It's that time of year again, folks. No, we're not talking about essay deadlines and exams - it's time to choose this year's UK entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017.
An evening of cheesy pop ballads, dramatic staging and incredulous on-stage antics, Eurovision is an institution which the UK have been awful at in recent years; we haven't won the contest for 20 years - Katrina and The Waves won with a performance of 'Love Shine A Light' in 1997.
This Friday, Mel Giedroyc will be hosting Eurovision: You Decide on BBC2. The public and a panel of 8 judges will decide who will be lucky enough to represent us in Kiev and attempt to avoid the dreaded nil points result.
There are 6 hopefuls to choose from, but unlike previous years, there's something they have in common: they have all previously appeared onThe X Factor. Here's the rundown, with some clips to jog your memory:
Lucie Jones - Never Give Up On You
Having appeared on the sixth series of the reality show in 2009 which was won by Joe McElderry, and Olly Murs finishing as runner up, Lucie lost out in the bottom two to Ireland’s very own Eurovision sensations, Jedward. Her entry has been co-written by a former winner - Emmelie de Forest of Denmark - but doesn’t really reach great heights. 'Never Give Up On You' is a simple piano ballad that becomes pretty boring and repetitive within the first minute or so. It’s a shame, as her vocals have definitely improved in the last few years, but it is just isn’t a very captivating choice that screams ‘Eurovision banger’. We've given up on it already.
Nate Simpson - What Are We Made Of?
Having been sent home at the judge’s houses stage of last year’s series by Nicole Scherzinger, Nate Simpson’s entry sounds akin to a typical winner’s ballad plucked from the show. Despite utilising a luscious piano backing and key change after key change, 'What Are We Made Of?' isn't actually made of much at all, falling into the same category as Jones’s offering: strong lyrically and vocally, but lacking any kind of intent that will keep the audience interested. The lyrics are philosophical and hopeful, but I’m not sure we'd get past the first chorus before needing to pour ourselves another glass of wine.
Olivia Garcia - Freedom Hearts
Another alum from last year’s series, Garcia’s entry sounds like a typical Eurovision power ballad with a typical Eurovision message to boot: a chant-like chorus calls for freedom and unity alike. In particular, the percussion in the track gives the track a punch, with a repetition of the standard ‘oh, oh’ of power pop helping to make the song a tad more memorable than some of its competitors. It seems that Simon Cowell may have missed a trick in not taking Garcia to the live finals - maybe this will make him regret his decision.
Holly Brewer - I Wish I Loved You More
Back in 2015, Brewer received four ‘yeses’ from the judges, the Holy Grail for an X Factor auditionee. However, you may not remember her as well as some of this line-up, seeing as she never ended up at bootcamp - Simon Cowell clearly blew the boot camp budget on grey v-necks and belts, and thus Brewer was scrapped by the producers. However, the track sounds like something that could have been released by Little Mix as a winner’s single - we can already envisage the confetti blasters during that final key change.
Salena Mastroianni - I Don’t Wanna Fight
Mastroianni auditioned for The X Factor back in 2012 but didn’t make it past the audition stage. However, with every cloud comes a Eurovision-tinged silver lining, and out of the six tracks, Mastroianni’s is most definitely the one that sounds like something out of the current UK top 40. There’s a hint of tropical house and trance and it is a far more up-tempo effort in a sea of Europop ballads. The song seems to act as a metaphor for a fiery couple, with the refrain of ‘put down our weapons’ in the chorus suggesting that they should stop arguing and find peace. That, or it is just an anti-war message in a very cheesy disguise.
Danyl Johnson - Light Up The World
Probably the most well-known hopeful of The X Factor Six - which sounds like a very 21st century twist on an Enid Blyton tale - Johnson also competed alongside Lucie Jones in 2009. While originally tipped as favourite to win, he just missed out on the final, placing fourth. The track has a sense of hope, with a cliché dance beat pulsing its way throughout but doing nothing much to help with the performance. Johnson’s vocals don’t really go anywhere, and the track essentially ends up being the same flat level for the entire three minutes. What originally starts off sounding like a promising track just ends up sounding quite boring - light up the world, it won't.
Eurovision: You Decide will be broadcast on Friday 27th January at 8pm on BBC2.