Eddie Argos: Why I Should Write And Perform The Eurovision Entry

Eddie Argos explains why he should be the UK’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest.

The British public tend to justify the UK’s terrible track record in the Eurovision Song Contest with a commonly-held misconception: the event has become too political and all of the other countries involved in the competition hate us, and that is why we always lose so badly.

I’m not saying that the UK isn’t an unpopular country amongst other Europeans, however the belief that once a year, all of the other members of the EU release their pent-up anti-British frustrations by giving our shoddy boy bands and singing bin-men NIL POINTS in a singing competition is simply ridiculous. Germany and Russia are arguably just as unpopular within the EU (for much more glaring reasons, historically speaking), and they have done just fine in the last few years.

In actuality, the main reason why we get such an incredibly bad response at Eurovision year after year is because we enter horrifically terrible songs. Even worse than that, we are doing it on purpose.

In the UK, Eurovision is commonly thought of as a bit of a joke, something that is beneath us. This is due in no small part to the live commentary that Terry Wogan provided on the BBC’s broadcast of the competition from 1980 until 2008. For us, the tone of the competition has always been coloured by comments such as, ‘Who knows what hellish future lies ahead? Actually, I do. I’ve seen the rehearsals,’ which was Terry’s opening gambit in covering the 2007 competition from Finland. While it’s a funny way to kick off the show, I don’t think any of our European brethren’s hosts began their commentaries in such a cavalier way.

I love Terry Wogan as much as the next person. He is, after all, a bona fide national treasure. And like most other Brits, I imagine, I’ve tuned into the Eurovision Song Contest just as much to enjoy his dry, witty remarks as to hear the musical entries from the participating countries.

Our nation’s love of Terry’s flippancy has tricked us into believing that the rest of Europe feels the same way we do about Eurovision, and that we should enter kitsch or mawkish novelty songs in an attempt to win. We don’t take it seriously. Why else would we enter s**t like Scooch’s ‘Flying The Flag For You’ or Blue’s ‘I Can’?

When we enter these terrible songs, we mistakenly believe that we are being clever and knowing. ‘Oh, that’s exactly the sort of rubbish that wins Eurovision,’ we think to ourselves. Of course, it never is.

This year, our entry comes from a man with a comical, but fun to type, name: Engelbert Humperdinck. He is undeniably kitsch. His fans call him ‘the King of Romance’ and he is most famous for having his hit ‘Please Release Me’ keep the Beatles’ ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ from topping the charts in 1967. He was an anachronism even then. It is hard to believe that he wasn’t ‘ironically’ hand-picked by a secret cabal of snobs sneering down their noses at the ostensibly low-brow competition that the continent so sincerely and whole-heartedly embraces.

When Azerbaijan, last year’s winner, were choosing their entry, they weren’t mucking about with irony, or trying to guess what might become a novelty hit, or attempting to be charmingly kitsch. They just chose the best song that they had. The same goes for all of the previous winners. Nobody has ever won Eurovision by trying to be clever.

This is why I should write and perform next year’s entry.

I promise that if I am given the chance, I will take my responsibility very seriously. I will write the absolute best song that I can. I will not try and be clever or self-knowing. There will be no boy-band dance moves, and I won’t dress up like the cabin crew of a f**king budget airline. I will simply do my best to make my country proud and put in a good performance. You can’t say fairer than that.

And if I don’t win, it won’t be my fault. It will be because the rest of Europe hates us.

Taken from the May 2012 issue of DIY, available now. For more details click here.