Michael Rice has said he is “definitely” aiming to win the Eurovision Song Contest after being chosen as Britain’s representative for this year’s competition in Tel Aviv, Israel.
“I think you have to be positive when it comes to stuff like this”
— Michael Rice
Eurovision: You Decide viewers voted for him over performers Holly Tandy, Kerrie-Anne and Jordan Clarke on Friday (February 8), and Rice was confident that Europe would do the same in the Eurovision final.
Watch Michael Rice win Eurovision: You Decide and sing “Bigger Than Us”
He said: “I think you have to be positive when it comes to stuff like this. Some people do take the mickey out of it and these other countries really do take it seriously.”
Britain has not won Eurovision since “Love Shine a Light” by Katrina & the Waves triumphed in 1997—before Rice was born.
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Michael Rice is a fan of Sam Smith
Britain’s contestant named gay singer Sam Smith among his favourite music stars as explained his upbeat approach to the competition.
“We might have lost loads of times,” he said, “but I think, why couldn’t it change? Why can’t we make this different? We’ve got the best music industry—Adele, Sam Smith, The Beatles—why can’t we send someone and hope for the best?”
Rice, who won BBC One’s singing competition All Together Now‘s £50,000 prize last year, added that his track “might just be a ballad but that song’s got a big message and I can’t wait to perform it and show the rest of the world what this song’s all about.”
Michael Rice has taken a stand against bullying
The singer, who also competed on X Factor in 2014, opened up about how his time in the spotlight has involved dealing with hateful remarks from the public.
He said that having faced abuse as a young child as well, he was driven to help others in similar situations.
“When I was growing up at secondary school I used to get bullied a lot—in Year 7 and Year 8,” he explained. “When I left school, I did The X Factor and I got loads of hate from that, and it really sparked me on to go to schools and tell people my story and inspire them.”
In 2018, he joined other artists to record the song “Bruised” as part of a national anti-bullying campaign.
Rice also revealed that when it comes to choosing a song for karaoke, he goes for the classics.
“I love Tina Turner, a bit of Whitney, just fling it at me and I’ll give it a crack,” he said.