Belfast Telegraph

Monday 28 July 2014

Jade may revive UK's Eurovision fortunes

Hopes are rising for Jade Ewen today as she puts the final preparations to her bid to revive the UK's fortunes in the Eurovision Song Contest tomorrow.

Ewen will perform It's My Time, by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Diane Warren, in the vast Olympiyski Stadium in Moscow.

She will be hoping to fare better than last year's UK hopeful Andy Abraham, who finished joint last, raising questions about whether there was any point in the UK bothering to enter the competition if political voting took precedence.

Graham Norton will take on the commentating duties for the first time.

His predecessor Sir Terry Wogan, who has been associated with the competition from the early 1970s, said after Abraham's disappointment that it was "no longer a music contest" and that prospects for Western European participants were "poor".

"It did get to Terry in the end, but he'd been doing it for 35 years, so it probably won't annoy me quite as much," Norton told the BBC.

"It's frustrating because it does take the fun out of it. The voting sequence should be very exciting, but if you know who everyone is going to vote for then it's less exciting."

He said he would not be doing an impression of Sir Terry and would only poke fun if it was worth it.

He added: "Listening to the songs, I think a lot of them are actually quite good this year."

Speaking during preparations in Moscow, Ewen said it was "encouraging" to know the public were behind her.

The Londoner said of rehearsals: "Touch wood, everything's been great. It's just all been really positive."

Ewen, 21, who will don an outfit by British designer Amanda Wakeley tomorrow, said of performing one of Lord Lloyd Webber's songs: "I think it's going to (make) a huge difference.

"He's got such an amazing fanbase out here."

Ewen's MySpace page said being accompanied by Lord Lloyd Webber on piano will be her "secret weapon".

William Hill has cut the price of the UK winning the Eurovision Song contest to 12/1 and said a win by Ewen would cost the bookies a monster £250,000 payout.

"Everything is going in the UK's direction - the draw has been favourable, Jade has impressed in practice and Lord Lloyd Webber is putting his reputation on the line," said Hill's spokesman Rupert Adams.

"The UK has put in a super-human effort this year in an attempt to win, and if we don't win this year I don't think we ever will."

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