Eurovision; we decided. Rightly, I think: Michael Rice is a very good singer, and should put on a decent show. However, the contest was still very odd. The girl band, MAID, had never sung in public together before. Another contestant, Anisa, was a singer-songwriter who has had material recorded by Ariana Grande, but was here singing a song written by other people. It was all a bit like the middle rounds of a talent contest. Why?
Right now, Britain needs to put its best foot forward, especially in Europe. The people of Europe turn on their TVs, see the quality of the Brexit debate, and are beginning to despair of a nation that once provided inspiration and excitement. Eurovision is a chance to blow them away and show that we are still a great country with a passionate, creative culture.
In 2017, the people behind Portugal’s Eurovision efforts came up with a manifesto. "Festival da Canção should show what music is currently being done in Portugal… Make a song that you would put on an album from you; Eurovision is the consequence and not the cause." They then won the contest. (Next year, they came last – but that’s the risk of ‘doing different’.) We should be following their example.
Time to stand up, loud and proud, for a liberal, creative, outward-looking Britain – in Eurovision, but everywhere actually.