It’s time to make your mind up – Can the UK win Eurovision 2017?

By Beth, Jess, Emma and Katherine

This year, the UK has decided that Lucie Jones (an X-factor finalist) will be singing Never Give Up on You for the Eurovision song contest, which is currently going to take place during the dates of Tuesday 9th May and Saturday 13th May. The UK's competitor was selected from a ninety-minute program where the public chose Lucie over a number of previous X-factor contestants.

Sunbets Eurovision odds predict that the chance of the UK winning is 50/1. Currently the favorite to win is Italy's Occidental's Karma which will be sung by Francesco Gabbani – this more 'up beat' song has the odds of 2/1.

So why might the UK's entry not have the same odds?

In 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014 the songs that were placed last in the competition all had the tempo of 128bpm - Never Give Up On You shares this pace. The reason why many countries have chosen 128bpm is because the maximum length a Eurovision song can be is 3 minutes, and the 4/4 tempo played at 128bpm allows the piece to be exactly 96 bars long. Therefore, composers have freedom to create 8 bar choruses, and four bar bridges to fit the timings. However the Eurovision has previously seen this standard pace as generic and formulaic and they are now looking for something new and different.

Aside from being 128bpm, the song that has been chosen fits many of the criteria that previous winners have held. For example, the piece is in D minor which was the winning key of Fairytale, Molitva and Rise like a Phoenix. Also, the competition seems to favour female soloists. However, these predictions of which performances will be successful are based upon previous winning entries, and the competition will be based on the public and judges' votes.

During several interviews with a variety of staff, there were mixed opinions on the song that will represent the UK. A music teacher said, 'It sounds like the sort of thing that might do quite well at Eurovision, but perhaps something a bit more upbeat might do better.’ Another music teacher said, ‘I think that it is a very emotional song and it has a repetitive melody which seems to have done well in previous years.’ and described it as a ‘Ballard piece’ that is ‘well sung with details in the words’. On the other hand, a maths teacher thought that the song was very boring and that it got worse throughout the piece. They also informed us that the probability of it winning was 'close to zero'. In addition, many students thought that the song was also ‘boring’, but after hearing previous successors they thought that the UK may have a chance of becoming a winner.

The more negative responses from students may have been due to the fact that there are less young people viewing Eurovision and they were unsure of what the competition was about. A survey was conducted with 25 students and 9 claimed that they have previously watched Eurovision. The reasons that the pupils had never watched Eurovision included:

1)      They did not know what Eurovision was.

2)      There were better things on television

3)      The UK has not won the competition in recent years.

Furthermore, Eurovision used to be unique because the public decides who will be performing for their country, whereas nowadays many television programs and competitions are being decided by viewers' votes which makes Eurovision less unique.

The UK's entry “Never Give Up On You”- sung by Lucie Jones, seems to have mixed opinions and predictions on whether it will be successful. However, the certainty of the predictions cannot be known until the live performances.