UNITED KINGDOM – Bill Bailey has suggested that the UK needs to take Eurovision “less seriously” in order to have a better chance at performing well in future contests. The comedian, actor and musician appeared on Good Morning Britain to discuss the UK’s dismal result this year after representative James Newman received a humiliating “nul points” for his performance of “Embers”.
“It was a serviceable song and performance, nothing wrong with that,” Bailey said today (Tuesday 25 May). “I just think we’re missing a trick a little bit. We need to celebrate the eccentricity of Britishness, it doesn’t seem to be coming across… It’s very well produced and put together,” he said of Newman’s song. “It’s just a bit underwhelming, a bit bland.”
Asked by co-host Bill Turnbull whether he had any ideas, Bailey said there was “always something percolating” in his mind.
“We’re not taking it seriously enough and taking it too seriously, we’ve got it the wrong way round,” he said of the kind of songs the UK sends to Eurovision.
“We should focus on the performance, the visuals of it, make it into a huge celebration of Britishness, with some great hooks! Maybe some guitar, maybe some cowbells.”
- Reid’s former co-host Piers Morgan was among the critics to call out Newman’s performance, branding him a “crap singer” with a “crap song”. “Hey Piers sorry you didn’t like the song, at least I didn’t storm out,” Newman responded on Twitter, referring to Morgan’s infamous walk-out in one of his last appearances on GMB.
Susanna Reid agreed, commenting:
“I think you’re right because the winners [Italy]… they had something visually spectacular, something to look at, so is that what you’re going for, Bill?”
“Yes, I think so,” Bailey responded. “There has to be a bit more drama, a bit more theatre. Because that’s what this show is about, Eurovision is a huge celebration. Some of it is totally bonkers.”
He revealed that he had actually submitted a Eurovision entry “a few years ago”, which spoofed the theme to the BBC series Dad’s Army.
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— OIKOTIMES (@theoikotimes) May 26, 2021
THE NETFLIX JOKES
In a strange twist of fortune, however, life has ended up imitating art, as two moments from The Story of Fire Saga were paid off during this year’s festivities, the most obvious being the prevalence of “Jaja Ding Dong.”
Throughout the film, Lars yearns to play meaningful music to the locals in his Icelandic home town, but all anyone wants to hear is his euphemism-filled “Jaja Ding Dong” track, and one bearded punter, in particular, played by Olaf Yohansson, makes a name for himself by shouting “play Jaja Ding Dong!” at the band.
In a stroke of meta genius, Yohansson was selected by Iceland to announce the country’s jury points at this year’s live Eurovision Song Contest. Fully in character, Yohansson asked for “Jaja Ding Dong,” leaving the hosts flustered and the crowd delighted.
He then announced “12 points to Jaja Ding Dong!” before finally (and reluctantly) giving Iceland’s top score to Switzerland. For fans of The Story of Fire Saga, it was the moment of the night.
But Will Ferrell’s fun wasn’t over. When the count was done, the United Kingdom finished dead last, without even a single point.
The UK has routinely finished last in recent years, though this is no reflection on the country’s entry, James Newman, who clearly wasn’t so bad as to deserve such a drubbing. Fortunately, The Story of Fire Saga can explain.
When Lars and Sigrid attend a party hosted by Alexander Lemtov (played by the UK’s own Dan Stevens), he introduces the other acts in typically brash fashion.
Getting to the British entry, Lemtov says, “this Julia Jay, she come number 1 England’s Got Talent four years ago, so she quite good, but everybody hates UK so ‘zero points.'”