It’s been 22 years of hurt for the UK, over two decades since Katrina and the Waves were crowned the Eurovision Song Contest champions in 1997.


But could 2019 be the year the country claims its long-awaited sixth victory? That’s certainly what Michael Rice, the UK's representative, will be hoping when he steps out to perform Bigger Than Us on the Tel Aviv Eurovision stage.

Who is the UK's Eurovision 2019 entry Michael Rice?

The 21-year-old is a former busker from Hartlepool who first got into music performing for his gran (awwh). He always dreamt of being a singer, but spent much of his youth working at McDonald's.

He made his first screen appearance on 2014’s X Factor, receiving four yeses for his cover of Whitney Houston's I Look to You.

Unfortunately for Rice, that’s as far as he went in the competition after being eliminated at the bootcamp stage.

But, as you probably guessed, that wasn’t the end of his story. He entered BBC TV talent show All Together Now, impressing the contest’s 100 judges, including The Spice Girl’s Geri Horner.

Rice ended up winning the show, putting most of his £50,000 prize money towards his mum's Waffle and Crepe Shack in Hartlepool (double awwwh).

After that, Rice set his sights on Eurovision, being selected as one of six competing acts on national selection process in Eurovision: You Decide. After two rounds, he came top of the public vote.

“I literally just came off the stage and honestly, I can’t believe I won,” Rice said after his victory. “I never in a million years thought I’d get the chance to do this experience, never mind win it."

Rice is currently working on his debut EP with producers Pete Boxsta Martin and Dantae Johnson who have worked with the likes of James Arthur, Jessie J and Missy Elliott.

What is UK’s Eurovision 2019 song called?

Michael Rice will perform Bigger Than Us at Eurovision. No worries if you haven't heard it before: about 60% of the lyrics of the power ballad are "It's bigger than us".

Interestingly, the song was co-penned by Swedish entry John Lundvik. He first planned to represent Sweden with Bigger Than Us before switching to the (arguably better) track Too Late For Love.

What will the UK’s Eurovision 2019 song look like on stage?

Very minimalist. Rice will start the track under one spotlight with only some dry ice for company. He'll then be joined by gospel-like backing singers for the chorus.

Overall, classic Eurovision.

What are the odds of the UK winning Eurovision 2019?

Prepare your mock shocked face: it's very unlikely the UK will top the contest – most bookies say there's a 1% chance we'll be champions. Instead, most predict the UK will finish deep into the right-hand side of the table.

It looks set to be a tough night.

Who sung for the UK at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest?

If you don't remember the pink-haired SuRie, you'll almost definitely remember the stage invasion that interrupted her performance. Despite having the microphone ripped from her hands for ten seconds, SuRie recovered with some truly superb vocals.

However, it wasn't enough to rescue Storm, the song finishing in 24th place out of 26.

Who were the other contenders for Eurovision: You Decide?

Five other wannabe UK Eurovision entrants took part in the competition with Rice, one of whom was singing the same song as him...

Holly Tandy - Bigger Than Us

Song written by Laurell Barker, Anna-Klara Folin, John Lundvik and Jonas Thander

Who is Holly Tandy? An X Factor 2017 quarter-finalist from Barnsley. She was eliminated in week 4 of the live shows after performing Ariana Grande's Love Me Harder. She has kept a relatively low profile since leaving the show – but made her theatrical debut as Dorothy in the Blackpool Winter Garden production of Wizard of Oz last year.

She says: "My version of Bigger Than Us is a country pop song which is really current and cool, and similar to a Taylor Swift/Miley Cyrus vibe"

Jordan Clarke - Freaks

Song written by Jon Maguire, Rick Parkhouse, Corey Sanders and George Tizzard

Who is Jordan Clarke? A 24-year-old Essex-born singer/songwriter, best known for an appearance on Britain's Got Talent in 2013 as a member of The Luminites. Their audition video was viewed 13 million times on YouTube, and they went on to reach the final.

He says: "To represent my country at Eurovision would mean so much. It’s like representing England at the World Cup if you’re a footballer. This is my World Cup - I’m so excited!"

MAID - Freaks

Song written by Jon Maguire, Rick Parkhouse, Corey Sanders and George Tizzard

Who are MAID? A pop group made up of classically-trained musicians Miracle (24), Blythe (26) and Kat (27), from Edinburgh, Devon and Bristol respectively.

They describe their musical style as in the vein of Billie Eilish (a 17-year-old popstar), and they are currently at work on their first EP.

They say: "Freaks is about celebrating everyone’s individual personality, about the people who maybe don’t fit in and it’s about bringing everyone together"

Kerrie-Anne - Sweet Lies

Song written by Maria Broberg, Lise Cabble and Esben Svane

Who is Kerrie-Ann? A 32-year-old former teacher, who started to hone her singing skills while working in Dubai. She cites ABBA as her favourite Eurovision act ever.

She says: "The style of my song is up-tempo but at the same time the lyrics are quite poignant - it’s all about blissful ignorance. You know something is drastically wrong with your relationship but you choose to ignore those signs because you love that person"

Anisa - Sweet Lies

Song written by Maria Broberg, Lise Cabble and Esben Svane

Who is Anisa? A Manchester-born songwriter who has co-written songs for Ariana Grande and Eurovision alumni and Sweden’s platinum selling artist Fran. She was also named as one of the BBC Asian Network's Future Sounds in 2016.

She says: "Sweet Lies is about being in a situation in life and taking the good with the bad, about being vulnerable and diving in head first"


The Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final takes place in Tel Aviv, Israel, on May 18th 2019

Meet the acts competing in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019