Home / News / United Kingdom: Eurovision You Decide 2019 Lineup

United Kingdom: Eurovision You Decide 2019 Lineup

The BBC presented this year’s lineup of six artists and three songs on Radio 2 this morning and it’s fair to say the reaction was underwhelming. I’m sure we’ll be spoon-fed the usual trite superlatives by Mel, Måns and the panel of experts(?) at the live final, although they’ll have their work cut out to sell this colourless palette of album songs.

The lineup is as follows (videos linked to respective artist):

Song 1 –  Bigger Than Us

Unfortunately for Holly Tandy, her version of Bigger Than Us sounds like the typical Eurovision-song-by-committee which has left it sounding anaemic and a sort of 8th placed song in a below-average Dansk Melodi Grand Prix. Michael Rice, on the other hand, has bagged the much stronger soulful version of the song. It’s uplifting and powerful – in places – yet it still lacks that special ingredient to attract widespread radio play. In short, it still sounds like a cookie-cutter talent show entry performed by a typical talent show singer, albeit a highly capable vocalist. If we are going to select a Eurovision song to actually compete, BBC Radio 1 has to be comfortable play-listing it. In this case they won’t

Song 2 – Freaks

I’m not sure how many songs influence the chorus of Jordan Clarke’s Freaks, but I’ve managed to trace back some chord progressions to Pachelbel’s Canon and Handel’s Arrival of the Queen of Sheba. You know how it is when you’re reminded of another song!? I’m also thinking of Daz Simpson’s Teenage Life during the chorus, although I just can’t place the main song I’m thinking of. Even so, the chorus is very effective and is a bit of an ear-worm, yet the song still lacks top-15 quality.

MAID’s version ruins the flow of the song with jarring breaks during the verses. The change in the instrumentation is a disaster. Probable lowest vote percentage here.

Song 3 – Sweet Lies

Kerrie-Anne’s Sweet Lies loses me after the opening 30-seconds. It’s just so lightweight and plastic even though I quite like the Deep-House genre. As for Anisa’s version, it’s so whiney and sort of like Leona Lewis singing while yawning. I’m sure Anisa is capable; however, it’s clear this isn’t her song.

The winning version of each song will go into a super-final, which I think will involve Michael and Jordan. Song 3 doesn’t exist for me. The show will be screened on February 8th.

Pre-Big Night Thoughts:

Yesterday’s Instagram previews were quite revealing in terms of working out who is capable of elevating their song beyond the beige studio version. I had already been backing Jordan, as 10s+ seemed good value for what was quite a catchy chorus. He’s brimming with charisma and personality which could endear him to the voting audience. Conversely, Michael looks awkward – he’s not a natural regardless of his talent show win. Yes, Michael has a cracking voice and his version of Bigger than Us allows him to shine. He’s the deserved favourite right now, but so much could change in-running tomorrow.

Kerrie-Anne also looked out of sorts in her rehearsal clip and might be guilty of over-performing at Friday’s final. It all looked right on the edge of what would be considered voteable. Her banger version of Sweet Lies will go big in the hall among the typical Eurovision fans which may cause some market fluctuations.

At this point I think it’s between the two lads. No doubt the jury will help guide the televote. Also watch out for the BBC’s suspect vote-killer styling!

About Gavster

ESCtips Owner   I’m a qualified designer and dedicate a lot of my free time to keeping the ESCtips show on the road. My family routes allow me to support the UK, Ireland and Italy.


  1. Catriona Colville

    Awful quality, worst I’ve ever seen in a UK selection. Both versions of “Freaks” are a disgrace.

    I think the fuel winners will be :


    The fans think Kerrie will win, but I think Michael will.

  2. I don’t like to say it, but I think every song in this selection is even more hopeless than Joe & Jake.

    I think Michael has the most representative entry, which might pick up some jury votes to keep him from the last place.

  3. Gav, I’m equally underwhelmed. The songs aren’t bad but after three listens there is nothing that really grabs me.

    I liked Anisa’s vocal on Sweet Lies. Kerrie Anne’s version had more oomph but it came across as cheap Club Remix. On both the chorus lets this song down.

    MAID’s version of Freaks put me in mind of Electro Velvet in 2015. Jordan Clarke’s rendition was much better. I thought the verses on his version were the strongest aspect of all 6 songs (albeit there seemed a lot of autotune). But I just personally don’t get on with the chorus of this song at all. It came across as a bit of a mixture of 1990s Britpop and something from the 1960s like ‘Grocer Jack’. It was all very peculiarly British, and I’m not sure that Europe will warm to it.

    Overall, Bigger Than Us was the strongest song of the three and had the most memorable chorus. I agree that Michael Rice’s version was the more impactful, but it was all very Eurovision by numbers. Also, it sounded as if he had an entire choir of backing vocalists (real or digitally enhanced) which he won’t be allowed in Tel Aviv.

    Michael’s is the best of a mediocre bunch, but it will come down to the live performances the night, where the usual sound issues will probably scupper all but the best vocalists.

  4. I really wanted to like “Sweet Lies” because I would like to see us send a dance track at some point, but the song just isn’t strong enough to do well, at least as it is right now.

    “Freaks” is dreadful, though I can see what they were going for, trying to be a bit Greatest Showman. The chorus reminds me of “The Land Of Make Believe”.

    I genuinely really like “Bigger Than Us” – I’m a sucker for a “winner’s single”, when it’s done well. John Lundvik’s “My Turn” was one of my favourites from last year and I think this is a better song. From watching Michael on that All Together Now show, he has that “aww cute” factor that people will like, and he’s a confident competent singer. I think even with the key-change it just gets away with being the right side of cheesy.

    I think he’s the only one who has the *potential* to do better than say, Lucie Jones, though it is disappointing there’s again nothing here to really give us the hope of that top 5 placing we really want.

  5. The BBC politburo does it again.Michael Rice looks like one of the local pikey’s who park their cob horses outside Aldi.
    Freak “in soccer”,soccer? this is the UK,its football,says all you need to know about the BBC.
    The only talented one here is Kerrie-Anne and the most likely to be able to deliver live.The song would be the worst one on any dance album i own though.It needs a massive re-vamp to add some depth and life or a real full on dance routine and lighting.This seems to me the BBC have given up again.Maybe coming bottom 5 suits them so they can play to the narrative about how Europe hates us etc.
    More reasons to hate paying my BBC extortion tax.

    • Catriona Colville

      Even the most right-wing, brexit supporting daily mail reader would not blame brexit on a bad result after hearing whatever the UK sends.

      The BBC have nowhere to hide with this. What I’d give to have Channel 4 given a go.

  6. Get your bets on for UK 22nd to 26th…..
    I was scuppered last year by the “terrorist” who grabbed Surie’s mike, as I am sure she was heading for last but for some sympathy vote…

    Give it to Channel 4…..please, ANYTHING but this…..UK and Spain….EVERY YEAR…..the same bland rubbish…

    Time to lose the phrase “The Big 5″…..

  7. I’ll be reluctantly voting for Kerrie Anne while secretly wishing we could hijack Electric Fields from Australia.

    These songs are terrible. And as for soccer. Pfft

  8. You can almost write the same overview every year for the Uk- disappointing, too safe, unremarkable performers, middle of the road etc.
    How many times does this same format have to fail?
    It’s disappointing yet wholly accurate to say a few jury points here or there for Michael is the best hope at this stage.
    I think the market has it fairly right here, and the better version of each entry is beyond doubt.

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