The U.K. would be hard-pressed to come up with an entry as successful as last year’s “My Time.” Even though that was perfectly dreadful, it brought the Brits a fifth-place finish, its highest placement in years. Andrew Lloyd Webber did not come back to do another song this year, so songwriting duties fell to legendary tunesmith Sven-Göran Eriksson… er, Pete Waterman. (And Mike Stock, who didn’t get the billing that Pete Waterman did. Probably doesn’t have an OBE.)
This year’s edition of Your Country Needs You featured six acts performing hits Waterman wrote for various acts in the ’80s (e.g., Rick Astley, Bananarama, Kylie Minogue). It was pretty much an amateur hour, with only one performer, Josh Dubovie, who seemed to have any poise on stage. The quintet Uni5 had only been assembled three weeks before the show, and they sounded like they hadn’t been together for even that long. Waterman then picked three of the six acts to perform his song “That Sounds Good to Me.”
It was pretty clear that Josh was going to win, although another solo male singer, Alexis Gerred, gave him a run for his money during the “That Sounds Good to Me” round. Esma Akkilic, the third finalist, unfortunately forgot the words to the second verse and actually stopped and apologized before picking the song back up.
So here’s Josh with “That Sounds Good to Me”:
You can really tell what decade they had their hits in, can’t you? The verses sound like “Kids In America,” though Waterman and Stock didn’t write that one.
The big problem, aside from the fact that he’s saddled with a mediocre song, is that Josh was picked so late in the national final season. Jade Ewan was picked early and then visited 14 countries promoting the song during the build-up to Eurovision, including performing at the Russian final. Now that nearly all participating countries have selected their songs, there’s nowhere for Josh to go to promote the song. So the U.K. may find itself falling back down the leaderboard this year.
UPDATED: Josh, Sir Sven-Göran and Pete have released the new, final version of “That Sounds Good to Me,” which sounds worse to me than the version performed on Your Country Needs You. Jen said that they took out the retro-’80s charm and turned this into a Disney theme park song.
It hurts us.