It’s Official: Bonnie Tyler for the United Kingdom
Well, after months of waiting and watching the rumors fly, with seemingly every living name on the British music scene suggested as an option, the BBC has finally come out and given the fans what they’ve wanted: a name. And what a name it is! Following veteran crooner Engelbert Humperdinck in 2012, the BBC has again reached into the vault for a classic name and given us Bonnie Tyler.
The now-61 year old Wales native, whose biggest hits include evergreens “Holding Out for a Hero” and “Total Eclipse of the Heart“, hasn’t had a major smash hit since the mid-1980s, but she has been consistently recording and touring. Her latest album, “Rocks and Honey”, will be made available just in time for Eurovision.
Bonnie’s entry, “Believe in Me“, was written by prolific songwriter Desmond Child, who also helped write smashes like Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca”, Aerosmith’s “Crazy”, and Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” (which, as a native of New Jersey, makes my little “child-of-the-’80s” heart go all a-flutter).
I am personally of two minds when it comes to this choice. There was more than a bit of a kerfuffle last year when Engelbert took the stage (and an eventual second-to-last place). Rather than embracing the United Kingdom’s vast pool of up-and-coming talent or current stars, another pick from chart history seemed a bit odd. However, Bonnie’s rusted razor of a voice lends itself well to this almost Country-style song, and she has already proven that she can sing it live.
After so many years of Sir Terry Wogan scoffing at Eurovision, saying that “it’s all political” and that the United Kingdom has no chance of victory, I worry that some current artists have taken that mantra as fact. For example:
Even legendary Black Sabbath guitarist (and Birmingham native) Tony Iommi, who composed this year’s Armenian entry, has seemingly low expectations:
Despite these negative sentiments, and the certainty (in the UK, at least) that a Eurovision performance would somehow damage a career, artists like Loreen, Lena, and Alexander Rybak have enjoyed sustained careers in their homelands and beyond. “Euphoria” even made it to the Top 3 on the British pop charts without actually being added to BBC Radio 1 playlist! How can a shift in mindset occur among younger artists, and would fresher blood lead to better scores? Which brings up the question: what is the BBC’s objective? A win? A good song? Strong ratings? A night of entertainment? An evening of national pride?
These are questions that could inspire another entire article (or, at the very least, maybe a few comments on this post?)…but, long story short, Bonnie Tyler is singing for the UK with a strong song that suits her. Who knows how the scoreboard will turn out for her, or how her voice will sound on the night? In this spread-out Eurovision field with no definite runaway favorite, anything can happen.