This week Michael Rice was in Tel Aviv to film his postcard.But during his packed schedule, the hitmaker from Hartlepool found time to sit down for a chat with Kan 11, an Israeli TV station.

In his first extensive interview since winning You Decide, Michael discussed a whole host of topics: from his childhood, to the UK’s track record at Eurovision and the campaigns to boycott the contest in Tel Aviv.

In case anyone is struggling to understand Michael’s accent, here’s a rough translation: when he says “mam” he means “mum, when he says “us” he means “me” and he says “like” mid-sentence a lot because everybody in the North East does it. Seriously, we all do.

Michael Rice interviewed in Israel

Michael can’t hide his excitement to be in Tel Aviv, but he isn’t afraid to discuss more sensitive topics. When asked about the campaigns in the UK that addressed him, calling for him to boycott Eurovision, he made clear that he believes Eurovision should not be confused with politics.

“Eurovision is purely music and it’s not about politics… I’m just a singer doing my country proud.”

Michael was also asked about the UK’s love-hate relationship with Eurovision. Even though the UK has five wins under its belt, British acts have become renowned in recent years for finding themselves firmly on the right hand side of the scoreboard.

“It’s crazy because in the UK we have Adele, we’ve had The Beatles, we’ve got Sam Smith. I think because we haven’t won in so long, it makes you want it even more. It’s to prove a point to people that we still can do it and that we’ve really got a good song this year, so fingers crossed!”

Michael isn’t allowing the UK’s track record distract him from the scale and excitement that is Eurovision. He tells us that the journey so far from You Decide to Tel Aviv has been “a whirlwind of emotions”. It’s bigger than anything he’s done before!

“Never in a million years did I think I’d ever be a part of Eurovision. I used to watch it growing up as a kid, and my mam used to watch it when she was growing up. It’s just surreal!”

“You don’t ever think it’s going to happen to someone like me!”

What do you think? Could Michael Rice bring the UK its first win in over 20 years? Let us know in the comments!

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Ted
Ted
2 years ago

I’m really looking forward to how they stage this song. He has a good voice, he just needs to be taught how to use it. and I hope he’s had chance to work on his stage presence. Good luck MIke, I’m liking the song.

EZz
EZz
2 years ago

Looking at this realistically will we win with this song probably not, could we improve on 24th place, Yess most definitely I believe this song is a big step up from Suries song, and Juries especially will rate this song 100 percent, Tele voting maybe not as much, but no reason we cant get another top 15 result, this could shock everyone I’m sure of it.

Whisker
Whisker
2 years ago
Reply to  EZz

Last year the You Decide line-up was so weak that I wondered whether the songs were selected to have Surie win. And it disappointed.

Andy
Andy
2 years ago
Reply to  Whisker

Legends was quite good but like everything else in ESC, singing live can make or break a performance.

gilpgilp
gilpgilp
2 years ago

This will be bottom 5 in the final. It’s awful. The UK really needs to start taking Eurovision seriously again, it’s embarrassing for them. They treat it like a joke and it shows every year. It’s more evidence why we should not have a “Big 5” and guarantee awful songs in the final.

Atari 2600
Atari 2600
2 years ago
Reply to  gilpgilp

I wholeheartedly disagree with you. This isn’t “awful” at all. It’s a typical pop song (nothing different) I agree, but to call it “awful”. And do you think it’s the UK’s fault the BBC don’t want to win, British fans don’t ask for this.

All I can say is that this isn’t ending up in the bottom 5 imo.

Whisker
Whisker
2 years ago
Reply to  Atari 2600

I dont understand this BBC not wanting to win ESC. There are songs/performances that win, then s/p that get high scores, s/p that are bad and s/p in the middle. How about a s/p that earns the UK a decent placement somewhere in the middle? Or don’t complain.

Atari 2600
Atari 2600
2 years ago
Reply to  Whisker

Bigger than us will not be in the bottom 5. There have been past Eurovision songs similar to this that the juries have loved (e.g. Australia 2017, Austria 2018). The televote will probably be low, but I really don’t think the juries will downrank it!

Andy
Andy
2 years ago
Reply to  gilpgilp

It’s not awful. Especially, if we consider that Sweden almost picked this one up instead of the other one. IMO it’s all about UK’s dynamic or lack of. If this song was representing Sweden people still wouldn’t be loving it but it would probably be top 10 in the odds just cause it’s Sweden.

Herr Frau
Herr Frau
2 years ago

Yes, saying this will win is going over the top, but this could do alright if the juries back this up. One of the better UK songs lately imo. I think it will place 12th-18th

Yodenman
Yodenman
2 years ago
Reply to  Herr Frau

Yes about 18th sounds about right. Surely this is not to be praised. A top ten is a minimum target.

Liam Lindsay
Liam Lindsay
2 years ago
Reply to  Herr Frau

I’m thinking more positive and 6th to 14th. The UK has been nailing staging as of late and we have a very strong vocal, perhaps one of the strongest male vocals of the year. Put all that together and you have a very promising package.

Polegend Godgarina
2 years ago

stop deluding this kid

Atari 2600
Atari 2600
2 years ago

And stop slagging him off.

mark dowd
mark dowd
2 years ago

Joe and Jake……déja vu.

Yodenman
Yodenman
2 years ago
Reply to  mark dowd

Yes, I see where you are coming from….Actually, I preferred their song….sorry.

ESCFan2009
ESCFan2009
2 years ago

Call me crazy, but all I want to say is that I love his tattoo on the left hand 🙂

123
123
2 years ago

He has the better Lundvik song though…

Roger Rabbit
Roger Rabbit
2 years ago

I afraid this go to be 26 in the final .sorry .but UK can bring much better than this.

Herr Frau
Herr Frau
2 years ago
Reply to  Roger Rabbit

Germany, Israel and France are in the final remember

Denis
Denis
2 years ago

Him and John Lundvik needs to sing this as a duet, im waiting for it!
Come on, serve us that gospel realness!

Makis
Makis
2 years ago

I really thought that UK would set the trend on ESC, but they are stuck to one style. I guess they don’t really care.

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
2 years ago

“when he says us he means me”
So actually this whole time he meant to sing it’s bigger than me? 😀

Nicolas
Nicolas
2 years ago

Try next year.