It’s a miracle. After years the UK broadcaster BBC has arranged a real national final “You Decide”! Even if it has only been broadcasted on BBC4, this was a great live show with a sold out venue in London. The atmosphere was phenomenal. In the expert jury there has also been the last UK winner from 1997 Katrina Leskanich from Katrina And The Waves (Love Shine A Light) Out of six hopeful contestants, the most authentic entry could achieve the majority of the televotes: Joe and Jake with “You Are Not Alone”. Let’s hope that the UK and the BBC will find back their successful way in Eurovision.
Joe and Jake is a sympathetic male duo, who actually remind a bit of the younger version of the Danish Olsen Brothers. Joe Woolford (21) and Jake Shakeshaft (20) have met at The Voice UK 2015 and ended up a duo at the end of the show. Since then they are a duo and work together. Representing the UK at Eurovision is going to be the absolute highlight in their careers.
Joe Woolford was born in Ruthin, Wales, UK in 1995. He has started his passion for music in the age of nine. His family is music influenced and Joe has already reached the Grand Finals of the Open Mic UK festival between 2013 and 2014, which is one of the biggest national talent search shows in the UK. Joe is now a singer and songwriter. His songs are showing deep emotions filled with happiness and sadness.
Jake Shakehaft was born in Stoke-on-Trent, England, UK in 1996. Jake has been studying at the music college in Newcastle. Since 2012 he started to sing and to play the guitar and became a full time musician. Since 2013 he is also having solo gigs. At the NUA Entertainment Next Big Thing in Liverpool he became the fifth in the final.
The Song “You Are Not Alone” is a beautiful and radio friendly pop song. The two sympathetic singers do have an unpretentious and authentic charisma which will definitely pay off for them at Eurovision. The song is about never having to feel alone in any situation and the support that is available. Two guys with their young-boy look, the guitar and the “Coldplay” music style will please the juries and TV spectators for sure.
Top 10: 41
Chance for Top 10: 69 %
It will be the 59th time for the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm this year. The UK had its debut in 1957, one year later they could win for the very first time, when the Eurovision Song Contest was still called “Grand Prix d’Eurovision de la Chanson”. In 1957 the United Kingdom has withdrawn, so it’s one of the participating countries with the longest stand in the ESC history. The BBC had the honour to organize a special concert with previous winners and participants in March, 2015. It was a fulminant show with a lot of memories and melodies with an enthusiastic audience in the Apollo Hammersmith Theatre in London. Unfortunately, this concert has not been broadcasted live and the show was not broadcaster all over Europe.
Over the years the United Kingdom has become one of the most successful countries with five victories and 15 2nd places and 41 Top10 placings. Especially in the 60’s and 70’s the ESC was very important for the UK music market, but this has changed a lot. Nevertheless the UK entries have mostly been contemporary and radio friendly and many of them have became great hits or even evergreens.
The English speaking countries always enjoyed the language advantage. Since the language rule has been eased, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Malta have suffered a lot, all countries are able to sing in English or any language of their choice. Additionally the general interest has been impacted as well, which is mainly due to the funny, sarcastic and snappy comments of the BBC commentator Terry Wogan, who unfortunately passed away at the end of January 2016. There was less good will and appreciation, unfortunately the music of the ESC has been put in the trash corner with the consequence that this music event is not being taken seriously anymore. With the effect that established singers and composers make a wide berth around the ESC. Even if the BBC has send Blue, Engelbert Humperdinck and Bonnie Tyler as “old weapons” into the contest, it did not bring the old glamourous times back. It seems those singers have only been taken part for reactivating their careers. There are so many talented singers and composers in the UK, those should be motivated and encouraged instead.
Photographer, Journalist, Editor
About me: My first Eurovision I watched was in 1987, Brussels. Since then I am following the ESC with great enthusiasm. The greatest fascination for me is the fact that the entire Europe is watching the show at that specific night. Since 2010, Oslo I am a member of the eurovisionlive.com team. I had the chance to witness the second German victory with Lena. My biggest wish would be to have the orchestra back, as it used to be until 1998.