The day has finally come for the United Kingdom to choose their entry for Eurovision 2018. And as Mel Giedroyc and Måns Zelmerlöw get ready to host the show at Brighton Dome this evening, three other important people will be practicing their enunciation and getting their faces powdered, too.

As in the previous two years of Eurovision: You Decide, the BBC has brought in an expert panel to provide comments for each of the six competing acts after their performances. This year the panel includes former X-Factor contestant and TV personality Rylan, previous S Club 8 and The Saturday’s member Rochelle Humes, plus singer-songwriter and lead vocalist/guitarist of McFly Tom Fletcher.

Taking to Twitter after the announcement, Rylan noted: “Might not be the best singer but I KNOW a good [Eurovision] song preparing my best Louis Walsh sayings as we speak…”

It is important to note that the expert panel is distinct from the professional jury. The panel will only offer their advice/critique on what worked well in each performance and what could be improved if the act was to go to Lisbon — they will not actually cast votes. That will be down to a 50-50 split between the British public and professional jury.

Rehearsal Snippets

A few days ago the BBC also gave us a glimpse into the rehearsal room of each of the six acts. This gives us a brief idea of what we can expect to see on stage tonight.

We observe the beginning of Asanda’s dance routine, RAYA easily hitting her high note, and Goldstone’s perfect harmonies and synchronous movement. Meanwhile, Jaz, Liam and SuRie all appear to find comfort standing behind the microphone stand for at least part of their performance.

Vocally everyone seems to be sounding great. But only time will tell if they can keep on top of any nerves they might have during the actual broadcast.

Emmelie de Forest returns to You Decide?

Fans have also noticed that, in addition to Måns Zelmerlöw, another previous Eurovision winner may also be heading to Eurovision: You DecideEmmelie de Forest, winner of Eurovision 2014, tweeted yesterday that she is packing and getting ready to head to Brighton today.

While she may be slightly disappointed that there won’t be any actual palm trees in Brighton, she doesn’t mention the specific reason why she’s heading to the seaside resort.

With the release of her new single and same-titled EP History this coming Friday 9th, could she be set to provide a sneak-preview as the interval act? Maybe a Måns-Emmelie duet is on the horizon?

This is possibly unlikely, as normally such high-profile interval acts are announced before the show for publicity purposes (e.g. Söngvakeppnin 2018). Perhaps Emmelie will be on hand to provide guidance for those acts competing and their songwriters, since she’s been through it before as the writer of Lucie Jones’ “Never Give Up On You”. Or maybe she just fancied the trip over to Brighton for a day out. Whatever the reason, the UK fans will no doubt be glad to welcome her.

We have it on good account that Greta Salome — Eurovision 2012 and 2016 star, and the co-author of RAYA’s “Crazy” — is already in Brighton. She was spotted with Iceland’s Head of Press enjoying an Italian dinner on Tuesday evening.

So, what do you think of this year’s expert panel? Do the rehearsal videos look promising? And what do you think Emmelie is up to in Brighton? Let us know in the comments below.

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Jonas
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Jonas

I guess it makes sense that Emmelie is there, since she is technically the reigning champion. Not so sure about this panel, though…

Matt
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Matt

Liam sounded really good live in that clip, which worries me because that is not the song that should represent us!

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

Well if it wins, we can always “re-vamp” it to be more up-tempo, I assume.

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

Yeyyy! Lots of people I like! 🙂
I’ll try not to accidentally knock Emmelie over this time. (Not my finest moment last year.)
Packing my bag for Brighton right now. See some of you there! x
Oh… Should I wear the “City Lights” shirt or the “Love Love Peace Peace” shirt? 😛

Cathal
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Cathal

I’m just wondering by the end of the evening will do much smoke be blown up the UK’s ass that I’ll cringe myself to death?

Trocatroc
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Trocatroc

What s your problem? Relax, try to enjoy your life more.

Joe
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Joe

Well, at least we know they can all sing live. Jaz in particular is going for those high notes like nobody’s business. So interested to see how this plays out. I’m rooting for you, UK! You’re gonna get it back on track this year!

Charli Cheer Up
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Charli Cheer Up

Based on rehearsals I hope the acts that would represent the UK are Asanda, RAYA and SuRie. As for these panellists, they are brilliant choices I mean they’re all current UK popstars who have experience performing in front of a big crowd and they’re ESC fans too!

Joe
Guest
Joe

SuRie’s got a great voice and RAYA seems so genuinely excited about the prospect of singing for the UK that it’s infectious, but boy do I still hope it’s Asanda. I’ve got a good feeling about her. It’s a likable bunch this year overall, much stronger than the usual UK batch.

EscAU
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EscAU

whoooo rochelle my homegirl from the saturdays!! they performed as a guest act at the UK nf in 2009 and una was actually a backing vocal for ireland in 2006

john
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john

Oh dear. `the act going to represent us in Lisbon is Asandra – oops I mean Goldstone` AAAARRRGGGGHHHHH!

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

It’s Cindy!… yeyyyy. NO it’s SCOOCH! It’s Scooooch! 😛

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

I’m actually rather excited about Rylan being on this panel. He seems like a genuine Eurovision fan, one who is knowledgeable about modern Eurovision. A NF panel is perhaps a little unnecessary, but if you’re going to do it, this line-up is the way to go!

Zack
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Zack

I’m glad you know your stuff on this, because I had the complete opposite (yet uninformed) opinion. So thank you! 😀