Today, saw the UK reveal their six potential representatives for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. All six acts were announced online and on BBC Radio 2’s Ken Bruce show. They will all compete for a chance to represent the United Kingdom in Lisbon, Portugal.
As expected, the acts aren’t massively known, with two of them being ex-contestants on The Voice UK, one is a Britain’s Got Talent finalist, then there’s a girl group who are stage stars, a Hurts’ backing singer who also was a backing dancer for Little Mix, and a Eurovision backing singer. Do any of these have a shot at winning the Eurovision Song Contest 2018? Listen to all the tracks below and let us know what you think.
Asanda – Legends
Asanda Jezile is a familiar face to Britain’s Got Talent viewers. At just 11 years old she competed in the seventh series of the talent show in 2013, where she made it all the way to the final. Fast forward five years and she’s got a chance to go on one of the most-watched music shows around the world. Her song, “Legends” was written by Christopher Wortley, Laurell Barker, and Roel Rats.
Talking to the BBC about the song, she said: “The most interesting aspect of my song is definitely the energetic rhythm and the tribal feel, as well as the lyrics and the message, which are very inspirational and relatable to everyone. The chorus says that we’re all Legends and we’re making history – it’s very universal.”
The song definitely has a tribal feel to it. Asanda has so much soul that it could do well at Eurovision, if done correctly, just like Salvador Sobral did, managing to win the show. However, bringing a new and interesting genre to the stage hasn’t faired well for past contestants. Regardless, this song certainly is catchy with typical Eurovision lyrics wrapped up in a deep backing track.
Goldstone – I Feel The Love
Goldstone formed in 2013 and consists of Aimie Atkinson, Helen Wint, and Rhiannon Porter. They have all been West End performers, appearing in Six, The King And I, Les Miserables amongst others. Can they deal with the enormous stage of Eurovision? Their song “I Feel The Love” was written by Eric Lumiere, Joakim Buddee, Laura White, and Roel Rats.
Of the song, they said: “It’s so hopeful! It makes you feel positive about the world. It doesn’t matter who you are, who you love or where you come from. We can always come together and unite. The feeling of ‘love don’t hate’ is the resounding message of our song.”
We feel the song is going to get compared to fan-favourite, O’G3NE, the Netherlands’ representative from last year, as they were also a three-piece girl group. If the audio is anything to go by, the girls’ vocals do not live up to O’G3NE’s. We’re also surprised to see that Laura White has written the song considering her EP in 2016 was one of our favourites and she totally should’ve won The X Factor series five. The song doesn’t go anywhere, but on the night our opinions could certainly change; these girls are used to bringing stage presence, so they could easily win us over.
Jaz Ellington – You
Who doesn’t remember Jaz Ellington from the first series of The Voice UK? He was the final contestant in the Blind Auditions and was added to Team will.i.am, who waited until the very end. Jaz Ellington managed to reach the Top 8 of the show before being eliminated. He has gone on to release a couple of EPs and a single, since; as well as, supporting Lauryn Hill at one of her shows and working on a project with will.i.am for NASA. “You” was written by Ashley Hicklin, Herman Gardarfve, and Laura White
Of the song, Jaz Ellington said to the BBC: “It channels a very classic, soulful sound and yet the overall vibe is still current. It’s a wonderful fusion.” Of the show, he said: “A great deal of honour comes with the possibility of being able to represent your country. It’s the biggest singing competition of all time!”
Packed with so much soul that it takes us back to the 90s when that genre really was mainstream; “You” could become a classic if it goes viral and is played enough times. It’s less of a surprise to see Laura White’s name, once again, attached to this soulful song, since this is a track we expect from her, although we reckon her vocals would switch this track up a bit. Also, Ashley Hicklin has Eurovision success as he wrote Tom Dice’s “Me And My Guitar” (came sixth in Eurovision 2010 for Belgium) and has worked with many Eurovision alumni.
Liam Tamne – Astronaut
Liam Tamne got four chairs turning in the second series of The Voice UK, but upon the battles stage, he was sent home. Since then, he’s been a West End star, managing to get top roles in Phantom of the Opera and Hairspray. His song is “Astronaut” reminds us, visually, of Montenegro’s representatives Who See featuring Nina Zizic who performed “Igranka” in astronaut suits; although the songs are very different. This song was written by Ashley Hicklin, Jacob Pedersen, Jeanette Bonde, and Rune Braager.
Of the Eurovision Song Contest, he said: “What I love the most about the Eurovision Song Contest is how all these amazing countries come together and celebrate equality, unity and express music in a different way. It’s so moving and inspiring to so many people around the world.”
The song’s beat reminds us a lot of INNA’s “Say It With Your Body“. It’s another ballad that really plays on Liam Tamne’s falsetto. We can’t imagine this doing well on the Eurovision stage in Lisbon; however we’ve been proven wrong a number of times, and if Liam Tamne can get four coaches to turn their chairs around on The Voice UK, we have no doubt he’ll nail this on the night.
RAYA – Crazy
RAYA is certainly getting her name out there. She’s already had a great career to date from backing vocals for Hurts, to backup dancer for Little Mix, and even appeared in ITV’s Mr Selfridge. She has also been a DJ which has taken her all over the world. Now it’s time for the spotlight to be on her as she takes centre stage with this club-like track. “Crazy” was written by Emil Rosendal Lei, Greta Salóme Stefánsdóttir, and Samir Salah Elshafie.
Talking about the song, RAYA told the BBC: “I think the lyrical message behind this song is so interesting and fresh for this competition as instead of your typical love song, it truly captures the essence of falling into that trap of obsessing over someone. The song is about that breaking point where you feel like you just want to get that person out of your mind and shout it from the rooftops!”
We believe this is the track Måns Zelmerlöw called “clubby” in the promotion video for Eurovision: You Decide. It is certainly that, something Måns’ winning song “Heroes” could’ve been called. It’s definitely one we can see DJs fully remixing, and one that has a raging beat. However, the lyrical content is pretty lacklustre. Regardless, RAYA will totally bring it on the night and she’ll have the last word of the song ringing in our ears, in the hope of us voting for her. As for the songwriters, it’s nice to see our favourite Icelandic representative, Greta Salóme, as a songwriter; she represented Iceland in 2012 and 2016.
SuRie – Storm
SuRie has done a lot in her career so far, even held residences in Jazz lounges in London and been a backup singer for Chris Martin and Will Young. Her career as a backup singer has even taken her to the Eurovision stage. She was a backing vocalist and dancer for one of our favourite Belgium representatives Loïc Nottet when he represented his country in 2015 with the song “Rhythm Inside”. Then, last year, she returned as Musical Director for Blanche’s “City Lights”. Both acts came fourth, can she do the same if she wins Eurovision: You Decide? “Storm” was written by Nicole Blair, Gil Lewis, and Sean Hargreaves.
Of the song, she said: “It combines my love of piano-lead singer-songwriter storytelling and also a solid, soulful uplifting pop party!”
The song doesn’t seem to go anywhere and considering the Eurovision songs she has worked with in the past, we certainly expected better. On the other hand, her vocals shine throughout and really gives meaning to the song. It is quite chant-worthy, but so was Molly’s “Children Of The Universe” and that didn’t fair well for the UK either. As for the songwriters, Nicole Blair has written songs for Pixie Lott and 5 After Midnight; and Sean Hargreaves has worked with the likes of Natalie Imbruglia, Michael Bublé, and Alison Moyet, he also co-produced for Ella Eyre; as for Gil Lewis, he’s worked with Nina Nesbitt, Karen Hardin, and Union J. Could “Storm” do better than we initially think, on the night?
Eurovision: You Decide
We’re not sure what to make of this line-up, especially in comparison to other countries’ line-ups and the acts that have already been announced. Can these really compete against Finland’s Saara Aalto or Australia’s Jessica Mauboy? Our bets are on Asanda’s “Legends” and RAYA’s “Crazy”.
We have yet to see how these acts perform; that could certainly change our opinions drastically. Eurovision: You Decide will take place on 7 February 2018 at the Brighton Dome. It will be presented by Mel Giedroyc and Måns Zelmerlöw.
The winner will go on to represent the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 which will be held at the Altice Arena, Lisbon, Portugal; since Salvador Sobral won last year’s show for his country with the song “Amar Pelos Dois”. The winner will be competing against Laura Groeseneken for Belgium, Saara Aalto for Finland, Waylon for the Netherlands, AISEL for Azerbaijan, Cesar Sampson for Austria, Jessica Mauboy for Australia, Eugent Bushpepa for Albania, and Iriao for Georgia.