XTRA Preview & Review: United Kingdom – You Decide

The national final season is in full swing. On 7th February, the United Kingdom’s ‘Eurovision: You Decide’ is going to take place. We’ve taken a look at the entries and the procedure below, so here is the XTRA Preview & Review!

XTRA Preview: You Decide

The United Kingdom will be having a national final on 7th February. BBC have decided for the third year to use the You Decide format to select the song for the UK. This year for the first time a UK national selection will be hosted outside of London at the Brighton Dome. The venue is known for hosting the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 where ABBA famously won with Waterloo.
Mel Giedroyc will again host the show, this time joined by the Swedish winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 Måns Zelmerlöw.  The show will be broadcast live on BBC Two at 19:30 GMT. (20:30 CET)
In the 90 minute show six shortlisted acts will perform live on stage hoping to represent United Kingdom in Lisbon this year. An expert panel will be present at the show, offering their thoughts on the song and the staging. The winner will be chosen by a combination of televote, online vote and the votes of a jury of music professionals.

  • Asanda – Legends
    Christopher Wortley, Laurell Barker and Roel Rats
  • Goldstone – I Feel The Love
    Eric Lumiere, Joakim Buddee, Laura White and Roel Rats
  • Jaz Ellington – You
    Ashley Hicklin, Herman Gardarfve and Laura White
  • Liam Tamne – Astronaut
    Ashley Hicklin, Jacob Pedersen, Jeanette Bonde and Rune Braager
  • RAYA – Crazy
    Emil Rosendal Lei, Greta Salóme Stefánsdóttir and Samir Salah Elshafie
  • SuRie – Storm
    Nicole Blair, Gil Lewis and Sean Hargreaves

Asanda is the favourite to win according to bookmakers and polls. However You Decide has not been entirely predictable before – winners Joe & Jake in 2016 and Lucie Jones in 2017 were not the firm favourites leading up to the show.

XTRA Review: You Decide

Goldstone – I Feel the Love

Matt: Straight out of the O’G3NE playbook. It’s a fun, dance and clap ditty with some tight harmonies. Not sure there is enough here to get people to vote. 6/10
Tom: It’s a fun song sung well. I’m sure this will look and sound good on the night. Girl groups have had mixed history at Eurovision. Personally it’s more Moje 3 than O’G3NE. I liked both but one is a class above the other! 6/10
Nick: Welcome back to 2010! It’s quite fine, the girls sound quite good and it does stick in your head. That is all good, but it feels a little uninspired. 6/10
Ryan: Very Little Mix “Salute” era in style. A solid pop track, the verses are stronger than the chorus which feels generic after the more edgy verses. 7.5/10

Asanda – Legends

Matt: Young and fresh, Asanda has serious potential. The song is appropriate for her but perhaps the chorus is lacking slightly. Probably the firm favourite but no Eurovision winner. 8/10
Tom: With the right staging this could stand out at Eurovision, it really grabs your attention. Asanda is a young but experienced singer who should be able sell this song well. If this is staged and performed right it’s a sure-fire winner. 9/10
Nick: By far the most modern, the most fresh, the most current and the most relevant song in this selection. It just doesn’t accomplish that full on chart cracking status. 8/10
Ryan: Wow! I didn’t think the BBC would let anything so experimental into their selection. It isn’t groundbreaking in terms of Eurovision selections in general, but it is the freshest and most commercially relevant track to have taken part in all three years of “You Decide”. The staging potential here is massive, drums, dancers, pyros, they can all come into play here. The DMGP performance of “Never Alone” by Anja remains one of the most euphoric national final stagings I’ve seen, and I think “Legends” can accomplish something similar. The UK really must select this, there’s potential here for Asanda and “Legends” to be the UK’s best entry of the decade… at least. 10/10

RAYA – Crazy

Matt: This plays to my sensibilities and will be the first song of the 6 to be put on my playlist. Vocal sounds strong on the recording and the beat is effective. Seen it all before but still like it. 7/10
Tom: Great beat and catchy song with strong vocals. Could be too similar to other Eurovision entries but still would make a good entry for the UK. It does enough to make me want to listen again. It may not be my top pick but I would still be happy if this won. 8/10
Nick: The first half a minute captures me by storm.And then it morphs into a generic pop song which fills up this national final. If she can deliver vocally, she might upset the odds. But I don’t think it will. 4/10
Ryan: Really fantastic start to this song with pulsating club beats and you immediately get two hooks with the chorus and then the “you’re on my mind” post-chorus. My criticism is that the rest of the song doesn’t really stray far from what you hear in the first minute, and it turns quite repetitive. It does get stuck in your head though and that’s a good thing! 8/10

Liam Tamne – Astronaut

Matt: An odd astronomical theme which doesn’t suit the song. I find his voice bland, although competent. ‘Astronaut’ breaks Eurovision rule number 1: is it memorable? No. 6/10
Tom: I know Eurovision songs can often have questionable lyrics but the astronaut theme here doesn’t work for me. Nothing that gets my attention here. 2/10
Nick: This is quite a throwback. I don’t get why he’s an astronaut, but hey, the song is quite nice. Acceptable. Tolerable. The definition of middle of the road, something the UK have mastered since 2016. 6.5/10
Ryan: This is one of the only songs I can imagine on UK radio, if it didn’t have the Eurovision tag of course. There’s a subtle catchiness to this, and I like a good “vocal chops” post-chorus made famous by JOWST last year. I think it’s too much of a radio song to come alive on stage, but it is very pleasant. 6.5/10

Jaz Ellington – You

Matt: In terms of vocal, Jaz is by far the best of the bunch. The lyrics are a real plus point. Unfortunately, the verse is much more interesting than the chorus and so will get lost in the recap. 7/10
Tom: A good song from a very capable singer but to me feels like filler in this national selection. There are better choices for Eurovision in this six. 5/10
Nick: This hits me straight in the face. That voice goes through everything and the lyrics are really good. Like that topic you don’t dare to mention. I think this is fantastic. Is it their best shot at top 10? Perhaps not. Is it my favourite? Absolutely. 10/10
Ryan: Fantastic vocalist as he proved during his time on “The Voice”. I appreciate this represents a different genre and adds variety to this selection. The lyrics in the chorus particularly feel quite cheap, using obvious rhymes. This could be elevated live, but the studio version isn’t to my taste. 5/10

SuRie – Storm

Matt: Everything seems to be in place here: artist, lyrics, vocal, melody. But I think the production is holding the song back – like it’s been over-polished. I hope SuRie appears on stage with an edgy look to help counteract that. I like her more than the song. 8/10
Tom: The artist, vocal and melody are all good. But it feels like it is conforming too much to Eurovision clichés. I would prefer something more edgy that can stand out. (like those two 2015 & 2017 Belgian entries she was involved in) 6/10
Nick: If you’ve been involved with two of the most credible entries in recent history (Belgium 2015 and 2017), you do not open with ‘Hey brother, hey sister’. The build in this is odd and her voice doesn’t quite do it with this song. 5/10
Ryan: The opening to this song is fantastic, an amazing build up to the chorus… which really lets the song down. It feels like it can’t decide between an instrumental chorus or a lyrical chorus, so it combines the two and it sounds a bit disjointed. The pre-chorus however, creates a euphoric feeling and there’s potential here if that chorus was cleaned up. 6/10

Who do we want?

The XTRA Jury, this time consisting of Matt, Tom, Nick and Ryan, has spoken. Below you can see the average each song achieved. Their favourite for tomorrow’s show is Asanda – Legends.

  1. Asanda – Legends: 8.8
  2. RAYA – Crazy: 6.9
  3. Jaz Ellington – You: 6.8
  4. Goldstone – I Feel the Love: 6.4
  5. SuRie – Storm: 6.3
  6. Liam Tamne – Astronaut: 5.3

Below we’ve included a playlist for you. Which of these six do you like best? Let us know in the comments!


Tom O'Donoghue

Music photographer based in Somerset, United Kingdom. Photographer for London Eurovision Party.

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