Eurovision First Listen: Molly’s “Children of the Universe” to Rep for the UK

Molly Smitten-Downes (Photo: Eurovision / BBC)
Molly Smitten-Downes (Photo: Eurovision / BBC)

The United Kingdom has changed up its strategy for the Eurovision Song Contest by selecting the up-and-coming artist Molly and her song “Children of the Universe” written specifically for the Contest.

Finally! The United Kingdom has decided to start taking the Eurovision Song Contest seriously by trying to craft an entry that won’t be hanging out at the bottom of the scoreboard at the end of the Grand Final. Rather than going with pros who may be past their prime (sorry, Bonnie and Englebert) and who can actually sing live (not sorry, Blue and Josh), the BBC took advantage of an up-and-coming artist service they already had in place to scope out new talent for the Contest. They commissioned singer Molly to write and perform their entry, which is called “Children of the Universe”:

In the lead up to the announcement of the song and artist, the reps from the BBC were stressing they didn’t want to have a song that was Eurovision-y, meaning it wasn’t supposed to be about dreams and hope and a vague notion of love with the title of “Shine” or “Smile” or something equally innocuous. Oddly, this song still feels very Eurovision-y with the tweeness of the title, its uber-democratic message, and the staging of the performance highlighted in the above video. It feels like a song from a primetime high school soap, written by one of the main characters and performed at the Bronze or the Peach Pit.  have an extremely difficult time seeing this song existing outside of the ecosystem of the Contest, which is necessary if the UK dreams about winning.

However, I don’t think the goal is to win this year. I think the goal is to say to Europe that the UK wants to be taken seriously as a contestant. There’s still some time to polish this entry (the video was the first live performance of the song), and a good video could make a difference. The style of the song reminds me of Norway’s 2013 entry “I Feed You My Love”—which I also strongly disliked but it did just fine. “Children of the Universe” is a case where the distinction between a song and an entry comes into sharp focus, and if the UK can produce a good entry from a not good song, they will do just fine in Copenhagen.

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About Mike McComb 656 Articles
Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it "TV Camp." After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: mike@whatelseison.tv