A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Monday, March 28, 2011

Runner-up: United Kingdom 1994

One of the worst choices one would have to make during a national final would, according to me, be the choice between really good and really original.

The 1994 UK national final, where Frances Ruffelle sang all eight songs on offer, was in all honesty a really lousy event. Most of the songs had nothing going for them, making Frances look pretty limited in terms of interpretetation instead of having her stand out as a versatile pop star.

The top two songs, however, were modern, original, bold. The runner-up seems almost frighteningly complicated given the almost ridiculous user friendliness displayed by the UK most years in the past.

Frances Ruffelle - Sink Or Swim (UK NF 1994)

Firstly, had this been an entry this year, the lyrics would probably have had to be rewritten. Given the recent news events, I don't think a lyric about the flood coming to take us all away would have been greeted with any particular enthusiasm.

That aside, this is a very bold effort - demanding but catchy once you get a grip on it. Something tells me the juries would have struggled with it and maybe placed poor Frances even lower had she been sent to Dublin with this one.

Not that I weep too bitterly about the outcome. The eventual winner is one of my favourite UK entries of all times, also modern, rather sophisticated and not to badly desperate to be liked.

Frances Ruffelle - We Will Be Free (UK 1994)

It didn't really work out with the RTÉ orchestra (show me one song that sounded better played by them, anyone?) and in the end the juries only placed it in a pale tenth place. For you kids, who were not around back then, that was about as bad as the UK ever placed. The last places of recent times were simply unthinkable.

Frances Ruffelle - We Will Be Free (UK 1994)

But of course the best version of them all is the studio version. Top marks from me anytime.

Frances Ruffelle - Lonely Symphony (We Will Be Free)

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