Andrew Lloyd Webber and his team of professionals have decided on a shortlist of six acts all hoping to represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest 2009.
Speaking to the British media newspaper, the Daily Mail: Lloyd Webber has said that among the finalistsare 'a really talented close harmony group, two wonderful-looking black guys, a couple of really good girl singers and sweet girl twins from Sheffield'.
'What I want to do at one point is bring them all to a small stage with a piano and demonstrate that they won't be miming. We won't cheat.'
He has not yet written the song, which he will compose to suit the style and personality of the winner, who will be chosen by audience vote. 'Or I might write three different songs for each of the finalists. We'll see what happens.'
Speculation that his old friend, lyricist Tim Rice, with whom he collaborated on Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar And Evita, would be writing the words to the Eurovision song is false.
'I'm sure we'll end up doing something together, eventually – but what? I haven't an inkling.'
The BBC have also announced the format of the first two shows for "Eurovision – You're Country Needs You." Performing live for the viewers, the acts have to show they've got the right ingredients to take on the best in Europe, and all are hoping to win enough votes to stay in the competition.
Andrew is on hand to encourage them throughout the week and each act must put his advice into practice. Andrew is accompanied on his mission by a team of music industry professionals, including Colin Barlow, a music expert who acts as Andrew's right-hand man.
On week one, the acts are tested with a Eurovision-style task and, from the bunker, viewers find out how Andrew is getting on with composing the song.
On week two, the acts are tested on some special Euro performances – complete with Eurovision gimmicks.
Special guests over the series include former Eurovision winners and some of pop's biggest acts will also sing some Eurovision classics.
Once all the acts have performed, the public cast their votes.Each weeksomeone will be eliminated as the rest of the acts progress to the followingweek’s show with a chance of being the UK entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, in Moscow, in May.