The Xtra Files 2019: We review the United Kingdom’s ‘Bigger Than Us’ by Michael Rice

Welcome to The Xtra Files, our new series which will give you an insight into what the team at ESCXTRA think of your favourite entries into this year’s contest! Today, we review the United Kingdom.

Now that all the songs have been released, we are able to review each and every one of them. Our honest and brutal reviews will keep you entertained until the rehearsals start on 5 May! We will also each give a score out of 10 for every entry, and create an ESCXTRA leaderboard of the entries!

The series continues today, with reviews of the British entry, ‘Bigger Than Us’ by Lisa, Matt, Riccardo, Rigmo, Tom R and Vincent. Let’s get started!

The Reviews


Well I guess it’s a change in direction that we’ve sent a solo male for the first time since 2012 … but that wasn’t exactly a fond memory. Yet again it’s also the safe ballad option of the selection in our persistant ideology that somehow it’s a good idea to bait the jury. Whereas I’d much rather we went for the televote song choice and send a banger that will get the parties happening. In a ideal world we’d be reviewing ‘Sweet Lies’ instead. Michael must be commended for his stage presence and vocal ability though. Plus he seems a nice lad and is getting the support of the Eurovision fans through his character and the effort the BBC have put in, getting him touring around Europe. So we can’t ask for much more than that whatever happens. Just no dated pyro curtain please!


Okay, I admit that when the songs were first announced, I was dispondent and feared greatly for the UK. However, with every new annoucement of another country’s entry, I found Michael Rice kept his place high up on my personal rankings. I’m not going crazy, I think this is still 16th-20th place in the Final but I like it. But I’m still disappointed he isn’t having a little rice man on stage to fist pump with.


Michael has a spectacular voice that sadly gets wasted in a spectacularly generic song that is more of a pleasant time-filler than anything else. I absolutely love the gospel-vibe towards the end but still not enough to raise the song above average for me. Although he definitely delivered the best performance during Eurovision You Decide, the UK would have stood a much better chance had they sent Keerie-Anne, in my view.


“It’s bigger. It’s bigger than us.” An entire song written about the score of every other Eurovision finalist is a risky move, but it’s the only risk taken here. Michael’s vocals are smooth as silk and there’s a key change here that would make any Swedish music teacher weak in the knees. But just as Michael’s surname warns us, the song is just, bland, unseasoned and overcooked rice porridge, which is the exact same dish the UK has been serving us for years now. Gordon Ramsay is crying somewhere this very moment and it’s all YOUR fault, UK!

Tom R

There’s one problem with the UK’s route to Eurovision. You Decide. It is one of the worst national final formats ever and just does NOT work. The public never choose the right song for an international audience and this has been shown again this year. Michael’s song is fine, it’s slightly bland, but it’s bearable but I don’t see it coming any higher than low top 15, and that’s if we’re lucky. Kerrie-Anne would have brought us a much better result and it would have been a better song. Well, I prefer Jordan Clarke, but let’s not look to much at that! Overall, Bigger Than Us is relatively plain with a bit of spice from a good live performance. Could do better.


Originally I wasn’t such a fan, but it’s actually not that bad. The lyrics are horrendously cliché, but the melody “lets itself be heard” (as we say in French) and the liver version is kinda faultless. I’m not sure it will be an incredible success for the UK because it is still a bit bland, but there has been worse.


Costa5Nathan P4.5Simon2
Dan5Nathan W1Tim7
Dominik7Nick6Tom O5.5
Emanuel7Oliver7.5Tom R7

Therefore, the average score for the United Kingdom is 5.41.


The United Kingdom ends up at 20th place on our leaderboard with a score of 5.41

  1. Cyprus – 8.26
  2. Malta – 8.10
  3. Spain – 7.54
  4. Armenia – 7.35
  5. North Macedonia – 7.00
  6. Norway – 6.96
  7. Albania – 6.94
  8. Belgium – 6.85
  9. Estonia – 6.74
  10. Slovenia – 6.63
  11. Hungary – 6.44
  12. Iceland – 6.39
  13. Ireland – 6.17
  14. Czech Republic – 6.17
  15. Belarus – 6.02
  16. Portugal – 5.91
  17. France – 5.74
  18. Finland – 5.50
  19. Poland – 5.43
  20. United Kingdom – 5.41
  21. Austria – 5.39
  22. Russia – 5.32
  23. Denmark – 5.13
  24. San Marino – 5.11
  25. Latvia – 5.06
  26. Lithuania – 4.78
  27. Germany – 4.69
  28. Australia – 4.65
  29. Moldova – 4.50
  30. Montenegro – 3.48
  31. Israel – 3.30
  32. Georgia – 3.00

Tomorrow, it will be the turn of Switzerland to be reviewed.

Do you agree with our reviews of the United Kingdom? What are your thoughts on Bigger Than Us?

Let us know on social media @ESCXTRA!

Rigmo Kannike

When not busy haunting various online chat rooms as his criminal alter ego, PeterP, Rigmo enjoys long walks on the beach and rooting for the absolute worst national final songs.
Back to top button