For the 64th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest final in Tel Aviv this Saturday (May 18), 21-year-old Michael Rice will represent the UK with his song “Bigger Than Us.”
The song holds a special meaning to Rice, who overcame bullying as a youngster to now earning the opportunity to represent Britain on a worldwide platform.
Michael Rice’s Eurovision journey
When Michael Rice participated in The X Factor in 2014, he got eliminated after the bootcamp stage.
— PinkNews (@PinkNews) May 16, 2019
Four years later, he entered BBC One’s singing competition All Together Now and won with Leonard’s Cohen “Hallelujah.”
Rice won the Eurovision: You Decide contest earlier this year with his song “Bigger Than Us,” which is dedicated to his late father.
He told PinkNews the song “covers different areas of like, being who you are, whether your race, your gender or your sexuality.”
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“It covers everything and it’s important this music video comes out because it’s a message I can take to Tel Aviv.”
Michael Rice stopped singing after being bullied at school
Rice spoke to PinkNews about being bullied at school for being “the only boy that could sing.” He stopped singing and only found the confidence to perform again in the last few years.
He actually went back to his former school to shoot the “Bigger Than Us” video clip, which features LGBT+ representation.
Rice added: “I think [bullying] is a big topic as well that needs to be brought to schools. I don’t think enough is being done with bullying.
“There was like a time when I felt really alone and I just stopped singing because it kind of knocked my confidence a bit.”
Rice has overcome his lack of confidence now. He has even been all over the UK to spread messages fighting bullying in school.
The last time the UK won the Eurovision was in 1997. The country was represented by Katrina and the Waves and their song “Love, Shine a Light.”
However, according to the Eurovision algorithm, the UK will finish in 17th on Saturday (May 18).
The Eurovision Song Contest airs on Saturday at 8pm on BBC One.