Eurovision royalty Måns Zelmerlöw will be shocked if UK doesn’t do well this year

Mans knows a thing or two about a Eurovision song (Picture: Nigel Treblin/WireImage)

The United Kingdom has only reached the top 10 of the Eurovision Song Contest twice this century, with SuRie coming 24th last year.

And we’re still scarred from poor Jemini’s nil points shocker in 2003.

But Eurovision royalty Måns Zelmerlöw has high hopes for the UK this year.

The Swedish star now hosts Eurovision: You Decide on the BBC with Mel Giedroyc, and believes Michael Rice and his song Bigger Than Us could get to the left hand side of the leaderboard – and get the UK public to stop looking down on Eurovision.

Speaking about his time on You Decide, Måns – who now lives in England with his fiancee, Hollyoaks actress Ciara Janson – told ‘It’s been two really good years, I think, and coming from Britain not being that Eurovision-interested and frowning a bit on Eurovision, it feels like we’re slowly getting there.

‘We’re sending – I say we now, I’m very biased in this – we’re sending something really good this year. It’s really strong, and it would shock me if it didn’t end up on the left hand side of the leaderboard. It has been a while, but it feels different this year.

Mans thinks Michael has what it takes to break that left hand side of the leaderboard (Picture: Guy Levy

‘Michael has been doing the promo all over Europe, that hasn’t been done to the same extent in a while. He’s doing everything right, so as long as he delivers on the night, I’m sure he’ll be there.’

There have been complaints basically since Eurovision began that the contest is all about politics, with some British viewers now claiming Brexit has ruined the UK’s chances for good.

But even before the referendum in 2016, the UK only scraped into the top 20 nine times since 2000, and hasn’t won since Katrina and The Waves in 1997. Måns believes the UK’s performance is down to sending the wrong song, rather than the political tides.

‘I don’t think [Brexit] has any effect at all, I just don’t think we’ve sent the right song for many years. The biggest writers are not writing songs for You Decide, and as soon as that starts happening and the UK shows they want to win… [Bigger Than Us] is a very good start.

‘I really thought Lucie [Jones, in 2017] would make the left hand side, that was shocking. Maybe it was because there were many ballads that year, it didn’t stand out.

‘Loreen winning with Euphoria [in 2012 for Sweden] was kind of the turning point for the whole competition – a really good artist with a contemporary song could do well. And it’s been turning ever since. I hope that will come to Britain as well, and that people can see there’s room for quirkiness, but also songs that should make the charts.’

Måns suggested that Somebody You Loved singer Lewis Capaldi should consider lending his pipes to the contest – that voice plus his love of weird and wonderful sunglasses is surely a winning combo – but until then, Michael Rice is getting his full support.

The 32-year-old, whose song Heroes won Eurovision 2015 for Sweden with 365 points, said: ‘Had the playing field been level [between Sweden and UK], I would probably have felt more of a competitive thing. But Eurovision and Melodifestivalen is so much bigger in Sweden, I feel that somehow Britain deserves a good year. Sweden is almost always top five.

‘So I’m crossing my fingers even more for Britain this time. But of course, I’m Swedish, I will always be rooting for Sweden.’

The Eurovision Song Contest final takes place on 18 May in Tel Aviv, Israel.

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