Entertainment & Arts

Eurovision Song Contest: BBC asks public for entries

Molly Smitten-Downes Image copyright AFP
Image caption The UK's 2014 entrant Molly was selected through the BBC's emerging artists programme

The BBC is asking the public to submit entries for the UK's entry to next year's Eurovision Song Contest for the first time since 2008.

The broadcaster has said it will consider video submissions in an open call to find "a brilliant song" and a "brilliant performer".

But Guy Freeman, in charge of the UK's bid, said they would still work with record labels to find a suitable entry.

The 2015 contest will be held in Vienna after Austria's victory this year.

"Bearded lady" Conchita Wurst won convincingly with Rise Like a Phoenix, which Freeman described in a blog post as a worthy winner in which "the sum of the parts - song, performance and staging", came together "perfectly".

The UK's song, Children of the Universe, performed by Molly, finished in 17th place.

The singer-songwriter was selected internally to perform in Copenhagen through the BBC Introducing scheme for emerging artists, which Freeman has said could still provide an entry for the UK in the Austrian capital next May - the 60th edition of Eurovision.

In recent years the BBC has moved away from a televised competition - and a public vote - to pick the song and singer for the annual contest.

Boy band Blue and veteran performers Bonnie Tyler and Engelbert Humperdinck, along with their respective songs, were picked by the broadcaster and failed to make the top 10.

Humperdinck fared the worst of the trio, finishing a lowly 25th.

Well-known composers Pete Waterman (2010) and Andrew Lloyd Webber (2009) provided the entries for previous contests, with the West End musical maestro giving the UK a top five placing.

The performers, including Jade Ewen who sang Lord Lloyd-Webber's It's My Time, were chosen by the public on a primetime BBC TV show.


Image copyright AFP

THE UK's EUROVISION PERFORMANCE

2014: Molly Smitten-Downes -17th

2013: Bonnie Tyler - 19th

2012: Engelbert Humperdinck (pictured) - 25th

2011: Blue - 11th

2010: Josh Dubovie - 25th


Freeman, who is head of the UK's delegation to Eurovision, has said there will not be a return to the British public having a say in the UK entry for 2015.

A panel of experts "will have the final say on which song and artist will be the UK's 2015 entry", he said.

In deciding to throw open the selection process to the public, he said: "We're keen to provide as many routes into the selection process as possible, whilst remaining realistic about the proven amount of experience required by anyone wishing to put themselves forward."

Public submissions must be sent in by 7 November and will be heard by the judging panel by the following week.

The video entries must contain the complete Eurovision package with both song and artist, but do not have to be of a professional standard.

No announcement has been made about when the UK representative for Vienna will be announced.

Last year's hopeful Molly was revealed in a short programme broadcast on the BBC's Red Button service, although the news emerged shortly before this in early March.

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