It’s almost unbelievable. The BBC have not only trusted the United Kingdom viewing public to select their entry for Stockholm but they’ve actually managed to get together six acts for a national final! Is it 2010? Have we gone back in time?

Despite having had the songs available since Monday, during Ken Bruce’s show on Radio 2, we have no context of ability to sing or perform live. Tonight is effectively the litmus paper for all the artists in a live setting with these songs.

How will they fare? Who will win? Will any of them be able to sing/perform live?

Wivian Kristiansen, Simon Wells and Nathan Waddell will be taking you through tonight’s show on the live blog below as well as on Twitter @escXtra. Please do get in touch with us with your thoughts, we’ll be using the official show hashtags #bbceurovision and #EurovisionUK.

Viewers in the UK can vote during the show via several methods, including for free online if you have a BBC ID!

So, have you been under a rock? Have you missed the list of participants? Here’s the entry list for tonight’s show:

  • Joe & Jake: “You’re Not Alone”
  • Bianca: “Shine a Little Light”
  • Dulcima: “When You Go”
  • Matthew James: “A Better Man”
  • Darline: “Until Tomorrow”
  • Karl William Lund: “Miracle”

Nathan Waddell
February 26, 20167:20 pm

Welcome one, welcome all! We’re all hands on deck tonight for the first United Kingdom national selection since 2010. Between Wivian, Simon and myself, we will give you honest opinions on tonight’s live performances and also predict who we think we will win the show! Tweet us @escXtra and give us your opinions throughout the show and, you never know, they might appear in our blog here!


Simon Wells
February 26, 20167:23 pm

I’ve not touched a drop for a few weeks, but am settling in for an evening with “Eurovision: You Deride!” with a little nip. cometogether


Nathan Waddell
February 26, 20167:24 pm

What’s the poison of choice Simon? I’ve opted for gin and lemonade… because there was no tonic water in the house. I also imagine our Wivian has got a drink in hand – what’s your choice tonight Wiv?


Simon Wells
February 26, 20167:26 pm

G&T here. Bring it on.


Wivian Kristiansen
February 26, 20167:33 pm

I’m in Oslo, surrounded by a couple of Norwegians and a few Brits, so there might be more than my own opnions popping up.

I haven’t listened to the songs yet, but I have seen a picture of Joe, so I want him (and the other guy) to win.
And yes; drink at the ready. White wine for now.


Simon Wells
February 26, 20167:34 pm

For the unfamiliar among you, host Mel Giedroyc is familar to UK viewers as both a TV host and comedian. In recent years she’s most well known for hosting the cooking competition, “The Great British Bake Off”.
Mel introduces the show, and prepares us for a tribute to Sir Terry Wogan.


Simon Wells
February 26, 20167:39 pm

Mans Zelmerlow gives as pretty much as-per-Vienna performance of Heroes to get the show going.


Wivian Kristiansen
February 26, 20167:41 pm

He’s excellent at lip sync-ing…


Wivian Kristiansen
February 26, 20167:42 pm

And I agree; leather trousers, please.


Matteo Manta
February 26, 20167:43 pm

I am really satisfied about being able to see this in HD on a TV rather than on a small screen. Thank God Måns is gone, otherwise Mel would have gone straight to sexual harassment.


Nathan Waddell
February 26, 20167:44 pm

I’ve already finished my first drink:

Here are Twitter’s responses:


Matteo Manta
February 26, 20167:44 pm

Is Katrina really a good judge to teach us how to Eurovision? Discuss.


Nathan Waddell
February 26, 20167:45 pm

Oh hi Matteo, since we’ve all disclosed our drink choices… what’s yours?

To answer your question… er better than Cheryl Baker?


Matteo Manta
February 26, 20167:46 pm

I went with tea. Trying to keep it classy and British here. youdecide betterifyoudoitsober


Simon Wells
February 26, 20167:46 pm

After some female-on-male leching (cos it is always OK that way round even though it is 2016), we are introduced to our jurors:
Vocal coach and former UK Eurovision performer: Carrie Grant
Choreographer: Jay Revell
The UK’s last winner: Katrina Leskanitch


Nathan Waddell
February 26, 20167:47 pm

Sorry, before we see Dulcima… Matteo, how are you doing this sober!?


Wivian Kristiansen
February 26, 20167:47 pm

He’s Italian. They do everything sober. Or so I’ve heard.


Nathan Waddell
February 26, 20167:49 pm

Mel’s microphone has been left on, hasn’t it? Also, she’s terribly tuneless. Why did he get her to sing when he’s so competent alone? At least we’ve buried the second worst entry.


Simon Wells
February 26, 20167:49 pm

1. Dulcima: “When You Go”
These two met as buskers, and bring a half-decent song which is aiming for that middle pop/folk/country sound of Mumford & Sons or Monsters and Men, but we end up more in youth service at church – it doesn’t come across as totally professional. Some vocal wobbles (mostly from backing singers I think!) but a bearable start!


Wivian Kristiansen
February 26, 20167:50 pm

Did these people ever concider finding someone who can actually sing? (Like an Icelandic chick called Nanna…)


Simon Wells
February 26, 20167:51 pm

We’ve tried roping in nordic types called Nanne before!


Matteo Manta
February 26, 20167:51 pm

Dulcima is… is. It is definitely something from Radio1 that has been forgotten after the first two airplays. No clue why the girl of the duo was chosen to sing, better just being the pretty one playing the fiddle.
But good God. That hair.


Nathan Waddell
February 26, 20167:51 pm

Wiv, dearest, we should hopefully see some good singers later. I hope. Send help. Or more mixer. I’ve run out of lemonade.


Matteo Manta
February 26, 20167:53 pm

Matthew James is trying to tell us he had a career before. He probably won’t have one from tomorrow. But it’s fine.


Wivian Kristiansen
February 26, 20167:54 pm

Straight gin should do the trick though…


Wivian Kristiansen
February 26, 20167:56 pm

Well, at least he can sing. And he’s kinda cute. But why didn’t they give this son to Andreas Johnson instead?

(You got me wide open?!?!? Really?!?!?)


Simon Wells
February 26, 20167:56 pm

2. Matthew James: “A Better Man”
Former “Bad Boys Inc” lead singer Matthew has a dull but contemporary ballad for us. He’s vocally quite wonky to start, but settles in after the first verse. Oh I spoke to soon, they’re back for the big finish…


Matteo Manta
February 26, 20167:57 pm

Dreadful. Matthew, I’ll lend you my voice if needed. Never ever sing again. Ever.
(Do I have to say something about the song? It’s… well, something Ultra would have sung in the 90s, but sounding 2016)


Wivian Kristiansen
February 26, 20167:57 pm

Yeah; I take the “can sing” bit back.


Matteo Manta
February 26, 20167:57 pm

Clearly the panel is throwing words around. “The performance was intimate” and “you are a good performer”.


Simon Wells
February 26, 20167:58 pm

They need the Ukrainian jury here for a bit more blunt honesty and fewer vague compliments. And to find out the participants views on Brexit.


Nathan Waddell
February 26, 20167:59 pm

That was the worst song I think I’ve heard in the entire Eurovision season. God help us. Also, my entire discussion on Twitter is gin based. Get involved! I’m on Twitter @escXtra


Nathan Waddell
February 26, 20168:00 pm

PS thanks Wiv, you’re the fifth person to suggest straight gin. That’s where I’m going.


Matteo Manta
February 26, 20168:03 pm

Darline at least can sort of sing. They are fresh and young, but between the static staging and the song this could easily become a toilette break.


Simon Wells
February 26, 20168:03 pm

3. Darline – Until tomorrow
Airbrushed country now from this female duo. It’s a pretty song and they’re a pretty pair, but it doesn’t really have much content. Some of the lyrics are nice, but the sound and look detract from it. Their vocals are perhaps the most secure of the evening, but it does not feel like a winner. Very decent reception in the venue.


Nathan Waddell
February 26, 20168:04 pm

LOVE that from Darline. End of.


Wivian Kristiansen
February 26, 20168:05 pm

All six of us here agree that this is the best so far. (Not really saying *all that much*, but still…)


Matteo Manta
February 26, 20168:06 pm

Carrie whatshername is clearly trying to be the Simon Cowell of the situation.

But Katrina saying “this is what Other European could like” is like me saying “this is all the rage in the US”.


Nathan Waddell
February 26, 20168:06 pm

Am I the only one that’s planning to vote for Darline?


Matteo Manta
February 26, 20168:07 pm

Yup, Nathan.


Wivian Kristiansen
February 26, 20168:07 pm

Nope; at least two of my Brits here are!


Wivian Kristiansen
February 26, 20168:08 pm

Oh; kindahotginger


Simon Wells
February 26, 20168:10 pm

4. Karl William Lund: “Miracle”
This song is rather exposing of the vocal, and Karl stands up just enough to this, but it is a pancake of a song, with a production and feel that relies on “build” and atmosphere, but there really isn’t any. It’s a 90s sound but with some ubiquitous uh-oh-ohs thrown in, just in case.


Matteo Manta
February 26, 20168:11 pm

Karl William Lund lost his vocal stability towards the end. The refrain just ruins it. This clearly was meant to end up in the Take That latest album, seen that no one cares about them anymore – Gary Barlow excluded.

He’s hot, but I mean. I’d rather meet him for a coffee than having him in Stockholm.


Simon Wells
February 26, 20168:11 pm

Jay, our choreography friend, doesn’t seem to wish to make any comments about choreography.


Nathan Waddell
February 26, 20168:12 pm

All I’m willing to say on Karl…


Matteo Manta
February 26, 20168:13 pm

I could have a dream tonight with Jay thingy and Karl William Lund. Watch this space, I’ll prepare a 5000 words fan fiction on that.


Wivian Kristiansen
February 26, 20168:14 pm

Matteo!!?!!?!! WHAT did you put in your tea?!?


Matteo Manta
February 26, 20168:16 pm

Wiv, I swear nothing was in the tea. I just am too much relaxed about this.


Simon Wells
February 26, 20168:18 pm

5. Bianca: “Shine a Little Light”
A rousing reception for Bianca’s strong vocals and decent stage presence. The song is quite Eurovisiony whilst still contemporary-ish. Carrie Grant is showing plenty of bias for this power ballad. But perhaps she is right.
Given the strength of the songwriting credits for this one, you’d think they’d have tidied up the clumsy transition from reggae beat verse to straight-anthem chorus, but that can be worked on. It needs a bit more life too, but more potential here I think.


Matteo Manta
February 26, 20168:18 pm

Bianca is good. Not a Eurovision winning song, but enough not to get last place. She can sing, she’s pretty, the song is not bad, the panel is satisfied, Leona Lewis is behind this so it makes a bit of buzz out of it, so let’s go for it.


Nathan Waddell
February 26, 20168:18 pm

Well then. Bianca was tremendous. I promise that isn’t the gin talking.


Matteo Manta
February 26, 20168:19 pm

I am pretty much sure that we went from the BBC program “Eurovision: you decide”, to the american version of “The price is right”. Someone should calm down the panel.


Wivian Kristiansen
February 26, 20168:20 pm

This is a song I should really like, but for some reason I don’t…ish… She’s good, the song’s nice…but there’s something missing.


Matteo Manta
February 26, 20168:20 pm

If an act is presented as “a couple of young lads”, it’s definitely not the choice for Eurovision.


Simon Wells
February 26, 20168:22 pm

6. Joe & Jake: “You’re Not Alone”
These two emerged into public view as solo acts on “The Voice”. Now conjoined, their offering is lightweight but not unpleasant. We have at least had a varied evening across the pop genre. Vocally they are safe enough but not impressive. Similar could be said of the song.


Wivian Kristiansen
February 26, 20168:23 pm

But he’s so *adorable*!


Matteo Manta
February 26, 20168:24 pm

Joe and Jake tried to sing well for 10 seconds, then just decided that a rendition of the song in a stadium choir kind of way was the correct answer.

Clearly is not. Sort your stuff up, people.


Wivian Kristiansen
February 26, 20168:25 pm

(And you still claim there’s nothing…eh…interesting…in your tea?)


Simon Wells
February 26, 20168:28 pm

So, the 20 minute voting window is open, the recap is rolling and Scott Mills is telling the UK how to vote.


Nathan Waddell
February 26, 20168:30 pm

I enjoyed Joe & Jake, I have to say. I did, however, vote for Darline!


Simon Wells
February 26, 20168:35 pm

As is traditional, Karina bellows through “Love shine a light” as well as she still can. Sterling work from the backing singers 🙂


Matteo Manta
February 26, 20168:36 pm

I have voted twice. The Queen is pleased, let’s go.


Nathan Waddell
February 26, 20168:37 pm

I can’t say how much I love “Love Shine a Light” still.


Wivian Kristiansen
February 26, 20168:38 pm

“Minn hinsti dans” should have won in 97.


Matteo Manta
February 26, 20168:39 pm

Still not sure what insights a winner from the 90s could give…


Simon Wells
February 26, 20168:40 pm

Six minutes!


Matteo Manta
February 26, 20168:49 pm

Reusing bits of the anniversary show: how to produce a National Final not spending much.


Simon Wells
February 26, 20168:49 pm

The UK is doing a great job of proving that we have no idea how to win this thing but we can sure keep a national final running to schedule and finish on time. A quick filler with some footage from the Eurovision 59th Anniversary Show precedes the real business of the night.


Wivian Kristiansen
February 26, 20168:50 pm

And Latvia should have won in 2000


Nathan Waddell
February 26, 20168:51 pm

Simon Wells
February 26, 20168:54 pm

No messing about! Winner…


Simon Wells
February 26, 20168:55 pm

Joe and Jake!!!!!!!


Wivian Kristiansen
February 26, 20168:55 pm

I don’t care which song wins, as long as Joe sings it.


Wivian Kristiansen
February 26, 20168:55 pm

Ok; and he does!


Nathan Waddell
February 26, 20168:57 pm

Well, I’ll take that. Can I take the Welsh one home with me?


Wivian Kristiansen
February 26, 20168:57 pm

As long as that’s Jake…


Nathan Waddell
February 26, 20169:00 pm

Yes Wivian, I think it is. The one with the guitar?


Wivian Kristiansen
February 26, 20169:02 pm

The one with the guitar you can have! Enjoy!


Nathan Waddell
February 26, 20169:03 pm

Woohoo, we don’t have to share!

Anyway, thank you all for joining us on the live blog tonight. It’s Joe & Jake for the UK with “You’re Not Alone”. Tomorrow and Sunday will bring us into double figures for Eurovision entries. Join us again for those, if you wish! Goodnight from all of us!


Wivian Kristiansen
February 26, 20169:04 pm

*Waves goodbye from Oslo*

Will see you back here tomorrow night!

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