Next up in our 'Take 5' series is one of the participants in UK's You Decide competition, Michael Rice.
Michael took a few minutes out of his preparations for the contest to answer our quick fire five questions.
1.In song choices you’ve used in the past, you’ve had quite an eclectic taste with Tina Turner, Whitney and Years & Years – what are your musical influences and heroes?
I always love to challenge myself with big songs and artists. My idol is Whitney Houston, I’d always listen to her growing up, shes defintely one of my big influences when it comes to singing. Also Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey.
2.On to Eurovision You Decide – when were you approached about doing the competition and what was your first reaction?
I was asked to audition back in November, when I got the email to audition, I was so excited, because I’d always watched Eurovision from being a young age, & having the possibility to represent my country in something as big as that would be such a huge honour.
3.With the different format this year of going head to head with another artist performing the same song, does that make it a tougher prospect?
I think this new concept is great! It gives the listeners 2 completely different versions of each song and each version is totally unique in there own way, whether it’s be a different genre, male or female vocals, or 1 version could be pop and another could be interpreted into country or dance. I like the idea of the dual sing offs because the audience and viewers at home can then pick which style they prefer as everyone’s tastes of music are completely different - it does make it tougher as you know someone else is singing your song straight after you, so it makes you even more passionate and determined to want to win your duel and be in the top 3 and be in with a shot at winning.
4.If you were on a show like ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here in Australia’, what would you most afraid or worried about?
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THAT SHOW! I don’t know how I’d cope with all the creepy crawleys and snakes but I’d give it a shot. I’d be running for my life if I seen a rat or a huge spider haha, but apart from that I’m really good with heights so any bushtucker trials with heights sign me up haha.
5.So we understand you’re from Hartlepool, we have heard some interesting tales about that town and a monkey, care to elaborate? (sorry we had to ask!)
Hartlepool is a very old historic town on the north east coast, the tale goes that hundreds of years ago a monkey was washed upon on our shore, dressed in a french army uniform and the locals all thought it was a french spy. They put the monkey on trial and because the monkey didn’t speak and the fact that they’d never seen a Frenchman or monkey before they found it to be guilty and was hanged. And ever since then we have always been known as the monkey hangers.
Thanks so much for your time Michael!
Michael will be joining five other artists this Friday night (UK Time) and Saturday morning Australian time for BBC's UK Eurovision You Decide.
Check out his song 'Bigger Than Us' below: