The six acts bidding to represent the UK in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest have been revealed on the new show Your Country Needs You.
The acts – two female singers, two male singers and two groups – have been chosen by Andrew Lloyd Webber to take part in a series of live shows over the next few weeks.
Each week one of the acts will be eliminated by public vote – with the winning act going on to represent the UK at the Eurovision final, which will take place in Moscow on May 16th.
The act will sing a song composed by Lord Lloyd Webber at the contest, in a bid to score the UK’s first victory since 1997.
The two female singers in the final are teenager Charlotte, from Essex, and East Londoner Jade.
Both graduates from London’s Sylvia Young Theatre School, Charlotte impressed Lloyd Webber with her rendition of Duffy‘s Mercy while Jade was drafted in at the last minute after another auditionee, Rita, turned down the place she was offered in the final.
She was given her chance after Lloyd Webber could not decide which of two girl groups in the final audition to put through to the live shows – and ended up opting for neither.
The two male singers are Mark, a 23-year-old from North Wales who has appeared in the West End musical Spamalot and recently starred in pantomime, and Damien, a lounge singer in a London club.
The two groups are male quintet Emperors Of Soul – one of whom, Fraser, is a former member of acapella act The Flying Pickets – and The Twins, aka identical twins Francine and Nicola.
The pair, from Sheffield, were seen recently on The X Factor, but only made it as far as boot camp.
Lloyd Webber said that the acts were “fantastic. I think on the whole we’ve got a proper set of contestants.”
The live finals will begin next Saturday.
The UK is hoping for a change of fortune on the Eurovision stage. Despite having won the contest five times – the last time in 1997 – and finishing in second place 15 times, it has had a string of poor results recently.
X Factor finalist Andy Abraham, finished joint last at Eurovision 2008 in Belgrade. The contest was won by Russian singer Dima Bilan with the song Believe.