After 6 years of the BBC handpicking a song to represent the UK at Eurovision to ever increasing levels of failure this year it will be chosen by the public vote in a live TV extravaganza.

Later this month on February 26th the BBC are mounting a live 90 minute show entitled ‘You Decide’ where we will be presented with 6 songs to choose from followed by a live phone vote. The show will be hosted by Bake Off’sMel Giedroyc and the winner will be heading into the charts no doubt and off to Stockholm for the finals on May 14th. Mel said: “I am a huge fan of Eurovision and am honoured to be hosting this fantastic event. It’s very exciting that the great British public will get the chance to choose who will be sent to Sweden and I know it’s going to be an amazing night.”

This year, the BBC allowed an open submission for songs to get the best possible entrants. Last year there was a lot of complaint about the song chosen by BBC executives that suddenly just appeared one night in video form just before the lottery result show. That was Electro Velvet with Still In Love With You which was only the second song in history that failed to make the UK Top 100 chart – so not popular with the general public. In the finals it gained little extra love as we came 24th out of 27.

Cassian Harrison, editor of BBC Four, the channel showing the 90 minute live performance from The Kentish Town Forum which will include many special guests from existing chart acts and former Eurovision stars said: “I’m delighted that Eurovision: You Decideand both of the semi-finals are coming to the channel this year. BBC Four is the home of music on TV in the UK and, as any fan will tell you, Eurovision is one of the biggest music events on the planet and is much more than just one night of TV, therefore it is only right that BBC Four is able to showcase Europe’s favourite music TV event right here in the UK.”

Last year the contest was won by Sweden with the songHeroes by Mans Zelmerlow who has been asked to co-host this year’s finals. There is a joint record number of countries this year 43 in total. Australia Is back after its special invite last year and Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Ukraine and Bulgaria have all come back but Portugal has left as their national broadcaster is not big on music.

Some songs have already been selected and early interest has been drawn to former Westlife studmuffin Nicky Byrne with his song Sunlight representing Ireland. There is also considerable controversy from Germany. Their entrant was replaced just before Christmas. Xavier Naidoo, a well known star in his homeland was dropped two days after being picked due to heavy criticism. Co -ordinator for ARD broadcasters Thomas Schreiber explained: “Xavier Naidoo is a brilliant singer who is, according to my own opinion, neither racist nor a homophobe. It was clear that his nomination would polarise opinions, but we were surprised about the negative response. The Eurovision Song Contest is a fun event, in which music and the understanding between European people should be the focus. This characteristic must be kept at all costs.”

The UK has won the contest 5 times since it’s birth in 1957. Namely Sandie Shaw/Puppet On A String; Lulu/Boom Bang A Bang; Brotherhood Of Man/Save Your Kisses For Me; Bucks Fizz/Making Your Mind Upand Katrina with her Waves with Love Shine A Light.

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We are the unluckiest country coming second an incredible 15 times including with Cliff, Michael Ball, Sonia, The Shadows and Mary Hopkin all falling just a point or two short. We have done really badly of late often chalked up to political voting and we have only made the top five once in the last decade and for that Jade Ewen from the Sugababes had to drag Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber onto stage with her to get the vote in. We are trying to forget the Blue, Bonnie Tyler and Englebert entries. As for what happened in 1996 when the superb Ooh Aah Jut A Little Bit by Gina G made it to number one in the UK chart and did great in Euro charts but somehow only came 8th at Eurovision….well we was robbed surely the best Eurovision winner that never was.

So it Is over to you, watch ‘You Decide’ pick wisely amongst the rumoured 80’s megastars and reality stars we have heard have entered and let’s get a real winner and bring the contest home to blighty.

At The Gay UK we love everything Eurovision so check back in regularly and we will bring you all the news and gossip first in the European vote this year we all massively care about.

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Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you’d like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.

About the author: Paul Stag
Estbablished gay writer for a well known monthly magazine Dirty Boyz part of Boyz magazine with about 30 pages published each time. Mainly adult entertainment, fetish, travel, events, film reviews. Also pop culture from movies/TV and music.

Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.