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Borrow a giant dragon flag from the Manic Street Preachers and sing in Welsh. It’s Lucie Jones’ only conceivable hope. The UK’s 2017 Eurovision Entry.

May 10, 2017


This really is her only prospect.   The UK cannot win Eurovision.   Given the unwholesome rhetoric emanating from the island Lucie grew up in, European nations will find it hard to vote for Britain, a nation that cannot exist for very much longer.  It is true that Yugoslavia won Eurovision not long before its disintegration, but Yugoslavia’s disintegration was far less predictable and predicted than Britain‘s.

But maybe Lucie can still win it for Wales instead.

As an avowedly anti-European state, Britain‘s chances of winning Eurovision might seem nonsensical.  It might be worth pointing out, meanwhile (as Adrian Kavanagh and John O’Brennan have pointed out to me) that neither the UK nor Ireland have flourished in the competition ever since 1998, when nations were no longer compelled to sing in their native languages and the medium of English – the international medium of popular song – was made available to all contestants.

Here’s the video, which because the UK is a wealthy country (or rather a country with a deal of wealth in it), is a performance video:

Not very memorable, I’m sure you’ll agree.  Nothing especially wrong with it – just insufficiently distinctive enough to persuade very many people to vote for it.

But I bet it sounds better in Welsh.  Most things sound better sung in Welsh.  Lucie grew up just outside Cardiff, and I’m sure she’s fully capable of singing this in Welsh if she wants to.  And if she doesn’t want to lose, then she absolutely has to.

To sing in Welsh would not only disassociate the song from a discredited polity, it would also reinforce and inspire other small nations to return to their native languages.  If Lucie sings for Wales rather than the UK, then she will – oddly enough – make even the UK look like a more interesting place.  Instead of anglophone imperial dominance, you’ll have a Celtic nation that sounds confident itself.  And European.

People will sit up and take notice if she sings in Welsh.  Welsh will startle.  It will prove a media event and will have people talking about the performance long after the unremarkable melody has faded from European memory (although perhaps the melody is more memorable when sung in Welsh).

People want to vote for something different.  The very theme of this Eurovision (even though it is co-hosted by two very similar looking white guys) involves celebrating diversity.  To sing in Welsh would remind Europe of how many creative and fruitful differences exist among the peoples of North West Europe and voting for a Welsh language song would make those voting for it feel that they were being creative with their votes… maybe even making a “difference”.

In short,  Lucie cannot possibly win in English but she has a fascinating distant shot at winning in Welsh.  There really is no decision to be made.

An (incomplete) list of nations more likely to win Eurovision runs as follows and includes nations already eliminated…

Starting with Israel:

Meanwhile, there’s Estonia.  Which enrages me:

Lithuania’s entry  is flashy… that’s all I can say:

For fresh-faced innocence – Bulgaria’s yer only man:

But if you prefer something jolly and sinister at the same time – you’ll prefer Belarus:

There’s something a bit too tasteful about Switzerland’s entry:

For something superficially a bit “edgy” – try Norway:

Croatia, on the other hand,  offers two voices for the price of one:

Here’s Ma and Pa in San Marino:

For youthful angst – Ireland:

Ireland’s entry is, I think, more emotionally involving than Denmark’s:

Right now I prefer cultural nationalism when it isn’t Hungarian:

The Netherlands offers something altogether safer:

Utterly (winningly?) different is Romania:

Less immediately exciting is Malta:

So you might prefer Macedonia:

Or you can “Climb Every Mountain” with Nathan from Austria:

Serbia offers a big ballad about rising and falling and falling and rising:

Meanwhile, here is Sweden:

Here, meanwhile, is Omar belting it out for Slovenia:

Portugal offers something just a bit more special:

Anyhow, Portugal’s offering is infinitely more palatable than Poland’s:

A man who needs a deal of personal space is this guy from Montenegro:

Equally sexualised is the Moldovan entry:

Latvia offers a more techno-trance version of minimalism:

Iceland’s entry isn’t really a Eurovision song either:

Georgia’s offering is undoubtedly a bigger if not bolder initiative:

Frankly, I prefer Finland:

I’ll be sorely vexed if Finland doesn’t do better than Cyprus

Frankly I’d rather the Czech Republic won – though they won’t…

Belgium looks like a better bet:

But if it isn’t, maybe it will go to Azerbaijan with this…

Armenia’s Entry is nowhere near as scary:

In the meantime here are my thoughts on the Australian entry:

And here’s Albania…



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