Eurovision Song Contest. Katrina Leskanich: Lead singer of the group Katrina & The Waves that won the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest for the United Kingdom with the song Love Shine A Light. Jay Revell: Stage director, actor and dancer. He was the choreographer behind the music video and stage performance of the 2015 United Kingdom entry Still In Love With You. Guest performers in tonight’s show will be: Måns Zelmerlöw: Winner of the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest for Sweden with the song Heroes and Katrina Leskanich: Winner of the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest for the United Kingdom with the song Love Shine A Light.
The show began with a video wondering how the UK will come back to the scoreboard after bad results and its first national final in years. The hostess is a brilliant presenter and gives a stunning British presentation to the show introducing the six participants, praising Katrina who is the actual last UK winner in Eurovision, informed the audience how to register online for the web voting and introduced the 2015 Eurovision winner on stage, Måns, who performed live his Eurovision entry “Heroes” followed by his amazing backdrops we all saw in Vienna.
- When You Go sung by Dulcima (Composed by Tomas Twyman) (Listen here): Dulcima Showan aged 23 met songwriter Tomas Twyman aged 27 when they were both busking together on the streets of Canterbury. Dulcima is a classical violinist who loves to play folk. They will both be performing the original song penned by Tom. Their performance was definitely not what we would have expected. The female singer is nervous and the vocals are not sounding good. There is definitely not a match between the two singers and the happy country feeling is definitely not spread on television. Definitely not a good start for the show and definitely not a winner tonight. The panel is not exactly enthusiastic especially Carrie, while Jay finds them electric enough for Stockholm, Katrina tries to be neutral on this one.
- A Better Man sung by Matthew James (Composed by Helienne Lindvall, Andrew Fromm and Peter Kvint) (Listen here): Matthew James has previously had a brush with fame as part of nineties boyband Bad Boys Inc, and their hit single ‘More To This World’. Matthew now 44 lives in South London and has continued singing for the last 15 years with the band Madhen. In the performance now: somehow the music is lower than the voice and I cannot get excited enough with this entry although the studio version is quid magical. Matthew is given a convincing vocal performance and his song is definitely an old time classic song which can really convince Eurovision audience as well. Descent performance and adequate presentation. Jay says the signer made a connection with the audience, Carrie emphasises on the confidence of the singer and Katrina says the song has a good narrative and inspiring lyrics.
- Until Tomorrow sung by Darline (Composed by Roy Stride, Joshua Wilkinson, Duck Blackwell and Jack McManus) (Listen here): Darline are a country pop duo – Abby Inez, 20 from Worcester and Càra Beth Beard, 18 from Hertfordshire. Both girls play guitar and have supported The Shires on their UK tour, performing two thousands of people every night. They cite Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift amongst their inspiration. Regarding the performance: seriously there is a problem with BBC delivering the music equally to to voice of the signers. Not sure if that’s why Darline are sounding as awful as I hear them. Definitely who ever chose this song had to be deaf. Not a good vocal performance, not a song that could appeal the Eurovision audience and definitely not going to win tonight! Carrie says they have beautiful voices but she doesn’t want to see two soloists but a true connected duo. Jay says they should connect as a group and Katrina said that this is the type of song that other Europeans would vote for! (seriously?)
- Miracle sung by Karl William Lund (Composed by Karl William Lund) (Listen here): Singer songwriter Karl, aged 29, is originally from Liverpool and began writing the song Miracle whilst working in Greece as part of a Beatles tribute act. He is self-taught at playing the guitar and his musical inspirations are Tori Amos, Prince, Kate Bush and Rufus Wainwright. Karl told us about his experience while working in Greece in his postcard. Regarding the performance I find Karl maybe too much dramatic, maybe more than needs to. The overall performance is descent and the vocals are not that bad. The problems ith the song is that although aims to be anthemic ballad it doesn’t get you to the point you will say “that’s the song I wanna vote for”. Hard to see it winning tonight. Carrie said that it was the most solid performance tonight and he is handsome on camera. Jay said that Karl takes you into his world. Katrina said that Karl has an emotional connection with the song (since he wrote the song) and you feel that.
- Shine A Little Light sung by Bianca (Composed by Ash Howes, Cass Lowe, Leona Lewis and Richard Stannard) (Listen here): Bianca Claxton is a 25 year old singer from Nottingham who has previously had chart success with girl group Parade. A classically trained soprano and cellist, Bianca supported the likes of Shakira and The Black Eyed Peas on tour in the UK. She is a massive fan of Eurovision and it’s been her dream to represent the UK. In the performance now Bianca is a favourite and you can see that in her confidence on stage. The song which is also penned by Leona Lewis is sounding quite interesting. The vocal performance is excellent but personally not sure about the different sounds in the music style of main song and the chorus. It sounds a bit confusing and not sure that this can bring a good results for the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest. Jay says the vocals were amazing and thinks this is the UK entry for Eurovision 2016, Carrie also wants this song to win NF tonight and Katrina says she loves the lyrics and didn’t hear the rest of the comments due to a mic problem.
- You’re Not Alone sung by Joe and Jake (Composed by Schwartz, Justin J Benson and S Kanes) (Listen here): Joe Woolford and Jake Shakeshaft met during the 2015 series of The Voice UK. Jake was part of team Will.i.am but lost out at the Battle rounds, whereas Joe was a finalist for Rita Ora’s team. Jake aged 20 from Stoke-on-Trent can play guitar, whilst Joe aged 21 from Ruthin, Wales supported The Vamps on their 2015 tour. In the performance now the song is the one I personally like because to the tune but it’s clear that the two lads are not delivering the vocals of the song as good as they should have. The rock element in the song, the tune which resembles to a U2 hit could make this a very good UK entry for Eurovision but surely the vocal performance tonight doesn’t help them.
so that’s all from the UK national final live performances. Darline is the bookies’ favourite while Karl still wins the oikotimes.com poll. What will happen in the end? find out the winner either following the live stream or stay with us for the winner’s post on oikotimes.com