Post Mortem – In our next look at the countries that did not make it through to the grand final this year, Eurovision Times contributor Jane looks at the fortunes of the United Kingdom‘s Joe and Jake singing ‘You’re not alone’ with music & lyrics by Matt Schwartz, Justin J Benson, S. Kanes.
Following five years of internal selection, in 2016 the BBC returned to a National Final format with ‘Eurovision: You Decide’, and Joe and Jake were selected by public vote to represent the UK with their catchy lightweight pop song ‘You’re not alone’. Could they improve on Electro Velvet’s 24th place with 5 points in 2015?
The short answer is ‘no, they could not’. Joe and Jake scored what seemed to UK viewers an impressive 62 points, the most for a UK act since Blue in 2011, but it still only bought them 24th out of 26.
- In summary, the majority verdict from the juries was indifference – ‘You’re Not Alone’ was not good enough to score big points, and not bad enough to go to the bottom of the table.
- Joe and Jake earned 54 points, and were ranked 17th on the jury vote.
- 10 juries – 25% – gave points.
- Special shout outs go to Malta for placing the UK 1st, and San Marino placing the UK 3rd.
- In Albania, Russia and Malta, all 5 jurors placed the UK in the points zone.
- 3 juries placed the UK in their bottom 3: The Netherlands, Croatia and Belarus.
- This leaves 28 juries out of 41 – around two thirds – who reacted more or less indifferently to the UK entry.
- Joe and Jake failed to connect with the audience and were ranked 25th by the public, with 8 points.
- The 3 countries which gave the UK televote points were Australia, Malta and Ireland.
- 11 countries – over 25% – ranked the UK bottom 3 in the televote.
- Croatia and Belarus jury and televote placed the UK in the bottom 3.
Before the Final
Joe and Jake met on The Voice in 2015, became friends, and after they left the reality show decided to enter Eurovision.
On February 26th 2016 they were selected by public vote from a shortlist of six performers and songs, in the first UK National Final since 2010. Fans had high hopes for the selection process, but the quality of songs in the NF was not good, and none of them stood out as a potential Eurovision winner. The show went out to an audience of 678,900; the BBC have not released voting figures.
Joe and Jake spent the months between selection and the final earning a reputation as lovely lads determined to work hard and enjoy their time in the limelight.
During rehearsals it was apparent that the BBC had not changed the staging in any major respect since the NF: the presence of two drum sets on stage still seems pointless and bizarre to me. Their vocal performance was inconsistent, and the upbeat song seemed dull compared with other pop offerings such as Lithuania.
During the final Nathan Sykes (UK Junior Eurovision 2004) tweeted that ‘You’re not alone’ had been offered to boyband The Wanted but not used.
The Wanted haven’t recorded since 2013, and have been on hiatus since 2014, so one wonders how old ‘You’re not alone’ is?
As the results came in jury first, tweeters seemed impressed by the points scored. The 12 points from Malta was the UK’s first since 2011, and tweeters went into meltdown. Simply appearing on the left hand side of the board for a few minutes was seen as a major success.
The mood changed when the low televote appeared, and there were a lot of tweets along the ‘Europe hates Britain’ lines, with jokes about Brexit.
A handful of tweeters commented that it was a low vote for a low key song and performance.
After the Result
Joe and Jake showed some true Brit plucky loser spirit when they tweeted:
Unlike last year when Electro Velvet returned a poor result, there has been less online activity from fans this year calling for changes in the selection process. It now seems to be accepted by fans that, without a fundamental shift in attitude, established acts and songwriters at the top of their game will not be coming forward to represent the UK in Eurovision, and that shift will not happen with the BBC in charge.
Here’s my favourite tweet from the night: