United Kingdom 2019 first rehearsal
United Kingdom 2019 first rehearsal
— Photo: Andres Putting
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Louise LaFleur
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Michael Rice debuts 'Bigger Than Us' for the United Kingdom

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The United Kingdom is in the house! Michael Rice is in Tel Aviv to rehearse 'Bigger Than Us' for the first time. The singer was joined on stage by a harmony of 5 backing singers to share his hope-filled anthem. Fun fact: 'Bigger Than Us' was written, in part, by Swedish delegate John Lundvik.

As a representative of one of the pre-qualified 'Big Five' countries, Michael Rice will take the stage at the Grand Final on Saturday 18 May at Expo Tel Aviv in Israel. This Sunday, the United Kingdom will draw a first half or second half position in the running order.

United Kingdom 2019 infographic (© EBU)

Michael started performing at a young age when his grandma would take him busking. His career began when a video of him singing a Years & Years song went viral. Michael is well known to the UK public as the winner of the first series of the BBC Entertainment show All Together Now which he won in 2018. During the series, he got all 100 judges – including Spice Girl Geri Halliwell - up on their feet. Michael put most of his £50,000 prize towards his mum's The Waffle and Crepe Shack in Hartlepool.

READ MORE: Michael Rice's participant profile

What happens on stage?

As the song starts, Michael is alone on stage under a dramatic spotlight. As it picks up, a galaxy of stars fills the background to illustrate the universal message of the song. Michael is then joined by 5 backing singers in white who come together with him in a circle to share the powerful message of hope and love between them.

Did you know?

Michael recently had his DNA analyzed by our Presenting Partner MyHeritage. Michael will represent the United Kingdom with a song penned by a British-Swedish songwriting team, but he was surprised to find out that he is actually part Scandinavian himself when his DNA results came back.

Michael is 2.8% Scandinavian and 1.1% Finnish. He is in fact 65.8% Irish, Scottish and Welsh in terms of his genetic make-up and not English at all. Hoping to take full advantage of the news, he joked: "Now that it’s revealed I’m 65% Irish, perhaps I could gain a few votes from there!"

READ MORE: Michael's family history research by MyHeritage

How do you think the United Kingdom will do in the Grand Final? Let us know in the comments!

tags Bigger Than Us Michael Rice United Kingdom first rehearsal 2019

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