Does The UK Actually Have A Chance At Eurovision This Year?

Photo: Anadolu Agency
It's been 20 years since Katrina and the Waves won the Eurovision Song Contest for the UK with "Love Shine a Light." Since then, only three UK entrants have managed to finish inside the top ten - and no fewer than six have ended up in the bottom three. In short: our Eurovision form is pretty terrible.
Factor in the presumed impact of Brexit - people in Europe must like us even less now, right? - and you'd be forgiven for thinking our Eurovision hopes are over. Even Theresa May seems to be feeling rather pessimistic about the whole thing.
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However, some bookmakers now have the UK's entry, "Never Give Up on You" by former X Factor contestant and West End regular Lucie Jones, as fifth favourite to win the contest. Odds on the stately ballad triumphing tonight are as short as 25/1.
Word from Ukraine's capital city, Kiev, where this year's contest is taking place, is that Jones' performance in this week's dress rehearsal was actually very promising. She apparently sings the song brilliantly, and her performance's mirror-based staging is said to be seriously impressive. "She looks like a beautiful mermaid oozing pain in a giant seashell, as if she’s recreating Botticelli's Birth of Venus," Eurovision blogger William Lee Adams told The Guardian.
What's more, Jones says she isn't fazed by the potential impact of Brexit. “Every single year there is talk of the political vote and why the UK doesn’t get votes. This year won’t be any different. Obviously there is a different slant to it because of Brexit but I'm not worried about that," she told the Daily Record.
"The song has a beautiful message and it’s not an event about Brexit. We are going to go and perform the song the best we can and meet people all over the world who are like-minded."
Her comments are spot-on. Whether you rate Eurovision's music or not, this is an event with tremendous potential to promote a message of global inclusivity and diversity: a trans woman won the contest in 1998, a bearded drag queen triumphed in 2013. So let's keep our fingers crossed that Lucie Jones' performance gets the points it deserves in Kiev tonight.
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