Review: Olly Alexander might just send Eurovision into a spiral with new single ‘Dizzy’

Olly Alexander's single cover for "Dizzy".

Olly Alexander of Years & Years fame has finally released his Eurovision Song Contest single “Dizzy”, two and a half months after he was confirmed to represent the UK in the competition.

In his new track “Dizzy”, “King” hitmaker Olly Alexander has a simple request: he wants to be taken by the hand and spun around “in a moment that never ends”. In signing up to be the 2024 UK Eurovision entrant, his wish has already been fulfilled.

Little can happen to a singer’s career that is quite as unpredictable, or as altering, as heading to the iconic song content, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in Malmö, Sweden this May.

You can be a Sam Ryder, and all but clinch the top spot – Ryder came in second to Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra in 2022 – and see your career ascend to new heights (Ryder is the first Eurovision act to become a ‘Best New Artist’ BRIT Award nominee, and his Eurovision single “Spaceman” stormed to number two in the charts).

You can become a Mae Muller; while her stint in last year’s competition in Liverpool ended up a shocking flop after she came in 25th place out of 26 finalists, she equally became something of a temporary national treasure, and her career has held strong since (she’s released a debut album, and is starring in new film Gassed Up.)

Or, you can flitter out of existence – or at least out of the pop industry. While that seems unlikely to happen to Alexander, who is already a UK household name with two number one albums and a BAFTA nomination under his belt, becoming associated with Eurovision is still risky business.

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Luckily for him, then, that “Dizzy” is one of the better songs the UK has sent to the contest in recent years.

Written by Alexander and frequent Dua Lipa and Charli XCX collaborator Danny L Harle, it’s pulsating pop that is both simple yet effective. The fizzy ‘80s synths of the Pet Shop Boys are a clear influence, but with a touch of  Steps’ playfulness, and – dare we say it – a hint of Aqua, too. That’s all to say that “Dizzy” is pop serving its primary purpose; it’s catchy and the hook has sticking power. When the jury and the public are contemplating their votes, that counts for a lot.

Of course, the big question is whether “Dizzy” is likely to help the UK secure its first Eurovision victory in 27 years. And the answer to that, sadly, is probably not.

It’s a solid effort, but it’s a little hollow. It doesn’t have the soaring chorus of previous winners like Loreen’s monster hit “Tattoo”, the dainty, piano-led emotion of 2019 winner “Arcade”, or the enigmatic Bond-ish quality of Conchita Wurst’s “Rise Like A Phoenix”. It’s great pop, but in Eurovision, when you’re up against artists from across the globe, great pop isn’t always enough.

Years & Years singer Olly Alexander sings into a microphone while wearing a black mesh bodysuit and being lit by a blue light
Years & Years singer Olly Alexander. (Burak Cingi/Redferns)

The good news though, is that “Dizzy” is unlikely to flop, in any sense. Anyone who has seen Alexander perform knows that he has oodles of charisma in his live shows, and “Dizzy” lends itself nicely to some stylish, psychedelic staging. It is a big possibility that he’ll land in the top half of the Eurovision leaderboard.

And in terms of irrevocable damage to his career, that’s already a non-issue. Just nine hours after its release, and the single is sitting pretty at number two in the UK’s iTunes charts. It’s safe to assume that the country will stand staunchly in Alexander’s corner in a way it hasn’t done for many other entrants in the contest. 

“Dizzy” is out now.

The Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals will take place on 7 and 9 May, and the final will take place on 11 May.

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