For the first time in a long time, Eurovision fans in the United Kingdom will finally get a say-so in who represents them at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2016 in Stockholm, by voting in the U.K. National Selection in February. The competition will be aired on BBC 4.
The BBC confirmed this weekend that, for the first time in six years, the British public will get a chance to vote on six shortlisted acts in a U.K. National Selection competition, with the winner representing the country in Stockholm in May.
The National Selection competition is called ‘Eurovision: You Decide’ (and about time, too), and will be aired live on BBC 4 on Friday, February 26th. The winner will be chosen by viewers at home, along with a professional panel of ‘experts’.
Interestingly, having ‘Eurovision: You Decide‘ broadcast on BBC 4 will be the first time this channel has had any connection to Eurovision, which is annoying quite a few fans. Some are accusing the BBC of having no interest in Eurovision at all because, they believe, if they did the National Selection would be being broadcast on BBC 1.
However, as Cassian Harrison, Editor at BBC Four, said, “I’m delighted that ‘Eurovision: You Decide’ and both of the Semi Finals are coming to the channel this year. BBC Four is the home of music on TV in the UK, and as any fan will tell you, Eurovision is one of the biggest music events on the planet and is much more than just one night of TV, therefore it is only right that BBC Four is able to showcase Europe’s favourite music TV event right here in the UK.”
Time will tell if he is correct but, as other fans pointed out, the typical BBC Four audience is far more likely to vote for songs that they like rather than what used to happen when the National Selection aired on BBC 1, and people not interested in the competition would deliberately vote for songs they didn’t like. Yep, that’s the good old British public for you.
The six shortlisted acts that will sing on the night have not yet been announced, but their names and songs will be released to the media before the night ‘Eurovision: You Decide‘ airs.
I don’t know about you, but I’m excited. Because, yes, I’m British and I’m tired of Guy Freeman and his so-called ‘panel of experts’ choosing artist after artist and song after song for the UK Eurovision entry.
Artists and songs that didn’t stand a chance of winning (Englebert Humperdink’s ‘Love Will Set You Free‘ anyone? which I actually liked, but there was no way it was going to win Eurovision).
Maybe this year, we might?