UK: Meet the participants

by Benny Royston 87 views

The six finalists for the United Kingdom are now known. Big Brovas, Brian Harvey, Cyndi, Hawkins and Brown, Liz McClarnon and Scooch will battle it out on March 17th to represent the United Kingdom at the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest. Below you can find extracts of their pages on the revamped BBC Eurovision Song Contest website. Tomorrow, we will be bringing exclusive video interviews with all six Making Your Mind Up participants as they are interviewed by Motorsport celebrity competitor and pundit, and lifelong Eurovision fan, Michael Hill.

Below are extracts of the artist biographies from the BBC website. Click here to visit the site now to read the full biographies and listen to extracts of the six songs battling for the United Kingdom's ticket to Eurovision.

Big Brovaz first broke through into the UK charts in October 2002 with their debut single ‘Nu Flow’. It was an instant hit all over Europe and particularly in the UK where it made it to the top three. The group’s success has continued with a further four singles making it into the UK top ten and their debut album also entitled ‘Nu Flow’ was certified platinum in the UK. Their success led the band to win two Mobo’s (Best Newcomer and Best UK Act of the year), Smash Hits (Best Urban Act) alongside Capital Radio and Disney awards.

After being locked up in a studio for two years, Big Brovaz are back as a four piece with members Nadia, Cherise, J-Rock and Randy. Big Brovaz are confident they can take Eurovision to a new level with their not-so-traditional-Eurovision style.

Brian Harvey started his musical career as one fourth of the hugely successful pop band East 17 in 1992. Taking their name from the area of London in which they lived East 17 were born and in August of 1992 their first single House Of Love was released and went straight into the top ten. From then on a succession of 17 other singles and six albums followed including the million selling single Stay Another Day which hit the Christmas number one spot in 1994 and stayed in the charts for 16 weeks.

Brian says he was ‘thrilled’ to be asked to perform on Making Your Mind Up and his East 17 band mates are supporting him all the way, “they will all be voting for me on the night!” Some people might think Eurovision is a world away from Brian’s image of an east end lad but he says: “There is something about the scale of this competition which grabs people’s imagination. It’s like a national treasure and I am very excited to be a part of it.” He remembers Eurovision from his younger days recalling the moment the Bucks Fizz girls had their skirts ripped off. I got very embarrassed and left the room, I didn't want my parents to catch me watching it.”

Cyndi Almouzni first realised she wanted to be a singer when she saw the breathtaking performance of Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You from the film ‘The Bodyguard’. She practised her own vocal techniques to this track at first singing to herself, then her family and then in school. This led to her parents sending her to singing school followed by private lessons.

Steve Allen, A&R at Sony BMG, first discovered Cyndi after hearing her vocals on a dance track and believed he was listening to the sampled voice of an American soul diva. The track I’ll Take My Heart has been produced by renowned Grammy award winning producer Brian Rawling.

Justin Hawkins is best known to most as the former lead singer and guitarist from multi award-winning rock band The Darkness. His soaring falsetto lead the group to major chart success with a string of top ten hits and two platinum albums in the UK as well as three Brit awards in 2004 for Best Act, Best Rock Act and Best Album for Permission to Land. And then he left.

Hailing from the Midlands, Beverlei has worked as a professional singer alongside many top names in the industry including Chaka Khan, Blur, Jamiroquai, Lemar, Joe Cocker and Razorlight. She is considered to be one of the finest vocalists around. Although Justin and Beverlei are both currently unsigned to any record label, this track is destined to appear on a future Beverlei Brown album.

Since Atomic Kitten took a break in spring 2004, Liz has been on one big roller coaster ride of adventures with her debut solo single the Robin Gibb produced “Woman in Love” hitting the top five in February 2006. In recording her debut album her song writing travels have taken her from Liverpool to London, Los Angeles to New York and across Europe.

Liz will perform her self penned single (Don't It Make You) Happy! which she believes can give the UK a much needed lift at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2007. "Happy! is a huge, upbeat song from the heart which I think will give everyone a lift when they hear it and see the performance,” says Liz. “Lyrically it’s as positive a message as you can get. Eurovision has always been a big event in our household. It’s the musical event I have the earliest memories of and to actually be in with the chance of representing the UK is so exciting!

Scooch scored four top 20 hits including the massive top five single More Than I Needed to Know, culminating in their album “Four Sure”. In their time together they performed alongside Christina Aguilera, Kylie, Westlife and Ronan Keating to name but a few. Their success wasn’t just limited to the UK either, with number ones in various countries worldwide.

So why have they decided to reform for Eurovision: Making Your Mind Up? Russ said: “Last year’s winners Lordi showed that it’s about the whole performance and that’s what we were always known for. We decided to do it because we felt it was our job to bring Eurovision back to its former glory. The UK hasn’t done too well of late and we’re taking it back to pure pop music. We’re the Buck’s Fizz for this generation – pure pop is going to bring the Eurovision back to the UK. We’ve got a catching song, fantastic costumes and a great dance routine, but you’ll have to wait till the night for any tricks.”

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