Jon Ola Sand wanted “stronger” acts representing UK

During a feature-length episode of The Euro Trip, former Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand discussed the disappointing run of artists representing the UK at the competition.

Speaking to The Euro Trip presenter Rob Lilley, Sand said: “I would have loved to have had stronger acts from the UK. We have a strong presence from the UK, but not from the position of their songs.”

During the time Jon Ola Sand was Executive Supervisor of the contest, the UK managed a best placing of 11th in 2011 when the country was represented by Blue with the song I Can.

Talking about the BBC’s approach and attitude towards Eurovision, Sand said: “The good thing is there’s a strong commitment from the BBC to stay with the Eurovision Song Contest, and I know they are working hard.

“I’m very happy for the figures, and the drive that the UK has for the Eurovision Song Contest.”

In the feature-length conversation, Sand also addressed questions about the role of juries at Eurovision.

Asked if the numbers of jurors could be expanded, Sand said: “Could be… we discussed it every year.

“It is just a logistic challenge, it wouldn’t be a problem in Germany to have more. But it has to be a balanced jury, and a professional jury, balanced in gender, age and their professional background. That could be a challenge in smaller countries.”

Throughout his tenure as Executive Supervisor, Sand made multiple attempts to make national selection shows for participating countries mandatory. Although he failed in his attempts, he reflects on the process.

Sand said: “Maybe this is a rule I’m sad we didn’t get passed, we wanted to make national selection mandatory.

“Unfortunately that was shot-down. And I understand that because we shouldn’t decide what the broadcasters put on air.”

Jon Ola Sand served as Executive Supervisor between 2011 and 2020. Prior to this role he was Executive Producer for Eurovision when the contest was held in Oslo, Norway in 2010.

Image Credit: Eurovision.tv / THOMAS HANSES

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