Blue is an established and well known band comprising of Duncan James, Anthony Costa, Lee Ryan and Simon Webbe. They were originally formed in 2001 and enjoyed global success over the following four years before splitting in 2005 to pursue their solo careers.
At the beginning of 2011 it was announced that Blue would reform, then a short while later they were confirmed by United Kingdom broadcaster BBC as the nations representatives in Europe's Favourite TV Show in Düsseldorf.
BBC interest in Blue in 2010
When discussing how the project started, Duncan adds "We were in talks with the BBC for around six weeks before the decision was made. They did approach us last year actually to sound us out about whether we would like to do Eurovision, they heard that we were in the studio writing a new album so we all sat down and talked it through. We had a song that myself and Lee had written which we thought would be perfect for the contest, and things just progressed from there, and here we are."
Simon admitted that initially there were some reservations with regard to competing, saying "As we were an established band before, and the perception of the Eurovision Song Contest is not taken that seriously, we did think about it, but we took in to consideration that we'd had a lot of success around Europe and it would be great to represent the United Kingdom this way. For us to be asked as a serious established act to do this was an attraction."
Complete control over song choice
Anthony confirmed that the BBC did hand over complete control over the song choice to Blue. "They asked us about whether we had a song, and lucky for us we had a really great song that Duncan and Lee wrote, which we think will put us back on the map in Eurovision where we belong."
All of the members of Blue have had some experience with the Eurovision Song Contest, Anthony finished as runner up in 2006 in the United Kingdom selection process, Duncan was a panelist in the 2009 selection as well as having read out the United Kingdom votes in the Final of the contest itself. Lee wrote a song performed by Andy Scott Lee in the 2005 national selection, and Simon was a judge in the 2002 selection. "It's nice that we have all had some experience with the competition in the past, but I don't think it will help us as such in Germany, it will be every act for themselves over there and we will be giving it our best shot. As an act we know we can sing well and perform, but we will also be up against 24 other great acts. We're really excited about the opportunity." says Duncan
Entry to be premiered on UK television on March 11th
Without knowing much about the chosen song yet, the title I Can lends itself to being positive in theme, and Lee confirms this "It's a very positive song with good lyrics to go with it. It has a good melody and a very catchy chorus, which we know is important for the Eurovision Song Contest. It's very anthemic, very Blue and we want it to be something that people will be singing after just a few listens."
There is much anticipation and curiosity surrounding the song back in the United Kingdom, but Duncan today confirmed some more details "The song will be first showcased to the British public on the Graham Norton Show on March 11th, so there is around a month to wait as we are putting the final touches to everything. We're perfectionists so it has to be 100% right before then."
Most established act in decades
The last United Kingdom representatives to have scored multiple number one hits prior to their participation in the Eurovision Song Contest were the Shadows way back in 1975. The most recent United Kingdom act to have a single number one hit prior to taking part in the contest was Sonia in 1993. This makes Blue easily the most established act to represent the nation in almost two decades, but do they feel additional pressure because of this??
Lee says not "It's a privelege for us to be considered and to be now representing the UK, most established acts in the UK wouldn't dream of doing what we're doing so some people at home have been quite sceptical about what we're doing. What people back home don't realise is that other countries do send quality established acts to Eurovision, it's a shame that we never for decades have sent established artists, we hope to bring it back home for our country."
Simon also adds "It's a great way for us to come back doing Eurovision, it's our tenth year anniversary from when we were formed, and that together with the album release later in the year and us touring all around Asia afterwards. We're just very grateful that the BBC has given us this opportunity, and it's a great honour for us all to be in Germany singing for our country."
Malta begins a big European push for Blue
The Maltese national selection sees the beginning of a comprehensive European promotional tour for Blue, who have confirmed that they will be very busy in the build up to Düsseldorf. Anthony informs "We will be in Spain at the end of this week, we will go to France, Germany, Greece and Italy. We are also planning to go further East and maybe visit places like Azerbaijan and some of the other former Russian republics."
Eurovision.tv would like to thank Duncan,Simon,Anthony and Lee for their time today, and also to their manager Sara Freeman for making the interview possible.