Jade Ewen - 'It's My Time'
Ahhh, Eurovision. For about 364 days of the year, it's a ridiculous, outdated embarrassment, and then for one day in May it's VERY VERY IMPORTANT and invariably when we don't win everyone huffs about how the whole thing is rigged. I don't know about the rest of you, but I wouldn't change it for the world.
Except it was decided that a change was necessary this year, since in the past few years we've performed extremely poorly, so much so that even Terry Wogan decided he'd had enough and abandoned the commentary box for good - at which point Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber decided this couldn't go on, and modestly volunteered his own songwriting services to ensure us a better placing this year, roping in balladmeister extraordinaire Diane Warren to pen the lyrics, and leaving a lot of people going "buh? Can we do that? If so, why on earth haven't we been doing it every year?"
(Here's the video. Cinderella goes to the ball a day early.)
And the answers are, apparently yes, and I have no idea. As to whether this track is likely to serve us any better at Moscow on Saturday than that song about flags or whatever it was that Andy the singing binman off X Factor was singing about last year - maybe, because big emotive tracks seem to be the sort of song that have done well for us in the past (see also Jessica Garlick, Katrina and the Waves, Imaani). This song is actually pretty much nothing but a big sweeping chorus that seems to get louder each time it's repeated, with another section of the orchestra kicking in beneath it. Subtle it is not, but then you can't really afford to be subtle in front of a pan-European TV audience of millions, I suppose.
So, is it any good? Well, it sort of depends on whether you're assessing it on music terms or in Eurovision terms. In music terms, it sounds exactly like a song you'd expect the winner of The X Factor to release, with lots of references to keeping going and staying strong and it being, well, her time.
It's the sort of thing we've all heard hundreds of times before and are likely to hear many more times again in the future - and it's a little bit saddening that this is what comes out when two of the world's most famous songwriters get together, but in fairness, middle-of-the-road is what Andrew Lloyd Webber and Diane Warren do individually, so why would they change anything when they're together?
In Eurovision terms, well, who knows? If I were that skilled at picking winners, I'd probably have a lot more money than I do now. It's probably one of our more impactful songs of recent years, but I suspect there'll be many more big ballads on the night, and this doesn't really do very much to set itself apart. Still, Jade Ewen has a formidable set of pipes and copes admirably with the mad range the song requires, so you never know.
Digitalspy says: "Overblown, old-fashioned and shamelessly sentimental, this could be just what Eurovision ordered."
Pop Reviews Now says: "Britain, if you're going to send a Leona copycat, you're better off sending the girl herself."
Never Stop The Europop says: "An outstanding performance of a mediocre song."