EUROPE once again comes together this Saturday for the musical spectacular that is the Eurovision Song Contest.
Hoping to avoid nul points are this year’s UK entrants Joe and Jake.
They made it through on Eurovision: You Decide to earn the right to represent the UK – the first time in six years that our entry has been decided on a public vote.
The duo, made up of Joe Woolford, 21, and Jake Shakeshaft, 20, will take to the stage in Stockholm with their song You’re Not Alone, which is described as “an anthemic pop song with a universal message”.
What do you make of the song? Watch the official video below
Last year’s act Electro Velvet only managed to score five points, something Joe and Jake are hoping to avoid.
The pair are no stranger to competitions, having met as contestants in last year’s series of The Voice.
Welsh singer Joe narrowly missed out on a place in the final, while Jake, from Stoke-on-Trent, lost out in the knockout round.
Joe said: “We met backstage and got on really well, so kept in touch after that and decided that we wanted to form a duo, so it all started from there.”
Music has been a big part of the pair’s lives, with Joe experimenting with various sounds over the years, including rap, and Jake teaching himself how to play guitar as a teenager.
Jake added: “We are both fans of the show and always have been. If we weren’t taking part we’d be at home back in the UK watching with our families.
“I’m a big fan of Loreen and, even though she won back in 2012, you still hear the song everywhere today and it still sounds fresh.”
Perhaps their pre-performance rituals will help them find success of their own.
The pair say they pace together before taking to the stage to channel their nerves into adrenaline.
Joe added: ” I am also quite superstitious, but I am not revealing what my superstition is as that will jinx it!”
Joe and Jake will be joined in the competition by blue-bearded rock stars from Cyprus and an Armenian singer in a transparent leotard.
Acts from Azerbaijan, Russia, the Netherlands, Hungary, Croatia, Austria, the Czech Republic and Malta will also compete in the Eurovision Song Contest finals on Saturday after triumphing at the semi-finals in Stockholm.Booted out of the running in the first of two semi-finals were contenders from countries including Iceland, San Marino and Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Viewers on Twitter were quick to point out that San Marino’s hopeful Serhat bore a striking resemblance to George Galloway, while the Bosnia & Herzegovina contenders appeared to be wrapped in the silver blankets handed to marathon runners.Joe and Jake’s place in the final is assured because they are from one of the “big five” – the countries that founded the competition.
They will appear in the second semi-final on Thursday, with a pre-recorded rendition of their song You’re Not Alone.
Some 36 countries will vie for 20 places over the two semi-finals, to join the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, as well as host nation Sweden, for the big show.
Singer Justin Timberlake will add some global superstar power to the finale.
Watch preview videos for every country by John Kennedy O’Connor for San Marino RTV below
The Great British Bake Off’s Mel Giedroyc and Radio 1 presenter Scott Mills co-hosted BBC Four’s live coverage of the semi-finals, with Irish entry Nicky Byrne telling them how much he enjoyed the more outlandish performances.
He said: “There have to be some crazy ones. I liked the Czech Republic, Austria and Iceland. They were all very strong.”
Graham Norton will take the helm for BBC One’s live broadcast of the grand final on Saturday. He is expected to pay tribute to former host Sir Terry Wogan, who died earlier this year.
Semi-final 2 of the Eurovision Song Contest will be broadcast on BBC Four on Thursday at 8pm. The final takes place on Saturday and is live on BBC One from 8pm.
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