Your Country Needs You (2)



Graham Norton


Judges (2009): Andrew Lloyd Webber, Alesha Dixon, Duncan James, Lulu, Arlene Phillips, Emma Bunton, Dima Bilan

Judges (2010): Pete Waterman, Bruno Toniolo, Jade Ewen


BBC One, 3 to 31 January 2009 and 12 March 2010 (5 episodes in 1 series and 1 special)


Andrew Lloyd Webber seeks a performer or performers to sing a song - which he would write the music and Diane Warren would write the lyrics for - to represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest. It started with a reality show style talent hunt and six finalists were chosen. The Emperors of Soul, The Twins, Mark, Jade, Charlotte and Damien were the six acts. For the first and second weeks they would perform a song and then the panel gave their critical view. The phone lines were then opened for you, the great British public, to vote. The votes were then totalled up and the bottom two were then left on stage for Andrew to decide who he wished to keep in the contest. The semi-final saw each contestant having to sing twice with the phone lines opening after each act had sung once. In the final, Dima Bilan (last year's Eurovision winner) was invited into the studio to sing his winning entry and the final three sung a song of their choice, their best song of the series and their version of Andrew and Diane's song It's My Time. The lines were opened after the first song and the winner was announced who then reprised their version of the song they would be singing in Moscow.

The programme returned in March 2010, with a much curtailed format. Rather than taking place over four weeks, the selection process took place in just one show. In the programme, six acts performed live, after which the judges, led by Pete Waterman, whittled the field down to three. The chosen acts then each performed the UK's entry for Eurovision, That Sounds Good To Me, which Pete Waterman, together with his old partner Mike Stock had written for the contest. Once each act had performed the song, the phone lines opened, and the public voted on who they wanted to perform the song, representing the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo.

The programme did not return in 2011, with the BBC instead opting to make a decision internally as to who would represent the UK at that year's contest. They chose reformed boyband Blue, comprised of Lee Ryan, Simon Webbe, Antony Costa, and Duncan James. There was a token nod to the format in the title of a documentary aired a few weeks before the contest - Eurovision: Your Country Needs Blue. Blue would eventually finish in 11th place in Dusseldorf, three places behind X Factor irritants Jedward, representing Ireland.

Key Moments

Esma Akkilic unfortunately forgetting the lyrics part way through her performance of Pete Waterman's 2010 song.


2009: Jade Ewen. She went on to finish a very respectable 5th place in Moscow, losing out to Norway. Lord Lloyd Webber even played piano for her on the night.
2010: Josh Dubovie. Disappointingly, he finished in last place in Oslo.


Jade Ewen went on to form one third of the latest Sugababes line-up.

Josh Dubovie auditioned for, and was rejected by Britain's Got Talent.

See also

A Song for Europe

Weaver's Week review


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