Expert Opinion

Children of the Universe - UK looking to avoid 'nul points' as Eurovision singer chosen

Director of the International Office at Leeds Metropolitan University and lifelong Eurovision fan, Andrew Disbury, assesses the chances of this year's Eurovision Song Contest contestant, Molly Smitten-Downes.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that the Eurovision winner one year spawns a slew of copycats the next. So it is that the BBC has chosen unknown Molly Smitten-Downes to write and sing, in an attempt to bring the Contest crown back to the UK with a song that gives more than a nod to Emmelie de Forest's "Only Teardrops" from Denmark last year.

Yet imitation is a sincere form of flattery, and the Danes should be very flattered indeed: Molly has penned a contemporary anthemic tune, a memorable chanting chorus, and a rhythm to get all arms aloft in the arena in Copenhagen. We tend to remember our poor showings of late: Bonnie's 19th place in Malmö; Engelbert's 25th in 2012; and our only "nul points" in 2003. But we've a proud heritage of five wins and a record 15 times in the 2nd slot. As recently as 2011 Blue achieved 11th; and Lloyd Webber hit 5th for le Royaume-Uni in 2009.

And so with last night's launch of Molly and her song, this year's Euro-land promotion begins, and we await Grand Final night on May 10th.  2014 promises to be a controversial Contest, with the Ukrainian and Russian entries no doubt at odds.  Perhaps UK really can inspire half a million viewers to believe that we are all "Children of the Universe".

Andrew Disbury is a lifelong fan of the Eurovision Song Contest, and has so far attended Istanbul, Athens, Oslo and Malmö.