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!