This Friday night (27/1/17) the BBC are again allowing the British voting public, a population world-renowned for their good decisions in relation to Europe, to select the British entry for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. Since the ‘Great British Bake Off’ debacle the BBC have been left with spare presenters and one of them, the Polish-Lithuanian Mel Giedroyc is singularly well placed to fill the presenting hole left by the, now too expensive, former host Graham Norton. Mel’s job will be similar to that of an England football manager; she must attempt to make 18 minutes of actual action fill 90 minutes of mediocre television. GIGsoup were lucky enough to gain access to a preview of the acts and therefore give you ‘The GIGsoup guide to Eurovision, You Decide 2017’.

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The first and most striking thing the casual observer may notice is the similarity between the contestants. What is less obvious is that Salena Mastroianni, Holly Brewer, Lucie Jones and Olivia Garcia are all the same person wearing different outfits. They are all stage names for the west end musical theatre star Australian born Sheila McIntyre. McIntyre is well known for her role in ‘Home and Away – The Musical’ and was once set to be the Australian entry for Eurovision, before they realised where Australia was, which was shortly before they decided they didn’t care where Australia was, as long as there was sponsorship available. The male entrants are of course individuals in their own right; Danyl Johnson is a mixed-race vocalist with a voice suited to soul whereas Nate Simpson is a young ethnically diverse singer with a soulful singing style, and a hat.

The Holly Brewer persona is tipped as the favourite having narrowly come through from the hardest fought semi-final where she came out victor over the Thom Yorke penned ‘Karma Kanik’. Yorke’s reworking of his 1997 masterpiece ‘Karma Police’ with lyrics referencing the low pay of the average European immigrant working in the automotive repair industry (“Karma kanik, I’ll give you all I can, it’s not enough I’ll give you all I can, a complaint into payroll”), was universally well received. The performance by Danny Dyer sadly, was deemed lack luster and got less votes than the most recent fake ‘Danny Dyer – R.I.P.’ Facebook page gained likes for the same performance.

The final six songs however are a slice of pure pop delight; catchy, melodic, moving and, if you write down the lyrics, faintly discernible from both each other and the morass of bland music which daily fills our shopping malls and lifts. Each coming in at bang on 3 minutes you will be able to guarantee your eggs are all boiled to perfection whichever song is on the radio.

The highlight of the evening, will be a live performance from none other than 2009 Eurovision Song Contest winner Alexander Rybak who will give a special performance of his legendary hit ‘Fairytale’ which won the contest in 2009 and debuted in the UK single charts for one week at number 10 before dropping to 38 the following week.

One thing can be for sure: with the popularity of the UK in Europe on the rise; with no sovereign nation at all jealous of the wealth of music which the UK bring to the world over and above their own home grown artists; and the charming wit of our current foreign minister Boris ‘like a world war two prison officer’ Johnson being appreciated across the continent, the United Kingdom stands as good a chance of winning the Eurovision Song Contest as it has done in recent years.

‘Eurovision, You Decide’ is broadcast on BBC2 Friday 27/1/17

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