“Without you, the fans, there would be no Eurovision”, states the 2010 United Kingdom entry, Josh Dubovie.
In a wide-ranging and frank Q & A uploaded on Dubovie’s YouTube channel, the former contestant opens up about his bittersweet Eurovision experience where he both realised a childhood dream but also placed last at the Grand Final in Oslo.
In a recent near-hour long video uploaded to Dubovie’s ‘Wealth of Self Development’ YouTube channel, the singer-turned-mindset coach fielded questions from Twitter about his experience representing the UK in Oslo in 2010, where his Pete Waterman-penned song, ‘That Sounds Good to Me’, only picked up ten points and was rooted to the foot of the leaderboard.
Now living in Canada, working as a mindset coach and happily married, Dubovie reappears from confessed hiding to open up about his experience flying the UK flag in Norway.
The video and answers are honest, eye-opening and make for an interesting watch for Eurovision fans, especially those from the UK – even more so to those who have been critical of the BBC’s selection process in recent years.
The Q & A is close to an hour long, so for those short on time – we have written up the most revealing and significant of Dubovie’s stories from his time as a contestant.
Who is Josh Dubovie?
But quickly, to those either new to the contest or who are not fully aware of Dubovie – we can provide some context to the former contestant.
After the success of BBC’s 2009 national final selection, ‘Eurovision: Your Country Needs You!’, the national broadcaster brought back the same method in 2010, in which Dubovie was to enter and win.
The 2009 edition saw professional musician and songwriter Andrew Lloyd-Webber pen ‘It’s My Time’ for future-Sugababes star, Jade Ewen. The entry resulted in the UK’s highest placed finish since Jessica Garlick came third in 2002.
The 2010 edition saw songwriting and producing duo Pete Waterman and Mike Stock, who had worked with Kylie Minogue and Steps, come onboard the show with their song ‘That Sounds Good to Me’.
Josh Dubovie would win the national final, winning the right to perform the song in Oslo. The song however, was nowhere near the calibre of the ‘It’s My Time’ the year before, and to many seasoned UK Eurovision fans, it was clear from the outset that the cheesy, 80s themed pop song would struggle in Oslo.
Dubovie and the song did struggle in Oslo, coming in last place at the Grand Final, receiving only 10 points in total from four different countries, the third time the UK would finish at the bottom of the leaderboard.
The disappointing showing of ‘That Sounds Good to Me’ would mark the end of the ‘Your Country Needs You!’ method of song selection – which I feel to be a real shame.
The method, whereby a seasoned writer with a song was coupled with an unknown but talented singer, worked for the UK with Jade Ewen the year previous, and worked for Germany in 2010 with Lena and ‘Satellite’.
I still believe it to be arguably the best method, if done correctly, for the UK to pick its Eurovision contestant.
In his wide-ranging Q & A however, Dubovie shines a light on the troubles he encountered with the song and the national final selection.
“I don’t think Waterman or the BBC really wanted to win the competition”, admits Dubovie. “Waterman even didn’t really talk to me at all.”
When asked what was his impression upon first listen to the song, Dubovie doesn’t gloss his thoughts, describing it as “very cheesy”.
“I like soul, Motown, funk, RnB and when I got this 80s cheesy song – I was disappointed, genuinely disappointed.” Dubovie thanks those fans who really do like the song, admitting he is grateful, but believes that the song wasn’t the right fit for him.
Dubovie explains “it’s not a terrible song, but was it right for me? It didn’t sound good to me…” Paired with the forced key change and the staging and props at the final, which Dubovie goes on to describe as “IKEA furniture”, he believes the song was destined to struggle.
Other than the debatable quality of the song itself, Dubovie recalls the producers suddenly deciding to change the key of the ending note after the national final and soon before the live shows in Oslo began.
“Mike Stock and Steve Crosby one day told me that they’d changed the key, and I was thinking why would you do that?” Dubovie explains that he couldn’t actually hit the key that the producers wanted him to sing, but that they preferred that it was introduced to “make the audience think will he or will he not get the note?”
“I was not going to get that note, it was just not in my range”, states Dubovie. “It completely baffled me (the change of key) because I was thinking why would they do that? What’s the point of raising the key when you know that it’s something that wasn’t going to be a possibility for me.”
Dubovie recalls being terrified with having to attempt that note on stage – “you could see it in my eyes.”
“It was like a lamb to the slaughter”, Dubovie states. The note, sadly for Dubovie and fans, didn’t come off on stage – “I knew in my heart that it was just not going to happen.”
The song itself, coupled with the sudden change of key proved the death knell for Dubovie and the song’s chances of succeeding in Oslo.
Dubovie also reveals that there was even more trouble and conflict backstage in the early days of his Eurovision journey, specifically regarding the song, the national final and it’s immediate aftermath. He similarly reveals that he “will definitely spill the gossip” in greater depth, with interviews lined up and Dubovie himself writing about what happened behind the scenes.
“Had the heart to let me go.”
Dubovie explains that the disappointing placing “was very difficult to deal with.” More trouble was to arrive just further down the road, as complications with his record label proved similarly tricky to deal with.
Dubovie explains that his contract with his record label stipulated that he was to release two singles, one of those being ‘That Sounds Good to Me’, the other a separate one. However, the second single had no agreed release or clause expiry date.
Essentially, Dubovie explains, he was locked in a contract with a record label who had him signed indefinitely until a second single had been released. “They could have kept me on the contract for ever”, Dubovie explains.
“I was not going anywhere”, Dubovie states. “I wasn’t allowed to do my own content or release my own songs – nothing.” Thankfully, Dubovie’s uncle was a relative figure in the industry and got in touch with the label to make the logical case to release his nephew from the contract. “They had the heart to let me go – and that was the most amazing thing that they ever did for me.”
“There’s nothing like it on the planet!”
Regardless of the downsides Dubovie faced with his Eurovision experience, he still loves the show and has now overcome his personal demons about what happened in Oslo in 2010. “Eurovision is incredible – there’s nothing like it on the planet”, he states. “And it’s community is just amazing!”
Dubovie reveals that in the years following his performance in 2010, he didn’t watch or follow the contest due to his mental state at the time and that he didn’t want to bring up old emotions and anger, but that nowadays he enjoys watching and following the show once more.
It wasn’t just bad memories from 2010 for Dubovie, however. “My favourite thing about the experience was the involvement of all the countries together”, states Dubovie. “We went on a whistle-stop-tour, and got to travel a lot.”
“Eurovision is incredible – there’s nothing like it on the planet”
And for all the behind-the-scenes problems, Dubovie is unequivocal in his belief that he wouldn’t change a thing about the experience. “I would not change anything about it, it was all worth it for me.”
Israel’s Harel Skaat and his song ‘Milim’ was Dubovie’s favourite entry of 2010 – which he believes should have won the contest, rather than Germany’s Lena. “That song ‘Milim – oh my God! I feel like Harel should have had a great chance at winning.”
“Wealth of Self”
Dubovie has now put the past behind him, speaking openly about his Eurovision experience and has moved on with his life and making a success of it across the pond. “I moved to Ontario, Canada – selling everything I had to be here”, he explains.
He is now happily married and a step-father.While he does continue to sing part-time, he now works as a mindset coach – with his material and work being released online under his ‘Wealth of Self’ platform.
Equally, he has released an eBook titled ‘Wealth Of Self Development Guide Vol.1’. Priced at 11.11 CAD, the book ‘shares the exact tools and techniques that helped him personally overcome the biggest “failure” imaginable.’
Dubovie’s Q & A is frank and revealing, and sheds a light on the unseen facets of the contest. The former contestant has now moved on from the difficult Eurovision past, happy to tell his stories from his experiences and eager to share his more recent work.
Dubovie though still holds the competition in high regard, leaving a special mention to its devoted fan-base. “Without you, the fans, there would be no Eurovision.”
What did you think of Josh’s experience? Do you think he should’ve placed higher? Let us know in the comments below or at social media at @ESCXTRA on Twitter, @escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates!