Country: United Kingdom
Song Title: “Still In Love With You ”
Artist: Electro Velvet
Last year’s entry: “Children of the Universe” – Molly (17th Place)
Through the first 25 years of the Contest, the UK amassed four wins, ten silver medals, and two bronze medals with an average finish just outside the top three. The mid-80s, 90s, and early 00s were only a little less kind to the UK, with another win from Katrina and the Waves, four more silvers, another bronze, and an average finish between 6th and 7th. But starting with the UK’s first last-place finish in the 2003 Contest, things have really started to go off the rails. Since then, the Big Five nation has finished last three times (once with the dreaded nul points), cracked the top ten only once (5th place in 2009), and cultivated an average finish between 19th and 20th. (Ooof.) This, despite dragging in name-brand stars like Blue, Bonnie Tyler, and Engelbert Humperdinck. It seems like the UK is still in love with Eurovision, but is Eurovision still in love with the UK?
BLACK. FACE. Y’ALL. Look, Eurovision is no stranger to cultural appropriation — and I don’t mean the kind where you hire Americans to represent you. (That’s fine, Germany — you do you.) I mean the kind where you wear a Native American headdress, which some people might defend as a stylistic choice. But I feel like blackface might be the one thing that the vast majority of people recognize and accept is A Bad Thing To Do, Stay Far Far Away. I was so surprised and distracted by the audible blackface that I totally missed the blatant misogyny in the lyrics the first several times I watched this video! So, good job United Kingdom.
It’s sad because this is actually a song that could be pretty great. I love music that takes two different ideas and puts them together in a compelling way. This combination of swing & electronic music is a great idea that could be awesome, but it’s not executed well. The lyrics are insipid, and although the beat is catchy, there’s no arc to the song, just some sections put back-to-back and some weird meta-commentary. It isn’t working very well for Israel (“Okay, three minutes, gotta go, bye bye”) and it doesn’t work here for the UK, either (“Sounding good, sugar!”). I’m also concerned about the presentation … this video makes extensive use of dozens of dancers, while at the Contest they’ll be limited to two at most. How will they generate the energy this song needs to do well?
I think the easy answer is: they won’t. This is a bad entry for a lot of reasons. Even if “Still In Love With You” did inspire one of the best mashups I have seen in a long time, it’s still going to do poorly. The oddsmakers have this song sitting around 10th overall, but I think the United Kingdom will be jockeying for position with Germany in the bottom third of the Grand Final. The upside? We’ll get to hear Graham Norton’s take on the whole mess. I can’t wait.