Despite an official 24-hour social media lockdown since the video was shot in front of 300 friends, family, fans and fillers on Sunday night, both online media and the BBC have today announced this year's UK entrant to the Eurovision Song Contest final, to be held in Copenhagen on May 10th.
Molly Smitten-Downes is the artist (in these class-conscious pop days, she is being recast as the much more approachable "Molly" as though one earns a mono-nomic moniker with a debut song). Her song, "Children of the Universe" is being premiered via the BBC Red Button at 19.30 GMT on Monday 3rd March.
Molly is a sweet, young, pretty singer songwriter, who appears fully unprepared for the media attention and fanboy assault she is about to endure for the next two months. The song is folksy, beautifully sung and - most importantly - is not an embarrassment to stand behind.
The BBC's approach, an "internal selection" has been accused of being unrepresentative of the quality of the contemporary music scene on our shores. The UK is only one of a small handful of countries whose national broadcasters choose their songs this way. The vast majority use a national competition to do so. In those countries, national competitions are also ratings successes (the final of the Swedish national song contest, Melodifestivalen, is estimated to be watched fully by 50% of the population). Sending Bonnie Tyler and Englebert Humperdinck in 2013 and 2012 respectively showed the BBC to be out of touch both with modern music, and also the song contest itself.
Whilst there remains no shortage of "joke" acts in any one year, the quality of music over the past few years has in many cases been genuinely credible. This year, with an anthemic and rousing number, the BBC and Molly at least tick that box. Discovered through BBC Introducing (who discovered Florence and the Machine, Jake Bugg and the TingTings, amongst many others), the BBC have finally used in-house resources - a programme which is designed to showcase emerging musical talent - to connect the dots between talent and one of the most-watched music shows in the year.
Eurovision gets nearly double the ratings of shows like the BRIT Awards and is consistently one of the BBC's highest rated shows in the year, taking 35-40% of audience share in its primetime Saturday night slot. Given there are more than 170 million viewers across 36 countries for the contest itself - it's a great platform for any artist with a credible and decent song.
The BBC are downplaying the announcement somewhat - hedging their bets by using the Red Button to launch, instead of the "Song For Europe"-style shows of yesteryear. Nonetheless, as a lay Brit and as a fan, it's good to see the BBC taking the contest seriously again - for this year at least.
Good luck Molly. And yes, we're all children of the universe (and that's a very Eurovision sentiment).Suggest a correction