Michael Rice picked to represent the UK in Eurovision Song Contest
Michael Rice has won the public vote to represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel.
The 21-year-old from Hartlepool will sing the track Bigger Than Us at the continent-wide competition in Tel Aviv in May.
He was selected during Eurovision: You Decide on BBC Two after making the final three decided by a panel of judges and then winning the public vote.
Rice is no stranger to TV singing shows, having won All Together Now on the BBC last year and making it onto The X Factor in 2014.
He said before You Decide: “Bigger Than Us is about love, coming together, it’s a really powerful song. You just connect with it. It’s all about emotion.”
BBC producer Mel Balac said: “This has been such an exciting year for Eurovision: You Decide with new format changes that we hope have really made the competition and programme more geared to find the perfect song.
“We’ve had some incredible performances tonight by everyone and everyone’s own individual take on the songs – well done to everyone! We are delighted for Michael and are proud to take Bigger Than Us to the Eurovision Song Contest final in May.”
Former Great British Bake Off presenter Mel Giedroyc and past Swedish Eurovision winner Mans Zelmerlow hosted the show from Salford.
Rice, who owns a waffle and milkshake business, was up against five other acts, performing three different songs.
Rylan Clark-Neal was among the judges who put Rice, Kerrie-Anne and former Britain’s Got Talent singer Jordan Clarke through to the final three.
They were picked over acts Anisa, girl group Maid, and 17-year-old singer and former X Factor hopeful Holly Tandy after each of the three specially written songs were sung in two different styles.