United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008

United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008

ESC National Year
Year = 2008
Country = GBR
Preselection =
Preselection date = 1 March 2008 | Entrant = Andy Abraham
Song = "Even If"
Final result = 23rd, 14 points
The United Kingdom chose their entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 on the BBC programme "". It replaced the former selection programme, Making Your Mind Up after a string of bad results. It was broadcast on BBC One on Saturday 1 March 2008.

Andy Abraham was the winner of the contest with the song Even If and will go on to represent the United Kingdom in Serbia.cite web|url=http://www.eurovision.tv/page/news?id=523|title=UK selects Andy Abraham!|publisher=www.eurovision.tv|author=Schacht, Andreas|date=2008-03-01|accessdate=2008-03-02] As a member of the 'Big 4', the United Kingdom is one of five countries directly qualified into the final on 24 May 2008 and does not need to compete in either of the semi-finals, although it is able to vote in the second of the two semi-finals.

Early rumours

One of the rumours about the show was that the finalists of UK TV shows How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? and Any Dream Will Do would participate in a newly revamped Making Your Mind Up with songs written by the likes of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Gary Barlow. [ [http://www.sundaymirror.co.uk/news/sunday/2008/01/20/reality-stars-to-sing-in-eurovision-for-britain-98487-20291421/ Reality stars to sing in Eurovision for Britain - Sunday Mirror ] ] This format was partially used in the final format, with one of the categories being 'Joseph Vs. Maria', with one artist from each show competing to make it into the semi-final.

There were wide sweeping rumours about which artists were going to try for Eurovision, one in particular was Bill Bailey however his tour in Australia kept him out, however he said that he might try out for next year.

National final

Terry Wogan announced on his radio show, Wake Up To Wogan on 13 February 2008 that a new national final show would be titled ", to replace Making Your Mind Up. The show aired at 19.00 GMT and the results showed at 21.30 GMT. Terry Wogan hosted the show along with Claudia Winkleman, who replaced Fearne Cotton. There was a panel of three judges headed by Terry Wogan, with John Barrowman and Carrie Grant as the other two judges.

The format consisted of 3 categories, each with 2 songs in. One song qualified from each category, with a fourth wildcard song being picked by Terry Wogan. Then 2 participants with the highest number of phone votes sang again in a 'superfinal' later that evening.


In the final category two soloists performed for the chance to represent the UK. Ex-Eastender star turned singer Michelle Gayle sang "Woo (U Make Me)", and got through hands down to the semi-final and then precceded on to the final after the public vote. Andy still got through, after Terry Wogan used his wildcard to keep him in the competition.

Commentators and spokespersons

*Commentators - Paddy O'Connell and Caroline Flack (semi-finals), [citeweb|url=http://www.esctoday.com/news/read/11321|title=UK: Caroline Flack to Commentate|publisher=esctoday.com|accessdate=2008-05-09] Sir Terry Wogan - television, and Ken Bruce - radio (final). [citeweb|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2008/05_may/02/eurovision_coverage.shtml|title=Eurovision Song Contest 2008: BBC coverage|publisher=BBC|accessdate=2008-05-08]
*Spokespersons - Carrie Grant [citeweb|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7403021.stm|title=Talking Shop: Carrie Grant|publisher=BBC News|accessdate=2008-05-21]

Result and reaction

The United Kingdom's entry finished in 25th position with 14 points, joint last with Germany and Poland. Following Eurovision tie-breaking rules, the United Kingdom was placed last overall as it had fewer 12-point votes than Germany and fewer 10-point votes than Poland.

BBC Eurovision host Terry Wogan called Abraham's song Even If "the best UK entry for a while", [cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7417527.stm |title=Russia scoops Eurovision victory |publisher=BBC News |date=24 May 2008 |accessdate=2008-05-25] expressed frustration with the contest result and suggested that Britain follows Italy's suit and no longer enter the competition. [cite news|author=Staff writer|title= Wogan 'may quit Eurovision role'|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7418940.stm|work= BBC News Online|date= 2008-05-25|accessdate= 2008-05-25] In his radio show on 27th May, Wogan remarked on a conversation with Abraham, who had said that he was not expecting a high vote for the usual 'block voting' reasons, and 'another reason' which Wogan was not prepared to discuss on air, presumed to be related to Abraham's race.


ee also

*United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest

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