The singers who hope to turn around Britain’s disastrous result at last year’s Eurovision Song Contest were unveiled today.
The six acts in the running to represent the UK in May include an assortment of former boy band members and finalists from TV talent shows.
The performers – Enrap-ture, Haifa, James Fox, Hyrise, Madison Taylor and Haydon – will compete against each other for the public vote which will decide who should go to the contest in Turkey.
The new primetime BBC show, presented by Terry Wogan, has been designed to avoid a humiliating repeat of last year, when unknown band Jemini scored “nil points”, the worst result for the UK in 47 years.
Composers who previously worked with Blue, Christina Aguilera, Westlife, Ronan Keating, and Cher have written five songs for the artists – and a sixth has come through the traditional route of the British Academy.
Girl band Enrap-ture – Kelly, 22, from Nottingham; Mercedes, 21, who was born in London but grew up in Copenhagen, and Stacey, 23, born in San Francisco and raised in Oslo – will hope to capture the public vote with the song Weekend (Gotta Work).
Cardiff-born soloist James Fox, 27, came fifth on the second series of Fame Academy.
He was in a band with Liberty X singer Kevin Simm and will hope to clinch the vote with Hold On To Our Love.
Female soloist Haifa, 24, from Essex, had a dancefloor smash when she sang a cover of Toni Braxton’s Unbreak My Heart and will belt out Me Without You on the Saturday show on February 28.
Haifa, who supported Liberty X on their UK tour, failed to get into the final 10 in the first series of Pop Idol.
Boyband Hyrise – Matt, 18, from Birmingham; Maxwell, 18, from Windsor; Ben, 22, from south London; and Anthony, 21, from Wales – will be singing Leading Me On.
Anthony scored two hit singles with his brothers in the boyband 3SL.
Soloist Haydon, 21, east London, was the frontman for the pop band Ultimate Kaos, which hit the charts with Casanova and Some Girls, after he was signed up by Simon Cowell at the age of nine.
He recently finished fourth in the TV series Reborn in the USA and will sing With You I Believe.
Madison Taylor, 18, from south Wales, who has been studying dance since the age of seven, will sing British Academy song It Just Gets Better.
The Show, entitled Eurovison: Making Your Mind Up, after Bucks Fizz’s winning song in 1981, will also feature an expert panel to give guidance on who might ultimately find success in Istanbul.
A results show will take place later in the evening and the winner of the public vote will have their song commercially released.
The show’s executive producer Bea Ballard said: “We know what we can achieve as a nation when we pull together so let’s get behind our performers, pick the right one and give them the best change of winning.”