Bianca definitely still in love with Eurovision Song Contest
PUBLISHED: 11:39 19 March 2015 | UPDATED: 11:42 19 March 2015
Bromley's UK entrant says she is so proud to be representing everyone
A singer from Beckenham is one half of Electro Velvet, the duo selected to represent the UK in May’s Eurovision Song Contest in Austria. Chris Murphy speaks to her about the backlash to her entry and representing her country...
EUROVISION hopeful Bianca Nicholas says she is unfazed by criticism of the UK’s entry for this year’s contest and insists her group could still spring a surprise.
The Beckenham singer is one half of the Electro Velvet duo, who were unveiled recently as our entry in the 60th Eurovision Song Contest.
But the critical reception for I’m Still In Love With You has been fierce on occasion, with The Guardian running an article asking if it is the UK’s worst Eurovision entry ever. And that is up against some pretty tough opposition.
Others, however, have started to warm to the catchy tune.
Any hopes of success at the event in Austria next month are a long shot, however.
The UK has performed appallingly in recent years and the bookmakers rank its chances of coming last higher than winning.
Not that Ms Nicholas, who suffers from cystic fibrosis and once appeared on the BBC’s The Voice talent show, is allowing herself to lose hope.
She said: “We really are quite over the moon about going to Austria.
“The song is electro swing and I am not sure the UK has ever had an entry like it.
“There are so many ballads among the other entries this year. But it is the 60th anniversary of the show - this is a party year and we have got an upbeat sound. It’s a party song and we will deliver it with everything we have.
“You never know what’s going to happen. There are so many factors in how well a song does. One thing we can say for certain is that we absolutely want it. We will be trying our best.”
Her Electro Velvet partner is Alex Larke, who normally makes his living impersonating Mick Jagger in a Rolling Stones tribute act.
After they were selected, she had to keep the news secret from her family for six weeks.
Ms Nicholas added: “They are so excited.
“Everyone is so happy for me – I am getting so many messages from so many people.”
The pair got together via mutual friend David Mindel, a songwriter whose previous 4,000-odd credits include the theme tunes for National Lottery Live and even Jim’ll Fix It.
But the British media has been far from kind – The Guardian said the song was “nightmarish”, and The Independent was not much happier, describing it as “instantly forgettable”.
Ms Nicholas defended the song and style, telling us: “That is all so unfair. I don’t think there has been another song like this from the UK.
“We are trying something really new, and just hope it works.
“All we can promise is that we are absolutely going to do our best.”
She said critics have been attacking the song “because it has been a bit of a shock”.
Described as electro swing, it is an upbeat number likely to appeal to a wide demographic – no doubt the aim of the songwriter.
Ms Nicholas added: “It hasn’t been tried before and is something different – a different genre that is up and coming in Europe but not so well known here.
“We hope this will make us stand out. At least people are talking about it – it is the most watched online Eurovision entry.
“There is no way of predicting what’s going to happen. I am very hopeful that we have a different song in a sea of others.
“We are not going to worry about it. So long as we have tried our best that is all we can do. We want to build bridges.”
No stranger to show business, she was a contestant on The Voice last year and on X Factor in 2008.
She said: “I have never been to Austria before, and I can’t wait to get out to Vienna and do my best, and I hope to make the UK proud.”
From a young age, it seems she was destined for a life on stage with a keen interest in performing arts.
When she reached five, she took the lead role in the Cannes Film Festival award-winning short film Is it the Design on the Wrapper?
When she hit her early teens, there was an appearance alongside Johnny Depp in the Hollywood blockbuster Sleepy Hollow.
At 15, she finally made the decision that music was for her and she went on to perform at several high-profile charity events.
There was a duet with Will Young, a tour with Classical Brit winners Blake and a performance for Princes William and Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge.
Singing is helping her battle cystic fibrosis, which affects the lungs.
■ The Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Vienna, Austria, on Saturday, May 23.