The United Kingdom’s repeatedly poor rankings in the Eurovision Song Contest throughout the current decade may see a change in the coming years. Superstar composer Ed Sheeran has revealed that while he does not see himself ever entering the competition as a contestant, he would relish the opportunity to write a song for his home country. The statement was given at Wednesday’s Brit Awards, hosted in London.
As reported by BBC, the 27-year-old admitted that he would “love to write a Eurovision song” and went on to give his opinion as to why the majority of Europeans are hostile to the idea of England winning, or even doing reasonably well, in the contest. He believes that other countries’ ill feeling towards a United Kingdom victory centers around “history and stuff.” Although he was rather vague regarding exactly what he meant by this, it is suspected that the singer may have been referring to the Brexit issue, which has created conflict between the UK and the rest of Europe for close to two years now.
Ed Sheeran has written a myriad of songs for artists other than himself over the years, with many of them rocketing straight to No. 1 on the charts. The Halifax native penned Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself,” One Direction’s “Little Things,” and Taylor Swift’s “Everything Has Changed,” the latter of which he features vocals on, with all three songs going on to win awards.
As for his luck at tonight’s Brit Awards, Ed Sheeran unfortunately lost his nomination of Best British Male to Stormzy, the 24-year-old hip hop artist who broke onto the scene early last year and quickly made history by releasing a grime album which was the first of its kind to reach No. 1 in the United Kingdom. This does not mean, however, that the “Lego House” singer’s popularity is in any way diminishing; the 2018 Brit Awards saw him take home the trophy for Global Success, as well as being nominated for several others. In total, Ed Sheeran has won 76 awards and been up for 184. His tours remain steadily sold out almost immediately after tickets go on sale, and news of his recent engagement has resulted in the media going even more gaga over the superstar than they already were.
The United Kingdom could certainly use the singer-songwriter’s influence to help boost their chances in the Eurovision Song Contest, having not received a decent result since 2011, when popular R&B boyband Blue placed 11th in the grand final. Ever since then, the UK has seen rankings from mid-range to the bottom of the barrel. In 2012, ’60s music icon Engelbert Humperdinck tried his hand in the competition, only to come in 25th place with a mere 12 points. In 2013, fellow pop music veteran Bonnie Tyler entered the contest, faring only slightly better with a ranking of 19th, after delivering what many viewed as a shaky and somewhat embarrassing performance.
Over the next four years, the UK’s Eurovision entries continued to flop, with only Lucie Jones bringing the nation’s results somewhat up to their previously pristine standards, with her song “Never Give Up On You” coming in 15th place. This year’s participant, SuRie, will take the stage in Lisbon come May 12 with the song “Storm,” after winning the United Kingdom national selection You Decide, which wrapped up earlier this month. The majority of Eurovision fans, however, were not too keen to see the singer-songwriter win the competition, as they felt her performance was nothing special and that other contestants would have been a better choice to represent the UK this year, and potentially bring them out of their losing streak.
Many feel that the reason for the United Kingdom’s sore luck in Eurovision as of late is due to the implementation of the “Big 5,” which began in 2000 with just four countries and rounded off in 2010 with the addition of Italy. The other nations are Spain, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom itself. What this means is that these five nations are automatically qualified for the grand final, and do not have to take place in semis. Although this is good news for the contestant in that they do not have to worry about non-qualification, this auto-advancement also has its drawbacks in that these participants do not take part in as many rehearsals and press conferences as the others; therefore, when the grand final comes around, many Eurovision fans have somewhat forgotten who the Big 5 members are, thus being more than willing to push them aside in favor of those they have already gotten attached to over the preceding months.