Sing a (swan)song of Eurovision as UK 10/1 to pull out in 2019
'˜FREEZE the arrow in the air, make your mark and leave it hanging there...' which is exactly what Rasmussen did at Eurovision last week, even if he didn't carry enough votes to scoop the No 1 spot.
I gave up trying to predict the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) donkeys ago, mainly because no one will ever convince me the national juries and fan clubs don’t have a massive influence over the result. There’d be no point to them otherwise.
Over the last decade or more, Eurovision has become a private members club where song-writers and performers (frequently reality TV rejects these days) hawk their wares from country to country looking for a taker.
Even the UK’s SuRie was already a part of the ESC ‘family’ having previously been a dancer and backing singer for Belgium in 2015. She was also their musical director two years later.
That exclusive ‘European’ club includes Israel and Australia (a name change is surely long overdue, The PanGlobal Song Contest, anyone?) and I predict that within a few years America too will dip a toe in the competition.
After this year, however, China, who also looked like a possible new entry, appear to have blown their chances - censorship not being tolerated by the ESC.
The 2018 winner, a novelty effort that despite attempts to justify its meaning was simply atrocious and beyond parody, must have had poor old Katie Boyle and Terry Wogan spinning.
Yes, Ireland may have been slated for entering Dustin The Turkey a few years back, but in Netta, his legacy clucks on.
No longer caring about the official winner, like millions I pick my own top tune each year knowing the chances of Europe agreeing with me are minimal - although in 2006 I did predict Lordi’s win, much to the annoyance of the Eurovision diehards I know.
This year, there were a few catchy tunes, three stood out; Denmark’s anthemic Higher Ground, performed by the afore mentioned Viking, Jonas Flodager Rasmussen, boasted classy harmonies and structure.
It was arguably too good for Eurovision, as was the stunning vocal dexterity of Estonia’s Elina Nechayeva, the best voice in the competition.
Finally, for a good old fashioned dance beat, Australia’s Jessica Mauboy’s We Got Love was more Eurovision that most of the indigenous entries... sadly she murdered it on the night.
Kudos to Portugal, however, for one of the slickest broadcasts in years - even the voting flew by.
So now Eurovision prepares for a return to Israel.
Considering the current political climate it could prove one of the most controversial contests yet.
Either way, it’s a safe bet to say the UK won’t win, if we are still in the competition that is, William Hill are offering odds of 10/1 that the UK will not compete in 2019.
If we do, let’s hope they’ve scrapped the national juries and left the acts at the mercy of the public.