United Kingdom’s Eurovision 2011 Entry

We have been hearing endlessly about Blue. Here on the other side of the pond, Chris and I have been scratching our heads wondering what all the fuss is about. Though we do try to keep tabs on what’s going on overseas, Blue never made it onto our radar before this year. So to our virgin eyes, Blue just seemed like a boy band whose biggest hits were covers, trying to plan a comeback after 4 years. To us, this is not exactly a recipe for breakout success.  But no matter, they’ve been working hard to promote themselves and there seemed to be more goodwill than we thought, so we’ll wait and let the music speak for itself.

At long last, the UK is gearing up to release the song–the official debut is on The Graham Norton Show this Friday.  But not surprisingly, the track has leaked. Here’s Blue with “I Can” [updated]:

With all those “Oooh”s in the chorus, there had better be some fist-pumping. Just sayin’. Oooh!

Sure is British, though. With the stutter going on with “I ca-ca-can,” they must be giving a shout out to The King’s Speech. Oooh!

Not to go blue (Oooh!), but is “I can, I will, I’m tired of these hands” a reference to masturbation? Oooh!

Joking aside it’s not terrible, and it is light years better than the Dubovie Debacle of 2010.  “I Can” is boy band pop, and it has a personal empowerment message (I can; It’s my time, my moment, etc.) that the Brits seem to think adds up to ESC success.  It also reminds me of Nelly’s “Just a Dream,” so I guess that means it’s got something current in it, right?  But I gotta tell you, I don’t see how they win over new fans with this one. Sorry UK, the internal selection was the right thing to do, but if you want the win, better luck next year. Their fans will make sure they aren’t an embarrassment, but I don’t think Blue outperforms the Lord.  I think they’re Top 15.  Chris thinks they’re Top 10.

UPDATE FROM CHRIS: Oooh!

Anyway, I’m a bigger fan of this song than Jen is, but I agree that it’s probably not going to win. But I don’t think the UK is going to complain more than usual if they do break the top 10. I’m thinking it could go as high as sixth, but the only reason I don’t think it will go higher is because of Alexey Vorobyov. I see both “I Can” and “Get You” operating in the same space, with the latter having the added oomph from RedOne. (The combined song “I Can Get You” could win hands down, of course.)

Having seen videos of both acts performing, I’d say they both have a ways to go to be Eurovision-ready. Blue need to amp up the performance a little, and Lee Ryan really needs to work on sounding less strained when he’s hitting the high notes. Blue has some decent enough choreography, but they needed to hit it a little harder. Vorobyov also suffers from some choreo problems that need to get ironed out. While he sounded in good voice, his back-up dancers looked pretty sloppy.

Of course, if either Alexey or Simon Webbe just want to go onstage shirtless, I guessing any choreo issues would be forgiven. Oooh!