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Eurovision: UK and Ireland in the bottom five - where did it all go wrong?


Lena from Germany performing the song Satellite during the Eurovision Song Contest (AP)

Lena from Germany performing the song Satellite during the Eurovision Song Contest (AP)

Lena from Germany performing the song Satellite during the Eurovision Song Contest (AP)

Last place for the UK and third last for Ireland — what does a country have to do to win? Eurovision bosses in London and Dublin have been left scratching their heads yet again after failing to turn around a recent run of badly-faring performances.

While Germany’s Lena was celebrating after winning this year’s contest in Oslo with an impressive 246 points for her catchy song Satellite, the UK and Ireland were comtemplating their increasingly familiar positions at the bottom of the scoreboard.

That Sounds Good To Me, sung by 19-year-old Josh Dubovie, was the title of the UK’s 2010 Eurovision song.

Unfortunately, it didn’t sound good to anyone else.

From the cheesy styling of the dancers to the 1980s camp backing track, Pete Waterman’s song was music to no one’s ears.

The UK languished in last place on the score board with just 10 points.

In the words of one online commentator: “Put simply, we suck.”

Faring better, but only just, was the Irish entry sung by Eurovision veteran and former winner, Niamh Kavanagh.

Unlike the UK, Ireland’s song It’s For You dazzled with Niamh’s stunning vocals and had been expected to do well.

But despite giving her all, Niamh managed only a terrible 25 points.

So, where did it all go wrong?

Former Eurovision songwriting winner Shay Healy said Ireland needs to appeal to a younger, tech-savvy audience for future entries if it is ever to capture the glory days of the 1990s.

The 1979 winning writer said: “I think Ireland is behind the times and we've been caught out by fashion. We need to rethink our model and come up with something more contemporary. Eurovision is becoming a much younger contest, as evidenced by this 19-year-old German winning.”

Niamh Kavanagh, who lives in Carrickfergus with her husband, was gracious in defeat.

After the final she described the song contest as “39 countries with 39 tastes in music”.

She said: “I am so proud of what we did on Saturday night. We (gave it) 100 per cent. We sang that song and played it exactly as we wanted to. I tell you, I've no regrets whatsoever. But you know, the reality is music is very subjective.

UK commentators weren’t quite as magnanimous in defeat.

One You Tube Eurovision comment read: “It is ironic that the winning song had Lena imitating the phonetics of Lilly Allen?”

Another wrote: “Clearly the UK has the best music in Europe, with worldwide success. We should win every year. So will someone explain to me why we put songs like this in, to represent our country in the Eurovision?”

The UK may have come last in the Eurovision Song Contest, but Josh Dubovie was not the most out-of-tune performer.

That honour went to Serbia's Milan Stankovic, who despite coming well above Britain in 13th place, hit 117 wrong notes in last night's contest, according to research by text question and answer service 63336.

In comparison Dubovie missed 49 notes — equivalent of 16.7 per minute — during his rendition of That Sounds Good To Me. This made him the fourth most out-of-tune competitor in a league table of the 25 nations which took to the stage in Oslo, Norway.

However, Dubovie's pitch was better than Eurovision winner Lena, who sang bum notes at a rate of 21.9 per minute when she performed hit Satellite for Germany, earning her third place in the table.

Belfast Telegraph