BBC reveal United Kingdom finalists!
United Kingdom broadcaster the BBC today announced the six acts taking part in the show Your Country Needs You! on Friday 12 March at 8.30pm. The winner of the show will represent the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo with a song written and produced by Pete Waterman and Mike Stock.
Performing live in the studio, the Eurovision hopefuls will be out to impress Pete Waterman, the producer of this year’s entry together with his long-time collaborator Mike Stock.
The format of the show will feature a specially selected panel consisting of Pete Waterman himself, last year’s UK entrant Jade Ewen and performance judge supremo Bruno Tonioli. After live performances from the six acts, and feedback from the panel, Pete will choose three acts to debut his Eurovision song. This time it’s the viewers that they have to impress, as the winner will be decided by a public vote.
Graham Norton will present the show and he commented “If any man can second guess European musical tastes surely that man is Pete Waterman. I can’t wait to get to Oslo and see the competition. Fingers crossed we can build on last year’s success. Here’s to all the usual fun, glamour, and madness of Eurovision, this year with the added extra of a faint whiff of pickled herring.”
Jade Ewen will perform with her new band the Sugababes as part of the interval act and finally Alexander Rybak will sing Fairytale, the song that brought Norway Eurovision glory at last year’s competition.
More about the six finalists
Alexis is 20, and has always been a keen performer, but he has never worked professionally. As a young boy he was in to acting. He considers himself to be a showman and has no passion for anything else.
Miss Fitz consists of Gemma, Maiken and Marina. This all-girl trio got together in London. They perform cover songs and give them their own stamp of jazzy, big band-style arrangements. It will be something of a homecoming for band member Maiken should Miss Fitz win through to represent the United Kingdom as she hails from a town just north of Oslo, the host city of this years competition. Also, Marina is the daughter of Colin Berry, the man who announced the United Kingdoms votes for 25 years.
Josh is 19 years old and is a professional singer. He has performed with StageAbility, the after school stage club, since the age of nine. He currently performs at charity evenings, festivals and sports events.
Karen is 18 a professional singer who began performing from an early age but has had no formal training besides the occasional singing lesson. Aged 16 Karen won Music Means Life, a competition in Durham for unsigned artists and bands which had 3,000 applicants. The prize was a management deal and time in a studio. One of her competitors was 2009 X Factor winner Joe McElderry.
UNI5 are made up of Amy, Sam, Dani, Daniella and Lee. The UNI5 group have come together especially for the show. They are a mixed group. Amy is also a keen songwriter. Sam is a professional dancer and singer with musical experience. Dani is a professional singer and dancer. Daniella is studying singing, acting and all types of dancing and Lee is also a professional singer and dancer.
Esma is 17 and has been extremely outgoing ever since she was a child. She grew up in Austria in a Kurdish family and started to sing Celine Dion songs before she could speak English.
More details on the six acts plus all the latest blogs, videos and insider gossip on the Your Country Needs You! show can be found on bbc.co.uk/eurovision.