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)
2007: MARIJA ŠERIFOVIĆ (Serbia)
vs HORSE (Scotland)
2008: DIMA BILAN (Russia)
vs DANNY SHAH (Scotland)
2009: ALEXANDER RYBAK (Norway)
vs THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY (Scotland)
2010: LENA (Germany)
vs KATIE SUTHERLAND (Scotland)
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.