During the build up to this weeks first live show, United Kingdom national selection manager, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber had taken all six finalists to the 02 Arena, (formerly the Millennium Dome) to gain experience of performing in a large arena. Andrew then personally met the acts and broke the news to them that this 20,000 seater arena in London is the same size as the venue in which the winning act will perform in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow.
All six performers had to prove their stage presence to Andrew Lloyd Webber by giving a performance for him in the 02 Arena. Former Eurovision Song Contest winner from 1969, Lulu, was on hand to give advice and guidance to the contestants, and will be doing the same throughout the series.
In tonight's prime time show, hosted by Graham Norton, all six acts joined together to open the show with a rendition of Abba's 1974 Eurovision Song Contest winner Waterloo. Graham then described the format of the show, and stated that all six acts would sing live and the two acts with the lowest number of televotes from the evenings live performances would then enter the danger zone and the decision as to who would progress would be down to Andrew Lloyd Webber himself, with help from his assistants, Lulu and renowned choreographer Arlene Phillips.
Diane Warren to write lyrics
Another significant announcement was made by Andrew during the voting window, that was that prolific world renowned and Grammy award winning songwriter Diane Warren would write the lyrics to the Eurovision Song Contest entry which he composes for the winner. The bottom two this evening who received the least number of votes were revealed to be Damien and Charlotte. After deliberating, Andrew decided to save Charlotte.
Damien's elimination means that five acts remain and there will be three more shows during the next three Saturday evenings to eventually leave just one remaining. This act then will go on to represent the United Kingdom in the World's most popular music contest in Moscow in May 2009. This selection process is merely to select the United Kingdom representative. The song will then be written and composed around the strengths of the winning performer(s).
Damien's original audition for Your Country Needs You
Watch how Damien impressed Andrew Lloyd Webber with his audition performance: