2016 Review: United Kingdom

The BBC has tried national finals, only to place last twice in the past ten years. They’ve also tried internal selections; while some of them managed to escape the bottom 5, the results were still disappointing and the BBC has still been criticized for not letting the public have any input.

This year they returned to an open selection. While it was only on BBC4 instead of the main BBC channel, and the song choices weren’t on the level of the more popular national selections, it’s a step in the right direction. After a bit of technical difficulties (e.g. the microphones shorting out), the public eventually chose the duo Joe and Jake to represent the UK with “You’re Not Alone.”

For starters, they’re clearly not alone on stage, given that there are two people and not one (unlike Aram MP3). While it seems a bit inoffensive, a bit forgettable and cliché/cheesy, it’s definitely not the worst song in the mix. They can harmonize pretty well, which can be heard in their live performance videos at the promo parties, they’re enthusiastic about being a part of the world’s biggest music festival, and after signing their record deal they moved in with each other to commit to their music project. After a few listens the refrain gets a bit more memorable, given all the repetition of notes and the line “They don’t need to know-ow-ow-ow.” They’re also not singing the exact same few phrases throughout the entire song either.

So…don’t get last place? It’s either that they’ll get last place because the “terrible” entries are more memorable, or they could manage to get out of the bottom 5 because they can sing. (TML, but yes, I’ve got really low standards for them as of right now. And is it bad that I still don’t know which one is Joe and which one is Jake?)

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