Michael Rice is bringing an anthem that’s “Bigger Than Us” to Tel Aviv. The Hartlepool lad had a chat with us in Amsterdam just before his knockout performance on the Eurovision in Concert stage, and he had a lot to say about his track, the B Word and going for a junk food session with his fellow participants.
Michael Rice interview – Eurovision In Concert 2019
We talked about how the UK swathe of the fandom is really getting behind Michael and his entry this year — and much more so than it did for British acts in recent years. He detailed how he still thinks it’s absolutely crazy it’s him going to Tel Aviv, and how it’s still sinking in. He also acknowledged that less-than-flattering comparisons of his song to an X Factor winner’s single, but thinks it can stand out in May anyway.
And what about his songwriter — Sweden’s Eurovision 2019 act John Lundvik? Michael says that he was somewhat intimidated when he heard John’s vocals on the demo, but he was put at ease when he found out that John and the other writers Laurell Barker and Jonas Thander loved his version.
The dreaded B Word
With everything that’s going on in the United Kingdom at the moment politically, Michael brought up the inevitable: Brexit. He doesn’t think it will impact his chances in the contest. “I think it’s been so long now, I think loads of people have really lost hope with the UK, and I’m just here to spread positivity, ‘cos I really do believe we can bring it home regardless of Brexit and all that stuff going on”.
After a chuckle over saying that B Word, Michael showed us his internal ‘eurgh’ face when the subject comes up out of nowhere. Look out y’all — he is not feeling it! The look really does have to be seen to be believed. We are loving it and are throwing it back to Molly Smitten-Downes’ famous side-eye meme back in Copenhagen 2014.
To bring the optimism back, he then showed us his ‘douze points’ face — nearly falling over in the process. Michael’s lovable charm came through again when he needed a crash course in Eurovision results lingo. Of course, given the various changes happening to the order in which votes are revealed this year, we could all use a quick run-through.
Looking forward to London Eurovision Party
On Sunday this week, we’ll be heading to the London Eurovision Party at Café De Paris in Piccadilly Circus. As this is Michael’s home pre-party, we had to ask if there’s anything particularly British he wanted to show his fellow participants, or something he loves. As he’s from Hartlepool, he can’t bring down snacks from his waffle and crepe shop as they wouldn’t survive the nearly 270 mile (approx 430km) journey down to London, but instead he opted to offer up a “dirty kebab and chips” — the customary food after a good night out in the UK. We’ll have to see if anyone holds him to that.
With British Eurofans on Twitter planning to do a Eurovision rendition of classic England football anthem “It’s Coming Home” for Michael at the show, I’m sure he’ll have a great time, and we can’t wait to hear those vocals in a more intimate venue.
Right lads me and miss @harriet_minns have a plan for Sunday, anyone coming to LEP during the day to meet artists, when Michael turns up let’s all sing Its Coming Home ok thanks x
— Georgia |?????? (@swedenstan) April 8, 2019
What did you think of Michael’s performance at Eurovision in Concert? What UK sights do you think he should show his fellow Eurovision artists on Sunday? And most importantly, should he go for doner or shish kebab? Let us know in the comments below.
You can find all our Eurovision In Concert interviews HERE.