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.
— BBC Eurovision?? (@bbceurovision) February 6, 2018
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.
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.
In just four days we are live on @BBCTwo with #EurovisionYouDecide ?? ! Watch all our artists in rehearsals by following @BBCEurovision on Instagram ? https://t.co/9VK5RlfJpZ #Eurovision pic.twitter.com/MnjdqOtGsF
— BBC Eurovision?? (@bbceurovision) February 3, 2018
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 Decide. Emmelie de Forest, winner of Eurovision 2014, tweeted yesterday that she is packing and getting ready to head to Brighton today.
Done with interviews for today! Now it's time to pack for Brighton tomorrow????? Ok I know it's not the season ? But can't wait to see a palm tree again and excited to go there, since I mainly travel to London and have never been that far south in the U.K. pic.twitter.com/YZAJU44T9C
— Emmelie de Forest (@emmeliedeforest) February 6, 2018
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.