Eurovision 2014: UK’s entry Molly is beaten into 17th place as Austrian drag act wins

Well, it was considered to be the United Kingdom’s strongest entry in the Eurovision Song Contest for years, but the UK’s Molly Smitten-Downes and her song Children of the Universe weren’t strong enough to win – or even come close.

The trophy went to Austria’s dynamic drag act Conchita Wurst, who had a resounding victory with her song, Rise Like A Phoenix.

The writing was on the wall for Molly early on, but UK commentator Graham Norton remained determinedly optimistic as the voting progressed.

“People are voting more across boundaries this year,” he said. But that still didn’t help the UK.

It was the fifth round of votes before Molly got any points and then San Marino gave the UK five points.

Molly’s song, co-written with Swedish producer Anders Hansson, promoted the universal message of love and unity, with strong harmonies and a pounding drum beat.

But it just didn’t strike a note with the Eurovision voters.

Molly, from Leicestershire, took the job of creating her Eurovision song very seriously. “It’s got to be a little anthemic,” she said. And it was.

“To represent the United Kingdom in such a huge competition, not only as a singer and performer, but as a songwriter is an unbelievable honour,” she added.

The United Kingdom had high hopes for Molly and, in the run up to the big night, there were encouraging sounds coming from Copenhagen about how much her song was liked.

But that early popularity didn’t translate into votes in the Grand Final.

“The good news is Molly won’t be going home with nil point,” said Graham with relief, when the mammoth voting session was over.

There wasn’t a great deal to celebrate for the UK, though… But Graham put the best spin on it that he could.

“Seventeenth out of twenty-six,” he said. “Obviously we would have liked Molly to have done better but she can be very, very proud of herself.”

And Molly was gracious in defeat, tweeting: “Massive congratulations to Austria. What a brilliant night! Thanks for all the support… Now time to party!! Love you all. Xx”

So, next year, the Eurovision Song Contest will be in Austria. Sandy Shaw won there for the United Kingdom in 1967, the first British act to win the competition. Could that be a good omen?

Click here for our Eurovision picture special on all the performers and their scores