Olly Alexander divides fans with BBC Eurovision debut UK performance

The Eurovision Song Contest hype has hit fever pitch as it officially kicked off its first semi-finals on Tuesday 7 May. Delivering an opening act to remember, former Cyprus contestant Eleni Foureira dazzled BBC viewers in a glittery ensemble supported by a fabulous line-up of back-up dancers all clad in black.

Yet, amidst all these flashy performances, our attention was snatched by Years and Years' frontman, 33 year old Olly Alexander's maiden Eurovision performance for the UK, which got everyone talking. Best known for his stint with the pop band, Olly is now flying solo, representing the UK with his track dubbed 'Dizzy'. And though fans caught their first glimpse of his live rendition Tuesday night, not everyone was head over heels.

Performing his debut solo single was both a thrill and milestone moment for Alexander but feedback from the audience tuning in wasn't universally positive and flooded social media swiftly afterwards. Among the flurry of comments, one fan expressed disappointment: "Had high hopes for the UK @Eurovision this year with Olly Alexander but it sounded a little ropey at the semi-final just now on @BBCRadio2," while another viewer simply remarked, "#eurovision Shockingly poor singing there from Olly Alexander."

Olly Alexander performed Dizzy during the semi-finals of Eurovision
Olly Alexander performed Dizzy during the semi-finals of Eurovision -Credit:Getty Images

Not mincing their words, a third critic took a further dig adding: "#EURO2024 sorry but I don't think much of #OllyAlexander Dizzy UK entry. Set and production poor."

Meanwhile, fans were buzzing with excitement over Olly's Eurovision performance, with one fan gushing on social media: "I just love Olly Alexander... GREAT staging... #ESC2024," while another praised: "Olly's performance was SO professional. It was like watching a music video. Best staging of the year #unitedkingdom."

Another viewer changed their tune after seeing the live show, admitting: "Ok, when I first heard Olly Alexander's #Eurovision song for the UK, I didn't like it, but now that I'm seeing the staging, I like it a lot better”.

Olly flew to Sweden to take party in the song contest
Olly flew to Sweden to take party in the song contest -Credit:BBC

Meanwhile, Richard Bartlett, a dedicated British Eurovision fan, shared his optimism outside Sweden's Malmo Arena, saying: "I think he's going to do better than the bottom of the pile (on Saturday). I think they're suggesting that it'll be the better side of the board this time so I think he's predicted to be 14th, 15th."

The UK's recent Eurovision glow-up came with Sam Ryder's stellar second place in the 2022 contest, a significant shift from previous years' less impressive results. It's been a hot minute since the UK topped the Eurovision scoreboard the last win was back in 1997 with Katrina And The Waves' anthem Love Shine A Light.