Country: United Kingdom
Song Title: “You’re Not Alone”
Artist: Joe & Jake
Last year’s entry: “Still In Love With You” – Electro Velvet (24th Place)
In the recent history of the Eurovision song competition (and really since the instigation of a semi-final system), the Big 5 (or 6) have been consistently shunted at the bottom of the final rankings, with a few exceptions. I’m not always sure this is fair – all of these nations send good entries, and whether it’s the result of block voting or resentment, I’d argue they deserve to place higher on a more consistent basis. Case in point: this year’s UK entry. Okay, so the Downton Abbey meets Rave Culture aspect of last year’s “Still in Love With You” may have done more to sell frozen potato waffles than succeed in Vienna, but I thought it was enjoyable, and more importantly, fun. After seeing internal selection fail, the UK opened it back up to the people, who selected Joe & Jake as their representative. Does this deserve a better ranking than last year?
I don’t think this is going to win the competition, but I’d argue it deserves to place at least in the top half of the finals. Of all the “rock” entries in the competition, I think this is one of the most successful, because it fully embraces the pop nature of the contest rather than trying to get the contest to embrace a harder edge. Coldplay-ish Britpop is a much better fit for the contest than what Montenegro is trying to bring, and would be more likely to make it through if this was trying to get through a semifinal. More in Joe & Jake’s favor is that they’re really nailing the vocal harmonies in live performances, which is likely to score higher with the juries even if televoters shut them out of the voting on that end of things.
Presentation of the song is getting tighter since we first saw it – Joe & Jake are more similarly styled (which I wanted) while also retaining unique stage identities. If I had a chance to suggest further tweaks, I’d want them to ditch the guitar (which isn’t going to be mic’ed in Stockholm, anyways) and tighten up the choreography. There’s enough of a hint in the current staging that there is choreography, so these guys should be like a palatable, talented version of Jedward((I know, I know. I can’t believe I’m making this comparison either.) and be hitting their marks in sync to make it look purposeful.
They’re not enough of a favorite to win the competition, but Joe & Jake certainly deserve better placement than last year’s final.