The real independence question: Will Scotland get its own Eurovision entry?

The most irritating thing about Scotland being part of a United Kingdom is that it gets tarred with competitive failures that are not of its making.

For the past decade, the UK has had its pants pulled down and been spanked in front of its continental neighbours on a yearly basis in the Eurovision Song Contest, accruing fewer points than any other country which has competed as consistently.*

No performer from Scotland – a nation which has disproportionately influenced global music culture – has been invited to represent the UK in Eurovision since Scott Fitzgerald appeared in 1988, and that fact won’t change this year given that Engelbert Humperdinck will fly the Union Jack in Azerbaijan on May 26 at the age of 76.

It’s inevitable that the clamour for Scotland to submit its own entry will intensify if the 2014 referendum brings independence, but what you might not realise is that Scotland can just as legitimately go it alone in Eurovision right now.

When it comes to choosing which artist and which song is put forward to represent a country, the shots are called entirely by the broadcaster. For the UK, that’s the BBC. If STV or BBC Scotland so desired, they could apply to the European Broadcasting Union (which organises Eurovision) to put forward a separate Scottish entry.

A spokesperson for BBC Scotland told The Pop Cop: “We are unaware of any plans to change the arrangements for the Eurovision Song Contest and we are not in a position to speculate on what might or might not happen with the competition in the future.” An STV spokesperson added: “There are no plans at the moment but we would not rule anything out.”

If/when that day comes, what should Scotland look for in a potential winning candidate? A study of recent voting patterns throws up a smorgasbord of styles. But, by and large, our European neighbours overwhelmingly favour songs sung in English, so Scotland should probably avoid being represented by Gaelic-language tunes or The View.

Now, if you’re sitting there thinking that Scottish acts don’t really fit in with the Eurovision vibe, you clearly aren’t aware that this country already has its own soundalikes/lookalikes of each of the last six Eurovision winners, as the following YouTube videos prove. The similarities are uncanny, I’m sure you’ll agree:

2006: LORDI (Finland)

vs METALTECH (Scotland)


vs HORSE (Scotland)

2008: DIMA BILAN (Russia)

vs DANNY SHAH (Scotland)

2009: ALEXANDER RYBAK (Norway)


2010: LENA (Germany)


2011: ELL/NIKKI (Azerbaijan)

vs ADMIRAL FALLOW (Scotland)


*Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Germany, Greece, Romania, Russia, Spain and UK are the only countries to have appeared in every final since 2002. The UK’s cumulative points total (499) during that time is the lowest of these countries.

4 Responses to “The real independence question: Will Scotland get its own Eurovision entry?”

  1. Paul Johnston Says:

    March 11th, 2012 at 17:18

    As a *cough* “connoisseur” of Eurovision I should point out that France, Germany, Spain and “royaume-uni” are everpresents in the final because those countries contribute the most money to the EBU and are exempt from pre-qualifying.

    A couple of actresses from River City had a go in 2006 but where beaten by Daz Sampson (oh dear) and Anthony Costa (oh double dear) in the UK heat. More info on previous Scottish entrants here: http://www.jocknroll.co.uk/Trivia.htm

  2. The Pop Cop Says:

    March 11th, 2012 at 23:29

    Good trivia on your site, Paul. I was particularly amused by the fact that Scotland has had more input in France’s Eurovision entries than the UK’s in the past 20 years.

  3. juan kerr Says:

    May 26th, 2012 at 20:45

    I pure hope it’s some earnest wee guy in a wooly hat and a Scotch accent. That music is pure BRAW. Keep it real.

  4. Jamie Murphy Says:

    June 15th, 2012 at 14:23

    Myself and Ewen will be starting a Be Like Pablo side project especially for the prospect of entering Eurovision. Our group is going under the provisional title of “shuggy and the bawbags”. I think we have a good chance of changing peoples lives.

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